Road Trips and One-Day Adventures in West Texas

Road Trips and One-Day Adventures in West Texas

The LCU Blogging Team
September 18, 2018 at 8:35 AM

You may have chosen LCU because it’s close to home or because the campus environment is top-notch. Regardless of your original motivation to move to Lubbock, it’s good to know that your new college town is a great place to get an education, enjoy West Texas sunsets, and have a lot of fun.

There are so many places in West Texas that are perfect for quick getaways to unwind and de-stress after a long semester of studying. Here are a few ideas if you’re wanting to get away but don’t have a lot of time.

Lubbock in your rearview mirror

If you’re needing a mini-break during the semester, there are plenty of places in and around West Texas to go on an adventure. Hiking, lakes, and historic small towns are just a short drive away.

Let’s take a look at a few road trip ideas:

Palo Duro Canyon

Home to the second largest canyon in the country, Palo Duro Canyon is less than two hours away from Lubbock. You can go mountain biking, camping, and catch the outdoor “Texas” musical in the summer.

Big Bend National Park

About five hours away from Lubbock, Big Bend is known for its beautiful scenic spots, hiking, and trails marked by the Rio Grande and mountains.

Carlsbad Caverns

Just under three hours away from Lubbock, Carlsbad Caverns National Park in Eastern New Mexico offers tours in the massive prehistoric underground caverns that formed when sulfuric acid dissolved limestone, creating over 100 caves.


A vibrant art scene, mystery lights, and the setting for James Dean’s last motion picture is a tiny West Texas town of just 2,000 people about 5 hours away. Don’t forget to take a selfie at Prada Marfa, a cultural landmark that isn’t open for business, but is sure to be Instagram worthy (#pradamarfa).

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Time on the lake

Lubbock isn’t really known for its babbling brooks. But it is possible to catch some calm waves, lie on the beach, and even give stand-up paddle boarding a try here in the flatlands.

Check out places like:

Buffalo Springs Lake

Nestled just outside the Lubbock city limits, Buffalo Springs is the perfect spot to relax on the beach, wakeboard, and pitch a tent. Buffalo Bay Marina can serve you up some philly sandwiches after you get done on the jet skis (which are available for rent, by the way).


This newer Lubbock attraction is even making waves with Lubbock Mayor Dan Pope. SUPLBK Stand Up Paddle offers rentals, classes and even group events. Historic Dunbar Lake is the perfect setting to soak in some nature and learn a new skill.

Lake Alan Henry    

Just 45 minutes outside of Lubbock, you could be sitting on the dock of the reservoir fishing and loving life. If you know someone with a boat, even better.  

Head to higher ground

Sometimes after the extended time in the beauty of the South Plains, you might be craving a little mountain air. Look no further than Ruidoso, New Mexico, where Lubbock goes to cool off in the summer and ski in the winter.


About 5 hours west of Lubbock, Ruidoso is a small village in the Rocky Mountains of Southeastern New Mexico. Ski in the winter and head to the horse races in the summer. Or just rent a cabin and enjoy the serenity of the mountains. (Don’t be alarmed – those tall green things bunched together are called trees, by the way.)

Pagosa Springs

For a longer one-day drive out of Lubbock and West Texas, head up to Pagosa Springs, CO. They’re known for their natural hot springs and beautiful mountain views. Check out The Springs Resort & Spa, then settle in for a weekend at a cabin in the mountains for some fresh air.


Feel like staying in town but need something fun to do? There are tons of places to explore right under your nose here in Lubbock.


Joyland is Lubbock’s own amusement park, located right inside Mackenzie Park in Lubbock. It’s the perfect spot if you need the adrenaline rush and fun of log rides in your past. Funnel cakes, roller coasters, and the space ride will keep you and your friends occupied for a couple hours.

Lubbock Water Rampage

Get there early to get the prime umbrella spots overlooking the wave pool. This water park is fun for all ages and includes a lazy river, big water slides, and picnic areas.

Altitude Trampoline Park

Thursday is college night at Altitude. Go get your bounce on and eat some pizza with your friends after a friendly game of dodgeball.


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