The top 10 things to do in Lubbock, Texas
This vibrant West Texas university is a great place for arts and culture and is a really interesting and fun place to visit. Lubbock claims more per capita than any city in Texas, with a trendy and intimate place tucked away around town and especially in the Depot District. The city also has an abundance of unique museums, some focusing on agriculture, heritage, history and aviation. Some of the museums even offer free admission. Famous musician, Buddy Holly was born in Lubbock, and you can learn more about his life and music at the Buddy Holly Center. If you’re traveling with kids, be sure to stop by Prairie Dog Town and maybe Joyland Amusement Park or the Omni Science Center and Theatre. See what else interests us with our list of the best things to do in Lubbock.
See also: Where to stay in Lubbock
1 Bayer Museum of Agriculture
Bayer Museum of Agriculture | Photo by: Lana Law
For an insightful look at how agriculture and farming have evolved over the years, the Bayer Museum of Agriculture is worth a visit. Fantastic displays showcase equipment used by farmers over the years. Many of the displays are interactive, and a simple push of a button will result in a 3D blacksmith discussing his craft, activating an animatronic farmer at work in the field, or running other unique programs. One of the most impressive exhibits is the 20th century tool shop, with hundreds and hundreds of small tools in intricate designs on the walls. A touch screen lets you know what each tool was used for. Other displays include a room devoted to more than 700 toy tractors, a well and drill exhibit, and a seed demonstration. Of special interest to kids of all ages is the cotton harvesting simulator, which shakes, rattles and makes you feel like you’re driving a car through a cotton field.
Address: 1121 Canyon Drive, Lubbock, Texas
Official website: https://agriculturehistory.org/
2 American Windmill Museum
American Windmill Museum | Photo by Lana Law
As you drive through the Interstate, you will undoubtedly see the remote giant modern windmills. For a better understanding of these towering machines and how they evolved from their humble beginnings, a visit to the American Windmill Museum is in order. Here you’ll find the world’s largest collection of windmills scattered across 28 acres. Elegantly presented in two massive custom-built buildings are more than 200 windmills from the 1860s to the present day.
Also of note is the impressive 6,600-square-foot model demonstration, which highlights the relationship between railroads and windmills. Trains run throughout the building on two levels, joined by a one-of-a-kind spiral track that makes climbing possible. Along with this display is the largest collection of miniature houses in America and the Garrison Millstone Room, dedicated to historic grinding mills dating back to the 1700s. Outside the two main buildings, Windmill Lineberry Park has an assortment of windmills, including a massive Westas wind turbine and a replica of the Post Mill windmill 1621.
Address: 1701 Canyon Lake Drive, Lubbock, Texas
Official website: https://windmill.com/
3 National Ranch Heritage Center (NRHC)
National Ranch Heritage Center (NRHC) | Photo by Lana Law
The National Ranch Heritage Center offers a unique look at the evolution of ranching and related architecture of the West. The complex displays 49 historic structures from the 1780s through the 1950s. All but one of the structures were moved here from other counties. The oldest building is a replica. A great place to walk, the buildings are scattered across 19 acres, connected to concrete walkways and laid out in chronological order. If you prefer, the cart runs on a 30-minute schedule. A small fee is charged for each passenger.
The main building is a 44,000-square-foot museum with ranch-related exhibits; themes range from cowboy boots to rustling cattle. In front of the building is a series of 42 beautiful life-size sculptures. If you find yourself in Lubbock in April, you may be lucky enough to visit on Ranch Day, when cowboys, chucks and horses perform.
You can combine a visit to the National Ranch Heritage Museum with a stop at the nearby Texas Tech University Museum. There are plenty of fast-food restaurants in the area, or the more upscale Cocina de La Sirena, less than 10 minutes away, is nearby.
Address: 3121 Fourth Street, Lubbock, Texas
Official website: http://www.depts.ttu.edu/nrhc/
4 Quiet Wings Museum.
Quiet Wings Museum | Photo by Lana Law
Housed in the former Lubbock Airport Terminal, the Quiet Wings Museum is dedicated to America’s World War II paragliders, 80 percent of whom were trained here. The highlight of the aircraft on display is the beautifully restored WACO CG-4A. This giant glider hangs from the ceiling, but low enough that you can peek inside and imagine what it must have been like to descend without an engine from 1,500 feet in the air to a remote airstrip in the country in a state of war. Other airplanes and related items are also on display, including a small glider, glider components and military equipment that was normally carried by gliders, such as bulldozers and jeeps. Walls and displays show photographs and other artifacts and memorabilia. A 15-minute documentary features the exploits and bravery of World War II paraglider pilots.
