Graduation Guide: A Guide to Lawrence

It is that time of year where graduation is upon us. Finishing internships, prepping for finals and living out the bar-crawling days to the fullest are just a few of the things seniors have on their minds. Family and friends of our soon-to-be graduates have some preparation to do too. Where to stay, eat, shop and explore are common things visitors to Lawrence should consider. Downtown is full of great food and places to shop, but the choices can be overwhelming to someone who has never been here before. This is a guide to Lawrence hot spots with recommendations from students to help visitors navigate the best of our college town. Share this with your friends and family so they don’t miss out on the best of Larryville.

Hotel Advice

  1. “Although it may be convenient to rent a room close to campus, it's going to get pretty expensive, especially on sport weekends. When my family travels to Lawrence to visit, they rent a room in De Soto and travel in for the games. Don't feel bad that you aren't staying in town. Just find something close and enjoy your time. Also, book in advance. If you're a student interested in KU or a parent coming to visit, chances are you're coming down on a weekend when other people are doing the same. The sooner you contact the hotel, the easier time you'll have trying to get a room. Nobody wants to be stuck driving from Overland Park every day of their vacation.” - Marsha Hanenberger, junior studying Music Education

Restaurants

  1. The Burger Stand on Mass Street. They have amazing burgers and even better fries: truffle and sweet potato. And on top of it all, they have great sauces that go with every burger. Marshmallow dip for sweet potato fries and chipotle ranch dip for your burger. What more could you ask for?” - Marsha Hanenberger, junior studying Music Education

  2. “That’s really hard to choose, but one of the local breweries, 23rd Street or Free State. Me personally, I like 23rd Street and its Bill Self mac and cheese.”  - Hank Cavagnaro, sophomore studying Journalism

  3. “If you're looking for a new experience, try Ramen Bowls - ramen with a twist. The best place I have eaten at.” - Isaac Bahney, sophomore studying Journalism and Sociology

  4. Jefferson's because they have the best American food and environment. Ever.” - Julie Etzler, junior studying Journalism

Shops

  1. Shark’s Surf Shop because I love all their colorful shirts and it’s a fun store.” Abby Adler, sophomore studying Journalism

  2. “If you have babies, Blue Dandelion, a very cute little boutique. Or antique mall, lots of fun stuff.” - Tamara Gaynes, senior studying Electrical Engineering

  3. The Toy Store. It’s just fun and all parents would probably like to see all the old-timey toys.” - Hank Cavagnaro, sophomore studying Journalism

  4. The new soda shop. It’s so neat.” - Tiffany S., junior studying Applied Behavioral Science

  5. Prairie Patches because it has everything Vera Bradley, Lilly Pulitzer and decorating.” - Julie Etzler, junior studying Journalism

  6. Wild Territory, cool science knick knacks.” - Katelyn Cook, senior studying Psychology and Women's Studies

Activities

  1. “I always love just walking around campus with my friends and family when they visit.” - Abby Adler, sophomore studying Journalism

  2. “Visiting Allen Fieldhouse because that is what KU is known for.” - Cassidy Ritter, junior studying Journalism

  3. “I would definitely visit the lookout. If you travel out of town on Iowa Street and take a left off of the first exit, the tower will be on your right side. You won’t be able to see the tower from the road, but there is a small paved road that takes you up to it. When you get there, climb all the way to the top. It's beautiful any time of year, but especially breathtaking in the fall and summer. From the lookout, you can see everything going on in Lawrence and the highways leading to other towns around you.” - Marsha Hanenberger, junior studying Music Education

  4. “If you are into it, the Hookah House is fun.” - Courtney Gudenkauf, junior studying Accounting

  5. “Explore Clinton Lake. This is one of my goals before I graduate because there are so many different parts of it. Watching the sunset over Clinton Lake is definitely a must-see.” - Julie Etzler, junior studying Journalism

  6. Bowling in the Union.” - Kelly Casper, junior studying Dance, and Speech Language and Hearing Sciences

If someone could only visit one place in Lawrence, where should it be?

  1. Campanile Hill, it's beautiful over there.” - Tamara Gaynes, senior studying Electrical Engineering

  2. Mass Street because that is a huge part of Lawrence. Plus, everyone is sure to find something they like down there.” - Cassidy Ritter, junior studying Journalism

  3. The Watkins Museum because there’s so much history and Elizabeth Watkins gave a lot of money to KU.” - Tiffany S., junior studying Applied Behavioral Science

  4. “If you haven't been there yet, definitely take a look at Allen Fieldhouse and check out the awesome Booth Hall of Athletics. No explanation needed. Heaven on Earth.” - Isaac Bahney, sophomore studying Journalism and Sociology