Moving to Lawrence

Well, hello there future Jayhawk! Put on your adventure boots and prepare to dive into an enthralling journey towards your potential new home in Lawrence, Kansas. As a city buzzing with an infectious spirit of creativity, fueled by signature Midwestern charm, and enriched with a vibrant history and culture, Lawrence promises more than just a mere change of zip code. So whether it's the captivating allure of university life, the inspiring community vibe, or the magnetic pull of diverse culinary delights, let our comprehensive guide usher you through the nuances of relocating to Lawrence with charisma, insight, and a touch of fun.

Moving to Lawrence, KS landscape image

What to Know Before Moving to Lawrence

1. Lawrence is Home to a Renowned University

Located smack dab in the middle of the town is the University of Kansas, fondly known as KU, with its rich traditions, successful athletics (especially its basketball team, the Jayhawks), and vibrant campus life. Moving to Lawrence means you're not only joining a community but the proud, spirited, "Rock Chalk, Jayhawk" university culture as well - making it an exciting option not just for academics but for fun too.

2. The City is Rich in History

Lawrence has a deep-rooted history steeped in activism and the civil rights movement. From its birth during the Bleeding Kansas era, to its crucial role in the Civil War and pioneering advocacy for both native and black civil rights, it is a living testament to the relentless fight for equality. The city's history is shared through its beautifully preserved architecture and historical sites, so be ready to take a step back in time.

3. It has a Bustling Downtown Area

The thriving downtown area of Mass Street is a destination brimming with unique, locally-owned shops, breweries, music venues, and art galleries. The street itself is a charming mosaic of midwestern friendliness and cosmopolitan flair, offering an unexpectedly cool, urban vibe in this historic town.

4. The Art Scene is Thriving

Lawrence has a flourishing art scene, with monthly art walks, galleries, and studios. It is also home to the Spencer Museum of Art, housing an impressive collection of pieces that span numerous cultures and centuries. Creatives and art enthusiasts will surely find their artistic oasis here.

5. People Love their Bicycles

This one might surprise you, but Lawrence has a notable bicycle culture. All over the city, you'll encounter top-notch bike-friendly infrastructure, varied terrains for biking adventures, and popular biking events such as the Octoginta, a fall ride that has been around since 1970. In Lawrence, two wheels are often just as good as four!

6. Lawrence is a Secret Food Haven

Within the heartland, there's a secret foodie paradise waiting for you. Known for its culinary variety and innovation, Lawrence offers everything from artisanal pizzas to vegan options to fantastic BBQ. And where else does a university-town food scene feature award-winning cheese-makers and James Beard nominated chefs? Only in Lawrence, friends!

So, are you ready to pack your bags, or rather your boxes (and possibly bicycles) yet? But remember, no matter the exciting daily adventures in Lawrence, KU basketball games are sacred. Whether or not you're a sports fan, embracing the Jayhawk spirit is non-negotiable. Consider it a delightful, colorful initiation into our vibrant community! Rock chalk!

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Pros and Cons of Living in Lawrence

Pros of Living in Lawrence

Rich in Culture and History

Lawrence boasts a deep cultural and historical richness that sets it apart from many cities. Home to the University of Kansas and Haskell Indian Nations University, there is always something going on culturally; be it vibrant festivals, art fairs, or sporting events.

Diverse Dining Scene

Another perk of living in Lawrence is its food scene. The city offers a diverse array of dining options for food enthusiasts with numerous cafes, bakeries, breweries and locally-owned restaurants serving dishes from around the world.

Quality Education

With its renowned educational institutions and well-regarded public school system, Lawrence offers high-quality learning opportunities for all ages. The city is known for its strong emphasis on education and boasts one of the top high schools in Kansas.

Nature and Outdoor Activities

Lawrence is surrounded by natural beauty, from the lush woodlands to gently rolling hills. Residents have access to an array of outdoor activities including hiking, mountain bike trails, fishing spots, and beautiful parks for recreational activities.

Friendly Community

Lawrence is often characterized by its friendly and welcoming atmosphere. The tight-knit community offers a sense of belonging which can be seen in neighborhood gatherings, festivals, and community events.

