I fell in love with Lubbock at first glance. This West Texas town has a much different vibe than the rest of the state, and I can attest it’s all good. There are many cool things to do in Lubbock, Texas, from drinking premium Texas wines to exploring unique museums and art venues. I just scratched the surface with a quick trip there, but Lubbock is for you if you want a memorable road trip with plenty of fun that won’t break the bank.
Lunch at Burklee Hill Vineyards
This swanky little spot in the historic Kress building in downtown Lubbock serves the family-owned vineyard award-winning 100% Texas wines and gourmet eats in a darling bistro setting. I was intrigued by Burklee Hill Vineyards‘ menu and chose the artichoke schmear (dip) with buttered and toasted baguette as a starter. This is one sinfully-delicious appetizer you won’t want to miss.
I chose the Chicken Salad Croissant for lunch, with cranberries, pineapple, and pecans. What a perfect choice for this southern gal. My friends had Harvest Salad, a pizzette (small, hand-tossed pizza), and a Torino sandwich, all of which looked like great choices. Come to Burklee Hill on Saturday mornings if you are a brunch fan. The restaurant is closed Sundays and Mondays.
Go to the Drive-In
Stars and Stripes Drive-in Theatre must be a chain from years ago because I went to the New Braunfels location a few months ago. How long has it been since you visited a drive-in movie theater? It had been years for me, and now we want to visit drive-in theaters across the country.
Enjoy a first-run movie from the comfort of your vehicle, where you can either save money by bringing your own snacks or take advantage of the tasty concession stand full of goodies (burgers, pizza, chicken, corn dogs, snacks, you name it. Double feature movies are shown on three outdoor screens starting at 7 PM Friday through Sunday, year-round and rain or shine. Admission is $9 per person for ages 12 and up.
Take a Cooking Class
Treat yourself to a delicious and educational experience from Hand of the Cook, a commercial kitchen rental in Lubbock. You will find the list of upcoming cooking classes on the website. I was blessed to catch a pot de crème class with Kristi Clem from Blade & Tine and Lori Owen from Hand of the Cook; what a blast. This dynamic duo has plenty of cooking tips, planning tools, and short-cut ideas for elevating your parties and dinners.
Buddy Holly in Lubbock
The Day the Music Died is a festival in Hub City every February. Buddy Holly’s spirit is alive and well at the Buddy Holly Center, with permanent exhibits of the musician’s life and music, as donated by friends, family, and fans. You’ll also find the iconic glasses here, which were found at the site crash near Clear Lake, Iowa. Fans can also pay respect at his gravesite in the Lubbock City Cemetery on 2011 E. 31st Street.
You can also see a live performance in a small-scale setting at the new Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts and Sciences on Mac Davis Lane. This 2200-seat theater welcomes world-class performances and Broadway shows to its stage. The Buddy Holly Hall boasts an NC-15 sound system, so there isn’t a bad seat in the house. Upcoming 2022 shows include Lady A, Kevin James, Baby Shark Live, and Hairspray.
Sip Great Coffee
J&B Coffee, Tumbleweed & Sage, Ninety-Two Bakery & Cafe, and Gold Stripe Coffee Roasters were amongst my favorite places to have a really good cup of coffee in Lubbock. At J&B, serving the people of Lubbock since 1979, you can also have breakfast and lunch. I had the best Vietnamese iced coffee and a tasty breakfast croissant egg sandwich.
Ninety-Two Bakery & Cafe was my favorite for ambiance, and the breakfast menu choices scratch-made bread and hand-crafted pastries, too) are sensational. Ninety-two bakery serves one of my favorite things—Croque Madame— and it was sheer perfection. I would order this rich and tasty dish over and over again. They are closed Sundays and Mondays.
GO RVing at Buffalo Springs Lake
Being a full-time RVer, I get to explore some fantastic RV campgrounds and parks around the country. Buffalo Springs Lake in Lubbock was one of the best spots we’ve stayed at all year. We loved having the park basically all to ourselves in early spring.
Besides having full RV hook-ups, this lakeside park has beautiful scenery with a darling playground, nature trails (also ATV accessible), and facilities. You can boat or swim in the lake or relax and hang out at the two beaches. Whether you want to go fishing, jet skiing, or golf, Buffalo Springs Lake can more than meet your needs.
Note: There is a day use of the property, even after paying for your RV campsite.
