A college town without a hopping nightlife scene is a near impossibility, and Lawrence  is no exception. The city also has a reputation as a local music stronghold, so it’s more than likely you’ll catch a live show or three while you visit.
The spacious, architecturally intricate interior of Abe and Jake’s Landing (8 E. Sixth St., 785/841-5855, www.abejakes.com , 9 p.m.–2 a.m. Thurs.–Fri.) is not to be missed. Named for two local fishermen who caught record-breaking blue catfish, Abe and Jake’s is now a multilevel nightlife destination that often hosts live music performances.
As part of The Eldridge Hotel ’s renovations in 2005, The Jayhawker (701 Massachusetts St., 785/749-5011, 7 a.m.–midnight Sun.–Wed., 7 a.m.–2 a.m. Thurs.–Sat.) was expanded and revitalized. The wraparound bar is a great place to unwind if you’re staying at The Eldridge, or an ideal opportunity to scout out the hotel’s historic surroundings if you’re staying elsewhere.
Lawrence boasts a lively music scene, and The Granada (1020 Massachusetts St., 785/842-1390, hours vary), originally a 1920s vaudeville theater, is a high-energy place in which to catch a show. Admission varies based on the performer, but be prepared to shell out between $8 and $20 for most shows.
Said by some to be the best bar in Lawrence , The Sandbar (117 E. Eighth St., 785/842-0111, www.thesandbar.com , 3 p.m.–2 a.m. Mon.–Fri., 2 p.m.–2 a.m. Sat., 5 p.m.–2 a.m. Sun.) is big on beach-inspired fun, tropical drinks, and a bar specially made for dancing.