KU's main campus is in Lawrence, Kansas, one of the few cities in the United States founded for political reasons. Lawrence was settled in 1854 for the sole purpose of making Kansas a slavery-free state. The city began as a small outpost on the banks of the Kansas River, and it still retains many interesting reminders of its colorful past.
The tree-lined main street just a few blocks from campus offers beautiful green spaces, tons of music venues and art galleries, and an abundance of small specialty shops, many of which cater to the diverse needs of KU students, faculty, and staff. No matter what you’re hungry for, you’ll find it on Massachusetts Street, where there is a diverse selection of locally owned restaurants.
Lawrence's 54 public parks, four community swimming pools, arts center, historical museum, and theatre groups are just a few of the opportunities in the community. Additionally, Kansas City, which boasts a wide variety of cultural venues, is only 30 miles away. And of course, don't miss the many area museums! Learn more about our community, traditions, and life on campus from KU Admissions. You can also take a virtual tour of campus.
Here are some of the things our students enjoy doing during their free time.
- Perusing the Antique Mall
- Window shopping in Downtown Lawrence on a nice day
- Driving to Kansas City to visit museums
- Catching the latest indie film at Liberty Hall
- Eating at some of the amazing restaurants (Kelsey '14 recommends the Pollo Fundido at Cielito Lindo)
- Enjoying some drinks at Henry's on the weekend (Jilliene '15 recommends the margaritas and white sangria)
- Participating in trivia nights at the local bars or at the Watkins Community Museum with other MUSE students
- Going to Clinton Lake when it is warm
- Taking Zumba classes at the Ambler Rec Center
- Listening to live music (you can find it on the street, in bars, and in concert halls)
- Checking out First Friday events downtown
- Going to KU sporting events (or watching them on TV at a local bar)
Why is Lawrence an awesome place to live?
There always seems to be something going one whether it is Traditional Irish music jam sessions at Henry's on Sundays or big events like the Holiday Horse Parade.
Jilliene Jaeger (2015)
I love the beauty of KU's campus. There is no place like Lawrence, KS, it is a second home for me. It has a great college town feel, but also has access to a larger city with Kansas City only 40 minutes away.
Erik Radowski (2015)
There are a lot of neat restaurants to eat! I love the variety they have to offer.
Megan Perez (2013)
Lawrence is great town – not too big, not too small. The people here are great and the atmosphere is welcoming to people from many different backgrounds.
Sarah Adams (2013)