Whenever I’m back in the U.S., I always visit Lawrence. If I finally had to settle down and stay in one place the rest of my life, Lawrence would be one of the places I would choose. The town is in eastern Kansas, a state that’s often derided as being flat and square – both geographically and culturally. That’s unfair and inaccurate. Lawrence does the best job of debunking the stereotype. Home to the University of Kansas (sometimes called the Berkeley of the Midwest), the city is funky, hilly and leafy. It’s also bike crazy.
One of the city’s many wonderful features is its downtown district. In many Midwestern towns, downtown areas are boarded-up, depressing shells, sucked dry by Wal-Marts and other big box stores the set up shop on the outskirts of town and drain business away from the center. They tried to do the same in Lawrence but failed. The downtown area is still vibrant, full of cool restaurants, bars and stores – including one of my favorite bike shops.
There’s also a fantastic brew pub – Free State Brewery. The establishment’s name honors the key role Kansas played in the anti-slavery movement.wafflesandsteel | Filed under: Great towns | No Comments »