5 of the Best Ways to Experience Downtown Lubbock

Written By Visit Lubbock Interns

February 27, 2023


By: Maggi Gallaspy

To most outsiders, Lubbock is known for its red dirt, tumbleweeds and cotton farms. And while it certainly has qualities that embody “small-town charm,” there is another side to the Hub City that draws in visitors and locals alike. 

It’s not just the hustle and bustle of the workforce, the charming brick roads down Broadway or the recent revamp that make this area a destination within itself. A combination of these things and more, downtown Lubbock is buzzing with a vibrant art scene, epic eats and luxury hotel amenities. Experience this with a trip to Lubbock’s downtown districts! Plan your trip here.

Stay in West Texas Luxury

Whether you plan a wine tasting, enjoy a show at The Buddy Holly Hall or peruse through First Friday Art Trail, this area is the meeting point of culture, cuisine, and creativity. Staying downtown offers guests the opportunity to indulge in these experiences with ease. With various classic, modern and retro vibes, downtown is home to many first-rate hotels that put visitors a short walk or drive away from the items on their itinerary. 

Step into history with a stay at the Pioneer Pocket Hotel. Nearly a century old, this 11-story structure dates back to the roaring twenties. This luxury boutique hotel impresses with 10 themed rooms paying homage to Lubbock’s notable features. Across the street, Millsap Suites provides the same rich experience. The best part? Three floors down from your room, you’ll find two of downtown’s best amenities. During your stay, try local craft brews and boozy brunch at The Brewery LBK or enjoy a fine-dining experience with cuisine at The West Table Kitchen & Bar. 

One of the newest additions to downtown’s hotel scene is the Cotton Court Hotel. Influenced by Lubbock’s roots in cotton farming and focused on curating an authentic experience for its guests, the Cotton Court Hotel is rich in amenities. From a relaxing courtyard with outdoor activities to The Midnight Shift restaurant and bar, you’ll have everything you need at your fingertips. Neighbors with the state-of-the-art Buddy Holly Hall and less than one mile from Texas Tech, the Cotton Court Hotel sits at a perfect location for your downtown excursions. 

The Doubletree by Hilton Downtown makes an incredible home away from home with hospitality like no other. From the second you step off the plane in “Hub City,” the Doubletree is there to make your stay as convenient and comfortable as possible. With an airport shuttle service, spacious rooms with views of downtown and an incredible culinary experience at Claraboya Scratch Kitchen & Bar, look no further for a place to base your downtown adventures from. 

Pro Tip: Make sure you get your warm, complimentary chocolate chip cookie at check-in!

Savor Texas High Plains Wine & Local Craft Beer 

The Texas High Plains grows 90% of Texas’ wine crop. So it’s no wonder it’s one of the country’s top wine destinations. Though the city is surrounded by wineries, there are many opportunities to sip world-class wine in Downtown Lubbock. 

Set within a historic Coca-Cola bottling plant in the historic Depot Entertainment District, a stop at McPherson Cellars should top off your downtown itinerary. With over 600 state, national, and international awards, you’ll want to add a stop by the tasting room before going on a tour of the winey. Its setting is perfect for meetings, birthday parties, bridal luncheons, rehearsal dinners, and weddings, as it can accommodate over 200 guests. 

Burklee Hill Vineyards is a popular stop for its incredible bistro menu and an eye-catching range of wine. This modern, aesthetic stop offers an incredible charcuterie board and pizzette selection. Make sure to get your reservation in advance. Their weekend menu is popular for mouth-watering eats that pair perfectly with incredible pours. 

While Lubbock has made its presence known in Texas wine production, it is also home to savor-worthy brews. Named the top brewpub in the nation by USA Today, The Brewery LBK is a chef-driven innovation. A true taste of West Texas, each menu item is made with locally-sourced and seasonal ingredients when possible. Whether you decide to enjoy your visit in the industrial tasting room or outside on the dog-friendly patio, pair your brews with one of their drool-worthy dishes.