Address: 6202 N.I-27, Lubbock, Texas
Official website: https://www.mylubbock.us/departmental-websites/departments/silent-wings-museum/home
5 Buddy Holly Center, Statue and West Texas Walk of Fame
Buddy Holly Center, Statue and the West Texas Walk of Fame | Photo by: Lana Law
An American rock and roll icon in the 1950s, Buddy Holly was born in Lubbock, Texas. For a look at his life and career, the Buddy Holly Center is a great stop. Memorials from his childhood through his performing days are on display. Some of the notable items in the collection include Hallowd’s Fender Stratocaster guitar and his lined horn-rimmed glasses, which were recovered from the plane crash site where he was killed. You can see several of his guitars on display, as well as personal items, records and more. In front of the museum is a giant sculpture with gold glasses with Holly’s trademarks. Next to the main building is the J.I. Allison House , which is the home where Buddy Holly wrote one song This Will Be the Day , Across the street from the center is a larger statue of Buddy Holly with his guitar. Behind the statue is the West Texas Walk of Fame .
Address: 1801 Crickets Avenue, Lubbock, Texas
Official website: https://www.mylubbock.us/departmental-websites/departments/buddy-holly-center/home
6 Prairie Dog City
Prairie Dog Town | Photo by Lana Law
Prairie Dog Town is just a small field full of prairie dogs, but it offers unlimited cuteness and is very popular with visitors. It’s also free. A very low wall surrounds the main area where you can see dozens of little guys at any given moment, but prairie dogs run freely all over the area; along the driveway, in the parking lot, even sitting on the fence. They go about their business, oblivious to visitors standing just a few steps away. You can watch them play or dangle their holes, getting up on their hind legs, peeking loudly, and then falling dramatically. Prairie Dog Town is located very close to Joyland Amusement Park.
Location: McKenzie Park, Lubbock, Texas
7 Texas Tech University Museum
Texas Tech University Museum | Photo by Lana Law
This free museum features collections on a variety of topics, including natural history, anthropology, paleontology, fine art, textiles, and various changing exhibitions. Some of the most impressive exhibits are the huge dinosaur skeleton replicas that dominate some of the larger rooms and halls. You can also see a mammoth skeleton replica in the Ice Age exhibit. The Diamond M Gallery Wing displays works by a number of Western artists. Also of note is a colorful collection of Southwestern American pottery and textiles. Changing exhibits complement the permanent shows and create ongoing reasons for return visits.
Address: 2500 Broadway, Lubbock, Texas
Official website: http://www.depts.ttu.edu/museumttu/
8 Robert Bruno’s Steel House
Robert Bruno’s Steel House | Photo by: Lana Law
This unusual piece of architecture seems somewhat reminiscent of Antoni Gaudi’s creations in Barcelona. Made entirely of steel and balancing on four legs, the house’s only entrance is through a narrow walkway that connects the house to the hill. The curved walls that merge into the roof, the unusually shaped windows and its raised position give the appearance of an alien spaceship hovering above the earth.
The house, which looks out over Early Canyon and the blue waters of the lake below, is uninhabited and unfinished inside. You can only enter the house by appointment, but you should go even if you don’t have a chance to go inside. The house was built more than 30 years ago by Robert Bruno and completed shortly before his death in 2008. The steel house is located about 15 minutes east of Lubbock in the Ransom Canyon community.
The address is 85 E. Canyon View Drive, Ransom Canyon, Texas
9 Scientific Spectrum and Omni Theatre
The Science Spectrum & Omni Theatre | Photo by Lana Law
The Science Spectrum & Omni Theatre offers more than 250 permanent interactive exhibits on three floors. In addition to the permanent exhibits, there is an ever-changing series of journeys. The center offers live animal shows where you can get up close and personal with more critters from around the world. The Omni Theater is another popular attraction, showing feature films on a giant screen. The Lubbock Children’s Museum, geared toward children ages five and under, is included in regular admission. The Science Spectrum and Omni Theater have the city’s only aquarium, and aquatic animals are all from the Brazos River watershed.
Address: 2579 S Loop 289 #250, Lubbock, Texas
Official website: https://www.sciencespectrum.org/
10 Joyland Amusement Park
Joyland theme park | Photo by Lana Law
Joyland Amusement Park is a very traditional park with classic rides and familiar sights, sounds and smells. Locals often describe the old school atmosphere in a nostalgic setting. Older kids enjoy roller coasters and thrills, but you’ll also find plenty of family rides and options for younger kids. Get ready to get wet if you choose water rides. You can easily combine a trip to Joyland with a stop at the nearby town of Prairie Dog.
