While most people visiting Texas often choose to stay in the major cities to the east, those looking for the most authentic Texan experience know that West Texas is the place to go. The only question is where exactly in West Texas to visit. While there are plenty of great options, Lubbock, the largest city in the Panhandle Plains region of Texas, provides the perfect compromise between rural West Texas and the big cities back east.
Lubbock is an underrated destination, with award-winning wines, a thriving arts scene, incredible breweries and restaurants. There’s plenty for Buddy Holly fans too. Filled with numerous establishments like museums and cultural centres, it allows visitors to learn about the culture and history of West Texas and its prominent industries, such as farming and ranching, all while enjoying some of the comforts more commonly associated with the city. These 20 things to do in Lubbock might help you decide to make the trip to experience everything that West Texas is famous for.
21 Things To Do In Lubbock
1- Walk In The Footsteps Of Buddy Holly
Learn about one of Lubbock’s most famous residents at The Buddy Holly Center, Buddy Holly House, Buddy Holly Statue & Buddy Holly Gravesite.
Legendary rock and roll performer Buddy Holly is arguably the most famous person to ever come out of Lubbock.
There are several places for fans to learn more about him throughout the town.
The Buddy Holly Center contains many of his guitars and personal items, where you can learn about the man and his legacy.
Buddy Holly House is where he was born and raised while the Buddy Holly Gravesite is where he was laid to rest in 1959.
True fans will even enjoy the Buddy Holly Statue and the numerous streets and recreation areas dedicated to him throughout Lubbock.
- Buddy Holly Center: 1801 Crickets Avenue, Lubbock, 79401
- Buddy Holly Gravesite: Lubbock County Cemetery, 2011 East 31st Street, Lubbock, 79404
- Buddy Holly House: 1606 39th Street, Lubbock, 79412
- Buddy Holly Statue: 1824 Crickets Avenue, Lubbock, 79404
2- Uncover Some History At The Museum Of Texas Tech University
The Museum Of Texas Tech University is one of the largest museums in West Texas.
Located on the prestigious Texas Tech University grounds, the museum is filled with artifacts covering subjects including art, culture, geology, history, nature, science, and more.
With an on-site planetarium and research lab, it is a must-see for any history fans visiting not just Lubbock but this entire region of the state.
Museum Of Texas Tech University is at 3301 4th Street, Lubbock, 79415.
3- Visit A Winery
Lubbock is a destination for wine connoisseurs that holds its own.
With a semi-arid climate, the area around Lubbock is perfect for growing wine grapes and produces varietals like Shiraz, Voignier, Tempranillo and Grenache.
Llano Estacado Winery is a well-known winery and one of the oldest in Texas. It was founded by Clinton “Doc” McPherson, who is considered a founding father of wine production in Texas.
McPherson Cellars is an award-winning winery owned by Doc McPherson’s son located in an abandoned Coca Cola bottling plant.
- Llano Estacado Winery is at 3426 F M 1585, Lubbock, TX 79404.
- McPherson Cellars 1615 Texas Ave, Lubbock, TX 79401.
4- Embrace West Texan Culture At The National Ranching Heritage Center
The National Ranching Heritage Center is the definitive authority on one of the cultural institutions that West Texas is most synonymous with.
This fabulous museum not only covers every aspect of ranching life but also looks at life on the frontier, as the old west slowly transformed into the part of America that we know it as today.
Educational installations are interspersed with relocated historic structures and artefacts, helping you see the region how it would have once looked and truly appreciate how it has evolved.
National Ranching Heritage Center is at 3121 4th Street, Lubbock, 79409.
5- Spend A Day Exploring Lubbock Lake National Historic Landmark
Lubbock Lake National Historic Landmark is a sprawling archaeological site that accounts for many of the most important pre-historical finds in the region.
The site is designed to preserve history that dates back at least 12,000 years and includes protected fossil sites and trails.
There are informative signs to help visitors understand what they are seeing and even life-sized animal bronzes, so you can get a genuine appreciation for the wildlife that once inhabited the region.
Lubbock Lake National Historic Landmark is at 2401 Landmark Drive, Lubbock, 79415.
