From meeting new people to experiencing new sights, sounds, and smells – is there anything more exciting or rejuvenating than a break from the day-to-day mundanity? Traveling is an excellent way to immerse yourself in a new culture, setting, or way-of-life, but the best part is this: you don’t have to venture far from home to enjoy what this world has to offer.
Whether your journey takes you across your own city, to an unexplored part of your state, or even to the other side of the world, there’s no doubt you will still learn a lot about your surroundings – and yourself – along the way.
While the culture an hour away from your home might not be drastically different from what you’re used to, you can still gain a deepened sense of appreciation for where you’ve laid your roots. Plus, traveling locally has a lot of benefits:
More cost-effective. Local travel is certainly a budget-friendly way to explore! Many activities and parks are free or have a low cost of entry. For day trips, you can also pack your own meals to save.
Eco-friendly way to travel. Travel is hard on the environment, but putzing around your area is more sustainable than air travel.
Quick trips. Getting out locally means you can do it more often! Long weekend trips are a lot easier to take when the destination is a short drive away.
Easy to plan. Preparing your itinerary for a local getaway will likely save you some time and stress.
More convenient. Especially if you have little ones, sticking close to home may be much more convenient than far-off destinations. If you forget something, have an emergency, or need to cut the trip short, being closeby definitely has its benefits.
Situated in northwest Texas is the city of Lubbock, which is famous for being the birthplace of rock ’n’ roll legend Buddy Holly. To celebrate the life and accomplishments of this well-known rocker, you can visit the Buddy Holly Center, or stop by the West Texas Walk of Fame, which features a statue of Buddy Holly and plaques honoring musicians from the region.
Of course, there’s a lot more to this city than just an intriguing musical significance. It also has a thriving local dining scene and numerous attractions celebrating other forms of art – more specifically, painting, sculpture, photography, and more.
Even those who have lived in the city for a decade would agree they haven’t experienced all that Lubbock has to offer, while for those new to the region – well, they’ve got a lot to look forward to as well.
Ready to discover the best of Lubbock, Texas? Let’s get started!
*Note: Some of the suggestions may not be doable due to coronavirus closures, but keep this list handy for when things start opening back up more! Be sure to check individual pages for specific operation details.
Lubbock isn’t all hustle and bustle! There are also plenty of state parks and national parks both within and surrounding the area, all of which provide a tranquil escape for those looking to surround themselves by nature.
Just over a 1.5-hour drive from Lubbock is the Caprock Canyons State Park, which boasts a rugged Texas beauty and over 90 miles of trails to explore. You’ll find bison leisurely roaming the plains, as well as scores of bats roosting in Clarity Tunnel, offering wildlife viewing experiences like no other. Other activities on offer here include hiking, biking, camping, and boating (no-wake), fishing and swimming in Lake Theo.
Another short drive from the city is Palo Duro Canyon State Park, which is referred to as the “Grand Canyon of Texas”. It’s home to the second largest canyon in the country, not to mention more than 30 miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails. During the summer, enjoy a performance of TEXAS Outdoor Musical, or try your hand at camping, geocaching, or wildlife viewing.
This National Historic Landmark is one of the premier archaeological and natural history sites in North America and it’s less than a 10-minute drive from Lubbock. The Lubbock Lake Landmark is an archaeological and natural history preserve that contains evidence of almost 12,000 years of occupation by ancient peoples on the Southern High Plains. Trust us, you won’t want to miss it!
While it’s not strictly a state park, the Lubbock Memorial Arboretum will have you feeling as though you’ve escaped to one! It’s located within Lubbock and is a unique 93-acre open space and historical site found within K.N. Clapp Park. Check out the Visitor Center for insightful information, go for a hike or guided tour, or take part in a fascinating educational program – the choice is yours!
Still need to get your nature fix? If you’re craving seeing even more of the beautiful scenery that surrounds Lubbock, then there are also plenty of hiking and walking trails for you and your family to enjoy.
As its name suggests, this 11.4 kilometer heavily trafficked loop trail is located within Mae Simmons Park. It’s a moderate hike, and although it offers lake views and plenty of opportunities to see wildlife up-close, it is known to be poorly marked, so ensure you follow a map of the trail. Keep an eye out for rabbits and prairie dogs.
