Portland has more brew pubs. But Lawrence is rich in singles.
That distinction earned Lawrence a top ranking in a fresh Money magazine article listing the best places to live in the United States.
Money's 14th annual ranking of livable cities lists Lawrence fourth best under the category of "most single people." It trails other college towns such as Bryant-College Station, Tex.; Gainesville, Fla., and Bloomington, Ind.
But Kansas University students and others say the relatively high number of unpaired only scratches the surface of what makes Lawrence so swell.
"There's a lot more to it than that," said Peggy Robinson, a single, 18-year-old KU sophomore from Cumberland, Md. "I think it's the variety of lifestyles and cultures here. There are a lot of different types of people."
Christopher Kennedy, 20, also single, echoed Robinson's comments.
"People are more tolerant of each other" in Lawrence, the KU sophomore from Effingham said. "Most people won't condemn you for who you are."
The magazine named Portland, Ore., the most livable city in the country because of its short commutes, small school classes, corralled urban sprawl and pedestrian-friendly blocks lined with java joints and bookstores.
The magazine also applauded Portland's brew pubs, recreational activities, natural beauty and parks.
Though Money didn't give Lawrence special notice for those features, they are some of the same reasons Lawrence was listed earlier this year as one of the 12 "best preserved and unique communities in America" by the National Trust for Historical Preservation.
The Washington D.C.-based group credited Lawrence for preserving its downtown and many of its historical sites.
"Lawrence has managed to preserve its downtown so that it still has a 19th century feel to it," said Steve Jansen, director of the Watkins Community Museum of History, 1047 Mass. "There has been a loss of (historic) buildings over the years but there also has been an effort to maintain and restore what we have."
Jansen specifically noted preservation of the city's older downtown churches, Liberty Hall, some 19th century houses and the Douglas County Courthouse built in 1903.
In the future, there will always be a need for preservationists and developers to work together, Jansen said.
"One person's private property is another's landmark," he said.