LubbockLubbock is the largest city in the Panhandle of Texas and serves as the area's agricultural and economic hub. Lubbock, commonly known as the Hub City, is in the center of the South Plains, an expansive cotton-growing region. Lubbock has experienced steady growth for several decades and today occupies approximately 125 mi² (324 km²). The city is home to approximately 230,000 residents and students. Lubbock is the seat of Lubbock County, the site of state and national parks, two major medical systems, three universities, and is unique among other growing Texas cities in that its sustained economic development and growth are not supported by heavy industry.
Lubbock County was founded in 1876 and named after Thomas S. Lubbock, a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence and subsequent Confederate officer. Mr. Lubbock didn't have any particular ties to the area; but the area bore his name because a state administrator penciled in names of counties on a crude map of the Panhandle - at random. The modern town of Lubbock was not established until 1890 when old-Lubbock and the smaller town of Monterey struck an unusual alliance and merged the two communities, a deal most likely initiated by rival town promoters hired by area ranchers and merchants to lobby Ft. Worth & Denver for a rail depot. The site of Monterey was chosen in lieu of the new township's name, Lubbock. Old-Lubbock's residents relocated to Monterey just south of the Yellowhouse Canyon, dragging the Nicollete Hotel with them on rollers. Lubbock became the county seat in 1891 and incorporated as a city in 1909.
In 1923 Texas Technological College, now known as Texas Tech University, was founded after a contentious bid war among several area cities including Amarillo and Plainview. The city of Lubbock was a mile away from the only campus building during its first session.
A category F-5 tornado cut an 8-mile (13 km) gash through the city on the evening of May 11, 1970, resulting in $125 million in property damage and the loss of 26 lives. The devastation received international news coverage and was among the first natural disaster recoveries to be documented on television. The coordinated effort served as a model for disaster recovery research and planning. The destruction of several thousand homes effectively ended segregation throughout the city.
- Elevation: 3256 ft (992 m)
Lubbock is the largest developed area atop the Llano Estacado plateau. The area, when first explored, was a featureless grassland, and, according to legend, Spanish conquistadors drove large, brightly-colored stakes into the ground to plot their position. The region was later named Llano Estacado, translated loosely as "staked plains" or more accurately as "palisaded plains". The first settlers encountered banditos or native Comanche who would often hold new arrivals for ransom. The portion of the Caprock Escarpment just east of Lubbock is known as Ransom Canyon.
Lubbock Preston Smith International AirportSouthwest Airlines, United Express, and American Eagle service the small airport. Air travel to Lubbock will most likely require a connecting flight in one of the airports with direct service to Lubbock. American flies to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, and United flies to Houston (Bush) and Denver. Southwest has nonstop flights to Las Vegas, Austin, and Dallas Love Field.
Lubbock is easily accessible by car. US 62/82, US 84, I-27, US 87 and TX 114 are well maintained roadways which allow for easy driving in and out of the city. A modern beltway, TX Loop 289, offers a quick shortcut around the city's notoriously absent congestion.
TNM&O is the local Greyhound affiliate and offers connecting lines to all major U.S. cities. Arrivals occur most often in daylight, while a majority of the departures occur at dawn or dusk. The TNM&O terminal also serve as its corporate offices. The closed Bus Stop Diner, on the 13th St. side of the terminal, is rumored haunted by the city's transients. TNM&O administrators blame the dust.
Lubbock is developed along a large scale grid. North-south streets are labeled A-Z Downtown and progress to city and state names moving west. East-west streets are numbered from 1 to 150 or so. Streets north of Downtown follow the names of colleges and universities, while those east of Downtown are flowers and trees. Block ranges, house numbering and street names are consistent throughout the city and most follow alphabetical order. All major roadways are 1 mi (1.6 km) from each other in either direction and are uniformly straight.
- The intrastate I-27, which connects Amarillo and Lubbock, terminates south of the TX SR 289 interchange.
- The interchange of 66th St., US 84 and I-27 was once the site of a notorious intersection called The Circle. Avenues A, H, Q, Tahoka Rd. and Slaton Rd. converged in a three lane vaulted hub a half-mile in diameter. Avenues Q & A were not realigned after the I-27 project covered most of Avenue H. The remaining intersection is still very tricky at the northeast corner.
- TX SR 289, often called The Loop or 289 by locals, can be congested along its southwest portion during business hours.
- Construction of the Marsha Sharp Freeway will cause severe disruptions near Texas Tech University and Downtown.
