Top Reasons Lubbock Is The Best Place To Live In 2017
This article has been updated for 2017, as there is always something new happening in Lubbock!
Big city, small city, hamlet, village – just what is Lubbock, TX? We’ve been in the news more frequently, although for the strangest reasons. In recent years, Lubbock has been described by multiple studies as: “most boring city”, “best commute in the US”, “best city for 35 and under”, and “best city for new college grads in 2017“. We wonder what recognition Lubbock will earn in the future?
There is no denying that the Hub of the Plains is a great place to live, work, and go to school. Don’t believe us? Well, here is some information about Lubbock that may made us realize, it is the best place to live in 2017.
Enjoy Big City Life
Believe it or not, Lubbock is a pretty big city, but it feels small and is tight-knit. It’s not a metropolis, but it is considered a large city by the US Census and it is getting bigger. The city is expected to pickup 117,000 people by 2021 or about a 7% growth rate. What this means is not only are people moving to Lubbock, but there is a lot of construction with many new restaurants and businesses. Just in the past 3 years, we picked up Costco, Alamo Drafthouse, Torchy’s Tacos, Cabela’s, a Nike outlet and Dunkin Donuts. For 2017, In-N-Out Burger and H&M are even expanding to Lubbock.
Some of the entrants we are most excited about? Yellow House Canyon would be the first true brewery in town and hosts several festivals onsite with great beer! A new Craft distillery opened in 2016 and of course we always have our great selection of wine options that rivals other cities. There has also been some BBQ wars heating up with a new joint that was ranked by Texas Monthly as one of the best in the state!
Get a Job
You can find just about any kind of job in Lubbock. Manufacturing, for instance, is going to make an even bigger splash in this West Texas pond. We have Tyco, UniFirst, Warren Equipment, and XFab that offer the most employment opportunities. Monsanto broke ground in January 2017 for a new cotton seed processing plant and will be hiring hundreds of workers at all levels. Check out the largest employers of Lubbock to get a better idea.
In addition to manufacturing, there are a plethora of options at Texas Tech and other industries, call center and customer service jobs, oil drilling and clean wind energy! Austin tends to be known as the startup capital of Texas, but Lubbock does have a startup accelerator and at least we have Uber and Lyft! In 2016, Lubbock added its first co-working space and new technology companies have been opening downtown.
The unemployment rate in Lubbock has been steadily dropping, and is now at 3.2% as of May 2017. That is the 4th lowest in the state! Job growth is predicted to be over 41% this year.
Compare that to the national average of 6.3%, and you have a competitive economy. When you consider the 7-8% annual population growth, Lubbock has an economy that is strong and flexible. In fact, Lubbock was just recently ranked as the top city for job seekers by Wallet Hub. Forbes has also featured Lubbock quite extensively here.
Traffic, What Traffic?
Lubbock County has a population of 300,000 people. Despite our large size, most people have a daily commute of only 16 minutes. We continue to earn national recognition each year as a major city with the shortest commute. And we’re proud of! Sure, the lights on Indiana Ave may NEVER be synced, but when it takes you 8 minutes to get to work, does it really matter? So, take a deep breath and rejoice that you don’t have to get up at 4 am to “beat traffic.”
Go to College
Lubbock has two major universities. Texas Tech is a state university with undergrad, graduate and PHD programs in multiple disciplines. When in session, Lubbock is lively with its own subculture of around 36,000 students. And Texas Tech football is a hub of activity for thousands of people in the fall.
But, Tech is not the only university of note in the area. Lubbock Christian University is a force to be dealt with, turning out hundreds of graduates in many different fields every year. They also have a baseball program that competes at a national level regularly.
Wayland Baptist University also has a major branch in Lubbock, as does South Plains College. By the way, if you are into music, South Plains College has music degrees in performance, sound, production, and many other ways to make money in that field.
Get Medical Treatment
Lubbock has perhaps the largest medical system in the Southwest. Covenant Medical System operates two hospitals, and between these and the University Medical Center, you can get some of the best medical care in the country. UMC has a nationally known cancer research center, and both systems have outstanding heart disease specialists.
Lubbock has the only international airport within 2 hours. People travel hundreds of miles to use Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport. Southwest, American and United have affordable flights to Dallas and beyond. Direct, non-stop flights are available to most Texas cities.