Speaking of pup-friendly pubs, Two Docs Brewing Co. is a popular destination for both those new to the world of brews and beer enthusiasts. At Two Docs, they pride themselves on loving beer and Lubbock. From the Prairie Dog Porter to the Buddy Holly IPA and Chilton Gose, the taproom menu offers a taste of “Hub City” with every sip. Two Docs is also home to weekly events that draw in a crowd. Their patio is home to a stop on the First Friday Art Trail, and you’ll often find Lubbock’s favorite food trucks here, so take your pick of street eats and wash them down with a Two Docs specialty brew. On your way out, purchase your favorite brews to-go, with cans paying tribute to the famous singer on the label; Two Docs is the only brewery with a license to use Buddy Holly’s likeness.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Downtown Lubbock’s cocktail scene. From the iconic Chilton to specialty craft cocktails, The Nicolett, The West Table, and Rave On are home to some of the most unique and delectable drinks in the 806. 

Pro Tip: Try the Dessert Margarita at The Nicolett, the Ruby Chilton at The West Table and The Marilyn at Rave On. Each of these drinks offers a one-of-a-kind libation experience you’ll want to recreate as soon as your time in the Hub City ends. 

No matter what your beverage of choice is, you’ll find world-class sips throughout Downtown Lubbock.

Experience the Thriving Local Arts Community

Painting, sculpting, glassblowing, and more– name a type of artistry and you’re sure to find it downtown. Known for fostering and encouraging innovation within its artists, Lubbock’s cultural district is boasting with thousands of arts events per year, including the First Friday Art Trail. This monthly event draws in visitors and is an inclusive experience that offers guests the opportunity to browse galleries, talk with local artists, shop creations, listen to live music and enjoy the Lubbock food truck scene. Visitors can also visit the exhibits at the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts and the Charles Adams Gallery which are open to the public daily. A stop by the Charles Adams Studio Project will leave visitors in awe, with collections ranging from local artists to big names like Andy Warhol. 

What makes the downtown area so special is the art incorporated into its design. For a chance to see some of Lubbock’s best street art, check out the downtown murals. Seek out the painted crosswalk by The Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts and Sciences and works of public art throughout the area. While shopping, attending an event or walking to your next stop downtown, you’ll probably stumble upon one of many pieces of artwork. That’s part of the magic Downtown Lubbock offers!

Enjoy the Best of Live Music in Texas

While Buddy Holly serves as the pioneer for Lubbock’s music scene, he forged a path many traveled down. Mac Davis, Delbert McClinton, Pat Green, Josh Abbott and Flatland Calvary are just a few of the musicians that started their careers in the South Plains. Lubbock features the most live music venues per capita in the Lone Star State. Whether you’re looking to support its upcoming artists today at a small show or catch your favorite touring performer, Lubbock has music venues for both. 

The Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts and Sciences hosts Ballet Lubbock and the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra year-round. But in between those performances, Grammy Award winners, music troops and some of the biggest names in the industry take the stage.

The historic Cactus Theater is known for its tribute shows, throwback performances and artist spotlights that range from Texas country to rock-n-roll. 

The Blue Light Live! is one of downtown’s hottest music venues and bars, where William Clark Green, Josh Abbott, and Flatland Cavalry have performed. Each Monday Jerry Serrano hosts Singer/Songwriter Night and local performers (and maybe a few surprise guests) take the stage to perform originals. 

Out for dinner and drinks, relaxing in the hotel courtyard or at a specific music venue, you’re sure to hear some great tunes downtown!

Indulge in First-Class Dining

Downtown Lubbock is home to some of the best eats in the 806. Whether you’re looking for simple classics or elevated dishes, there are several options to satisfy your cravings. Locations like The West Table, The Nicolett and Rave On take fine dining to the next level. La Diosa Cellars also offers small bites, pizzettes and salads you can pair with their wine and cocktails.

If you’re in the mood for the best chicken tenders of your life, 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 is filled with history and art alike and 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!

For a steakhouse dinner, Triple J Chophouse & Brew Co. is the place to be. Situated across from the Cactus Theater and home to live music performances itself, Triple J is the perfect stop for music lovers. Their menu is home to many local favorites including the Choppy Bob Nachos and Raider Red Brew.

The Lobby by Sugar Browns is your one-stop-shop for all things coffee and pastries. Their chai tea lattes, drip coffee and house-made muffins or paleo cake donuts are crowd favorites. Have a slow morning in the spacious seating area on the ground floor of the McDougal Companies building and take a trip up to the Visit Lubbock office on the 6th floor for Visit Lubbock merch and a visitor’s guide!

Now that you’ve heard about the vast opportunities for relaxing, savoring and exploring Downtown Lubbock has to offer through its cultural, Cultural, Depot and Business districts, it’s time to plan your visit to the “Hub City” today!


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