Top 10 Gems Of Lawrence, KS

Top 10 Gems Of Lawrence, KS

It's time for the hometown round up!
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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?

Cover Image Credit: Emalee Fox

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
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Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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Top 5 Hidden Gems In Clemson, SC

What are you missing out on in this beautiful South Carolina college town?

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Clemson, South Carolina. Home to the Clemson Tigers, one of the happiest universities in the nation and full of southern hospitality. I'm sure if you live in or near Clemson you know all the main spots to hang, or just grab a bite to eat. Who doesn't know Red Bowl, Spill the Beans or Bowman Field? Maybe you need a new spot, somewhere to quench your thirst for adventure, or maybe you're just tired of the same old same old. Either way, you're going to fall in love with these ten hidden gems, just as I have.

1. Yolk Asian Kitchen

Whether you're coming to Yolk for the made in house ginger ale, the stone rice bowls, or the kimchi tater tots; you'll always leave satisfied.

Located across from Mellow Mushroom (because you surely know where that is), this small restaurant has a very special place in my heart. I mean, 5 minutes from campus, good prices, and vegetarian options? What more can be said?

2. Todaro Pizza

Todaro Pizza. This small pizza shop that has the right amount of crust, to sauce, to greasiness and cheesiness. Everything aligns perfectly on these large slices of heaven. Not to mention, dollar slice nights every Wednesday from 6:00-11:00 p.m.

3. All In Coffee Shop

This small (but not really so small, its got amazingly spacious seating inside) cafe features pastries like your grandma would make, a bountiful selection of coffees and bubble tea offered every Wednesdays. This place is home to many of my study sessions, friendly conversations, and my large consumption of almond milk caramel lattes.

4. The Barnes Center

Now, I know this one may not be very hidden to those students who live on campus (particularly the high-rises) but, some may not know about the weekend events hosted here (and at least this one isn't completely food related). Whether it's game nights, DIY sessions, or cupcake wars: this spot on Clemson's Campus is a smorgasbord for bored college students.

5. Brackett Hall

Now, of course, if you're a student this building is not much of a secret. Many of us have had classes, exams or walked past this building many times. Though this building is underrated in the fact that in the evening it's one of the quietest places to study, with rows of tables and computers lining the bottom floor. (It even has a secret lounge for geology majors!)

I know these spots are great places to hang out with my friends and as a freshman, they've almost become little spots of home to me. Hopefully, these small little gems in this college town will quench your adventurous thirst and bring some spice to your life!

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