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Best Places To 'Hang Out' on Campus

By Sydney Meyer
On September 6, 2017

Photo by: Ashley Alonzo

Congratulations! You've moved to Ottawa, Kansas.

For some, it's your first time experiencing a small town in mid-America, while others have made the return and are ready to extract a good time from this tiny town once more.

This place contains a few hidden gems that will allow you to take a much-needed break from campus without feeling like you have to drive far from it.  

Though Ottawa may seem like just another small town, it actually has quite a deep history. If you're in search of a historical venture and don’t mind a short walk, take a trip downtown.

You'll find the Old Depot Museum, which hosts numerous exhibits featuring information about Native American tribes, the Pottawatomie Massacre and the historical Franklin County, among other things. The Franklin County Research Society also provides temporary exhibits on the first floor of the building, which Ottawa University student Sydney Coleman says cover interesting topics and change just about every month.

Also downtown you can find the local library, which student John Hawks considers a great place to study and relax.

"It's a clean, comfortable environment where you are less likely to be distracted by your friends or loud study groups," Hawks says.

As you continue your trip downtown, you will come across the Second Street Dam. Overlooking the Marais des Cygnes River, the dam provides a scenic view, according to McKenna Hadl, and allows for a great outing on a nice day.

Once you cross the footbridge and continue walking, a trail will lead you to Forest Park, where you will find many playgrounds, benches and other park-like equipment.

On a nice day when you'd rather soak up nature than stay inside, head over to Kanza Park, which hosts a walking track along with a full Frisbee golf course.

We are, of course, in college. Which means that caffeine is a necessity, second only to oxygen. If you're in need of a chill atmosphere, head over to Mug Shot Coffee, located at 110 S. Main St. According to locals, it's considered a great place with an atmosphere practically made for college students.

Pizza Time is another much-loved hangout spot. This pizza shop has a good vibe and, according to Hawks, is "a hole-in-the-wall without being seedy. The staff are friendly and cool, and the pizza is probably the best in Ottawa."

The restaurant area in Price Chopper also makes for a good place to hang out. There is a Starbucks inside the store, many different food options and areas to sit.

Ottawa University has worked hard to provide good places to hang out, including the library, student union and the fire pit outside the union.

Don't stay holed up within your dorm room's four walls. Take a break, take a friend and go explore all that Ottawa has to offer. 

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