The city's public transit authority, Citibus, operates fixed bus routes throughout the city. The system relies on a pulse-based schedule which originates at the Downtown Transfer Plaza. A one-way trip is $1.75, and a day pass is $3.50. The drivers operate electronic fare boxes and do not carry change. Most routes pass through Texas Tech University and the two medical centers. The city is quite large so using the transit may be inconvenient.
The city's only taxicab service, Yellow Cab, is very reliable and offers reasonable fares. Reserving pick-up times is recommended. Plan your trip before calling, as the dispatchers are often extremely busy. It is best to offer your mobile phone number when arranging a pick-up. Drivers will phone you when they are a few blocks away. Yellow Cab also carries several thousand contract passengers everyday so be prepared to wait up to 45 minutes in the late afternoon or early morning. 806 765-7777, Available 24 Hours/day.
Lubbock is one of those rare cities where history permeates everything, and as a result most locals know at least something about the city's history. Most are content with knowing the area, and specifically the city, are of some historical import. There are plenty of folks who are willing to share a few details about their home without repeating the "Buddy Holly is from here" bit.
Museums and Galleries
phone: +1 806 239-5796address: 1501 Canyon Lake DrFounded in 2001 as a cooperative by local agricultural leaders to preserve the area's history. Also the permanent home of the Lubbock County Historical Collection. The collection ranges from household trinkets to farm equipment and implements.
phone: +1 806 747-8734address: 1501 Canyon Lake DrOffers a unique experience into the history of wind power from the Old West to today. The center has restored 120 windmills which survived the scrap drives during WWII. Most are scattered along the 28-acre (11 ha) grounds shared by the American Museum of Agriculture. The center operates the city's first wind-turbine which powers the center, the neighboring museum, and 40 homes adjacent to the grounds.
phone: +1 806 775-3560address: 1801 Ave. GThe Buddy Holly Center occupies the renovated Ft. Worth & Denver South Plains Railroad Depot. Houses touring and permanent exhibits focusing on music history, local artists and special programs. A giant-size replica of Buddy Holly's trademark glasses rest on the grounds. The center is the anchor for the Depot District.
phone: +1 806 762-8606address: 511 Ave. KHome to several performing arts ensembles and theater troupes. The Underwood's galleries feature local artists. The facility includes a performance hall, meeting spaces and a sculpture garden. The Underwood pioneers hands-on workshops and an innovative class series.
phone: +1 806 775-2047address: 6202 N I-27The Silent Wings is dedicated to the glider pilots who trained in Lubbock and nearby Plainview during the second World War. The museum occupies the old Lubbock Regional Airport terminal which was abandoned after the 1970 tornado.
The City of Lubbock operates some 75 parks throughout the city. Most border a system of playa lakes which the city uses for flood water retention.
phone: +1 806 767-3724The Lubbock Garden is situated in small complex including the Memorial Rose Garden and St. Paul's on the Plain in Clapp Park. Safety City is a playground which sits along the south end of the park near 48th St. The small city is used to teach elementary school children about traffic safety.
Huneke Park/Lubbock War Memorialphone: +1 806 794-9006The memorial opened in 2004 after years of lobby by local veterans. The monument consists of thousands of memorial bricks donated by survivors, veteran's families and friends. The memorial is popular at night because Huneke Lake has three illuminated fountains colored red, white and blue.
Maxey Park/The Kenetic Wind SculptureMaxey Park is a popular park adjacent to Covenant Lakeside Hospital. There are several public use buildings, a large playground, and a seating area with open grills for outdoor cooking. The Kenetic Wind Sculpture sits in the northwest corner of Maxey Lake. Most locals call them the Totem Poles. Bruce Taylor, designed the sculpture in 1992, and claimed during their induction they are supposed to be cotton fiber molecules.
Texas Tech University
The Texas Tech University university campus is 2 mi² (5 km²) of mixed-use buildings, rich landscape, a natural rangeland preserve and a student-run golf course. The campus is renowned for its Spanish-style architecture. Walking the campus early morning or late afternoon are best to avoid the throngs of students. Park in the surrounding neighborhoods for free or on campus for $1 to $2 per hour. There are greeters posted at most entrances who will offer directions and instructions for using the electronic meters. On the campus grounds are several outstanding buildings and amazing artwork. A few hours worth of walking is well worth it. Be sure to visit Memorial Circle, Student Union & University Library, English & Philosophy Complex, Sports Complex and Urbanovsky Park.
The University Seal & FountainA 12 ft (4 m) red granite sculpture depicting the symbols for home, school, church and state. Graduates traditionally have their picture taken next to the seal in full gown with friends and family.
Park PlaceSculpture garden by Glenna Goodacre installed in 1999. The sculpture's seven pieces depict the seven stages of human life in honor of the College of Human Sciences.
