When planning a visit to Lubbock, Texas, most likely the first thing that springs to mind is Buddy Holly. He was, after all, born here. Fortunately, visitors will be able to get their fill of the rock ‘n’ roll icon at the Buddy Holly Center that honors the singer with a plethora of memorabilia. From the whimsical to the serious, there is much to see and do in Lubbock, TX. Travelers can stop by the American Wind Power Center to peruse a collection of 200 windmills or visit the largest Veterans of War Memorial outside Washington, D.C. Here are 20 things to do in Lubbock Texas that are sure to entertain.
1.American Wind Power Center
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The American Wind Power Center was a labor of love for Texas home economics teacher Billie Wolfe. She spent the majority of her adult life photographing, researching, and locating windmills in order to preserve their rich history and highlight the important role they played in the survival of early prairie settlers. For nearly 30 years Wolfe secured the purchase of hundreds of windmills with the single focus of one day opening a museum dedicated to their existence. Her vision was realized in 1998 and expanded in 2001. Today, the AWPC features nearly 200 windmills of all shapes and sizes that have been beautifully reconstructed and surround the central museum building, which explores their storied past.
1701 Canyon Lake Drive, Lubbock, TX, Phone: 806-747-8723
2.Bayer Museum of Agriculture
© Bayer Museum of Agriculture
Located within the Alton Brazell Exhibit Hall, the Bayer Museum of Agriculture strives to teach visitors the significance of agriculture in their everyday lives. They accomplish this task with their growing list of interactive exhibits where visitors can hear, see, and experience how life would be on a farm. You can see examples of early hand harvesting, interact with a hologram blacksmith, and speak with a farmer in the Bayer Crop Science display. Visitors can even get behind the wheel of a contemporary cotton stripper. They also focus on the history of farming with their massive collection of antiques and machinery that work in tandem with their interactive video games and kiosks.
1121 Canyon Lake Drive, Lubbock, TX, Phone: 806-744-3786
3.Buddy Holly Center
© Buddy Holly Center
The Buddy Holly Center is a historical site dedicated to collecting, promoting, and preserving the legacy of Buddy Holly and the music of West Texas and Lubbock. This is done through programs and exhibits that demonstrate the varied cultural characteristics of the area. They chronicle Holly’s life from his childhood in Lubbock to his rise to fame displaying numerous artifacts such as documents and photographs, his Fender Stratocaster guitar, his legendary black glasses, and two of his acoustic guitars. It also features a life-size statue of the musician and the West Texas Walk of Fame to which he was the first to be inducted.
1801 Crickets Avenue, Lubbock, TX, Phone: 806-775-3560
4.Caviel Museum of African-American History
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The Caviel Museum of African-American History is housed in the first pharmacy in the United States owned and operated by an African-American husband and wife, Alfred and Billie Caviel. After running a successful business for nearly 50 years they retired, donating their store to the Roots Historical Arts Council with the dream of turning it into a museum that would one day represent African-American culture. This goal was achieved in 2015 when the museum becoming the first of its kind in West Texas. Its walls are adorned with black and white photos of African-American doctors, nurses, and dentists including one of M.D. Bernard Harris, an astronaut at NASA and the first African-American to walk in space.
1719 Avenue A, Lubbock, TX, Phone: 806-928-4268
5.Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts
© Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts
The Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts (LHUCA) is a non-profit organization opened in 1997 that encompasses four blocks with nine incredible buildings. It is dedicated to showcasing, supporting, and connecting practicing and aspiring artists, and it achieves this with its diverse exhibits and performances. The exhibitions continually change throughout the year, highlighting the works of local and international artists such as Tina Fuentes whose art is focused on aerial landscapes of West Texas and the Plains of Eastern New Mexico. They also feature fun and interactive exhibits that call on the public to get involved like the “What Makes You Happy?” display, which invites people to give their responses to the question.
