Lawrence Boasts One of the Most Beautiful Historic Downtown Districts in the Country

It’s no surprise to us that Parade magazine named Lawrence “the most popular tourist destination in Kansas.” And the National Trust for Historic Preservation ranked Lawrence among its “Dozen Most Distinctive Destinations,” touting it as one of the best-preserved and unique communities in America. 

Our downtown district is unique, and the true heart of town is Massachusetts Street, known to the locals as “Mass Street” or sometimes, if we’re lazy, just “Mass.” Massachusetts and surrounding streets generate a hub of activity day and night. This pedestrian-friendly area is home to more than 100 shops, galleries, restaurants, cafes, pubs and much more. In the spirit of our well-preserved downtown, most of them are unique and locally owned, offering one-of-a-kind choices you won’t find anywhere else.

In addition to shopping and dining, Downtown Lawrence has a variety and diversity that will entertain anyone. There are multiple venues for live music and entertainment, and you’ll find plenty of music and art for free as you stroll down Mass Street. Street musicians are almost always providing a tune on the corner along with outdoor art and sculpture.

A block off Mass Street, in the 900 block of New Hampshire, is the Lawrence Arts Center, with galleries and exhibits open to the public. Walk a block the other direction to Vermont and 9th to the historic Carnegie Building housing the Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area which tells the story of the pre-Civil War struggles. Watkins Museum of History is also in Downtown, along with several beautiful parks. The lovely gazebo at South Park is the site for summer open-air band concerts on Wednesday evenings. Crowds fill lawn chairs and spread blankets to sit and enjoy the music.

Spend some time exploring Downtown Lawrence. You’ll be glad you did. And when you’re ready to buy or sell a home, contact Stephens Real Estate. We’re locally owned and operated and proud to call Lawrence home.

Content provided by:, the website of Explore Lawrence, an organization that represents travel and tourism for Lawrence and Douglas County, Kansas. UL is dedicated to creating economic development by attracting visitors, conventions and events to our city.

Lawrence Arts Center

We in Lawrence are incredibly fortunate to have The Lawrence Arts Center; a place where the visual and performing arts thrive and enrich our community. Located on New Hampshire Street in downtown Lawrence, the Arts Center has 40,000 square feet of space filled with dance studios, exhibition galleries, visual arts studios, preschool classrooms, and a performance theater.

The theater seats 300 and hosts annual film festivals, youth and adult theater productions, and a series of concerts called 940 Live which feature artists from multiple genres. The Free State Story Slam is a regular event in the smaller Black Box theater.

The Lawrence Arts Center not only entertains, it educates. Within its walls is a preschool and early childhood facility focused on promoting learning through creative means. If you’ve ever noticed a string of children navigating the sidewalks downtown, you have probably seen a group of Art Center preschoolers and their teachers exploring our city. There is an extensive list of classes available for kids from kindergarten to high school; classes designed to encourage creative thinking, movement, jewelry making, painting, printmaking, acting… We mentioned that the list is extensive, right? 

Adults may also tap into their inner artist by taking classes ranging from ceramics and jewelry to digital media, film, photography and dance. They have the opportunity to attend regular lectures which bring in artists to discuss their work and techniques.

The Lawrence Arts Center is committed to supporting local artists in more direct ways. Visiting and Resident Artists are given a place to work and showcase their art and skills for the community. Those working on a specific project can receive a stipend for their work, use of studio space and private instruction from the Arts Center staff. Artists are welcome to apply for residency any time during the year.

If you read Yelp reviews, you will see comments from locals such as, “The city of Lawrence and its citizens are very lucky to have this crown jewel in our city.” Or from visitors, “We stopped in on our trip to Lawrence. I was very impressed with the building, and the sheer number of programs they boast here. It makes for a very cool place for the arts crowd to gather.”

And we say, if you haven’t taken advantage of the Lawrence Arts Center recently, you should check out their events and classes at 

Stephens Real Estate is locally owned and proud of the great town in which we live. Our agents know the Lawrence market, and they have the experience and the connections to help you find the home that’s right for you. Contact us.