Will Rogers & Soapsudsaddress: Memorial Circle10 FT bronze statue of Will Rogers and his famed horse. The student body voted during its installation in 1950 to turn the horses posterior towards Texas A&M University in College Station- traditional rivals. The statue is wrapped in red crêpe paper by the Saddle Tramps, a student organization, before home football games and black crêpe after national tragedies.
Student Union Building, Sculpture Garden and LibraryA paved walkway between the newly renovated Student Union Building and Library features several memorial pieces and the controversial Whirlwind series which continues into the Student Union. The foyer and main reading room of the Library also house several sculptures and paintings.
phone: +1 806 742-2974address: 601 Indiana AveAn extension of the Libraries of Texas Tech which focuses on audio/visual studies and education. The center's libraries contain a far-reaching collection of foreign language film and music.
phone: +1 806 742-3749The Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library houses the Archive of Turkish Oral Narrative , Vietnam Archive, Sowell Collection and the West Texas Historical Association. The building is behind the gazebo-sculptures at 15th & Boston Ave. and north of the Agriculture Pavilion. The building is marked but tucked away from the intersection. The collection will host an exhibit, "Medieval Southwest: Manifestations of the Old World in the New" from Aug. 13, 2008 through April 4, 2009. The multidisciplinary collaboration will draw on the expertise of historians, musicians, architects and anthropologists; utilize the resources of Texas Tech campuses on two continents; and tap dozens of collections of rare and precious items to give visitors a glimpse of the Southwest as it was during the days of Coronado and Mission San Sabá.
phone: +1 806 742-0737Main library on campus and the largest research library in the region. The building was designed to resemble a bookshelf, but the red brickwork and tall white arches give the library a distinctive radiator appeal. The Institute for Studies in Pragmaticism is on the 3rd floor.
phone: +1 806 742-1116address: 2401 Landmark LnThe landmark is a natural history and archaeological preserve on the northwest corner of the city. Visitors can take a three-mile walking tour of the grounds. The landmark documents and preserves evidence of over 12,000 years of continuous human occupation in the region. The facility is designated a National Historic and State Archaeological Landmark.
phone: +1 806 742-2442The 78-seat planetarium features a talk radio-style show called WSKY, hosted by Dr. Cosmos. Seating is limited. There is an observatory available to the public at dusk most nights. UNDER MAJOR RENOVATION.
phone: +1 806 742-2442Founded in 1929, the Museum is a major center of scientific research and houses the Diamond M Fine Arts Collection, portions of the Southwest Collection and a newly construction research center.
phone: +1 806 742-0498A historical park adjacent to the Museum containing several dozen authentic ranch buildings and exhibits on ranching heritage and the livestock industry. The center is often populated by players depicting life in a late 19th Century ranching town. UNDER MAJOR RENOVATION.
Texans love a good party, and Lubbockites are no exception. Lubbock plays host to some of the most-attended outdoor events in the country. Most of these events are not well-known outside the area, and are blessedly free of tourists.
Lubbock Arts FestivalThe largest arts festival in the region combining fine arts, arts & crafts, food and music. The festival traditionally features an exhibit of Texan studio art. Sponsored by the Lubbock Arts Alliance and local businesses. The event grows in popularity each year with 20 to 30,000 attending.
4th on BroadwayThe largest free festival in Texas! Every year over 100,000 people will walk along the 1/2 mile (4/5 km) portion of Broadway blocked off for the street fair. At dusk the festival moves into the canyon for concert and fireworks. The Lubbock Youth Symphony Orchestra is featured during the fireworks. Space and parking are at a premium, especially in the evening.
National Cowboy SymposiumA modest gathering of 20 to 50 thousand enthusiasts celebrating the prototypical cowboy. Features music, lecture series, cook-offs and horse show.
Fiestas del LlanoCultural festival which focuses on Hispanic history and traditions. Between 10 and 20,000 attend this festival each year. The folk-dance and conjunto banda competitions are very popular.
Panhandle-South Plains FairThe nine-day festival is one of the largest regional fairs in the nation. As many as 300,000 people have been known to tread the fairgrounds during fair week. The carnival midway and concerts are the most popular, especially in the evening. Parking is an absolute nightmare. Take a taxi, but be prepared to wait.
Lubbock is prone to fits of severe weather, but the relatively stable climate year round has allowed a small local winery industry to flourish.
phone: +1 806 745-2258What began as an experiment by biologists at Texas Tech, has become a successful, self-sufficient winery. Wines from Llano Estacado are considered a flagship for Texas wines. The winery will host tours. Call for schedule.
phone: +1 806 746-6033A new and very promising winery north of Lubbock.
