We can all use an escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. For the folks who want to make an affordable getaway into the great outdoors, here are the top five spots to check out this summer that are just a short car trip away from Lubbock, Texas.

Palo Duro Canyon

Texas State Parks
Texas State Parks

Ranking as the second largest canyon in the nation, the stunning scenery and rugged terrain make for spectacular views and great photo ops for those who want to escape the city. At less than two hours away, you can easily squeeze in a day of activities or you can set up camp for the weekend.

The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department notes that they also have the "TEXAS Outdoor Musical [which] runs Tuesdays through Sundays in the summer at the Pioneer Amphitheater in the park. Watch the stories, struggles and triumphs of early settlers. The family-friendly show has singing, dancing, fireworks and lots of Texas humor!" You can also go horseback riding and zip lining, which are always fan favorites with kids and adults alike.

Possum Kingdom Lake

Possum Kingdom Lake
Credit: Heidi Kaye, Townsquare Media

This is one of my personal favorite spots to sneak away to during the scorching summer months. Possum Kingdom Lake is a gorgeous reservoir on the Brazos River that features beautiful blue waters and the famous cliffs that make up Hell's Gate. Not only are these 90 foot tall overhangs the entryway into the southern cove of PK, but they're also where the annual Red Bull Cliff Diving competition is held every year.

Drive out for the weekend, rent an Airbnb and a boat, and get a little taste of paradise in this hidden gem of Texas. At just over four hours driving distance, this is a great and affordable weekend getaway for families or groups of friends.

Carlsbad Caverns

carlsbad caverns
Carlsbad Caverns National Park via Facebook

These magnificent rock formations will leave you speechless. At over 250 million years old, these breathtaking limestone caves are a wonder that is worth seeing. The 1.25-mile walk can be done at any pace and this unique escape gives you a break from the heat of summer. The caves average a chilly 56 degrees at 100 percent humidity.

At just three hours away from Lubbock, you can make this a fun day trip or stay the night and explore Southern New Mexico.

Buffalo Springs Lake

Facebook: Buffalo Springs Lake
Facebook via Buffalo Springs Lake

Boating, fishing, swimming and camping can all happen just 15 minutes from the Hub City.

Buffalo Springs Lake is a magnificent place to disappear to without a lot of effort or planning. They have water equipment rentals available and short hiking trails for young kids to enjoy. This is a fantastic spot to celebrate the 4th of July with their amazing fireworks display.

Caprock Canyons State Park

Texas State Parks
Texas State Parks

From bats to bison to mountain biking, Caprock Canyons is a great spot to visit. It's home to Clarity Tunnel, an abandoned railroad that you can explore, and Lake Theo, a great summer swimming spot. There are also 90 miles of trails to embark upon, making this a great weekend getaway or a quick two-hour day trip out of the city.

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