Lawrence, KS is my hometown- my happy place. It's been the place I've called home my whole life. I've got to tell you- there's something magical about spending your college years in your hometown. You see everything from a different perspective. I have so many special places, filled with a lifetime worth of memories. This is my hometown round up- the top spots in Jayhawk Territory!
1. The Burger Stand
Hands down the best restaurant in all of Lawrence! This is the place I go when I have something to celebrate- whether it be a birthday or the end of finals week. Their truffle fries with the garlic parmesan aioli sauce are out of this world!
2. Wells Overlook
This is a bit of a drive, because it sits south of town, out in the country. The drive is worth it though, because you end up in the middle of nowhere, at a three story high deck, with an amazing view of Lawrence. I love going as the seasons change, so that I can see the different views. The top level is filled with sharpie quotes, initials, and dates. Take a pen and leave a mark of your own! Pro tip: Never go after dark. This place can get real sketchy.
3. Clinton Lake
One of Lawrence's most underrated, but magical places. If you're a Lawrence native, then you probably spent your summers here. No matter your age, the lake is still fun! All of my favorite hiking trails are up there, and I love discovering new paths. Drive out in the evening and park on the dam to watch the sunset, take a picnic to one of the "beaches" or take your dog for a hike at one of the many paths!
6. Rock Chalk Park
A short 10 minute drive from Clinton Lake, Rock Chalk Park sits on the north end of town, and is the perfect spot for your indoor or outdoor activities. Free to all Douglas County residents, this is also home to the Sports Pavilion. The gym, indoor track, basketball courts, and tennis courts are all yours to use! Rock Chalk Park holds three beautifully scenic trails, that go into the woods behind the Sports Pavilion. Prepare yourself for hills, wildlife, and some tight calf muscles. This is my other favorite Lawrence hiking spot, and I've watched many sunrises there on Saturday mornings.
7. La Prima Tazza
Lawrence loves its coffee shops, so picking a favorite is always hard for a coffee lover like me. While I'm a self-proclaimed Starbucks girl, I love La Prima Tazza, because it is everything that a small town coffee shop should be. Order the iced Grasshopper just one time, and I promise you'll fall in love. Or try a Marshmallow Cloud latte, and relish the foamy goodness. Perfect for those Instagram photos, studying, people watching, and chatting with friends.
8. Sylas & Maddie's
You simply can't beat old time ice cream shops. Sylas & Maddie's has been around since I was a baby, and very little has changed throughout the years. On the weekends there's usually a line out the door, because Lawrencians know that Sylas & Maddie's is where you get the good stuff. Head down to Mass St. and order a triple scoop of Maddy's Mud on a waffle cone. All of your sugar cravings will cease to exist after that first bite.
9. Mass St.
Anything and everything happens on Mass St. in Lawrence! The best boutiques, restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries, street performers, and bands are all downtown. Stop in for pancakes at Milton's, go shopping at KB+Co, and pick up pastries at Wheatfields. Eat amazing Indian food at Bay Leaf, make a custom tee shirt at Acme, and take a stroll in South Park. Whatever your mood, Mass St. has everything. It's Midwest style fun!
10. The Merc
My second home for the last sixteen years! Founded in 1974 by a passionate group of foodies, this health food store + deli is one of Lawrence's greatest pride and joys. I started going to the Merc with my mom when I was a little girl, and I've continued to go there on my own in my college years. Last semester my family would meet up in their deli every Friday night to eat, and it just further confirmed that The Merc is one of my happy places. I'm obsessed with their veggie sushi rolls and the spicy tuna rolls from their deli. I also LOVE their cashew queso! It's insanely delicious. They have a huge kombucha and pressed juice section, which makes this girl very happy! The people, the atmosphere, the products, the deli, and the bakery make it an all around perfect place. You can do your grocery shopping, get smoothies, cookies, and dinner, all in one place!
What are your favorite Lawrence spots?