Welcome to our New Agents!

Erin Nix

785.550.4633 (cell)

Erin learned from her mom that the way to be happy is to reach out to others. She does that by trying to be a great mom herself, volunteering with local organizations like Just Food, and working hard to earn her clients’ trust. Erin has been part of our community for over 25 years, and is a graduate of the University of Kansas. She enjoys the diversity Lawrence offers, along with its rich culture, local food, and inclusive atmosphere. Erin loves old books, architecture, tea, and Colonial Americana.


Shelly Doris

913.709.4425 (cell)

Shelly enjoys small town life in De Soto. You may bump into her at the local farmers market or one of several favorite shopping stops in town. Hardworking and ambitious, service to her clients is her primary focus. Along with all things real estate, Shelly is interested in cooking, crafting, and dancing.

LBOR Recognition

Congratulations to the Stephens Real Estate 2016 Lawrence Board of REALTORS® Award recipients, recognized Friday, January 13, at the LBOR Installation and Awards Dinner. We’re proud to call these outstanding agents ours!

Toland Hippe
2016 Sales Person of the Year

Randy Barnes
Good Neighbor Award
Recognizes a Realtor who has made an extraordinary impact on our community through volunteerism

Zach Dodson
2016 Newcomer of the Year
Given to a newly licensed agent, this award indicates enthusiasm for their new career, a desire to grow professionally and willingness to share their expertise with others through LBOR involvement.

Mary Lou Roberts
Realtor Emeritus
Recognized for 40 years of membership to the National Association of Realtors 

Prepare for Winter

Winter is a great time to curl up with a good book and a favorite sweater while enjoying the comforts of home, but you must also be ready for the cold temperatures. Here are a few tips from to help you stay safe and healthy.

Home maintenance matters. To ensure safety at home check to see all outdoor railings are secure and walkways are free of wobbly paving stones or bricks. And have a snow shovel handy.  

Keep yourself (and your wallet) warm. A little chill may not only have a negative effect on your health, it can also be a symptom of a home-energy leak that could make your utility bills higher than necessary. Consider using draft guards under entry doors, window insulation kits, seals for unused fireplaces, and reversing ceiling fans to push hot air near the ceiling down. 

Pile on the layers. Dressing in layers and using blankets and sweaters is a good way to keep warm without spending extra to keep the house at an ideal heat. It also helps your body stay warm when you’re out and about. When you do venture outside have a good pair of no-skid shoes to wear to help prevent falls.

Open the curtains. It may seem counterproductive to have the curtains wide open when you’re trying to save on heat and energy costs, yet letting sunlight in provides free heat and helps combat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD.) With a brighter home you’ll feel more motivated and energetic during the winter months.

Keep moving. Winter is an important time to be active as exercise boosts immunity, mood and energy levels. Lawrence has many opportunities to be active during winter with dance classes, an indoor aquatic center, and the free indoor walking track and gym at Sports Pavilion Lawrence.

Safe driving. Prepare for winter by packing an emergency kit for your car with 2 blankets, nuts or granola bars, water, a flashlight, extra washer fluid, and a small shovel. A cell phone, charger, and full gas tank are also key to safe travel. Always remember to back your car completely out of the garage before warming it up as even an open garage can create dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.

Have a plan. With the possibility of a winter power-outage, it’s important to have several days’ supply of nonperishable food such as tuna, peanut butter, granola bars, nuts, and canned fruit. Keep a manual can opener handy. Keep flashlights, extra batteries, candles, and a battery operated radio in an easy to find location.

Be ready to enjoy this winter season. Stephens’ Pinterest page has ideas to help you prepare. Visit, and look for our Winter Tips board.

Stephens Real Estate, Inc.
2701 W. Sixth Street
Lawrence, KS 66049

Phone: 785-841-4500
Toll-Free: 1-800-875-4315