Lubbock is a West Texas town that was home to music legends such as Buddy Holly and Waylon Jennings, but the city is known for much more. A vibrant arts scene, a rich Western heritage, award-winning wine, Texas Tech University, and fine dining are just a few of the things this friendly, artsy Hub City has to offer.
Things To Do In Lubbock
Whether you’re most interested in history, music, culture, or wine, you’ll find plenty to see and do in Lubbock. Here are some ideas.
Visit Wine Country
More than 90 percent of the wine grapes grown in Texas are grown in the High Plains region, so Lubbock’s wine scene is thriving.
If you’re exploring the area on your own, these are a few wineries you won’t want to miss.
English Newsom Cellars offers tastings and tours. All of their wines are made exclusively from their own grapes, making them one of only a handful of wineries in the country that have full control over everything from how the grapes are grown to how the wine is produced and bottled.
McPherson Cellars has been in the McPherson family for more than 40 years. The winery is located in Lubbock’s Depot Entertainment District inside a restored Coca-Cola bottling plant, and the wines have won more than 600 medals in various competitions.
Llano Estacado Winery is the largest and bestselling premium winery in Texas. Since 1976, when they put West Texas on the viticultural map, they’ve been winning domestic and international awards.
If you’d rather leave the driving to someone else, West Texas Wine Tours will take you on a 6-hour tour in a limo bus to learn about West Texas wine culture and visit several wineries.
Discover The Cultural District
Lubbock’s support of the arts is evident in the fact that the city was the first to be recognized as a cultural district by the state of Texas.
On a visit, you can explore world-class venues such as the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts, a visual and performing arts center located in the heart of the cultural district. The main building houses four art galleries that host more than 20 exhibitions each year. The 159-seat Firehouse Theatre hosts concerts, dance performances, theater productions, and film programs. Also on campus are the Christine DeVitt Icehouse Gallery, Clay Studio, Graffiti Education Building, and an outdoor plaza and stage.
Next, explore the Charles Adams Studio Project, a nonprofit arts organization dedicated to developing and sustaining a working artists’ community. View the artist studio spaces and then participate in a workshop. The Charles Adams Gallery features work by regional artists.
If you’re in Lubbock on the first Friday of the month, you’re in luck -- you can enjoy live music, art galleries, and food trucks on the First Friday Art Trail. Grab a map and explore the self-guided trail. See the galleries on foot and then ride one of five free trolleys to the galleries along the downtown route.
Take A Self-Guided Tour Of Texas Tech’s Public Art Collection
Named one of the top 10 public art collections in the United States by Public Art Review, Texas Tech University’s public art collection features more than 100 items around campus created by some of today’s leading artists. Take a self-guided tour to discover the art that the Texas Tech University system has collected using a one percent allocation of the estimated cost of each project to commission artwork of the highest quality.
Catch A Show In The Original Live Music Capital Of Texas
Live music is a nightly occurrence in this mecca for singers and songwriters. Take in a live performance at one of the local bars, a tribute show at the Cactus Theater, or an arena performance at the United Supermarkets Arena.
The Cactus Theater opened in 1938 as a movie theater featuring 720 seats. In 1993, the building was purchased by Lubbock music producer Don Caldwell to provide a venue for West Texas performers.
Located on the Texas Tech campus, the United Supermarkets Arena is a 15,000-seat multipurpose facility that hosts performers such as Garth Brooks, Taylor Swift, and Elton John, plus sporting events.
Learn About Buddy Holly’s Life And Career
The newly opened Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts and Sciences is a cornerstone of the downtown revitalization project and will be the future home of the city’s ballet and symphony. In addition to two theaters, the campus includes an event space, a bistro, and a ballet academy. The iconic guitar wall is a sculptural installation designed by Texas artist Brad Oldham and depicts Buddy Holly playing a Stratocaster. The sculpture is made from 9,000 guitar picks.
At the Buddy Holly Center, you can learn about the brief life and blazing musical career of Buddy Holly, a Lubbock native. View the displays and watch the documentary film that chronicle Holly’s life and his impact on the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and the worldwide music scene.
In addition to Buddy Holly, exhibits highlight other musicians of the era. Also on the property is the J.I. Allison House, where J.I. Allison, drummer for The Crickets, lived as a teenager and where he and Holly wrote many hit songs, including “That’ll Be the Day.”
Watch Prairie Dogs Play
The cuteness factor is overwhelming at Prairie Dog Town, a wildlife park where you can watch prairie dogs in their natural habitat. This free park was established in the early 1930s as the first protected prairie dog colony of its kind and started with four dogs and two burrows. The colony was moved to its current location at Mackenzie Park in 1935. A 2004 survey found that the park is the fifth-most-visited attraction in Lubbock by visitors from outside the city.
Best Restaurants In Lubbock
You can easily get your fill of Texas barbecue in Lubbock, but don’t miss the Tex-Mex, tapas, chicken-fried steak, and fine dining options in this foodie city.
Cast Iron Grill
Start at the Cast Iron Grill to enjoy pie for breakfast. The pies sell out before noon, so you might as well have some while they're still there. In addition to succulent homemade pies, there are also delectable home-cooked meals. Since everything is big in Texas, go big and indulge in the chicken-fried steak and eggs for breakfast followed by a slice of one of the daily pies (the Chocolate Chess, Texas Lemon, and Billionaire Strawberry are my personal favorites).
For lunch, head to Evie Mae’s to sample barbecue that topped Texas Monthly’s top 10 list of best barbecue joints. Evie Mae’s uses oak wood because of its efficient heat curve and mild smoke, and the flavor seeps in from the smoked wood. Order a combo plate to sample a variety of meats, and go for the green chile cheese grits as a side.
Las Brisas Southwest Steakhouse
For dinner, head to local favorite Las Brisas Southwest Steakhouse. Choose from seafood, Southwestern-style dishes, and steaks cooked at 1,800 degrees. To really savor the steaks and unique toppings, try the filet duo with two 5-ounce filet medallions, one topped with a crab beurre blanc and the other with a wild mushroom peppercorn sauce. It’s served with vegetables and truffle mashed potatoes.
The West Table
Or go for fresh, local ingredients at The West Table. The menu changes with the seasons and includes favorites such as blistered shishito peppers, crispy goat cheese croquettes, and roasted bone marrow.
Best Hotels In Lubbock
Woodrow House Bed & Breakfast
Woodrow House Bed & Breakfast is a lovely and spacious 10-room bed and breakfast located across the street from Texas Tech University. For a unique experience, stay in the fully restored Santa Fe Caboose located in the backyard. The caboose holds a queen-size bed, private bath, and kitchenette with a view of the hot tub and pool.
Pioneer Pocket Hotel
This high-end luxury hotel offers all the amenities. It was the first fully automated hotel of its kind in Lubbock, and everything from booking to check-in is automated.
Hyatt Place Lubbock
The Hyatt Place Lubbock specializes in modern comfort. Start with breakfast at the breakfast bar, or grab a morning coffee or evening cocktail.
Pro Tip: In Lubbock, the weather is temperate year-round, but the best time to visit is between mid-May and October.