511 Avenue K., Lubbock, TX, Phone: 806-762-8606
6.Lubbock Lake National Historic Landmark
© Lubbock Lake National Historic Landmark
Located in a section of the ancient valley Yellowhouse Draw is the Lubbock Lake National Historic Landmark. The draw once served as the water resource for the people of the Southern High Plains before it dried out in the early 1930s. Years later, all traces of settler activity were covered by sediment, but in an effort made by the city of Lubbock to revitalize the underground springs, they dredged the area, exposing numerous Folsom Period bison kills. This discovery unearthed an ancient bison kill from a then unknown Paleoindian group, allowing for the first radiocarbon date. Today excavations are conducted annually to preserve the evidence of people occupying the Southern High Plains for nearly 12,000 years.
2401 Landmark Drive, Lubbock, TX, Phone: 806-742-1116
7.Lubbock Memorial Arboretum
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The Lubbock Memorial Arboretum is a historical site situated within K.N. Clapp Park. Situated on 93 acres of open space, it features a diverse collection of trees, plants, shrubs, vines, and flowers as well as various wildlife, including butterflies and birds. The arboretum features the beautiful, serene Playa Lake (which welcomes water fowl in the winter), a 1.18-mile walking trail, and a charming red brick house known as The Interpretive Center where many nature classes are held. They also offer special guided tours to visitors in an effort to educate them about the various trees and plant life.
4111 University Avenue, Lubbock, TX, Phone: 806-797-4520
8.Lubbock Municipal Garden and Arts Center
© Lubbock Municipal Garden and Arts Center
Open since 1960, The Lubbock Municipal Garden and Art Center (GAC) has been committed to providing the Lubbock community with an arts, music, and garden center. They are open to the public and offer a wide variety of monthly exhibits, art education classes, art and photography competitions, and garden shows and classes. Notably, a number of professional artists and award-winning gardeners teach many of their classes. The GAC is the City of Lubbock Parks and Recreations System’s most-used facility providing meeting space to multiple non-profit organizations, cultural groups, garden clubs, quilting guilds, environmental organizations, and art associations. Visitors will also enjoy their many magnificent settings, including the Rose Garden, Lubbock Memorial Arboretum Gazebo, and the Tea Terrace.
4215 University Avenue, Lubbock, TX, Phone: 806-767-3724
9.Museum of Texas Tech University
© Museum of Texas Tech University
The Museum of Texas Tech University serves as an educational and research tool for Texas Tech University. It is free and open to the public, providing the community with a diverse array of public programming and exhibitions. Their collections cover a wide-range of topics, including fines arts, history, anthropology, clothing and textiles, paleontology, and natural sciences. They feature over seven million objects and maintain a Natural Science Research Laboratory that preserves major natural history collections of invertebrates, mammals, birds, and genetic resources. The museum provides a variety of docent-led tours, including a Highlight Tour, a quick look at the entire museum, and gallery-specific tours.
2500 Broadway, Lubbock, TX, Phone: 806-742-2011
10.National Ranching Heritage Center
© National Ranching Heritage Center
The National Ranching Heritage Center officially came to be in 1976 in order to preserve and interpret North America’s history of ranching. This historical park features nearly 50 historic structures, 30 of which are between 100 and 177 years old. These structures were organized chronologically in order to showcase the progression of ranch life from the early 1700s to the mid-1900s. Visitors can stroll down the 1.5-mile paved pathways and view each of these perfectly restored structures, each furnished to period-correctness. Afterwards, they can peruse over 40 life-size bronze art pieces and visit the 44,000-square-foot museum boasting seven unique galleries.
3121 Fourth Street, Lubbock, TX, Phone: 806-742-0498
11.Prairie Dog Town
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Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy N. Clapp established Prairie Dog Town in the early 1930s. It is located inside Mackenzie Park overlooking the Meadowbrook Golf Course. It was the first of its kind to be a protected site, beginning with just four dogs and two burrows. Over the years it has grown exponentially and received an extensive renovation courtesy of the Meadowbrook Golf Course’s management company. Today, it is one of the most visited attractions in Lubbock, featuring a pavilion with a viewing area, interpretative signage, and perimeter fencing. They added an irrigation system to create native grasses for the prairie dogs, providing a safe haven for the dogs and burrowing owls. Prairie Dog Town is ADA accessible.
