Because of the cities role as an important center for economic activity, education, and the medical industry, Lubbock is affectionately known by the locals as Hub City, and this wealth over history has turned in to a wealth of great things to do.
Lubbock hosts the biggest free festival in Texas every Independence Day – July 4. It was also the birthplace and home of rock n roll legend Buddy Holly, a fact that the city is quite proud of.
But Lubbock is also proud of its history in other areas. Agriculture, World War II, and African American history all have museums or cultural centers here, and they are all well worth a visit.
Fun fact: Lubbock has the most music venues per capita of any city in Texas. So you won’t ever really be short of entertainment in the evenings.
Here’s a list of amazing things to do in Lubbock, TX. We’ve tried to include a range of activities for all interests.
Top Things to Do in Lubbock
Want to know what to do in the Hub City? These are the top Lubbock, Texas points of interest.
If you’re just exploring, a mobile-based scavenger hunt is a great activity to do alone in Lubbock. Download an app and go on the prowl to find several objects and locations in the area. Along the way, you will learn a little about the city, and even get to see some unexpected surprises.
If you feel competitive, you can compare yourself to other participants and try to rank on the leaderboard.
Buffalo Springs Lake is everything you might want from a comfortable Great Outdoors adventure, even if only for a day. The grounds will allow fishing, boating, and canoeing in the slow end of the lake, and the roads are suited to various vehicles like ATVs.
But you could also just hang out on one of the beaches, or take a hike on the nature trail, where you can see tons of wildlife.
- Caviel Museum of African-American History
- Burns Park
- Buddy Holly Center
Back during World War II, gliders were used to transport troops and supplies. The Silent Wings Museum is an awesome tribute to these amazing air vehicles, with a focus on the program that created and developed them.
There are lots of amazing stories to discover here. And then there’s the exhibit of equipment, supplies and all kinds of personal effects that have been contributed by those who were there.
The family-run At’l Do Farms Corn Maize is a weird and wonderful take on a farm visit. Navigate your way through the maze (there’s a simpler trail for those who can’t tell right from left). Or go for one of the other crazy corn-related hijinks.
This might be using a corn cannon to hit some targets in the field, visiting the illuminated pumpkins, or playing with the farm animals in the barnyard.
Located in the Texas Tech campus, The National Ranching Heritage Center is a place that’s been frozen in time – in 19th Century America, to be exact. It’s designed to give you a feel of what life was like on a working ranch all those years ago.
Visit the old, authentic buildings and see what they were like to live in through superb indoor displays and exhibits. Best of all, the center hosts exhibits and activities that focus on specific aspects of ranching history, like their History of Beef exhibit.
The Caviel Museum of African-American History is just one of the projects hosted by the Lubbock Roots Historical Arts Council. It’s housed in a building that has its own legacy for the African American community – Alfred and Billie Caviel ran a pharmacy here. They were the first African Americans to own their own pharmacy.
Today, the museum celebrates the achievements of others like the Caviels. African Americans who have achieved success in their lives and professional fields are celebrated here, especially those in medical fields.
Unusual Things to Do in Lubbock
If you’re on the hunt for unique things to do in Lubbock, Texas, you have to try one of these.
One of America’s most beloved icons of rock ‘n roll was born in Lubbock. The Buddy Holly Center is noted for containing the famous Fender Stratocaster recovered from the airplane crash that took his life. Also on display are his iconic horn-rimmed glasses, which also survived the crash, and other personal items, guitars, and paraphernalia.
You’ll know you’re in the right area when you see the statue of Holly and his guitar and close by a huge sculpture of the glasses that made him famous.
8. See what a real heavy metal house looks like
Just a little way down the road from Lubbock you’ll find a really oddly-shaped building standing on a small hill. It’s not a bizarre spaceship or even a sculpture. It’s a house-made entirely of steel, by artist Roberto Bruno. It’s even more remarkable for being entirely hand-crafted, a real personal achievement for Bruno who worked on it for 35 years!
Sadly, the house isn’t architecturally perfect, but it can be visited by curious tourists. It’s quite a marvel to see, despite not being finished.
Of all the things you might expect would have a museum dedicated to it, windmills would not be at the top of your list. Yet the American Wind Power Center is the largest of its kind in the world, and one of the most popular things to do in Lubbock. The park has over 160 different types of windmills on display, as well as other related items and paraphernalia.
Many of the structures are rare, including 1920-era electricity-generating wind machines. Several of the units remarkable still generate power and water, which is either used by the museum or sold back into the city power grid.
Safety in Lubbock
Lubbock is experiencing above-average economic growth, which makes it a fast-growing city. As a result, crime stats temporarily trended upwards around 2011-2015. In recent years, though, crime rates have been declining.
As with any major city center, it is advisable to take care of personal property, by using some common sense. Don’t display valuables openly or leave cars or doors unlocked. Also, as a tourist, stick to well-lit areas at night, around people whenever possible.
