Warm weather has arrived and if you’re looking to fill some time, we have a few daytrip ideas just a short drive from Lawrence.
Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area is comprised of the 29 eastern Kansas and 12 western Missouri counties that experienced events leading to the Civil War and an enduring struggle for freedom. Conflict over slavery and other issues drew both sides into a violent Border War, and now Freedom’s Frontier bridges the border. Visit www.freedomsfrontier.org for information on upcoming events.
Lecompton - 6 miles north of Lawrence - was the capital of Kansas Territory from 1855 to 1861 and hosts several public-access national landmark sites. Lecompton is best known for its role in the lead-up to the Civil War. The drama that occurred inside the walls of Constitution Hall, the Territorial Capitol Building and the First Kansas Democratic Headquarters highlights the conflict between pro-slavery settlers and abolitionists.
Eudora - 8 miles east of Lawrence - has a revitalized downtown and award-winning wineries making the drive back and forth extra fun. If you time your summer trip just right, you can catch the CPA (Central Protective Association) Picnic. This event, held every July, is a 3 day celebration which began as a picnic to honor those who protected Eudora from cattle rustlers and horse thieves in the late 1800s. Go back in the fall for EudoraFest, held the first Saturday in October with crafts, art displays, food, music, a garden tractor pull and car show.
Also, check out Pendleton’s Country Market on your way to Eudora.
Baldwin City - 15 miles south of Lawrence - is the home to Baker University, the oldest four-year college in Kansas. One of the most eye-catching buildings on the Baker campus is a Gothic chapel built in England in 1864 and reconstructed on campus in 1996. The Midland Railway gives visitors a chance to climb aboard at the historic 1906 Santa Fe Depot. It offers summer and seasonal rides that kids enjoy. Adults will enjoy the Kansas Belle Dinner Train that mixes a formal meal with 22 miles of beautiful rolling scenery. The third weekend in October each year Baldwin City hosts the Maple Leaf Festival drawing 30,000 to 40,000 visitors who come for the parade, craft show, food and entertainment.