The 15 best things to do in Lubbock, Texas
The charming town of Lubbock is now home to nearly 300,000 people, but back in the day the area was a sleepy town known for its agricultural industry. Cotton production, in particular, was one of the reasons why this town thrived, and even today it is still a major industry in the area. The town may have started life modestly, but it is now home to a powerful Texas Tech University. Another reason Lubbock is now firmly on the map has to do with some of its alumni, as musical talent Buddy Holly once called this town home. Nowadays, you’ll find plenty of restaurants, stores and cultural events, combined with the friendly small town atmosphere that has made Lubbock such a popular place to visit over the years. Because Lubbock is in the state of Texas, you can also count on a number of fantastic outdoor activities that provide insight into this city’s agricultural heritage. Allowing you to explore the best things in Lubbock :
1. National Ranch Center
Source: flickr National Ranch Heritage Center The National Ranch Heritage Center, or NRHC, covers an impressive 16 acres and has 48 amazing buildings, some dating back to the 18th century. The NRHC has been lovingly preserved and can be visited throughout the year, when guests here can take a tour of the center and learn what life would have been like in days gone by for the ranchers who lived and worked here. There are also events throughout the year, including holiday celebrations such as the candlelit ranch in December, so be sure to check back when you’re in town. The charming town of Lubbock is now home to nearly 300,000 people, but back then the area was a sleepy town known for its agricultural industry. Cotton production, in particular, was one of the reasons why this town thrived, and even today it is still a major industry in the area… The town may have started life modestly, but it is now home to a powerful Texas Tech University. Another reason Lubbock is now firmly on the map has to do with some of its alumni, as musical talent Buddy Holly once called this town home. Nowadays, you’ll find plenty of restaurants, stores and cultural events, combined with the friendly small-town atmosphere that has made Lubbock such a popular place to visit over the years. Because Lubbock is in the state of Texas, you can also count on a number of fantastic outdoor activities that provide insight into this city’s agricultural heritage. Allowing you to explore the best things in Lubbock :
1. National Ranch Center
Source: flickr The National Ranch Center The National Ranch Center, or NRHC, covers an impressive 16 acres and has 48 amazing buildings, some dating back to the 18th century. The NRHC has been lovingly preserved and can be visited throughout the year, when guests here can take a tour of the center and learn what life would have been like in days gone by for the ranchers who lived and worked here. There are also events throughout the year, including during the holiday season, such as the candlelit ranch in December, so be sure to check back when you’re in town.
2. the Buddy Holly Center
Source: flickr Buddy Holly Center One of Lubbock’s most famous sons is musical genius Buddy Holly, and with that in mind, visitors should head to the Buddy Holly Center in the Depot Entertainment District, which is also a cultural attraction in its own right. The center features a static exhibit that tells you all about Buddy Holly’s life and impressive musical career, and you’ll also find historical artifacts that belonged to the musician, as well as anecdotes and other vintage memorabilia. Also part of the center is the Ellison House, which was the childhood home of Jerry Ivan Ellison, who was the drummer for Buddy Holly’s band The Crickets and collaborated with Holly over the years to write some of their greatest hits. The house is very similar to what the Ellison family left behind, and there are antiques that will give guests a unique insight into this special time in the house’s history.
3. the Quiet Wings Museum
Source: flickr Silent Wings Museum Many people will not know that Lubbock was once a training ground for glider pilots during World War II, and with that in mind, the Silent Wings Museum is now dedicated to their memory. The museum offers a fascinating insight into the people who served their country as American glider pilots and will tell visitors the history of the glider program through a series of fascinating exhibitions. There’s a C-47 airplane, a theater, and a vintage World War II glider that has been lovingly restored.
4. CapRock Winery.
Source: CapRock Winery Outside of downtown Lubbock is CapRock Winery, known primarily for its gorgeous architecture and stunning vineyards. The wines here feature both reds and whites, and since the winery has been operating here since the early 1990s, they certainly know what they’re doing when it comes to wine production. You can come here and visit the tasting rooms to taste the latest blends and pick up a bottle or two to take home with you as a souvenir of your trip.
5. Caviel Museum of African American History
Source: visitlub The African American History Museum in Caujell The African American History Museum in Caujell is one of the newest museums in Lubbock, so keeping that in mind, be sure to visit this relatively newcomer to learn all about the history of African Americans in the region. The museum seeks to tell the story of this history through a number of exhibits that include artwork as well as period artifacts and antiques. The permanent exhibits in the museum also showcase exhibits that tell the stories of prominent local figures who helped begin the history of African Americans in Lubbock.
6. Cactus Theater.
Source: flickr Cactus Theatre The Cactus Theatre certainly has a very Texan name, but it is also something of a historical landmark, first opening its doors in the 1930s. At the time, it was the first theater of its kind in Lubbock, and it was slowly and painstakingly rebuilt in the 1990s when it reopened after several years of closure. The theater is now known for shows that include Broadway shows, musicals, live theater and concerts, so if you’re in the area, be sure to check it out.