Cons of Living in Lawrence

High Cost of Living

The cost of living in Lawrence can be relatively high compared to other neighboring cities in Kansas. Expenses such as housing, utilities, and groceries can be higher than the national average which can stretch budgets for some families.

Weather Can Be Extreme

The weather in Lawrence is characteristic of the Midwest, meaning it can be somewhat unpredictable. Summers can be very hot and humid, whereas winters can be bitterly cold and icy, which might not suit everyone.

Traffic and Road Conditions

Despite being a small city, Lawrence can occasionally suffer from congested traffic, particularly around the university area during term time. Moreover, some residents also complain about the condition of some roads in the city.

Limited Job Market

While there are ample opportunities in academia and health care due to the presence of the universities and several medical centers, the job market in Lawrence is not as diverse. This might limit opportunities for those in other sectors.

Local Transit

Public transportation in Lawrence isn't the best. The city has a bus service, but it has limited schedules and could be inconvenient for daily commuting. Owning a car can be almost a necessity in Lawrence.

Modern day picture of Lawrence, KS highlighting pros and cons of living in Lawrence, KS

Is Lawrence a Good Place to Live?

Lawrence, KS is a great place to live because it offers a vibrant cultural scene, a thriving downtown and high-quality education anchored by the University of Kansas. Home to several stunning parks and a buzzing music scene, you'll never run out of things to do and places to explore. This charming and diverse city pairs the lively vibe of a college town with the caring soul of a tight-knit community, giving you nothing short of the best when it comes to quality of life.

What Is Lawrence Famous For?

Home of the University of Kansas

The city of Lawrence is well-known for being the home to the University of Kansas. This public research university, also known as KU, is notable for its programs in special education, city management, and occupational therapy. The university is also recognized for its strong basketball program, cherished by the community and often rallying the entire city together during games.

Haskell Indian Nations University

Lawrence is also the site of the Haskell Indian Nations University, a land-grant university dedicated to Native American students. Offering programs oriented towards tribal management and leadership, this unique institution infuses cultural heritage in its curriculum and marks an important aspect of Lawrence's character.

Historic Downtown Lawrence

Downtown Lawrence stands as a charming, vibrant hub teeming with a variety of dining, shopping, and entertainment options. The Massachusetts Street, or "Mass Street," as it is affectionately known by locals, is often seen bustling with energy, hosting a range of events including the Art Tougeau Parade and the annual Busker Festival.

The Spencer Museum of Art

Art lovers find their paradise in The Spencer Museum of Art located on the University of Kansas campus. Housing an extensive collection of over 45,000 pieces, this museum invites exploration of diverse forms of art across various cultures and time periods. Along with offering exhibitions, it also conducts educational activities and leads research contributing to the city's vibrant artistic scene.

Capital building of Lawrence, KS in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

As of 2023, the average property tax rate in Lawrence, KS is 1.427%. This rate is less than the national average of 1.070%, with most homeowners paying about $3,000 annually.

Sales Tax

The sales tax in Lawrence, KS is currently 9.30% as of 2023. Compared to the overall US average of 7.12%, Lawrence's sales tax is considerably higher.

Income Tax

For residents of Lawrence, KS, the state income tax ranges from 3.1% to 5.7% as of 2023, based on income levels. The US average income tax rate for states that impose income tax is around 4.6%, which means Lawrence's income tax is fairly typical compared to other states.

Housing Market

The housing market in Lawrence, KS is moderately priced compared to the national average--offering a viable alternative for both buyers and renters. Median home value stands about $190,000, which is significantly less than national median of around $231,000. Renters find Lawrence attractive as well, with median rent at approximately $930, lower than the US median of $1,012. Furthermore, Lawrence's housing market flaunts a noteworthy blend of urban and suburban feel, making it appealing for diverse lifestyle preferences. However, it's vital for potential buyers and renters to monitor the market as trends fluctuate.

