Your Guide to Red Raider Orientation

Written By Maggi Gallaspy

May 25, 2023

#Attractions #Attractions>Must Sees #Events #Family #Must Sees

Hey, Red Raider! Congrats on your acceptance to Texas Tech University, and welcome to Lubbock. 

With a thriving arts scene, top-notch music venues, delicious eats and more, the 806 is filled with opportunities to make your college years memorable. During your stay for Red Raider Orientation (RRO), experience your first traditions, meet lifelong friends and take the chance to explore beyond Raiderland in the city you’ll soon call home. With our three-day guide, you’ll get an idea of how to make the most of your free time during orientation. Head to Texas Tech’s website for a detailed RRO schedule!

Choosing your Hub City Hotel

While students are provided with one night of accommodations during orientation, if you plan to bring a guest, arrive the day before or stay after, consider booking a hotel near Texas Tech. Under a five-minute drive to campus and located near Downtown Lubbock, these three hotels offer easy access to orientation festivities and off-campus activities.

The Cotton Court Hotel is known for its expansive courtyard, outdoor amenities and tribute to Lubbock’s Great Plains roots and history in the cotton industry. Cotton Court’s in-house restaurant, The Midnight Shift is easily accessible to hotel guests and outside diners looking to enjoy delicious cocktails, food and live music. 

The Overton prides itself on being the meeting point of Red Raider spirit and West Texas hospitality. With a luxury feel and ideal location, this option is great for those looking to explore the area near campus. If you choose to stay here, be sure to check out some local Red Raider foodie favorites under a 10-minute walk from the hotel including Spanky’s and Tikka Shack. 

Calling all chocolate chip cookie lovers! If this complimentary sweet treat isn’t enough to sell you on staying here, maybe the luxurious rooms with downtown views will. The Doubletree also offers a free shuttle to and from the Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport, a short, 5-minute drive away. Whether you stay here or not, be sure to dine at Claraboya Scratch Kitchen & Bar to taste Lubbock legend Chef Antonio Pena’s locally-inspired menu.  

Red Raider Orientation Day 1

Start the day off right with a Lubbock breakfast classic, Chicken Run. With RRO check-in at 10 a.m., you’ll have plenty of time to get ready and indulge in your breakfast dish of choice. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, but the skillets and pancakes are crowd favorites. Be sure to check out the seasonal options posted on the chalkboard at the back of the restaurant!

After your campus tour, it’s time for lunch on your own. Stay near the university and try the iconic cheese sticks at Spanky’s or venture further out for a cafe bite, pastry or mid-day caffeinated pick-me-up from Ninety-Two Bakery & Cafe. While you’re inside, get a feel for one of Lubbock’s best study spots!

Now it’s time for your official RRO welcome! The rest of your day will be jam-packed with resource fairs, greek life meet-and-greets, fun activities and more. A fajita dinner will be provided for students and registered guests, so be sure to plan ahead. Students will get to enjoy a night at the Rec Center before turning in for their first official sleep at a residence hall. 

Red Raider Orientation Day 2

With an early start for day 2 of orientation, breakfast is provided for students! Get ready to spend the morning choosing your first semester classes. Ask questions, tour a residence hall and have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with several specialty offices at Texas Tech. End RRO with a City of Lubbock bus tour and get to know your home away from home. 

Lunch in Lubbock at a local favorite. Dirk’s and Caprock Cafe draw in a crowd for their lunch and dinner services. Both pay tribute to their West Texas roots and become a regular stop for a lot of Red Raiders. Whether you’re feeling juicy, crispy-fried chicken or bacon and cheese-loaded twisted taters, one of these restaurants is sure to satisfy your lunch cravings. 

Be sure to grab a sweet treat at one of Lubbock’s best dessert spots before heading out! 

After Red Raider Orientation

If you’re extending your stay or want to fill every pocket of free time with some West Texas charm, here are a few more 806 finds to keep you entertained.

Don’t leave Lubbock without a piece of merchandise. Red Raider Outfitter and California T’s are both local favorites for all things Texas Tech and 806-inspired attire. From hats to t-shirts and stickers, stop by one of these shops located directly across from campus. 

Grab a bag of carrots and head over to Mackenzie Park for the best photo op and entertainment as you watch the furry friends interact with one another. 

Fire up some family-friendly competition at one of Lubbock’s axe-throwing halls. A unique experience and a fun place to hang out, this attraction offers a student discount, so check it out, and add it to your list of favorites for when you head back to Raiderland this fall. 

Catch a movie and grab some snacks at this 50s-inspired drive-in theatre. Showing current box-office hits and classics alike, something is showing for everyone at this 806 gem.


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