It’s a good idea to keep an eye on the weather, as Lubbock falls within “Tornado Alley”. It experiences extreme weather at times, including hail storms and lightning strikes. When these conditions are likely, take advice from a trusted local, and apply a safety-first policy.
With that in mind, there’s no reason you can’t have a great time visiting Lubbock’s many attractions.
You should always have emergency cash hidden on you - pick up this awesome security belt with its hidden pocket before you travel, it's perfect for hiding money, a passport photocopy.
Things to Do in Lubbock at Night
As we mentioned, Lubbock has dozens of music venues to relax at. But if you’re looking for something even more special, try one of these.
The Cactus Theater is described as the hidden gem of Lubbock, at least, in terms of entertainment. It’s a funny description because it’s been there since 1938! Today, the theater is a home for drama and dance productions, touring musical acts and more. And that old-timey vibe is still seeping through the floorboards.
There’s something about an old theater that just feels right. The design of the huge auditorium and high ceilings harken back to a night on the theatre being a special event. Somehow that awe shines through, whenever you’re in such a building.
11. Night Hike at Lubbock Lake Landmark
If you happen to be in town on the last Saturday of the month, try a night walk at The Lubbock Lake Historic National Landmark. The night hikes are free and start about half an hour before sunset, but no flashlights are allowed.
The landmark itself is an archeological site, so even if you can’t get to a walk, it’s well worth a visit. The various exhibits showcase early human history in the area, ice age wildlife and more. And there are plenty of trail miles to walk during the daytime, too.
Where to Stay in Lubbock
Best Airbnb in Lubbock – SAWYER Guesthouse 2 Bed/1 Bath near TTU
Just a few blocks from texas tech and some of the Lubbock Nightlife is the Sawyer Guesthouse. It’s completely separate from the main house, though it shares a yard. The guesthouse has two bedrooms, a gorgeous living space, an amazing fitted kitchen – everything you need for a few days’ stay.View on Airbnb
Best Hotel in Lubbock – My Place Hotel
My Place is close to McAllister Park, and just a few miles from Jones AT&T Stadium. The hotel is fairly new, so its amenities and facilities, which includes aBBQ facilities and business lounge are in great shape. Given the pricing, this is prime value for money. The hotel allows pets (there may be extra charges), and Wi-Fi throughout is free.View on Booking.com
Romantic Things to Do in Lubbock
Here are a few unmissable things to do in Lubbock for couples.
Back in the old days, the drive-in was a staple of American teenage culture. Very few of these old relics still exist, so it’s a great opportunity to share a classic date here. The concession building is even themed 50s, complete with milkshakes, box dinners, and corndogs.
Choose between three screens showing the latest blockbusters. On good weather nights, you’re welcome to enjoy the movie sitting outdoors and under the stars.
On the first Friday of each month, local galleries and museums open up for a special event. There are similar evenings in many cities, and in Lubbock, it’s a favorite among students. But with the open-style galleries and meet-the-artist opportunities, it becomes a fun social adventure.
Galleries may offer a snack or a glass of wine too, and you can always follow up with a classy dinner at a close-by eatery. The worst-case scenario is that you’ll have a few talking points over dinner.
Always Be Insured
Don’t forget to sort your travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads now, our favorite travel insurance provider.
Best Free Things to Do in Lubbock
Backpacking on the cheap in the United States can be a daunting affair, but if you’re looking for things to do in Lubbock on a budget, there are a number of options.
The Lubbock Lake Landmark is a natural history site, showing a record of human occupation in the area that dates back almost 12 000 years. Besides the exhibits exploring the science of the dig and what has been found, there trails to walk. The night hikes are especially fun.
Some trails allow bicycles, though you’ll get the most out of a scheduled guided trail.
Arguably one of the best Lubbock, TX attractions there is! These endlessly watchable critters have their own town within the Lubbock city limits. They’re incredibly popular, regularly ranking in the top ten attractions for the city. Prairie Dog Pete is the ambassador for the town, seen in ads and billboards.
The town is a protected property – as are the prairie dogs – but you can view them from a pavilion. Word on the Prairie Dog Town street is that they love carrots. Feel free to bring some.
Lubbock Packing List
1. Travel Water Bottle: Always travel with a water bottle – it’ll save you money and reduce your plastic footprint on our planet. AR bottle are tough, lightweight and maintain the temperature of your beverage – so you can enjoy a cold red bull, or a hot coffee, no matter where you are. For every AR bottle sold, we donate 10% to PlasticOceans.org – an initiative to reduce plastic in our oceans!
2. Microfibre Towel: It’s always worth packing a proper towel. Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.
3. Security Belt with Hidden Pocket: I never hit the road without my security belt. This is a regular looking belt with a concealed pocket on the inside – you can hide up to twenty notes inside and wear it through airport scanners without it setting them off. This is hands down the best way to hide your cash.