The Lubbock Lake National Historic Landmark Loop is a 5.1 kilometer lightly trafficked loop trail which is celebrated for its array of stunning and colorful flowers. It’s accessible year-round and is particularly popular among not only hikers, but also runners and nature viewers. Just keep in mind that dogs are not allowed on the trail and there is a lack of shade, so don’t forget your hat, sunscreen, and plenty of water!
As the name suggests, the Buffalo Springs Lake Loop takes you around the scenic Buffalo Lakes in Lubbock. It’s 9.2 kilometers in length, lightly trafficked, and perfect for those after a moderately-rated hike. It’s also used for walking, running, and road biking.
Lubbock is home to a bustling and trendy dining scene, so there’s sure to be a restaurant, café, or diner to satisfy your cravings. If you’ve worked up an appetite after a long hike, or simply feel like treating yourself to a delicacy, then you’re in luck. Here are our top restaurant recommendations!
For southern-style breakfast and lunch, plus a variety of the best homemade pies you’ll find within the region, be sure to stop-byCast Iron Grill. They offer delicious food at affordable process, with menu favorites such as brisket nachos, homemade green chile stew, and a Philly queso burger. The staff here do a lot for the local community, including assisting in feeding a homeless shelter once per month.
Craving some traditional Mexican fare?Abuelo’s Mexican Restaurant has won numerous awards over the years, consistently ranking it as one of, if not the best Mexican restaurant within the region. High praise! Locals love their hand-crafted margaritas and cocktails, not to mention specialties such as Nachos Grande, Fajita Salad, and Tortilla Soup. Delicious!
The West Table is Lubbock's premier restaurant for seasonal upscale dining, combining what they like to call “eclectic New American cuisine with global accents”. They use fresh, local ingredients in the ever-changing seasonal menus and enjoy showcasing local talent such as artists or musicians from time-to-time. We hear their desserts are also not-to-be-missed!
Las Brisas is a Southwest Steakhouse offering brunch, dinner, exceptional beverages, and patio entertainment, for those that love live music while they dine! They source only the finest ingredients, whether it’s all-natural and hormone-free Angus steak or freshly flown-in fish. Don’t miss the lobster tail, wild mushroom medley, or blackened salmon. Phenomenal!
Blue Sky Texas prides themselves on being a casual and comfortable restaurant for the whole family. They also strive to offer nothing but the best food, using never-frozen, 100% ground chuck for handmade hamburger patties, freshly-baked buns, and hand-cut French fries from #1 quality Idaho potatoes. After all, deliciousness is all in the details!
After feasting and enjoying all that the hiking trails and state parks have to offer, you may be wondering: “what next?” Well, when it comes to Lubbock’s attractions and activities, you’re only just getting started. Here are some of the most fun things on offer in and around the city!
Looking to entertain some little ones? Or perhaps you’ve got some teenagers in-tow who are starting to get a little bored? Either way, these attractions will entertain both children, teens, and adults alike!
It goes without saying, but kids and adults alike love a trip to an amusement park! After all, where else can you enjoy exhilarating rides, nostalgic games, and sweet treats such as cotton candy?Joyland Amusement Park is the place to go in Lubbock for all of this and more. It all began in the 1940’s and these days, is home to over 30 popular rides and attractions.
Prairie Dog Town is located inside Mackenzie Park and it’s home to – you guessed it – hundreds of prairie dogs. It was established in the early 1930’s and was the first protected prairie dog colony of its kind. Once you and your family have visited the attraction, why not explore the surrounding Mackenzie Park? It also has disc golf on site, if you fancy a game or two!
What should you do in Lubbock once the sun goes down? We’re glad you asked! Here are our suggested night-time attractions.
There’s something about the late evening that brings out the creativity in all of us, so why not make the most of it and head toThe Mud Room for some painting, pottery, or mosaic? It’s a “paint your own canvas, pottery, and mosaic studio” where they provide anything and everything you need! Walk in any time during their normal business hours, or call ahead and book your party!
TheCactus Theater was constructed in 1937 and officially opened in April 1938 as the first suburban, neighborhood movie theater. These days, it’s a live performance theater that can seat around 400 people. It showcases both regional and national touring acts and screens classic and independent films. It’s great for a date night or to catch a post-dinner show.
What can you do in or around Lubbock that won’t cost anything more than a few dollars? The answer: plenty! Here are just two of our favorite attractions within the area that can be enjoyed on the cheap.
