Road Trip Adventures Starting in Lubbock

As the weather is getting warmer and classes are winding down, summer plans are being made. Lubbock summers are made up of pool parties, nights on Broadway and days spent sipping on Chimy’s  margs.

The West Texas city may seem isolated, but there are more close road trip destinations than you may know about.

With Lubbock as your starting point, the destinations featured in this article make for the perfect summer road trip!

Amarillo, Texas 

If you are looking for a short trip then Amarillo is the place. Only one hour and 50 minutes away, Amarillo is sure to satisfy your adventure.

Cadillac Ranch/ Photo from springsteenexperiment.wordpress.com

Feeling artsy? Bring some spray paint and stop by the famous Cadillac Ranch. Located right along Route 66 stands 10 Caddies half-buried, nose-down, in the dirt.

According to Roadside America, Cadillac Ranch was built by a group of art-hippies imported from San Francisco. They called themselves The Ant Farm, and their silent partner was Amarillo billionaire Stanley Marsh III. He wanted a piece of public art that would baffle the locals, and the hippies came up with a tribute to the evolution of the Cadillac tail fin.

Since 1974, people have stopped along the highway to view the cars. The Cadillacs have now been in the ground as art longer than they were on the road as cars. So bring your spray paint, snap some photos, and make your mark on one of the famous Caddies.

If you are looking for a little more adventure, you can check out one of Amarillo’s most breath taking views: Palo Duro Canyon.

Palo Duro Canyon/ Photo from tpwd.texas.gov

Palo Duro Canyon is 120 miles long and as much as 20 miles wide, making it the second largest canyon in the United States. It’s great for a day hike or camping.

It is only $5 for a daily entrance fee to Palo Duro Canyon State Park. The park is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, the park has 30 miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails. During the summer, you can even enjoy a performance of the outdoor musical drama “Texas.”

Palo Duro Canyon State Park also offers a wide range of overnight facilities. A four-person backpacking site costs $12 for a night. If you are not ready to withstand the summer heat, you can stay at one of the park’s electrical sites for $24 per site which includes up to two vehicular units.

If you really want to glam up your camping experience, Palo Duro Canyon offers two vintage cabins perched on the rim of the canyon. The cabins have been updated to have modern heating and cooling systems. Each cabin consists of two rooms plus restroom and shower.

White Sands National Monument 

White Sands National Monument/ Photo from allswalls.com

Five hours away, nestled between Sacramento and San Andres Mountain ranges of southern New Mexico is a one of a kind outdoor experience: White Sands. White Sands is a must see for any outdoorsman.

White Sands National Monument offers a wide variety of activities to engage in such as hiking, biking, sledding, and “driving dunes” to name a few.

Sledding at White Sands/ Photo from abqstyle.com

According to The National Park Service, waxed plastic snow saucers work best for sledding and can be purchased at the monument gift shop. Guests may also bring their own sleds. They also suggest choosing a dune with a gently sloping face and a level run-off at the end so that you can come to a halt safely.

Marfa, Texas 

Located four hours and 50 minutes from Lubbock lies the artsy and possibly extraterrestrial town of Marfa, Texas.

According to the Houston Chronicle, West Texas’ quirky art town has a population of 2,000, but attracts crowds of tourists thanks to its culture, which is a combination of flashy art pieces and countrified rural Texas atmosphere.

Marfa Prada Store/ Photo from www.luluandgeorgia.com

Famous art pieces, food trucks, fine dining, and glamorized camping makes Marfa an unforgettable experience.

The Prada Marfa art installation and has become an iconic tourist stop. The unique art piece cost around a sum total of $80,000 to install. Another way to put it, about 40 Prada handbags and different pairs of Prada Shoes, all of which are right footed.

Marfa is also known by many to be a place of extraterrestrial activity. According to Atlas Obscura, some people argue that Prada Marfa is a trap set by aliens meant to attract potential abductees. So, visitors beware.

El Cosmico Yurt/ Photo from elcosmico.com

If you are thinking of making a trip to Marfa the El Cosmico is the place to stay.

El Cosmico’s website describes it as a 21-acre nomadic hotel and campground in Marfa. The website describes the campground as a balance of adventure and do-nothingness. They offer shelter, occasional entertainment, opportunity for learning/doing/making as well as access to the majesty of the high plains desert.

Accommodations at El Cosmico include renovated vintage trailers, safari and scout tents, Sioux-style tepees, a Mongolian yurt and tent campsites.

Chic Trailer at El Cosmico/ Photo from www.dwell.com

The property also offers several communal spaces for guests – a hammock grove, an outdoor kitchen and dining area, a community lounge and mercantile, an outdoor stage and a reading room.

Marfa is also know for its delicious cuisine. Food Shark offers Mediterranean fusion and is one of the area’s most popular food trailers. Marfa Burrito may be a tiny hole-in-the-wall, but it can serve up one hell of a breakfast taco. It has even drawn the likes of famous actor Matthew McConaughey.

But if you are looking for something more upscale, Cochineal is the perfect place. Cochineal is a modern, sophisticated restaurant managed by former Manhattan restauranteurs Toshi Sakihara and Tom Rapp. Cochineal offers 250 different bottles of wine in a wide range of prices.

Possum Kingdom Lake 

A hot summer day is always best spent on the lake, and Possum Kingdom is about a four hour drive from Lubbock.

Lush Resort on Possum Kingdom/ Photo from www.possumkingdomlushresort.com

If you are looking for a vibrant, lively, and younger crowd then Lush Resort is your answer.

Lush offers both luxury RV sites and lakefront hotel suites as well as a wide variety of activities to do such as relax on the onsite beach, swimming, fishing, and hiking. This resort also has a new, fully-licensed liquor bar.

The Cliffs Resort on Possum Kingdom Lake/ Photo from hotels.com

If  you are looking to stay at a more high end resort, The Cliffs will fit your needs.

Their website says the resort has something for everyone, including deluxe accommodations, upscale and casual dining, a championship golf course, a spa, a fitness center, a private marina and ship store, a conference center, three swimming pools and RV camping.

From condos, to villas, to town homes, to The Inn, Possum Kingdom can surely meet your vacation needs.

Ruidoso, New Mexico 

Ruidoso New Mexico/ Photo from www.discoverruidoso.com

Another option for a weekend getaway is a town in New Mexico called Ruidoso. It is just a four hour drive to the west.

Ruidoso has many options for outdoorsy tourists to explore. If you don’t have your own set of outdoor equipment, you can rent from the Texas Tech Outdoor Pursuits Center.

There are many different excursions in Ruidoso, from renting a cabin and going skiing, to zip line parks, numerous lake trails, and horseback riding.

If you prefer the indoors, there are many specialty shops, spas and wineries throughout the city.

Feeling lucky? Bring some extra cash and test your luck at the Ruidoso casinos.

Spencer Theater/ Photo from moyersgroup.com

Spencer Theater of Performing Arts is a landmark to the city. The world class theater hosts popular Broadway shows, musical performances and dance performances. They have a show every 11 days, so check out their schedule ahead of time on their website.

For all the destinations mentioned, Airbnb is an option to have a unique vacation with some helpful hosts.

While some may think Lubbock is in the middle of nowhere, this list proves otherwise. Pack your bags and hit the road for some unforgettable summer memories!

About Karson Scharold

Karson is the Entertainment Reporter for The Hub@TTU. She loves traveling, obsessing over her dog Chloe, and binge watching Netflix. She will graduate with a degree in Electronic Media in December 2017 and hopes to find her place in an exciting new city!

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