Lubbock or leave it!
After spending two years in the “Hub City” as a Texas Tech student, I've learned Lubbock is different from most cities in Texas and deserves more attention. I know you're thinking, "What is so great about Lubbock? It's in the middle of nowhere and it smells like cow poop."
I'll admit Lubbock is hard to get to. There is a lot of dust and hurricane-force winds, with occasional haboobs. If the wind blows a certain way, you get a whiff of cow poop. When it rains everything floods because the land is so flat.
But these are the things that make Lubbock unique, and some of the reasons why I find it so different yet wonderful. The city still offers visitors small-town hospitality and West Texas charm.
Texas Tech University is the main focus of the city. Last year, it was named one of the top 20 most beautiful college campuses in the nation according to The Daily Beast. When you visit Lubbock, you really feel the atmosphere of a college town. On football game days everyone decks out head-to-toe in Red Raider gear, with hundreds of tailgate parties and fans who yell themselves hoarse.
Lubbock offers visitors small-town hospitality and West Texas charm.
Lubbock also has a rich musical heritage. It's the birthplace of rock 'n' roll pioneer Buddy Holly, who died tragically in an airplane crash in 1959 at age 22. No visit to Lubbock is complete without a stop at the Buddy Holly Center in the historic Depot Entertainment District. It houses a permanent exhibition dedicated to his life and music and showcases unique memorabilia donated by family, friends and fans of Lubbock’s favorite son.
Lubbock is also known for its vibrant nightlife. After 10 p.m. Tech students start to fill the bars and things tend to get a little rowdy. My personal favorite is a bar/restaurant called Chimy's. The food is cheap and the margaritas are potent. One should do the trick because instead of tequila, these babies are packing everclear. Buyer beware.
Another local hot spot is The Roof. Located on top of Raider Park parking garage overlooking the stadium, it is a prime spot to drink a cold beer and enjoy some football. At night The Roof has a fantastic DJ and everyone dances underneath the stars.
After a night on the town, the place to go for breakfast is the Pancake House. Offering toasty hot pancakes that melt in your mouth to homemade biscuits and gravy, the vintage diner is a wonderful way to cure the hangover or to start off a new day.
Most people don't think of Texas as wine country, but there are five wineries in the Lubbock that produce great wine amid stunning architecture. The Llano Estacado Winery wins lots of winemaking awards, using world-class grapes grown within a 100-mile radius of Lubbock.
Texas is known for big-time shopping, and even though Lubbock isn’t all that big, it can hang with the best, with lots of unique stores and boutiques. My favorite is Chrome, a chic men’s and women’s boutique that is divided into various rooms featuring clothing, jewelry, denim, shoes, and beauty products.
And for a real undiscovered treasure, plan a side trip to Palo Duro Canyon, located about 100 miles north of Lubbock. Dubbed "The Grand Canyon of Texas," it offers breaktaking views and is a whole lot closer than a trip to Arizona.