Visit the National Ranching Heritage Center
This masterpiece of ranching history is an excellent nod to the decades of ranchers and a step into today’s world with a look at the 6666 Ranch, most recently featured in Yellowstone’s smash TV show. The National Ranching Heritage Center’s 19 acres are home to 50 authentically-restored ranch buildings. Its 44,000-square-foot museum holds lovely art galleries and exhibits showcasing western life. The stained glass ceiling piece is a do-not-miss piece.
Upcoming events at the National Ranching Heritage Center include classes, Living History Saturdays, art shows, and Candlelight at the Ranch during the holidays, to name a few. Be immersed from start to finish at this world-class museum.
Attend First Friday Art Trail LHUCA Center for the Arts
The town of Lubbock explodes on First Fridays, from 6 to 9 PM, rain or shine, held predominately in the Cultural District. The monthly event brings out locals and visitors for an evening of special art activities, great live music, food trucks, and fun. There are even free trolleys to take you around the gallery and business trail.
Along the First Friday stops, a few of the businesses are the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts (pictured below), Two Docs Brewing Co., Bentley Arrow, Wild Lark Books, Charles Adams Gallery, and Glassalley Art Studio and Gallery.
At Glassalley, you can find Pauline’s ready-to-make art kits to take home with you if you don’t have time to stay for a group class. I brought home a wooden cross mosaic art kit that was super simple to make and looks great hanging in my RV. There are plenty of choices if you prefer to take a face-to-face class, both private and group) or even an art camp. Glassalley can also ship project kits to your door.
Celebrate Lubbock’s Wine Contributions
Since Lubbock can pat itself on the back for growing 90% of the state’s wine crop, it’s only fitting that they showcase the bounty of delicious wines throughout the local wineries in town. The thriving West Texas wine scene includes McPherson Cellars, Burklee Hill (mentioned above), Llano Estacado, Pheasant Ridge, Boxing Rabbit Vineyard, and English Newsom Cellars.
Eat the Best Chicken at Dirk’s
Dirk’s Signature Chicken & Bar is a super fun place to grab a tasty meal, sip a cold beer or craft cocktail, and meet friends for socializing. The restaurant, created to honor the owner’s famous cartoonist and former mayor grandfather Dirk West, is decorated with his clever artwork and vintage toys.
The menu at Dirk’s has all sorts of clever recipe combinations. I chose the Chicken Fried Steak Fingers, which were off-the-hook delicious with a jalapeño cream gravy and my choice of two sides. I picked green beans and cajun creamed corn. My mouth is still watering from the spectacular, and a bit zesty, cajun creamed corn. Other menu items include Shrimp & Grits, Fried or Rotisserie Chicken, and Gulf Oysters on the half-shell.
Indulge in a Spa Day
Lubbock’s Woodhouse Day Spa is a great way to treat yourself to a day of pampering and relaxation. Whether you want to care for sore muscles, rid your body of toxins, experience a feel-good activity, clear your mind, or nourish your skin, you can do it all at Woodhouse Day Spa. Enjoy services ranging from facials to pedicures, and massage to halotherapy in this luxury spa.
Feed the Prairie Dogs
Head over to Mackenzie Park to see the cutest Lubbock residents—prairie dogs. These darling little nuisances to farmers have found a colony at Prairie Dog Town. You can bring carrots to feed them if you wish.
Follow the 806 Beer Trail
Hit up six local breweries along the 806 Beer Trail to taste the flavors of Lubbock, Texas. The brewery list includes Mano Negra, Two Docs, Triple J, Auld Brewing, The Brewery LBK, and The Plains Brew Co. I first read about this fun offering in the Visit Lubbock guidebook and have wanted to check it out since.
Stay at a Cool Hotel
The Cotton Court Hotel, a replica vintage cotton gin, is one of the exceptional places to stay in Lubbock. A Valencia Hotel Group property (becoming one of my favorite brands), Cotton Court has 165 rooms that still retain a smaller-boutique style hotel feel. Rooms are impressive and spacious, with trendy furnishings, barn doors, walk-in rainfall showers, and lavish fabrics.
A long list of amenities includes:
- A gorgeous fire-pit.
- Picturesque outdoor swimming pool.
- Yard games.
- Oodles of seating areas.
- Midnight Shift restaurant
The onsite restaurant serves lunch and dinner with live entertainment Thursday through Saturday nights. Midnight Shift has a retro vibe, hand-crafted cocktails, and an attractive menu with items like Korean short rib tacos, poutine, and burrata charcuterie.
Bonus Feature: Bring your pets on Thursdays through June for Yappy Hour. Hours are 5 to 7 PM, and they will serve pet-friendly treats.
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