Allow me to end a sentence with a preposition: Instagram is where it’s at. Those little squares create opportunities of vulnerability and openness and strengthen our connection to humanity. And sometimes, the pictures are just really cool. I’ve found that oftentimes, the best pictures come with some pretty special memories, too. If you’re visiting Lawrence for the weekend or planning on living here for the next four years, chances are this town will steal your heart and you will want some photos to prove your love. Or maybe you just want to post a cool photo. Either way, we’re happy to help.
If you are lucky enough to step foot in Allen Fieldhouse, be it for a game or just a stroll through the Booth Family Hall of Athletics, you had better commemorate the experience with a photo. Between students cheering in their supercharged sections and basketball lovers exploring the history in its halls, Allen Fieldhouse easily deserves number one on this list. The photo ops are endless, even on a day when the building is quiet: out front with Phog Allen’s statue, inside the Hall of Athletics (how can you choose? The KANSAS letters, the historic memorabilia, the piece of flooring from the original court…), and now, you also have the DeBruce Center and the original rules of basketball to pose by, too. You better get going!
James Naismith Statue
This little man is close enough to Allen Fieldhouse that the two should technically be under one, but I thought he deserved his own number. Besides, you can certainly come just for a photo with Mr. Basketball himself without even entering the Fieldhouse. Naismith’s statue has been the subject of many an Instagram picture alone and would make the perfect photo companion as well. He’s stoic, consistent, and really, he’s pretty dang cute. He will be there with his peach basket, rain or shine, outside the DeBruce Center. Now that’s a man you can count on.
The Nest at The Oread Hotel
If you come to Lawrence, you can’t miss taking the special elevator (and then climbing a special set of stairs) to the very top of the Oread Hotel. I won’t understate it: the view is magical. You get an uninterrupted scene of idyllic academia life with Jayhawk Boulevard stretching out ahead and the Campanile and football stadium to your right. Walk around to the other side and you get an almost-bird’s eye view of downtown Massachusetts Street. The surrounding Kansas hills stretch on for miles past. This little town becomes even smaller when it is laid out before you in such a peaceful way-unless it’s a typical Kansas day, and then you might have to hold your hat down in the wind. The Nest is also an exceptional place to watch the sun set.
I know, I know-this isn’t one location in particular. But that’s why it’s so perfect, eh? Mass St. may just be the most recognizable thing Lawrence has to offer, save for any KU-specific reference. All you need is one afternoon to stroll the blocks of boutiques, local restaurants, galleries and shops to understand why Mass St. is heralded as the place to be. There is a special energy in downtown Lawrence that you cannot get anywhere else, and-bonus!-plenty of places to take a good pictures. There is always something going on, from street performers to live music. And there’s the dinosaur in the window of the Burger Stand, the patio of Java Break or Limestone or 715…have I mentioned there are a lot of good places to eat? So. Many. Food. Pictures.
Celebration of Culture mural
Okay, this one could have been filed under the umbrella Mass St., but I think it deserves its own category. Murals galore here in Lawrence! Most of them will be found downtown off of Massachusetts Street, like the Celebration of Culture mural in the block between eight and ninth street. This one is on the the north side of the building that hosts the Antique Mall. You’ll see it if you use the passage to the parking lot on New Hampshire, just behind Mass St.-or vice versa. There is another passage in the seventh block of Mass St. with, you guessed it, a mural as well. If you’re lunching at Terrebonne, or just expanding your #mural collection, you can find another large mural in the eighth block of Vermont, just east of Mass St. Whew. Are these directions driving you mad? If all else fails, just keep your eyes peeled: street art pops up all over town, commemorating diversity, culture, history, and fun.
Grinter’s Sunflower Fields
I don’t know that the police department will thank me for this-or the people that need to get to and from Tonganoxie, for that matter-but I would be remiss if I did not add it. Grinter’s sunflower fields started innocently enough as leftover land put to good use by the owner, and quickly caught on as a great place to snap a picture. Soon, the fields were catapulted into localized fame and there was not a Facebook profile picture in sight that was not framed in the yellow state flower. Crowds were so large last season that the photo op caused a huge traffic jam on Highway 24-40. We’re talking a major attraction here, people. My advice? Go when you think no one else will be there because even then, you won’t be alone. If you’re willing to fight the crowds, sunset at the sunflower fields is good for one heck of a picture. Just make sure you don’t go too late in the season-the flowers do have an expiration date.
Kate is a recent KU graduate and perpetual lover of words, details, and Jayhawk basketball. She is using her English degree to write both creatively and strategically. You can find more of her work on her blog, A Story By Me.