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6- Watch An Event At The West Texas Raceway
The West Texas Raceway is the premier oval dirt track in West Texas.
With a regular calendar of weekly races, including stock car and cyclone events, this is the perfect opportunity for race fans to get their fix and adrenaline kicks while they are in town.
West Texas Raceway is at 12503 US 87, Lubbock, 79423.
7- Learn About Agriculture At The FiberMax Center For Discovery
The FiberMax Centre For Discovery, also known as the Lubbock Museum Of Agriculture, is one of the most popular attractions in the town to educate people about the region’s agricultural history.
Interactive displays and historic tractors help you to learn everything there is to know about the West Texas farming industry.
The children’s section is an excellent place to educate and entertain the younger members of your group.
FiberMax Center For Discovery is at 1121 Canyon Lake Drive, Lubbock, 79403.
8- Take A Tour Of Texas Tech University
Texas Tech University is a prestigious research university that is well known for its prestigious sporting programs.
While guided tours of a university may not seem the most obvious tourist attraction at first glance, it allows visitors to see some of the most historic buildings in Lubbock, as well as memorabilia dedicated to past students who have gone on to greatness in professional sports.
Texas Tech University is at 2500 Broadway, Lubbock, 79409.
9- Catch A Game At The United Supermarkets Arena Or Jones AT&T Stadium
Speaking of Texas Tech University and its sporting programs, why not catch a Red Raiders basketball or football game while in town.
Both programs will give you the chance to see some of the best collegiate athletes in the country.
The United Supermarkets Arena is where the Red Raiders home basketball games take place, while their football games are held at Jones AT&T Stadium.
Even if you aren’t into sports, both of these venues host other events, such as concerts, so it’s worth checking out their schedules to see if anything interests you during your stay.
United Supermarkets Arena: 1701 Indiana Avenue, Lubbock, 79409
Jones AT&T Stadium: 2526 Mac Davis Lane, Lubbock, 79407
9- Watch A Show At The Cactus Theater
The Cactus Theater is a historic theatre that opened in 1938 and was originally a movie house.
It re-opened in 1995 as a live entertainment venue that showcases West Texas performers and international musicians.
Well-known guitarists like Tommy Emmanuel have performed here and country legends such as Gene Watson, Sammy Kershaw and The Bellamy Brothers.
The Cactus Theatre is at 1812 Buddy Holly Avenue, Lubbock.
10- Broaden Your Knowledge At The Science Spectrum & Omni Theatre
The Science Spectrum & Omni Theatre is an education hub designed to teach visitors about science and technology.
It features fantastic exhibits and classes while also boasting its own aquarium, to help educate visitors on marine matters.
There is a 55-foot dome movie screen, where you can watch presentations covering many of the topics present throughout the facility.
Science Spectrum & Omni Theatre is at 2579 South Loop 289 #250, Lubbock, 79423.
11- Visit The Nightmare On 19th Street Theme Park
Nightmare On 19th Street is a haunted house attraction that combines elements from famous horror movies with many of its own designs to give fans a proper scare.
Open most nights, it is a fabulous opportunity to scream your lungs out and see if you can handle the horrors located within this heart-racing experience.
Nightmare On 19th Street Theme Park is at 602 East 19th Street, Lubbock, 79403.
12- Embrace Nature At The Lubbock Memorial Arboretum
Covering 93 acres (37 ha), the Lubbock Memorial Arboretum is an excellent place for visitors to unwind outdoors, surrounded by nature.
Preserved gardens, walking paths, a 1913 chapel, and countless educational programs provide the perfect opportunity to learn a little about your natural surroundings while enjoying the peace and sanctuary that they offer.
Lubbock Memorial Arboretum is at 4111 University Avenue, Lubbock, 79413.
13- Enjoy A Performance At The Lubbock Community Theatre
The Lubbock Community Theatre is the heart and soul of Lubbock’s performing arts scene.
This is where the best local actors, directors, musicians and more come to hone their craft, in the dreams of one day becoming a star.