301 Interstate 27, Lubbock, TX, Phone: 807-775-2673
12.Science Spectrum Museum
© Science Spectrum Museum
For those who love to explore new and exciting places, the Science Spectrum Museum is the perfect destination. This family-centered public aquarium features more than 250 hands-on interactive science exhibits, daily live science shows, and a massive domed screen OMNI theater. Its three floors of permanent exhibits, displays, and experiments cater to all aspects of humanity’s instinctive inclinations when it comes to learning and exploration. These include the Physical Science Exhibits, which provide a deeper understanding of physics, their science stage showcasing chemistry and electricity shows, their Demo Dock with up-close-and-personal encounters with live animals, and their Texas Alive exhibit, which explores wildlife of the Texas wilderness.
2579 S. Loop 289, Suite 250, Lubbock, TX, Phone: 806-745-2525
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13.Silent Wings Museum
© Silent Wings Museum
Silent Wings Museum is a public institute dedicated to preserving and showcasing the history of the glider program used during World War II. This is done through collecting, interpreting, documenting, and exhibiting information and artifacts so that visitors can enjoy them and learn about them. The museum’s focal point is a beautifully restored WACO CG-4A glider surrounded by various interactive exhibits. The best way to explore Silent Wings is with a guided 90-minute tour that takes you on a journey through the museum designed to resemble a real WWII war zone. Along the way they will get a chance to look inside a full-sized glider, explore a pilot’s footlocker, and touch a WWII pilot’s uniform.
6202 N. Interstate 27, Lubbock, TX, Phone: 806-775-3046
© Caprock Winery
Caprock Winery has been offering visitors an authentic Texas wine experience for more than 30 years. Its scenic grounds are revered as some of the finest and most prestigious in all of Texas, and it rivals renowned wineries in Italy, France, and California. Since 1988 they have been producing award-winning wines and welcoming visitors into their magnificent vineyard. They offer in-depth tours of their entire grounds led by their knowledgeable in-house sommelier or his exquisite wine staff. The tours conclude in their beautiful tasting room where you can sample five of their best wines. Visitors can also choose to simply relax with a glass by the fireplace or on their stunning covered patio.
408 East Woodrow Road, Lubbock, TX, Phone: 806-863-2704
15.Legacy Play Village
© Legacy Play Village
In 2001, McAlister Park was chosen as the location for Legacy Play Village. The Junior League of Lubbock created this labor of love as a part of the city’s beautification efforts. What they built is an extraordinary three-story, 30,000-square-foot, wooden, public playground where children can learn a little history while they play. While the city donated the land, and the building materials were funded by a bond package, every piece was put together with the hard work of community volunteers. What they created was an incredible piece of architecture that seamlessly incorporates the South Plains history while offering an inviting space for children to let loose and have fun.
6401 Marsha Sharp Freeway, Lubbock, TX, Phone: 806-775-2687
16.Joyland Amusement Park
© Joyland Amusement Park
The Joyland Amusement Park is a carnival-style amusement park located in McKenzie Park, a perfect destination for families of all ages and interests. They feature more than 30 rides that range from thrilling and adrenaline fueled to traditional and slow-paced. These include three twisting, high-flying rollercoasters, The Mad House, The Little Coaster, and The Galaxi, as well as a carousel, bumper cars, and arcade games. The latest addition is the Dare Devil Drop, a 140-foot tall drop tower that is sure to have visitors holding their breath. Similar to county fairs, they also feature an eclectic array of traditional American style snacks such as funnel cakes and greasy, delicious fried food.
301 Interstate 27, Lubbock, TX, Phone: 806-775-2673
17.Lubbock Cultural District
© Lubbock Cultural District
Spanning over 1.5 square miles, the Lubbock Cultural District is an area centered around culture, the arts, and entertainment in order to encourage community and economic development. There are numerous points of interest in this quaint district, including the Charles Adams Gallery, Civic Lubbock, The Legacy, Allen Theatre, and the Lubbock Arts Alliance among over a dozen more cultural spaces. The district is also known for its numerous musical performances and various annual events and festivals. Its prominent attractions include the Buddy Holly Center, American Windmill Museum Inc., the Bayer Museum of Agriculture, and the Museum of Texas Tech University.
