We hope you’ve packed your appetite. This month, we’re finishing our Hit the Road series with a foodie foray into Lawrence, KS. Whether you’re interested in taking a tour of Mass Street or trying the deconstructed lasagne at The Basil Leaf Cafe, this driving-distance destination is every foodie’s dream.
Before you start packing your bags, here’s everything you need to know about the area + our insider recommendations.
- Drive time: ~40 minutes from downtown
- Est. population: 97,348
- Avg. high in August: 90°
- This cozy Italian restaurant at 8th + Mass streets was listed as the best Italian restaurant and the best restaurant for pasta in Kansas.
- The self-described European-style neighborhood restaurant comes highly recommended — we definitely suggest trying a Lavender Cream Soda alongside your meal.
- With a menu full of delicious, beautiful, and locally sourced food, there’s no better way to enjoy the “come as you are” atmosphere.
- Known for its creative flavors (yes, there’s a KU ice cream), this family-owned and operated business has been a staple in Lawrence since 1997.
Eat, sleep, repeat
- Who wouldn’t want to wine, dine, and doze in what’s essentially a castle in downtown Lawrence? The Oread comes outfitted with an upscale restaurant, a bar, and a rooftop lounge.
- Come for the steak, seafood, and pasta at the Eldridge House Grill — stay for the ghost stories + history (including a run-in with Bonnie and Clyde).
- Walking off the calories won’t be a factor with this rental, which is just off Mass Street. It’s a party at this spacious home, which sleeps six and starts at $202 per night.
- Feed your interior designer after you feed your belly. This stylish downtown rental sleeps up to five and starts at $128 per night.
Things to do
- Twenty-five miles of hiking + biking trail, 378 campsites, disc golf, and water access make this lake park a must-visit getaway. Perfect for a picnic.
- Need a break from the food? Get wild with four floors of nature exhibits. Camps, school programs, and scavenger hunts make this destination a great way to spend the day with the whole family.
- Experience Great Britain in the Midwest, including everything from tea + snacks to home goods.
- Shop all things whimsical and support local artists, but also make sure to pet Dave the Cat on your way out.
- This private residence is filled with bizarre collections, like 350+ sock monkeys and Elvis Presley artifacts. Visit by making an appointment on Facebook or by phone.