5 of the Best Ways to Experience Downtown Lubbock

Written By Guest Blogger

October 07, 2021

Dine on world-class food, tip back a pint of craft beer at the No. 1 rated brewpub in the country and experience an art and music scene that made this corner of Texas iconic. All of this, and so much more, awaits visitors in Downtown Lubbock.

The beating heart of the “Hub City,” the upscale hotels, restaurants, breweries, wineries, galleries, and performing art venues make downtown an all-in-one destination. Get to know Lubbock’s downtown districts and plan your visit here.

Stay in West Texas Luxury

Whether you immerse yourself in the Cultural District, dance the night away in the Depot District or experience Lubbock’s fine dining in the Business District, this area offers captivating culture and spectacular bars and restaurants. With a social scene bursting at the seams, there’s a full itinerary available for each guest as they step outside. Thanks to the multitude of first-rate hotels in this part of town, focusing your stay in the heart of the city allows you to do just that.

Book a getaway at the DoubleTree by Hilton Lubbock University Area and you’ll soon be reveling in the hotel’s delicate balance of comfort and luxury, along with its own fair share of artistic charm. Relax and unwind in your room which is decked out with 50-inch TVs and 300-thread-count sheets, with some spaces even featuring balconies that overlook Lubbock’s revitalized downtown area. Whether you’re starting the day with breakfast or filling up before a long night out, stop by the on-site Claraboya Scratch Kitchen & Bar, where you can order a drink and dig into dishes made with farm-fresh local ingredients.

For a truly one-of-a-kind experience, look no further than the Cotton Court Hotel. Settle into your industrial-chic room and take in each detail that was thoughtfully included, from the shiplap walls and barn door to the iron bed frame and desk designed like an antique sewing table. As the sun sets, hang out in the interior courtyard that hosts local musicians multiple times a week. Be sure not to miss the notes of Lubbock’s favorite son and rock ‘n’ roll legend, Buddy Holly, placed throughout the property. From the Midnight Shift Restaurant and Bar to the record tables and embroidered lyrics on the walls, Holly’s legacy is laced throughout for all to celebrate.

Looking for a quiet stay? The Pioneer Pocket Hotel is a boutique spot that’s completely contactless. From checking in to accessing your room, it’s all done via your mobile smartphone. All rooms are set on the third floor of the historic Pioneer Building originally constructed in 1926. Right across the suites, the spacious Millsap Suites provide another getaway. All units feel like vacation rentals, right down to the contemporary art and cozy furnishings. Better yet, you can park right outside of your front door, and savor local brews and cuisine at The West Table Kitchen & Bar and The Brewery LBK located in the lobby of the Pioneer. 

Savor Texas High Plains Wine & Local Craft Beer 

The Lone Star State is one of the country’s top wine destinations, and it owes much of its success to Lubbock and the Texas High Plains. Ninety percent of Texas’ wine crop is produced here, and you’ll find the city is surrounded by award-winning wineries. If your starting point is Downtown Lubbock, you won’t need to go far to sip world-class reds and whites. Set within a historic Coca-Cola bottling plant and winner of more than 600 state, national, and international awards, McPherson Cellars should top any wine lover’s bucket list. Tip back a glass of Roussanne or Sangiovese before going on a tour of the winery. If you’re here during the summer, don’t miss Patio Nights on Thursdays, when you can enjoy live music and fare from a local food truck.

Not to be overlooked, the nearby Burklee Hill Vineyards crafts its own compelling range of wines that you can pair with an item from the rich bistro menu. From a charcuterie board to pizzettes and weekend dinner entrees like pan-seared salmon and espresso-rubbed beef medallions, each mouthwatering option is perfectly curated to highlight the impressive notes featured in each bottle of wine.

Lubbock may be best known for its excellence in winemaking and producing, but the craft brewing scene here is just as notable. In fact, the “Hub City” is home to The Brewery LBK, a local and chef-driven outfit that was named the top brewpub in the nation by USA Today. Each beer available, from the locally inspired Doc Chilton summer ale to the LBK IPA, is made with seasonal and local ingredients when possible, giving you a true taste of West Texas. Try them all at the upbeat tasting room that’s full of modern industrial charm or outside on the dog friendly patio. Meanwhile, Two Docs Brewing Co. is a popular destination for beer enthusiasts as well thanks to its high quality takes on traditional favorites like a pilsner, Helles lager, and a range of IPAs. Get a bite from local food trucks and stop to admire a mural of the iconic image of Buddy Holly. Purchase cans of your favorite brew to-go, and you’ll notice the famous singer on the label; Two Docs is the only brewery with a license to use Holly’s likeness.