Cost of Living

Living in Lawrence, KS offers a cost of living significantly lower than the U.S. average. Key factors such as housing, groceries, health, and transportation are more affordable compared to other cities nationwide. The overall cost of living index here is 87.5, compared to the standard U.S. average of 100. Despite having a lower cost, Lawrence does not compromise on quality of life. It's a blend of affordability accompanied by a vibrant culture, accessibility of amenities, and high-quality education systems. Hence, Lawrence, KS proves to be an attractive city for those seeking affordable living without sacrificing lifestyle quality.

Weather & Natural Disasters

Lawrence, KS experiences a continental climate with typically hot summers and cold winters. The city enjoys moderate amounts of sunshine throughout the year, and the temperature varies from 22degF to 90degF. Snowfall is common during the winter months, while the spring and summer seasons are characterized by a moderately high volume of rainfall. Regarding natural disasters, Lawrence is part of Tornado Alley and is thus susceptible to violent windstorms. The region also experiences occasional floods. Despite these challenges, the diversity of weather patterns contributes to Lawrence's unique charm, fostering a resilient community ready to face nature's curveballs with grace.

Typical weather in Lawrence, KS

Economy & Job Market

* Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services

* Retail Trade

* Health Care and Social Assistance

* Educational Services

* Accommodation and Food Services

Lawrence, Kansas, displays the perfect embodiment of a constantly evolving economy. Traditionally, Lawrence's economy was primarily centered on agriculture, but it has significantly diversified over the years. Today, professional, scientific, and technical services are the key drivers of its economy. The city is also home to the University of Kansas, hence the prominence of the educational services sector. Retail trade, health care, and social assistance also play vital roles in the city's economic matrix. And let's not overlook accommodation and food services - because Lawrence folk sure love their eateries and comfortable abodes!

If you're seriously considering waving goodbye to your old stomping grounds and saying "howdy" to Lawrence, the job market sure packs a promising punch. With an impressively low unemployment rate, it's safe to say that Lawrence's job market is pretty robust. Looking for work in professional, scientific, or technical services might just be your best bet. But if that's not your cup of tea, the retail trade and health care sectors aren't running short on opportunities either. And if you have a knack for academics or possess an irresistible charm in hospitality, the educational services and accommodation/food services sectors could really use your skills. In a nutshell, no matter what your skill set, Lawrence has a job market versatile enough to accommodate you.

Traffic and Transportation

Scoot around Lawrence, KS like a pro! Located smack-dab in the middle of the country, Lawrence hosts a lively commute scene with an average commute time around 20 minutes - talk about a breezy ride to work! Hop on public transportation offered by Lawrence Transit, providing over 40 bus routes to whisk you around town and beyond. Prefer two wheels? Lawrence is a bike-friendly city too, offering miles of bikeways to pedal your way around town. And don't forget the JayLift service for our mobility-impaired pals, making sure everyone can get around easy-peasy. For air travel, the Kansas City International Airport is just a short jaunt away, perfect for those farther away adventures. Set your sights on Lawrence, KS for a moving experience that's smooth whoever you roll!

What is the traffic like in Lawrence, KS?

Best Neighborhoods in Lawrence


1. Old West Lawrence

Tucked into the heart of the city, Old West Lawrence, or OWL as it is affectionately known, is crammed full of history, charm, and tree-lined streets. This neighborhood boasts beautifully restored Victorian homes, and it\'s said that every house has a story. Known for its strong sense of community, Old West Lawrence is a favorite among local artists, students, and professionals alike. The area has a few local eateries worth dropping by and is within walking distance of downtown Lawrence\'s vibrant shopping scene and cultural events. History buffs will also love the fact that this neighborhood is a designated U.S. Historic District.

2. East Lawrence

Eclectic, edgy, and exciting are just a few words to describe East Lawrence. Known for its artsy feel and industrial-chic aesthetics, East Lawrence is home to artists, musicians, and quirky residents who appreciate its unique vibe. With colorful murals, indie coffee shops, and the famed Warehouse Arts District, this neighborhood\'s cultural richness is hard to ignore. East Lawrence\'s network of interconnected bike lanes makes it easy to explore the area. It\'s the perfect spot for those drawn to a little bit of urban grit with a strong sense of community spirit.

