Holly Glasses Greet Visitors in Lubbock Texas

Lubbock, Texas: Buddy Holly, Rock 'N' Roll, and More

Lubbock is Buddy Holly's hometown and you can't miss their devotion and pride. But this west Texas town offers more than nostalgia. An easy-going art district, extensive ranching history, world-class wind power museum.

Buddy Holly Center

Buddy Holly may have died in 1959, but here in the town of his birth his music and his legacy are very much alive. You don't have to be a fan to be fascinated by the Buddy Holly Center.

A detailed timeline and exhibits focus on Holly's life from his childhood, his marriage to Maria Elena, his signature glasses, and his band, even his Fender Stratocaster.

Guided tours are available and since the heart and soul of the museum are the stories, don't miss the opportunity to hear what it was like on that unfortunate road trip that ended up costing Holly his life. There's also the story of how his name changed from Holley to Holly.

As an added bonus visitors can also tour the J I Alison House -- childhood home of The Crickets drummer J. I. Allison and the place where he and Buddy Holly wrote many hits including, "That'll Be the Day."

You'll find his statue at the West Texas Walk of Fame at Buddy and Maria Elena Holly Plaza at 19th Street and Crickets Avenue, right by the Buddy Holly Center. Holly and later his parents were laid to rest in a local cemetery at 31st St and Teak Avenue where fans still pay their respects. Inside the gate to the right is a road that leads to his grave (left side of the road). You'll see the headstone of Charles Hardin Holley, born on September 7, 1936.

National Ranching Heritage Center

Take a fascinating walk through life on the Texas range at the National Ranching Heritage Center. A loop road takes you past almost 50 buildings and houses they constructed, each an example of how early settlers met the challenges of living on the range. The NRHC offers 30-minute trolley tours of the historical park for a small fee (admission is free). But the walk is easy and allows visitors to spend plenty of time at each of the fascinating sites.

Lubbock Lake Landmark

For thousands of years people have lived in the area now known as Lubbock Lake. Hunter-gatherers, prehistoric peoples, Native American tribes, and the animals they hunted are all part of the history of this National Historic Landmark. Visitors are even greeted at the entrance by life-size sculptures of the mammoths that once roamed the area. The museum introduces visitors to life on what was once a lake, then head onto the grounds to stroll the boardwalks and the archeological digs that dot the site are available. Signs along the trail tell the story behind the digs. When they are active, visitors can also watch the volunteers work the sites.

Lubbock Arts District

Cornerstone of the Lubbock Arts District, is the Charles Adams Studio Project (CASP), the passion of gallery owner Charles Adams. It provides artists with studio space, special equipment, and exhibition opportunities, in return for opening their work and their space to visitors. The area's First Friday is far more than the usual roundup of galleries open to the public. With a central location art lovers can enjoy offerings of food trucks, and musicians as well as wine and beer. The artists in residence not only open their studios, they provide mini-tours. It raises the whole experience beyond what most cities can offer. Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts (LUCHA) theater and gallery provide year round short-term exhibits and performances, literary talks and film festivals. The Charles Adams Gallery offers a varied palette of contemporary and modern in different media.

American Windmill Museum

Today giant turbines reach into the sky to grab the power of wind transforming it into electricity, but long before these sleek white wind turbines there were windmills that used the energy of the wind to pull water deep out of the ground. There are about 200 windmills on display both inside the two huge exhibit halls and on grounds of the museum. Another 100 await restoration. The American Windmill Museum has their own shop to overhaul and restore these beloved antiques.

Jump to the 21st century with the Vestas Wind Turbine, its tower reaching upwards 164 feet and its stately turning blades providing a humbling sense of its height and power. Besides being fascinating to see up close, the Vestas generates the electricity for the museum.

Food and Lodging

If you're eating in Texas, you have to try the BBQ -- especially brisket. In Lubbock, the place to eat is Evie Mae. Pitmaster Arnis Robbins treats his brisket the way every pitmaster should. "You have to have patience" he says when asked the secret to his best-selling brisket, "it's not done until it's done." Of course, it's not just the brisket -- ribs, sausage, and pulled pork are outstanding as well. West Table Kitchen and Bar offers an industrial vibe, an open kitchen and stellar food with a changing menu depending on season and chef inspiration. It's upscale but not pretentious. In fact, it's downright friendly, in a professional way. La Diosa Cellars for a decadent afternoon of sangria and tapas. It is filled with art, sofas and comfortable chairs. It's the kind of place you want to settle in, share many glasses of sangria with friends and spend the afternoon nibbling away on an unending array of small plates. http://www.ladiosacellars.com/

The Overton Hotel & Conference Center is our go-to in Lubbock. A lovely hotel with attentive staff, and delicious food and plush rooms.

For more information go to Visit Lubbock

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Neala McCarten

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