7 of the Best Things to Do in Lubbock, Texas

Whether you’re moving to Lubbock, Texas or just visiting, there are no shortage of ways to have a great time and experience everything the charming and friendly local culture has to offer.

Here are our seven favorite things to do when in Lubbock:

1. The Buddy Holly Center

You can’t talk about Lubbock without mentioning one of her favorite sons: Buddy Holly. The rock-and-roll pioneer wrote classic songs such as “Peggy Sue” and “Rave On,” that have retained their popularity through the decades. When you visit Lubbock today, you’ll be driving up Buddy Holly Avenue, and spy the giant black-framed glasses out front that celebrate Buddy Holly’s trademark 1950s look.

Inside The Buddy Holly Center, you can look at Holly’s legendary Fender Stratocaster, famed in the rock world with a stunning three-tone sunburst finish and slim C profile neck. There are other Holly and rock memorabilia such as handwritten tour notes and Crickets programs, and outside you can take Instagram-worthy pictures on the West Texas Walk of Fame, a spot that honors the number of rock-and-roll and country-western stars who hail from the area.

It was initially started as an idea between Waylon Jennings, Larry Corbin and Jerry Coleman, and Buddy Holly was the first inductee in 1979. It also includes Waylon Jennings (yes, he did induct himself), legendary Rolling Stones sax player Bobby Keys, Mac Davis, Lloyd Maines, and Pat Green.

2. Texas Tech Football Game

It isn’t Texas without football, and it isn’t football without the Texas Tech Red Raiders. The team is part of the Big 12 Conference, which is a Division I Football Bowl Subdivision of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

Homecoming is an exciting week full of activities for Texas Tech students and the city of Lubbock. Popular activities include a bonfire, parade, float competitions, open houses, award programs, and of course the homecoming football game.

3. Award-Winning Wineries

Lubbock has a thriving wine scene and is ideal for tasting the best of Texas wine. More than 90 percent of the state’s wine crop is grown in Lubbock, and six local wineries have created award-winning, world-class wines.

Llano Estacado Winery is a great place to start, as the area’s fist winery that sits all of 10 miles south of the downtown area. It is also Texas’ largest and most award-winning premium winemaker, with acclaimed reds and whites, such as the Viviano, a Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese blend.

With romantic Spanish-style architecture, CapRock Winery has a tasting room 10 miles south of Lubbock, where you can try a delicious Malbec made using grapes from the nearby 4.5-acre vineyard.

For something nearby the action in downtown Lubbock, head to McPherson Cellars. The tasting room is a former 1930’s Coca-Cola bottling plant and retains an eclectic vibe that pairs nicely with a glass of award-winning wines.

4. A Vibrant Culinary Scene

There’s nothing better than the perfect food and wine pairing, so when you’ve experienced Texas wine country, you’ll want to taste some of the local fare Lubbock has to offer. The “Hub City” is home to many farm-to-table restaurants that not only serve the local wines, but pair them with ingredients from area farms.

Plan a dinner at The West Table Kitchen & Bar on Broadway Ave., which is famous for its pan-fried pork chop, charbroiled beef tenderloin or pan-seared ribeye. For a lighter dish, try the grilled ocean trout. If you’re feeling French, try the crispy frog legs.

La Diosa Cellars, on the other hand, is the place to go for an upscale, yet cozy and eclectic, tapas and wine experience. Located in downtown Lubbock, this bistro-style restaurant and winery serves delicious traditional tapas easily paired wines and sangrias from around the world.

5. The Cactus Theater

After dinner, you’ll want to hit the town for some entertainment. Don’t hesitate to head straight to The Cactus Theater a historic landmark that first opened its doors in 1938.

Built with a cost of around $30,000, it originally featured 720 seats and a washed air-cooling system for patrons looking to get out of the Texas heat.

Fittingly located on Buddy Holly Ave, it was the first neighborhood movie theater of its kind in Lubbock and was slowly and painstakingly restored in the 1990s with the goal of cultivating West Texas talent. The theater is now known for its performances that include Broadway shows, musicals, live theater, and concerts. It is the cornerstone of the Lubbock Depot Entertainment District and is a must-stop.

6. Mackenzie Park

The majestic Mackenzie Park sprawls over a stunning 248 acres in the city of Lubbock, and as such this is also the largest area of parkland.

Mackenzie Park has many activities for visitors and residents to enjoy, including a newly installed and fully serviced golf course, a disc golf course, as well as the local favorite, Joyland Amusement Park.

One of the more unique attractions is Prairie Dog Town, where visitors can watch these tiny mammals navigate hundreds of burrows overlooking the golf course. In 2005, Prairie Dog Town completed a major renovation that included: a pavilion and viewing area, interpretive signage, sidewalks, a new parking area with a turnaround and bus parking, perimeter fencing, and ADA accessibility.

There are also hiking and equestrian trails all over Mackenzie Park, so you can explore the park in a range of different ways, and there are also delightful gardens dotted across the landscape that tell the story of Lubbock.

7. Joyland Amusement Park

Nestled in Mackenzie Park is family-owned and family-friendly Joyland Amusement Park. Known for appealing to all ages for the past 50 years, it boasts 30+ rides such as roller coasters, log flumes as well as relaxing, old fashioned carousels and arcade games. It typically operates from March to September of each year, opening 6 days a week but only during the evening on weeknights.