McPherson CellarsThe premiere winery.
La Diosa CellarsA unique, boutique winery.
phone: +1 806 763-2719A small park with plenty of carnival-style rides, and a tram line. The park also features three rollercoasters, the most recent addition being the shuttle-loop style coaster Greezed Lightning, which was purchased from the former Six Flags Astroworld in Houston. Schedule varies, but open most weekends from spring to fall.
phone: +1 806 745-6299address: 2579 S. Loop 289An interactive science museum with over 250 permanent exhibits and touring exhibits throughout the year. The Science Spectrum is well-known throughout the area and very popular during weekends. The OMNI domed theater is in the same facility.
Theaters & Performing Arts
phone: +1 806 785-3090address: 5702 Genoa AveFounded in 1969, Lubbock Ballet is the only ballet company with a pre-professional school in the region. The company's annual staging of The Nutcracker with the help of the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra smashes attendance records each year. Lubbock Ballet hosts several events and competitions throughout the year.
phone: +1 806 762-3233address: 1812 Buddy Holly AveThe 400-seat Cactus originally opened in 1938 as a second-run theater. The unique venue closed after television and the drive-in fad in the late '50s cut audiences to a bare minimum. Local notable, Don Caldwell, re-opened the Cactus in the early '90s as a center for live music in the Depot District.
phone: +1 806 762-1688address: 1313 BroadwayThe LSO was first established in 1945 when the city's superintendent of schools demanded each school have an orchestra teacher as well as a band teacher. The men and women recruited to teach were the first members of the LSO. In 1967 the LSO was reorganized as a professional organization. The orchestra maintains an extensive music score library.
phone: +1 806 745-6299address: 2579 S. Loop 289Call for Showtimes. The only large-format theater in area, and its well-known 60-foot (18 m), 160-degree panoramic screen. Before each screening, a light and sound show shows off the theater's 80,000 watt sound system, featuring music from local composers.
Texas Tech Red RaidersRed Raider sports maintain year-round popularity in Lubbock, offering football, baseball, basketball, and a host of other sporting contests. The football team plays its home games from September to December at Jones AT&T Stadium, and the men's and women's basketball contests are held at United Supermarkets Arena.
Public and private education in Lubbock are recognized statewide and nationally. The economic contribution the city's education industry makes to this area is brought home during the summer months when business cools compared to the well-known summer heat.
- Lubbock Christian University, 19th St. & Dover Ave. A liberal arts, Christian university associated with the Church of Christ. Enrollment varies between 1,750 and 2,500 students. The university attracts a large number of non-religious students.
- Texas Tech University, Broadway & University Ave. The largest university in west Texas, with upwards of 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The university is a public institution governed by a Board of Regents appointed by the Governor of Texas.
- Texas Tech Health Sciences Center, 4th St. & Indiana Ave. Established in 1961 as the School of Medicine at Texas Tech University. The TTUHSC operates regional campuses in Amarillo and El Paso. The University Medical Center and its associated health system are a service operated in partnership with area governments and the TTUHSC.
- Wayland Baptist University, 19th St. & Iola Ave. One of twelve campuses throughout the country, Wayland's Lubbock facility offers several business certificate and degree programs.
Jumbo Joe'sVarious locations. Pretty good hamburgers. While there are many locations in town, the one at 1520 Avenue Q definitely has the best burgers and usually runs a $1.99 burger and fries special.
address: 811 UniversityThe best burgers in town, and most known for their famous "fried cheese". Spanky's has two levels to handle the fairly busy lunch hour. Even when busy, the service is quick and friendly.
La Malincheaddress: 1105 2nd PlOpen for breakfast and lunch on Wednesday-Monday. This Mexican Restaurant is the definition of "hole in the wall," but the food is delicious, cheap, and the locals love it (especially the homemade tortilla chips).
Rosa's CafeVarious locations. A good place to go if you are in a hurry. Rosa's is a fast food/sit down Mexican food restaurant that is a favorite and frequented by many locals.
address: 6810 Slide RdThis joint has a hometown feel with some Texas cooking.
address: 6951 Indiana Ave and 2402 Avenue QEverything at Orlando's is unique and exciting. Their minestrone soup is out of this world, as well as so many more of their fantastic dishes.
address: 4401 82nd StThe original location of a hugely successful restaurant that serves delicious tex-mex. Expect a wait for tables on most nights. Great standard fare of enchiladas, tamales, tacos - but also some interesting and delicious gourmet specialties such as grilled shrimp wrapped in bacon, etc. Also, highly recommended sangria swirl margaritas!
address: 8601 University AveSome of the best Tex-Mex in town. The sunset fajitas are by far the best item on the menu.
