Paint your face red and black and cheer for the home team with 60,000 crazy fans, contemplate the complex flavors of a cabernet sauvignon, and explore the life of a music legend. These are just a few examples of the most popular things to do in Lubbock, a West Texas town home to a significant university that is a major hub of the Texas Panhandle region. Notable wineries, scenic outdoor recreational spaces, art galleries, museums, theaters, and a bustling entertainment district full of night clubs and concert venues are only part of what this thriving city has to offer. Since there is so much to see and to in Lubbock, make sure to check out our list of some of the essential experiences you must have while you’re in town.
If you're in Lubbock during from September through November, the first thing you need to do is to go to a Texas Tech University football game. After all, how could you miss out on joining 60,000 raucous Red Raider fans as they cheer on one of the biggest college football teams in Texas? From the passionate fans to the tunes of the marching band and the tasty concessions, game day at Texas Tech does not disappoint. Right at kick off, the entire city of Lubbock goes crazy for its football team, and one of the best ways to experience the town is to get caught up in the hysteria. Fortunately, it's not difficult to go to a game. Tickets to individual games can be bought on the university's website well in advance, and you can even choose your own seats! Make sure you arrive early to see the famous Masked Rider lead the team onto the field on his pitch-black stallion, a Texas Tech tradition since 1954. With the tickets sorted out, there's only one thing you'll need to remember before you go to the game: “Guns up!”
Buddy Holly is widely considered to be one of the pioneers of rock and roll, a veritable American music icon who topped the charts in the US and the UK in the 1950's. Holly passed away in a tragic plane accident in 1959, ending a promising music career before he was even 23 years old. Although Holly's career was short, he still produced some of the most memorable songs of the 1950's, such as “Peggy Sue” and “That'll Be the Day.” If you're a music fan, you probably knew all this. But you may not have known that Holly was born in Lubbock, where you can find one of the most fitting tributes to the talented musician's career.
Holly's career is commemorated at the Buddy Holly Center in Lubbock, one of the city's must-visit places for those who love music. A statue of Holly's iconic black-rimmed glasses greets you at the entrance to the museum, which is full of memorabilia related to the musician's career. Holly's Fender Stratocaster guitar, promotional and personal photos, fan letters, albums, and a guitar strap crafted by the man himself make up only a part of the museum's collection. The Buddy Holly Center welcomes music enthusiasts Tuesday through Sunday throughout the year.
The fertile, wide-open plains of West Texas offer the perfect environment for wine grape growing. This may be why it's no surprise that Lubbock is home to a few of the best wineries in Texas. A good place to start your journey through West Texas' wine country is at Llano Estacado Winery, Texas' most award-winning winery that was also the first of its kind to open after prohibition. Llano Estacado is notable because it crafts many of its wines using top-shelf grapes grown within 100 miles of Lubbock, offering a true taste of West Texas.
Pheasant Ridge Winery, CapRock Winery, and McPherson Cellars are the other large wineries in Lubbock. So, how do you appease your inner oenophile? Llano Estacado, CapRock, and McPherson have tasting rooms where you can sample what each winery has to offer. These three wineries also offer public tours, which is a great thing to do if you'd like to learn more about the wine making process. Pheasant Ridge offers tours as well, but only by appointment. With so many options, it's no wonder Lubbock is one of the best places in the state for wine connoisseurs. If that's you, then you should make visiting a winery an essential part of your vacation in Lubbock.
Those who enjoy playing in the great outdoors owe themselves a visit to Lubbock's Mackenzie Park, an all-in-one natural area that has a little bit of something for everyone. This 248-acre park, situated on Lubbock's east side, has many of the city's main outdoor attractions. For instance, you can play a round (or several) at Meadowbrook Golf Course, a public facility that offers 36 captivating holes to enjoy. There's also the MacKenzie Disc Golf Course, a 22-hole course that winds through the southern portion of the park and partially includes the Brazos River.
If you're a thrill seeker, look no further than Joyland Amusement Park. Here you'll find plenty of heart-pounding action on the park's roller coaster, drop tower, tilt-a-whirl, water slide, and more. There are even rides the whole family can enjoy, including bumper cars, a carousel, and a gondola ride affords a panoramic view of Mackenzie Park. Of course, we can't forget about Prairie Dog Town, a protected colony of prairie dogs located near the Meadowbrook Golf Course. At Prairie Dog Town, you can see these small, active creatures burrowing and interacting with each other in their native habitat. Finally, there's the Bayer Museum of Agriculture, a museum dedicated to sharing the past, present, and future of agriculture with society.
Along with all of these things, Mackenzie Park is also home to a fishing lake, equestrian trails, an amphitheater, and outdoor public art sculptures. Mackenzie Park is so rich with things to see and do you're likely to find your way here anyway. And you'll be happy you did.
Whether you're looking to go line dancing, listen to a local rock band, sip a pint at an Irish pub, or watch a play, you'll find it in Lubbock's Depot Entertainment District. A wide variety of bars, night clubs, and live music venues makes this part of town a perpetually hip and happening place to be.
There's also numerous restaurants in the district that serve a range of delicious cuisine, including American, Mexican, Spanish, and Italian. If you're looking for a fun night out in Lubbock, the Depot Entertainment District is where you want to be.
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