Fans of the arts should try and catch a show while they are in town, enjoy some of the best local entertainment, support the industry, and maybe even get to see a future star before becoming famous.
Lubbock Community Theatre is at 3101 35th Street, Lubbock, 79413.
14- Have A Retro Cinema Experience At The Stars & Stripes Drive-In Theatre
The drive-in movie theatre is seen worldwide as an iconic part of the American movie industry in the 60s, 70s and 80s.
With three screens, an on-site American café, and classic double feature events, the retro-themed Stars & Stripes Drive-In Theatre is the perfect place to experience a little piece of American movie history or maybe even relive some happy memories from your past.
Stars & Stripes Drive-In Theatre is at 3101 Clovis Road, Lubbock, 79416.
15- Marvel At The Exhibits Of The American Windmill Museum
The American Windmill Museum is dedicated to one of the oldest forms of power production in the world, and one that is coming back into prominence in the age of renewable energy, the windmill.
Devoted to the history of American windmills, the museum features models of more than 200 windmills, located both inside and out.
The museum itself is powered by wind and is the perfect place to learn about and appreciate an incredible invention that has more than stood the test of time.
American Windmill Museum is at 1701 Canyon Lake Drive, Lubbock, 79403.
16- Have Some Fun At The Panhandle South Plains Fairgrounds
The Panhandle South Plains Fairgrounds is the permanent home of the South Plains Fair.
It is the perfect opportunity for a fun-filled day and night for all the family with exhilarating rides, exciting games, carnival attractions, artistic exhibits, commercial vendors, food and drinks stalls, and even a petting zoo.
The Panhandle South Plains Fairgrounds is at 105 East Broadway, Lubbock, 79403.
17- Embrace Diversity At The Caviel Museum Of African American History
The Caviel Museum Of African American History is run by the ROOTS Historical Arts Council and focused on the history and culture of African Americans in West Texas.
Not only can you learn about their struggles and history through the years, but you will also get to enjoy their rich, vibrant culture, with works of art from within the community proudly displayed and cultural events like jazz festivals regularly taking place.
Caviel Museum Of African American History is at 1719 Avenue A, Lubbock, 79403.
18- Find Out The History Of The United States Airforce At The Silent Wings Museum
The Silent Wings Museum is a museum on the United States Military glider program put into operation during World War II.
With restored models and a comprehensive library, it is a fabulous place to learn about this unique and incredible, yet often forgotten, part of America’s military history.
Silent Wings Museum is at 6202 I-27, Lubbock, 79403.
19- Pay Your Respects At The West Texas Regional Monument Of Courage
The West Texas Regional Monument Of Courage is a beautiful art installation that was officially dedicated on August the 7th (National Purple Heart Day) 2020.
It is a powerful piece that is a must-see for art fans or those interested in the United States military.
The monument features three separate pieces designed to honour Gold Star families, Purple Heart recipients, and 12 Medal Of Honor recipients from across the West Texas region.
West Texas Regional Monument Of Courage is at 4014 84th Street, Lubbock, 79423.
20- Test Your Wits In An Escape Room
Escape rooms are a popular way to test your wits, learn to work as a team, and, most importantly, have fun.
In Lubbock, fans of the activity have the option of two different companies, separated by only a mile and a half.
Between Lubbock Escapes and Trapped! Escape The Room, visitors have a choice of eight different escape rooms to test themselves against, giving you plenty of variety and ways to enjoy this experience.
Lubbock Escapes: 3025 34th Street, Lubbock, 79410
Trapped! Escape the Room: 3519 50th Street, Lubbock, 79413
21- Embrace Your Inner Viking At Raider’s Axe Gallery & Entertainment
Axe throwing is quickly transitioning from a niche activity to a pastime for the masses, and Raider’s Axe Gallery & Entertainment is a great place to join in the fun, whether this is your first or 101st time.
With a massive range of different axes to choose from, a pounding soundtrack to throw to, and a lots of food and drink, this is a great place to spend an evening with friends, laughing, drinking, and slinging some steel.
Raider’s Axe Gallery & Entertainment is at 1408 Avenue F, Lubbock, 79401.