Finally, the variety of brews at Auld Brewing Company means there’s something for everyone here. The newest brewery in town, Auld crafts beers light and dark, including a delectable coffee stout and seasonal offerings like a Mexican lager and a watermelon wheat ale. Beyond the beer, Auld hosts weekly events like Theology with Taps and Saturday Bingo.

No matter what your favorite kind of beverage is, you’ll find world-class wines and craft brews throughout Downtown Lubbock.

Experience the Thriving Local Arts Community

Admire paintings, sculptures, mixed media works and so much more as you discover Lubbock’s remarkable arts scene. Home to one of Texas’ first Cultural Districts and more than 2,300 arts events per year, the “Hub City” is the place to indulge your creative soul. One of the best ways to appreciate local artisans is embarking on the First Friday Art Trail, a monthly arts festival during which you can stop by many of the Lubbock Cultural District’s art galleries and listen to live music. Outside of First Friday, the awe-inspiring exhibits at the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts (LHUCA) and the Charles Adams Gallery are open to the public daily. You can even see works from up-and-coming artists at the Charles Adams Studio Project (CASP), which also has a collection of art by big names like Andy Warhol.

Of course, there’s plenty to behold outside of Lubbock’s exhibits and galleries. The downtown area is full of eye-catching murals, from the painted crosswalk by The Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts and Sciences to the impressive creations on the LHUCA Icehouse façade. There are plenty of works of public art throughout the area; finding them is part of the fun.

Enjoy the Best of Live Music in Texas

Buddy Holly, Mac Davis, Delbert McClinton, Pat Green, and Josh Abbott. Whether they were born here or started their careers in Lubbock, the “Hub City” has been the home of music titans for decades. Today, the city features the most live music venues per capita in the Lone Star State. Whether you’re looking for a night out at a small show or to catch a major touring performer, Lubbock’s live music scene has it all. Grammy Award winners and some of the biggest names in the business light up the stage at The Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts and Sciences, which also hosts Ballet Lubbock and the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra.

For tribute shows and to up-and-coming artists across a wide range of genres, find your way to the historic Cactus Theater. No conversation about Lubbock’s live music scene is complete without mentioning Blue Light Live!, where William Clark Green, Josh Abbott, and Flatland Cavalry have performed. Make your way to this Lubbock favorite each Monday for Singer/Songwriter Night when local performers (and maybe a few surprise guests) take center stage to perform original tunes. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to live music in the “Hub City!” Discover some of the hottest venues in town here.

Indulge in First-Class Dining

When you’re craving some seriously good eats, Downtown Lubbock is the place to be! Filled with chef-driven restaurants that serve elevated takes on your favorite dishes, locations like The West Table, The Nicolett and Rave On are sure to satisfy all palates. The prominent local chef Cameron West’s Dirk’s serves comfort food fare like fried chicken, chicken tenders, and oysters flown in from the Gulf of Mexico. The eatery was named after West’s grandfather Dirk, the former mayor of Lubbock and cartoonist for the local newspaper who created Raider Red, Texas Tech University’s mascot. Stop by and you’ll see Dirk’s cartoons hanging on the walls!

Nothing beats starting your day with a cup of coffee, but The Lobby by Sugar Browns takes that idea to the next level. Order a specialty coffee along with a house-made muffin or paleo cake donut and relax in the spacious seating area on the ground floor of the McDougal Companies building. To fill up on locally sourced fare, Claraboya Scratch Kitchen + Bar’s menu will entice you. In the morning, come for the chicken and waffles or pancakes, or visit later in the day for Texas wild boar tenderloin or redfish and shrimp. Named after Buddy Holly’s 1958 hit, Rave On offers a high-end dining experience at The Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts and Sciences, while The Nicolett is a fine-dining destination that delivers the best of the Texas High Plains. Finally, for small bites like New Zealand lamb pops and succulent pizzas paired with delicious wine, La Diosa Cellars is a must-try.

No matter what you’re hungry for, experience the unexpected cosmopolitan fare dished up in downtown Lubbock. Click here to see a full menu of the “Hub City’s” dining scene.

If you’re looking for an unforgettable getaway, Lubbock’s vibrant downtown area showcases all the fine dining, art admiring, live music listening, and libation savoring you could ask for. Plan your visit to the “Hub City” today!

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