7. American Wind Energy Center
Source: flickr American Wind Energy Center If you want to visit the world’s largest windmill museum, you need to head to the American Wind Energy Center, which has over 170 preserved windmills that span 28 acres. Along with the gorgeous scenery here, which includes lush landscapes and grassy hills, you’ll also learn all about the interesting history of wind energy in the United States. There’s more than 33,000 square feet of exhibition space, including windmills, precision houses and even a G-scale train that runs through the museum.
8. Texas Tech University Museum
Source: flickr The Texas Tech University Lubbock Museum is known for being the home of Texas Tech University, so given that, it makes sense that there is also a museum dedicated to the university. The museum features more than 5 million Texas Tech-related exhibits, and you can learn all about the arts, sciences, and humanities that are studied here. There’s also the Moody Planetarium, which hosts daily laser and star shows, so aspiring astrologers shouldn’t miss the chance to come here for an introductory tour of the night sky.
9. Ballet Lubbock.
Source: balletlubbock Ballet Lubbock Ballet Lubbock was first established in 1969 and is known as one of the best cultural experiences in all of Lubbock. If you find yourself here during the vacations, you’re in for a treat as you can catch a performance of The Nutcracker, which the Lubbock Ballet performs every year. The rest of the year there are other shows and performances at the dance company, so be sure to check out what’s going on as you walk by so you can get a feel for the talent of these local dancers.
10. Bayer Museum of Agriculture
Source: visitlub Bayer Museum of Agriculture The Bayer Museum of Agriculture is also known as the American Agricultural Museum and is dedicated to the rich history of agriculture in the Lubbock area. To that end, the museum has a number of exhibits that will take visitors back to a time when agriculture was just beginning here, and you can expect to see a number of antique pieces. Some of these include old-fashioned pedal tractors as well as a model of a blacksmith shop from the 1920s. Lubbock also has galleries devoted to the history of cotton production, and many of the exhibits are interactive to give you a hands-on experience as you walk through this town’s agricultural history.
11. Charles Adams Gallery.
Source: charlesadamsgallery Charles Adams Gallery The Charles Adams Gallery, part of the Lubbock Cultural District, is known as one of the most popular places in town if you’re looking for an evening of art and culture. The gallery has many static and rotating galleries that showcase a variety of art, including local, regional and international works. In the past, the gallery has featured works by prominent American artists such as Andy Warhol, so be sure to check it out when you’re in town, especially if you want to learn more about art in this part of the United States.
12. Joyland Amusement Park
Source: interest Joyland Amusement Park Located in Mackenzie Park, Joyland Amusement Park is known for more than 30 rides that will appeal to visitors of all ages who want to visit. These include rides for adrenaline-seekers such as roller coasters and rollershots, or you can enjoy something more relaxing in the form of old-fashioned carousels and arcade games. You’ll also find a wide variety of traditional all-American snacks at the amusement park, and since there are rides for all ages, it’s fun for the whole family if you find yourself in the area.
13. Legacy Play Village
Source: legacyplayvillage Legacy Play Village If you want to learn about the history of the Southern Plains, this is the place to come, as Legacy Play Village is dedicated to teaching kids all about this time period. The village was built by local Lubbock residents and has a number of pavilions and picnic areas and is the perfect place for kids to explore as they also learn about the history of this part of Lubbock.
14. Lubbock Lake National Historic Site
Source: visitlub Lubbock Lake National Historical Monument If you want to learn more about how human life first appeared in Lubbock, be sure to visit Lubbock Lake National Historical Monument. Here you’ll find this amazing preserve that holds evidence of human life 12,000 years ago, and there are archaeological and historical treasures scattered around the monument that tell of the cultural significance of the area. There is a 3-mile trail to Yellow House Canyon, and a number of events held throughout the year that educate visitors about the archaeological significance of the area, such as “Archaeology in Action,” where excavation crews actually work. in front of visitors. If you want to learn more about how the first Americans would have lived in this region, it certainly can’t be missed on a trip here.
15. Mackenzie Park.
Source: Hospitalitylubbock Mackenzie Park The majestic Mackenzie Park sprawls over an impressive 248 acres in the city, and as such, it is also the largest area of parkland in the city of Lubbock. The park has many activities, including a newly installed and fully serviced golf course, as well as the popular Joyland Amusement Park, which is centrally located. There are more modest activities, such as a golden disc course, and even a unique Prairie Dog City, where visitors can see these lovable native animals in their natural habitat. There are hiking and equestrian trails through this area, so you can explore the park in a variety of ways, and there are delightful gardens scattered among the scenery that tell the story of Lubbock.