Giorgios Pizzaaddress: 1018 Broadway StThis place has some of the best pizza and calzones in town. The food is terrific, and the service is great, as you will be greeted as "my friend" even though George has never met you. Please note that this restaurant is only open from 10AM-6PM on weekdays. It is home to the Texas-sized pizza which is the largest pizza in the city.
One Guy from Italy Pizzaaddress: 1101 University AveAn excellent restaurant known for its hand-tossed pies and large calzones. The original location has been a favorite of hungry Tech students for more than two decades.
Thai Thaiaddress: 5018 50th StThe restaurant has made a recent appearance in Texas Monthly, and serves up some tasty food. Be sure to get a Thai tea to wash it down.
Thai Pepperaddress: 3702 20th StAnother good Thai restaurant. Try the Pad Thai.
Choochai Thaiaddress: 2330 19th StThis is arguably the best Thai food in the Panhandle, but be warned if you like your food spicy, stick with the mild or medium varieties. Ordering your meal "spicy" or "extra spicy" is not for the faint of heart (or stomach). The cook is usually very good about making sure that you really want it the way you order it.
address: 4930 South Loop 289 #300Delicious brisket, turkey, chicken sausage, and ribs - served with your choice of creamed corn, cole slaw, beans. Fun atmosphere with shared picnic-style tables and self-serve condiments and beverages.
Mesquite's Sports Bar & Grilladdress: 2419 BroadwayKnown region-wide for its slow smoked briskets, pulled pork sandwiches, and top-notch steaks. The onion rings are also a local favorite. They also offer a wide variety of Tex-Mex favorites such as burritos and chimichangas.
Tom and Bingo's BBQaddress: 3006 34th StTom and Bingo's has some of the best BBQ sandwiches ever. Make sure to stop by this great place during lunchtime as they close once all the meat has been served for the day.
address: 4646 50th StOne of the city's fine dining restaurants. The bread they give you before the meal is delectable, and they have many interesting Italian concoctions.
phone: +1 806 762-2274address: 2419 Main StThis Main St. club, a longtime Texas Tech favorite, hosts live music on the weekends and boasts an extremely wide variety of domestic and import beers on tap.
phone: +1 806 763-7369address: 2417 BroadwayA local favorite for margaritas located on Broadway close to Tech.
Cricket's Grill and Draft Housephone: +1 806 744-4677address: 2412 BroadwayGreat beer selection, close to Tech.
address: 5025 50th StLive music and good drinks.
phone: +1 806 762-8400address: 5410 Interstate 27
phone: +1 806 687-2500address: 5806 I-27
phone: +1 806 795-1633address: 4011 South Loop 289
phone: +1 806 771-7000address: 5215 South Loop 289
phone: +1 806 795-1288address: 4007 South Loop 289
La Quinta Inn Lubbock - Downtown Civic Centerphone: +1 806-763-9441address: 601 Avenue Q
phone: +1 806 745-5541address: 909 66th St
phone: +1 806 745-1963address: 2551 S Loop 289
phone: +1 806 799-6226address: 5310 West Loop 289
phone: +1 806-796-1753address: Near 17th and Chicago4 bedrooms, 2 bath, sleeps 7 easily. This home is well located for those attending football games or those needing a nice place to stay while working in Lubbock for a few days or weeks. It's in a quiet neighborhood and within walking distance of two parks. BBQ grill is provided along with all essentials in the kitchen, linens, etc. House has sprinkler system, weekly yard service, and security system. Laundry room with supplies.
Crime in Lubbock is on par with other cities its size, and showcased attractions such as the Depot District are well policed. As with any unfamiliar place, vigilance and awareness are advised. Do not under any circumstances travel to Mackenzie Park or Canyon Lakes System after dark.
During the spring months, weather in Lubbock can grow rather tumultuous in rapid fashion. Weather warnings are not to be ignored during severe weather season. The city is also subject to frequent dust storms during the spring; and while not exactly dangerous, these storms are often severe enough to limit visibility. Drive with care, and give yourself a few more car length's worth of reaction time.
- Kadampa Meditation Center Texas, 2801 42nd St., +1 817-303-2700. Offers relaxation meditations and meditation classes to increase inner peace.
- Buffalo Springs Lake. Located southeast of the city on FM 835, this reservoir provides a welcome respite from the hot West Texas summer. Sandy beaches, camping areas with barbecue pits, and boat slips and fishing piers are available. Small entry fee. Open year round.