4. Camera or Cell Phone Camera Accessories: One thing’s for sure – Lubbock is a picturesque destination! Get perfect shots from your phone using clip-on-lenses with wide-angle, close-up and optical zoom. With the ability to turn travel pictures from basic to professional, this universal lens sits neatly over any phone camera and comes with a durable, travel-friendly case!
5. International Adapter: Lubbock outlets accommodate typical US two-pronged plugs, but for electronics that have three prongs or if your plugs are of a different variety, you’ll need an adapter. Save yourself the hassle of trying to track down an adapter at your destination and paying twice as much than planning ahead by buying one online.
Books to Read in Lubbock
The Backpacker Bible – Get it for free! Learn how to ditch your desk and travel the world on just $10 a day whilst building a life of long-term travel with an online income. To inspire and help the next generation of Broke Backpackers, you can now grab ‘How to Travel the World on $10 a Day’ for free! Get your copy here.
Sometimes a Great Notion – A tale of a hardheaded Oregonian logging family that goes on strike, leading the town to drama and tragedy. Written by PNW legend, Ken Kesey.
Walden – The transcendental masterpiece by Henry David Thoreau that helped modern Americans rediscover nature and her beauty.
To Have and To Have Not – A family man gets involved with the drug smuggling business in the Key West and ends up in a strange affair. Written by the great Ernest Hemingway.
Best Things to Do in Lubbock with Kids
Lubbock attractions for kids focus on learning, but there are some purely fun things to do for kids as well.
Kids absolutely love the Science Spectrum & OMNI Theater, even though it’s designed as an education center for all ages. The museum section hosts several permanent and traveling exhibits. But it’s the events like reading fairs, holiday-themed activities that really draw kids into this world of science. The theater runs amazing features around nature and science, making it one of the most fun things to do in Lubbock, TX..
17. Take a speedway to the Thunder Zone
The Thunder Zone is a family-oriented mini-amusement center, The speedway track is where the action is, and children of all ages can test their mettle in go-karts on the speedway course. There are two-seaters as well for underage drivers to experience the thrill. For indoor things to do in Lubbock, choose from Cosmic Golf, Laser Tag, or the game room on site.
Day Trips from Lubbock
Fort Worth and Dallas are away down the Highway, but if you’re able and willing to make the drive or the flight, these are the best day trips from Lubbock to consider.
Fort Worth offers an interesting look at its stockyards, which were a major economic hub for the early days of production in Texas. There are cattle drives twice a day, which is quite the sight. But the main draw these days is a collection of restaurants, bars, and shopping available.
Rumour has it that a famous TV bar – the White Elephant Saloon – is located here. This is great news for Walker, Texas Ranger fans. Why not stop in for a chat and a drink?
The tragic assassination of John F Kennedy has spawned numerous conspiracy theories and fascinated historians for many years. A visit to the site of the shooting, a look from the infamous grassy knoll, and a visit to the sixth-floor museum in Dealey Plaza may not answer any questions decisively, but will at least put you in the shoes of those who saw it first-hand.
Pay respects at the Kennedy Memorial, and finally visit the home of Lee Harvey Oswald, the man reputed to have committed the crime.
3 Day Itinerary in Lubbock
This list of things to do in Lubbock should occupy a bit of time on your schedule. Here’s a three day suggested itinerary, taking in some of the above activities.
The Silent Wings Museum is a fascinating insight into the program that was so pivotal to the World War II effort. There’s lots to learn here, and it’s well worth a long morning spent looking at the memorabilia.
In the afternoon, just a short drive from here, take a walk through the Lubbock Lake Historic Landmark, where the story of human life in the area is documented. Nearly 12 000 years of history is displayed here. It’s a good idea to stay for the night hike, if one is happening.
Stop in at the American Windmill Museum for a fascinating look at wind power. There are a number of examples of windmills through the years, and a few are still functional and functioning, providing power and water for the facility.
Then take a trip down memory lane at the Buddy Holly Center, and learn about the life of this Lubbock, Texas icon. Finally, take in a show at the Cactus Theatre, where a musical or theatrical event will transport you back to the theater’s most glamorous era.
We’re venturing out slightly today, exploring things to do near Lubbock. Start the day with a smile at Prairie Dog Town, where the lovable critters will amuse and delight you. After, take a short ride out to Buffalo Springs Lake for a picnic, some trail hiking and maybe a stretch on the lakeside beach.
Carry on a little bit from there to catch a glimpse of the Bruno Steel House, which is itself an architectural marvel, hand made by the artist himself.
You now have some great ideas for what to do in Lubbock, TX. Hopefully, you won’t be short of choices whether rain or shine. Dust off your boots, pack a pair of dancing shoes and book a ticket to Lubbock. There’s a ranch lifestyle to explore, a Buddy Holly story to remember, and plenty of windmills to see. And don’t forget to say hi to the prairie dogs!
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