Grotesques to Guerrillas in Lawrence, Kansas

Grotesques to Guerrillas in Lawrence, Kansas

Living in Kansas City means that we have plenty of day trip destinations within a short drive from the metro. Lawrence, Kansas is only about 45 minutes away, but offers a dynamically different vibe. While many make this pilgrimage to witness the KU basketball team play at Allen Fieldhouse, we visited for a more historic purpose.

The Natural History Museum at Kansas University holds an impressive collection of dinosaur fossils.

Earliest Beginnings

A visit to the Natural History Museum at Kansas University brought us face-to-face (kind of) with the creatures that first inhabited this region. Walking the hallway we came across a variety of specimens from the days when Kansas was submerged by an ancient sea. The museum also hosts exhibits on bugs, bacteria, and even a large body of taxidermied animals. It is easy to wile away a few hours as you explore the four floors of various displays. (You can read more about this museum here>)

Bento box lunches are a good choice when visiting Wa Sushi restaurant on Mass Street.

Downtown Dining

The downtown area of Lawrence includes the vibrant Massachusetts Street. This corridor is filled with shops, restaurants, and clubs with the highest concentration between 6th and 11th Streets. Those looking to dine can test a different cuisine each meal for days, and not visit the same eatery. Pizza, tacos, burgers, sushi, and more can be found in places with names like Mexiquisto or Zen Zero. We chose to sample some bento boxes at Wa Restaurant during our visit.  (Read more about the restaurant here>)

The Watkins Museum offers plenty of information on the beginnings of Lawrence, Kansas.

Recent History

Since we had already learned about the prehistoric beginnings of the region, we felt it was appropriate to see a little about what has transpired in the last 150 years or so. At the Watkins Museum, we found lots of information about the rough start Lawrence had during the formation of statehood. Multiple raids left the town decimated, but the citizens persevered. Even one of the bloodiest massacres of the Civil War era couldn’t squash the spirit of these early residents. (Read more about this museum here>)

Shana Cakes is a cupcake shop that offers gluten-free versions of small cakes.

A Sweet Take Away

After a day filled with museum visits, and heads filled with new information, it was time to head back to our vehicle to make the journey home. Along the walk, we came upon one of the sweet shops that dot Mass Street. Shana Cake is home to gluten-free and allergy-free treats. What started as a way to assist her daughter with a medical condition, soon blossomed into a full fledge business. Other parents began to see the benefits of these special treats, and the business continues to flourish. We selected half a dozen to take home with us, and headed back to Kansas City. We know that our visit merely scratched the surface of what Lawrence holds, but we also know it’s just a short drive away.

Author's signatures.



Like this article? Share it with your friends!

Lawrence Kansas-history-Kansas University-Watkins Museum-Wa Sushi-Shana Cakes-dining-cupcakes-museums-Quantrill's Raid-Civil War

By |2018-11-22T06:16:29+00:00March 5th, 2018|Central US, Daytrips, Destinations, Kansas|10 Comments

About the Author:

We are Jeff and Crystal, a Baby Boomer couple who love exploring this big blue marble we all call home. After spending the first portion of our lives together raising a family, the empty-nest syndrome finally caught up with us. This has given us the opportunity to spend more time traveling, and seeking out new destinations. We developed this travel blog with the goal of showing how we “Visit Like A Local”. Our itineraries are designed to get us off the interstates, and into the heart of the places we visit. We believe this will allow our readers to choose a cultural experience, and eventually head home with a real flavor of the places they visit. We hope you are enjoying our website and will consider sharing it with your friends. Please come back often, as we post new articles three times per week.


  1. Anonymous March 6, 2018 at 6:52 am - Reply

    Well written, awesome!

  2. Daima Hussain March 6, 2018 at 10:41 am - Reply

    Sounds like an interesting place to visit.

  3. Doreen Pendgracs March 6, 2018 at 12:23 pm - Reply

    It’s nice to read about Lawrence, Kansas. I’ve not yet been there. One can always find intriguing diversions if you allow yourself enough time to get off the beaten path and have a closer look at there lesser known places.

    • Jeff & Crystal March 6, 2018 at 12:40 pm - Reply

      This is so true. Most places hold things of interest, if a person just looks for them.

  4. Marilyn Jones March 8, 2018 at 7:57 am - Reply

    What a great look at Lawrence, Kansas! I love finding attractions and interesting history in cities not normally associated with tourism. Great read!!

    • Jeff & Crystal March 8, 2018 at 12:09 pm - Reply

      Thank you for reading our article. We believe interesting things are all around us, we just need to adjust our focus.

  5. Debbra Dunning Brouillette March 10, 2018 at 9:17 am - Reply

    Day trips are so much fun and I love finding different types of museums like this one! Even if you’re close to home, it can be eye-opening to learn more about the area and share it with othersl

    • Jeff & Crystal March 11, 2018 at 2:10 pm - Reply

      That is so true. Too often we overlook the places nearby. Thanks for visiting our blog.

Leave A Comment