5601 19th Street, Lubbock, TX, Phone: 806-744-2787
18.Lubbock Veterans War Memorial
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The Lubbock Veterans War Memorial is one of the country’s largest memorials outside of the nation’s capital with an incredible construction cost of 1.2 million dollars. It was dedicated in December of 2003 to the service men and women of the Armed Forces who made great sacrifices in order to protect the freedoms of all. This memorial is quite unique as visitors who have served or lost someone who served in the Armed Forces can purchase a brick in order to honor their time in the service and add a new and precious piece to the wall. There is also a section of marble wall specifically reserved for the Department of Defense classification of Killed in Action.
4008 82nd Street, Henry Huneke Park, Lubbock, TX, Phone: 806-794-9006
19.Antique Mall of Lubbock
© Antique Mall of Lubbock
Established in 1985 the Antique Mall of Lubbock has been one of the premier malls of its kind for over forty years. This 24,000-square-foot compound features 50 unique booths and more than 100 showcases each year. The mall specializes in American antiques and collectibles boasting a variety of pottery, glassware, china, vintage clothing, western memorabilia, sports memorabilia, toys, art, jewelry, and books. They also feature a unique and grand selection of Pharmacy, General Store, and Drug Store items such as old store stock, store displays, advertising signs, tobacco, soda, tins, and jars. In addition, they have a vast collection of quality early American oak furniture and walnut and mahogany Victorian furniture.
7907 W. 19th Street, Lubbock, TX, Phone: 806-796-2166
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Mackenzie Park is a 248-acre park featuring lush greenery and a wealth of activities – it is the ideal locale for both adventure seekers and outdoor enthusiasts. Highlights include two 18-hole championship golf courses and a sculpture garden featuring larger-than-life sculptures created by renowned artist Steve Teeters. They also have a prairie dog habitat where visitors can watch these pint-sized animals put on a show. There are numerous horseback riding trails. For those who love a day spent riding gravity-defying rides, the park also features the incredible Joyland Amusement Park. Mackenzie Park is also perfect for those who want to spend the day immersed in nature relaxing by the Brazos River enjoying a picnic.
301 Interstate 27, Lubbock, TX, Phone: 807-775-2673
20 Best Things to Do in Lubbock, Texas
- American Wind Power Center, Photo: Courtesy of makasana photo - Fotolia.com
- Bayer Museum of Agriculture, Photo: Bayer Museum of Agriculture
- Buddy Holly Center, Photo: Buddy Holly Center
- Caviel Museum of African-American History, Photo: Courtesy of siriporn1982 - Fotolia.com
- Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts, Photo: Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts
- Lubbock Lake National Historic Landmark, Photo: Lubbock Lake National Historic Landmark
- Lubbock Memorial Arboretum, Photo: Courtesy of Steven - Fotolia.com
- Lubbock Municipal Garden and Arts Center, Photo: Lubbock Municipal Garden and Arts Center
- Museum of Texas Tech University, Photo: Museum of Texas Tech University
- National Ranching Heritage Center, Photo: National Ranching Heritage Center
- Prairie Dog Town, Photo: Courtesy of Kari - Fotolia.com
- Science Spectrum Museum, Photo: Science Spectrum Museum
- Silent Wings Museum, Photo: Silent Wings Museum
- Caprock Winery, Photo: Caprock Winery
- Legacy Play Village, Photo: Legacy Play Village
- Joyland Amusement Park, Photo: Joyland Amusement Park
- Lubbock Cultural District, Photo: Lubbock Cultural District
- Lubbock Veterans War Memorial, Photo: Courtesy of leekris - Fotolia.com
- Antique Mall of Lubbock, Photo: Antique Mall of Lubbock
- McKenzie Park, Photo: Courtesy of eloko67 - Fotolia.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of makasana photo - Fotolia.com