If you haven't noticed yet, most things we do revolve around food, golf, wine or beer...and sometimes a hike!
This is what I'll post about for Lubbock, Texas. Since it's under 2 hours away, it's an easy destination we've been able to visit a few times now.
Here are some great places to check out!
STATE PARKS - And specifically canyons!
Although both are a distance from Lubbock, they are easy trips if you're visiting for a day or two.
850 Caprock Canyon Rd. Quitaque, TX 79255
I had a rare experience of traveling and hiking alone at Caprock. While en route to a work conference, I stopped here for a quick exercise break! It's about an hour and a half NE of Lubbock.
Being alone and on a time constraint, I only had a shallow experience of this park. The most striking memory I have is of the bison. They really were abundant here! They are the star of the park and I returned home with a stuffed bison as a souvenir.
Bison herd in Caprock Canyons State Park & Trailway
Another unique feature of this area is the geology - the "red beds” are composed of different shales, sandstones, siltstones and mudstones. The white quartz that runs through is just stunning.
The beautiful geology and landscape I saw at the Caprock Canyons State Park
I hiked up from the parking area along the North Prong Spur trail and then onto the Upper North Prong. Due to the unevenness of the ground, I would say this section was easy-moderate. I think next time we would be able to take our toddler in the hiking backpack, but it is not stroller safe.
I would have loved to complete the Upper North Prong trail to the "Fern Cave", or if I had even more time, to explore the Trailway which stretches from the West, at South Plains on top of the Caprock Escarpment, to the east at Estelline in the Red River Valley.
11450 Park Road 5 Canyon, TX 79015
You can also head about an hour and a half straight north of Lubbock to see the Palo Duro Canyon State Park. I would say this park had less in terms of wildlife sightings (in my experience) but the range of what you can do is greater.
The Palo Duro Canyon State Park has a cute Trading Post in the event you forget bottled water (like we did...). In addition to traditional camping sites, they offer glamping opportunities in cedar reinforced canvas tents. They also have an outdoor amphitheater where they host the TEXAS Outdoor Musical.
And of course, there are lots of trails for hiking and horseback riding. We took the Lighthouse Trail, but unfortunately, did not make it far enough to see the Lighthouse formation. It was a moderate trail in terms of difficulty, but it was just too much time in the heat for our toddler and small dog to make the entire trek.
Views driving and hiking in Palo Duro Canyon State Park
COFFEE - aka hiking fuel...
1500 Broadway Street Lubbock, TX
Iced coffee and kolaches from Sugar Brown's Coffee in Lubbock, TX were well worth the stop
3017 34th St. Lubbock, TX
This is the kind of place you want to order a black coffee from (that's how I take mine, so it's a true way to discover really good or really bad brews...)
I visited late morning, so I had the chance to chat with the barista and get her insights on my coffee selection, since there were quite a few options and I am super indecisive...
They brewed my cup individually - so when I finally got it and my scone, it was heaven!
English Newsom Cellars (formerly Caprock Winery)
408 E Woodrow Rd, Lubbock, TX 79423
I think we've been here 3 or 4 times now. I just love the feeling on the property. On our first visit they were extremely welcoming and allowed our toddler to accompany us for a tasting. They were really accommodating and gave her a gigantic cup of oyster crackers to keep her entertained.
The grounds are small, but quaint and beautiful. I usually prefer to visit wineries with vines on site, and English Newsom has a few!
The wine is also really great tasting and affordable!
January vs. July visits to English Newsom Cellars in Lubbock, TX
1204 Broadway #104, Lubbock, TX 79401
This is a great sunny space to stop for a cold one and some food. Beer is not always my first choice (I admit, I'm a wine-o), but I ordered a pint of their Doc Chilton, which is a lemon summer ale, and I was refreshed! Alex got a flight and had no complaints.
Beer and brunch at The Brewery LBK in Lubbock, TX
The brewery also had a board game collection, and although we had no idea what one of them was, the cups inside kept Avery entertained while we enjoyed our brunch.
Loving the window seat at The Brewery LBK in Lubbock, TX
The Rawls Course - Texas Tech University
3720 4th St. Lubbock, TX 794
We were lucky enough to be paired with some locals for our round at The Rawls Course, which is the home course for Texas Tech. This course has been sited as a hidden gem on many lists for top public courses in Texas, so we were excited to finally play it.
For an area that is relatively flat, the course is incredibly dynamic. The elevation can change up to 30 feet around the course. For that reason, it was challenging - most shots, even from the fairway, were on angled ground. Despite the difficulty, it was really well landscaped and maintained.
Our only complaint was the condition of the greens. The locals told us a new employee accidentally applied too much chemical, so many of the greens on the front were bumpy with dead grass. That was really disappointing, as the pro shop failed to fill us in on these conditions. I'm glad we found out, so we knew this was not it's normal state. Apparently they were planning to fix these greens shortly after our visit. I'd love to go back again and see it in an improved condition :)
Views from the Rawls Course at Texas Tech in Lubbock, TX
For more ideas go to Visit Lubbock!