3. Indian Hills

If expansive green spaces and tranquil settings are more your speed, then Indian Hills is your perfect match. Big yards, wide streets, and an abundance of parks make Indian Hills a dream location for family living. This pocket of tranquility houses the beautiful Alvamar Golf Course, the aquatic center, and a number of hiking and running trails. Residents rave about the friendly neighborhood feel, with plenty of community events and get-togethers throughout the year aiding in fostering a strong sense of belonging.

4. Prairie Meadows

Prairie Meadows neighborhood is a hidden gem that offers serious country vibes, but you\'re never too far from the action. With spacious single-family homes and a tighter-knit sense of community, it\'s an attractive option for retirees and families looking for a peaceful yet engaging place to call home. The neighborhood offers scenic views across rolling fields and is just a short drive from the city center, giving residents a perfect blend of rural and urban living.

5. Sunflower

If you\'re a nature lover, then get ready to fall head over heels for the Sunflower neighborhood. Overlooking the stunning Clinton Lake, it\'s a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Imagine yourself bike riding through picturesque trails, camping under a starry sky, or enjoying a picnic by the lake; sounds dreamy, doesn\'t it? Notably, Sunflower\'s residents are made up of a diverse mix of college students, young professionals, and families, leading to a vibrant and dynamic community.

To sum it up, Lawrence, Kansas, offers a range of neighborhoods to suit any lifestyle, whether you\'re a history buff, an art enthusiast, a nature lover or seeking a family-friendly living experience. Regardless of where you choose to settle down in Lawrence, a sense of community, richness of culture and a dash of fun are just around the corner. Happy house hunting!

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Things to Do

Welcome to Lawrence, the proud home of the University of Kansas and a city bursting with arts, culture, and history. The list of things to do here can seem endless, but we've narrowed it down to seven must-experience activities for those newly settled or considering a move here.

1. Natural History Museum

The University of Kansas's Natural History Museum is a great place to start. Its interactive exhibits, impressive taxidermy displays, and dinosaur fossils make it a favorite among both locals and visitors. Plus, admission is free!

2. Massachusetts Street

No trip to Lawrence would be complete without a visit to Massachusetts Street. This vibrant downtown area is home to plenty of unique shops, restaurants, and bars. Don't forget to check out the Busker Festival in the summer, and enjoy outdoor performances by magicians, fire eaters, and sword swallowers.

3. Eldridge Hotel

Add a touch of history to your experience by visiting the Eldridge Hotel, a site deeply connected to Lawrence's Civil war past. Its elegant architecture, lavish decor, and on-site restaurant that offers sophisticated dining make it worth a visit. And if you're brave enough, explore the rumored haunted room - 506!

4. Spencer Museum of Art

At the heart of the KU campus, you will find the Spencer Museum of Art. This well-curated museum houses 45,000 artworks and artifacts ranging from ancient cultures to contemporary works. Be sure to look out for its traveling exhibitions and regular workshops.

5. Clinton Lake

A less obvious, but equally enjoyable, Lawrence gem is Clinton Lake. Enjoy a variety of activities here - from fishing, boating, cycling to bird watching, and camping. Or break out the picnic basket and simply enjoy a lazy afternoon in nature's lap - it's the perfect antidote to city life!

6. Maisie's Little Diner

Slightly off the tourist radar, but widely popular among locals for its hearty meals and warm service is Maisie's Little Diner. The breakfast is counted among the best in town and all dishes are cooked using locally-sourced, organic ingredients. Start your day in Lawrence right with some good old comfort food here!

7. Replay Lounge

Immerse yourself in Lawrence's thriving music scene at the Replay Lounge. This hidden gem is a mecca for lovers of local bands, featuring daily live performances spanning a variety of genres. Grab a cold beer from their extensive selection and let the good times roll!

Living in Lawrence certainly presents an amusing array of site, tastes, and experiences to be explored. Though this list is comprehensive, the charm of Lawrence lies in exploring the town's curiosities and hidden gems yourself. Don't be surprised if you fall head over heels for the city's warm community, cultural vibrancy, and unique character. With everything that Lawrence has to offer, it's easy to feel at home and become a proud Lawrencian in no time.

Things to do in Lawrence, KS?

Find Movers for Your Lawrence Relocation

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