UP IN THE TEXAS PANHANDLE, far from the sprawling metropolises of Dallas and Houston, sits the college town called Lubbock. It’s filled with some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. It’s a cultural city that gave birth to Buddy Holly. It’s also an incredibly affordable city.
First, you’d better have a car. Lubbock is a great city, but not a great city for public transit. If you don’t have a vehicle you can Uber around, but I’d recommending getting your ass a rental car ASAP.
A real West Texas morning starts off with a breakfast burrito or at least Huevos Rancheros from one of the hundreds of local Mexican joints around the city. If you’re feeling really authentic, head over to Montelongo’s on Clovis Road for a healthy portion of menudo, guaranteed to put some hair on your chest.
After breakfast, get yourself to the National Ranching Heritage Center Museum located on the Texas Tech University campus. Here you’ll be transported back into the dusty days of some of Texas’ most important ranches. Ranching is a way of life for a lot of Texas folk and spending a few hours here will give you the chance to experience what life is like in the great American West.
Afterward, take some time to drive through the beautiful and sprawling Texas Tech campus, with it’s Spanish Renaissance architecture and red tile roofs. Bonus points if you take a picture with the statue of Will Rodgers and his horse Soapsuds.
Once you’ve had your fill of the Red Raider campus, head over to Teddy Jack’s for a frozen “Red Raider Rita,” your classic marg with a Big Red twist. This place has burgers, pasta, and Mexican, but you’ll never go wrong with their huge (and scrumptious) catfish plate. Finish it off with some Pecan Cobbler, and you’ll probably already be tweeting that everyone needs to get to Lubbock ASAP.
If you can move after lunch, and no-one will blame you if you can’t, it’s time to head downtown for your first taste of the Lubbock music scene. You’ve probably heard of Buddy Holly, a Lubbock native and one of the most influential musicians of all time. At the Buddy Holly Center, located in the Depot District, you’ll learn more about the life and legacy of the legend and the cultural arts of West Texas as a whole. Instagram a picture of the famous, large-than-life Buddy Holly glasses out front.
After spending a few hours learning about one of the coolest rockers in history, upgrade your wardrobe to match Buddy’s slick style. The best place in Lubbock to do that is at Chrome, consistently voted one of the trendiest stores in Texas.
By this point, you’ll probably need a caffeine fix to keep you going for the rest of the day. You’ll find the most refreshing (and caffeinated) cup at Yellow House Coffee. The friendly baristas will help you pick out the best brew, but I can guarantee you’ll want something iced to beat that Texas heat.
Dinner + Accommodations
To experience Lubbock, you need to eat a great steak so head out into the country a bit to Cagle Steaks and BBQ. This family owned joint is set in a rustic, western style village that includes a general store, live music, and ice cold beer.
There’s not a lot of options outside of basic chain hotels in Lubbock, so stay at the Overton Hotel located right across the street from the Jones AT&T Stadium. It’s located near the main nightlife in Lubbock, so this is a good place to crash at the end of your big night out.
Lubbock has a killer nightlife scene, especially when you factor in the huge university and the unparalleled live music coming in-and-out of the city. Start your night out at Chimy’s on Broadway. Get here early, though, because the place fills up fast and closes early. Drink one of Chimy’s famous frozen margaritas and sit outside under those big Texas stars.
Continue down to the Depot district to hear some country music at The Blue Light Live, arguably the best place to hear local songwriters and huge touring acts in all of West Texas. Grab a cold beer and a dancing partner and two-step the night away. If you don’t know how to dance, don’t worry, someone will teach you, because that’s just what Lubbock’s all about.