Collegiate LAWRENCE lies on the Kansas River, roughly halfway between Kansas City and Topeka. Tree-lined streets, a welcoming historic downtown and an aura of artiness make it an appealing destination, with a cultural energy owed in part to the University of Kansas and a long liberal and intellectual history.

Founded by the New England Emigrant Aid Company in 1854, and a centre of Free State activities, Lawrence was the site of a violent Civil War skirmish in 1863, when it was set ablaze by Confederate guerillas. Rebuilding was quick, however, as evidenced by the limestone and brick buildings of today’s downtown, centred on Massachusetts Street and the KU campus, which stands on a steep, tree-covered grassy bank known as Mount Oread.