Sometimes there's some pretty great stuff under your nose; you just haven't taken time to notice it.
It's fun, yet tough, to come up with a list like this. For instance, when I was thinking of food, I don't think there is really an "only in Lubbock" kind of experience out there, so in that area, I went with places that currently have the most renown and/or charm.
I hope you'll take time to check out the list and maybe take a moment to appreciate some of the cool stuff that's all around us.
Visit the Lubbock-Area Veterans War Memorial
I can't think of any way better to top off a visit to Lubbock than by paying tribute to our vets at the war memorial. It's simply the most impressive (and sobering) structure in West Texas. Veteran's from most, if not all, wars are represented. It's a great place for honor and reflection.
See a Texas Tech Game at Jones AT&T Stadium
The major college football experience is something many of us take for granted around here. The excitement and adrenaline of gameday infects the whole town and is amplified right up through the seats. Win or lose, you know you're seeing something special when you're in the stadium.
Eat a Burger at Christakis
Christakis Burgers is a small, unassuming burger stand on what I'd call "the far end of 34th street." The burger was named one of the best in Texas and that's saying a lot in a town that loves its beef. My favorite is the Monti Hasie with jalapenos.
Get Scared at Nightmare On 19th Street
There's nothing else like Lubbock's Nightmare On 19th Street in West Texas, and it's one of the biggest haunted theme parks in the world. Yeah, I'm a co-owner, but that doesn't change the square footage of this sprawling park. It's already been the topic of a PBS special and was even had a development deal for a reality TV show.
Nightmare On 19th Street has also been voted one of the Top Ten Must-See Haunted Attractions In America. Not much else (positive) makes the top 10 of anything around here.
Stand Next to Buddy Holly
You simply have to stand next to the Buddy Holly Statue for a selfie or a pic. There are not many tributes out there that allow you to get so close and that's part of what makes it cool. The statue has suffered some damage from folks stealing the tuning keys off the guitar, but a fresh supply is welded on regularly out of respect for Buddy. The nearby museum is pretty cool, too.
Lubbock has more sky. The flatness combined with whatever goop we have in the air gives Lubbock some absolutely amazing sunrises and sunsets. I can't tell you when it's best or how to plan, all I can tell you is to take a moment sometime and enjoy the awesomeness of it all. We don't have a beach or a mountain range, but there's plenty beauty here if you look for it.
Visit the Home of Stubb's BBQ
You or your relatives may not understand the impact of Stubb's BBQ or the love that many of our elder musicians had for him. Look at it this way, though: How many towns out there have a full on statue/memorial to a barbecue cook? The novelty alone makes it worth a trip to 108 E. Broadway.
Experience the Lions Club's Pancake Festival
I am not much of a small town kind of guy, but for the Lubbock Lions Club Pancake Festival, I make an exception. There's something about this event that makes Lubbock seem even smaller and friendlier than it is. I enjoy cooking for it and I enjoy seeing familiar faces as well as the faces of those kids who can't wait to get behind a fat stack of pancakes. This year's event will be held on Saturday, February 17th.
Commune With the Prairie Dogs
Yes, we have Prairie Dog Town, but we also have vacant lots. It turns out both have tons of these fun little critters. I guess to make sure you see some of these bottom heavy grass munchers, you should head over to Mackenzie Park. But if you just keep your eyes open, you'll spot some all over the Hub City. It's tragic that they are both lovable and a pest, but they sure are fun to watch.
Throw Down at the Lubbock Breakfast House
There are tons of breakfast/breakfast all-day places across America. People love to make the pitch for a Waffle House in Lubbock in particular. I'm here to tell you that you don't need 'em. Just visit Lubbock's original Breakfast House at University and The Loop. There's something about the place that's just simple and timeless.
Check Out the Disco Stop Sign in Lubbock