TheBuddy Holly Center is where “art and music collide”, as it encourages interaction between artists and the community. There’s no doubt you’ve heard of Lubbock's most famous native son, Buddy Holly? Well, this must-visit attraction collects, preserves and interprets artifacts relevant to his career, as well as to other performing artists and musicians of West Texas. Admission costs just $10 per adult.
TheAmerican Windmill Museum is the largest windmill museum in the world and it’s located right here in Lubbock! The hundred-plus windmills inside have signage with manufacturer’s history and usage information making a leisurely stroll through the exhibit hall a very informative experience. Best of all, admission costs no more than just $7.50 per adult!
Looking to get the most out of your time spent within the city of Lubbock? Whether you want a fun way to waste away a Sunday afternoon or a date idea that won’t break the budget – here are our most recommended things to do in Lubbock that won’t cost you a cent.
TheMuseum of Texas Tech University is a fantastic mix of fine arts, cultural artifacts and natural science - a combination you don’t always find in your average museum! There’s also a Museum Shop located at the front of the museum, where you’ll be able to purchase a variety of books, art, jewelry, and other items. Admission to the Museum of Texas Tech University is free every day.
Fancy learning about the early settlers and the way they lived? At theNational Ranching Heritage Center, this 27-acre museum and outdoor historical park lets you experience “the real West”. Its aim is to preserve and interpret ranching history so that generations to come can learn of this practice from eras gone by. It’s a fascinating day out!
Alright, by now you’ve probably been on your feet all day exploring the sights and delights that Lubbock has to offer. If you’re craving some rest and relaxation, or even a bit of pampering, these are two of the best spas in the region.
If you’re looking to be invigorated and transformed, a visit toThe Woodhouse Day Spa is in order. You see, they have over 70 spa treatments to choose from, including categories such as skin care, massage therapy, sleep treatments, body treatments, hand and foot treatments, waxing, and day packages. Go on, treat yourself!
Renaissance European Spa is all about relaxing in luxury. Their mission is to be a leader in improving the health, beauty, and wellness of the community by providing the latest treatments, teaching clients healthy lifestyles, and fostering wellness education. Enjoy services such as facials, body treatments, pedicures, body wraps, massages, and manicures.
If rejuvenation for you is less about deep relaxation and more about sweating it out, then you’re in luck. Lubbock is home to some of the highest-rated gyms and yoga studios within the region.
Planet Fitness Lubbock has created a workout environment where everyone is not only welcome, but respected. With a gym featuring friendly and certified trainers, it’s easy to accomplish your fitness goals. They provide 24-hour access, free fitness training, tons of equipment, and more.
As you probably already know, yoga isn’t just a workout, it’s a way of life! Celebrate that way of life here atThe Yoga Stand, which describes itself as a “temple of wellbeing”. They provide daily in-studio classes, anytime online yoga classes and workshops, and annual teacher training. Classes include Slow Flow, Soul Sunday, Om, Strength, and more.
Looking to fulfill your wanderlust by heading outside of the region for a day? You could spend decades within Lubbock without barely scratching the surface of all there is to do in this city, but consider these day trips next time you fancy a new adventure.
Around a 2-hour drive from Lubbock isAmarillo, which is the largest city in the Texas Panhandle. It’s a gateway to the scenic Palo Duro Canyon State Park and features other fascinating attractions, including Cadillac Ranch, Wonderland Amusement Park, the Amarillo Botanical Gardens, Kwahadi Museum of the American Indian, and so much more. Not bad for a day of recreation!
If you fancy heading somewhere a little smaller, yet just as fascinating, then a day trip to Odessa is highly recommended. It’s less than 2.5 hours from Lubbock and is known for its 8-foot-tall statue of a jackrabbit, not to mention the other Jamboree Jackrabbits that dot the city. The University of Texas of the Permian Basin is also home to a replica of the famous Stonehenge, while if you travel further south-west, you can visit the incredible Odessa Meteor Crater and see meteorite fragments up-close.
As a final reminder, some of these activities may need to wait until businesses fully reopen from coronavirus closures. However, there is still much to see and experience in Lubbock that you can enjoy today! What are your favorite spots in Lubbock? Send them our way to [email protected] or by tagging us on Instagram @rvshare and using the hashtag #rvsharelocal.