You’ll experience fast security lines, affordable parking and remember Uber and Lyft are options for getting to around town. It may be the cleanest, smallest and least populated airport you ever visit. Truth: you can show up 30 minutes before a flight at the Lubbock airport and not be late!
Is hiking and biking your thing? Lubbock is located on top of the Caprock, which was originally the shoreline of the ancient Gulf of Mexico. That means there are two canyons nearby, which make for great hiking and biking.
Palo Duro Canyon is the second largest canyon in the United States, after the Grand Canyon. At a 1.5 hour drive from Lubbock, it’s a convenient weekend destination with plenty of hiking, mountain biking and camping.
Caprock Canyon is slightly closer and less traveled. Take in the rugged landscape and truly hike the real West Texas. It’s our personal favorite, there’s the State of Texas Bison herd, less people than Palo Duro and less mountain biking, perfect for hikers.
The Guadalupe Mountains is a Texas national park 3.5 hours south of town. Lubbock is the largest city within driving distance, making this national park one of the least visited in the entire country. With the largest mountain in Texas and an abundance of caves, even a local Lubbock grotto seeks routine spelunking missions to the Guadalupe’s. Carlsbad Caverns, a national park of New Mexico is also nearby for weekend excursions.
Get More for Your Money
The median cost of a home in Lubbock is $108,000. That will buy you a 3 bedroom, 2 bath house with between 1200 and 2000 square feet. We’re talking sprinkler system, 2 car garage, hardwood floors – the works, people! Yes, you can live in style and comfort. The cost of living here is nearly 16% lower than the national average. Expect to find a roomy, luxury 1000+ square foot apartment for $600 a month!
Home values are rising at about 3.5% per year, meaning that the value of your home will continue to increase – a big difference when you consider the entire subdivisions of new homes all over the country that sit empty.
Lubbock is, admittedly, somewhat isolated from other large cities and entertainment venues. But, that just means we make our own entertainment. Remember, this part of the state is the birthplace of many musicians, with Buddy Holly himself a native son. Mac Davis, Waylon Jennings, and many other famous musicians hail from this area.
This rich musical tradition is maintained at all levels, from the School of Bluegrass at South Plains College to the Cactus Theater and Moonlight Musicals. The picturesque and historic Depot District has nightly performances and great weekend shows. Fans of country music can regularly see major acts on tour in Lubbock.
The Lubbock Symphony Orchestra features classical music all season long with world renowned musicians and singers. In the summer, the orchestra plays in the park and during colder weather, it performs in the strikingly modern Civic Center. The Civic Center is also where Ballet Lubbock performs. The Lubbock Concert Band is open to adult instrumentalists, and presents several high-quality performances a year.
The fine arts thrive in this city, but that is not the only entertainment here. If you like museums, then the Museum of Texas Tech will blow your socks off. Contemporary art, sculpture, science exhibits, and some of the best dinosaur and wildlife exhibits are found at the Tech Museum. The Silent Wings Museum and Ranching Heritage Center are other great destinations for those who love museums.
There are several high quality golf courses in Lubbock and even a Top Golf! Youth sports thrive in the area with an entire complex dedicated to youth soccer and local high schools are packed for most sporting events.
Joyland Amusement Park is located in the beautiful MacKenzie Park, which is complete with a lake, stream and prairie dogs. Joyland is family owned and not only has a great variety of rides, but has an antique Carousel. Security is present at the amusement park, which helps when turning kids loose to run from ride to ride. West of town is a small waterpark for summer fun. In addition, Texas Tech has an outdoor aquatics center, complete with a lazy river and wave pool.
The Arts in Lubbock
You will find some of the most creative minds right here in Lubbock! Maybe it is because individualism is still valued here, but the arts are strong and valued in this area.
The Lubbock Arts Alliance does a fantastic job promoting arts in the Lubbock community, providing classes, art shows, and more. Their Lubbock Arts Festival has in excess of 31,000 attendees every year.
The First Friday Art Trail is another fantastic opportunity to rub shoulders with local legends and entrepreneurs. Every month, you can attend this event at your own pace or take one of the trolleys downtown to enjoy the show.
The Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts is a beautiful facility that showcases local artists. The Center is the jumping-off-place for the First Friday Art Trail, as well as for many other artists.
Live in the Burbs, Right in Town
While Lubbock has grown out around a historic downtown area and beautiful park, the growth has been carefully planned to include easy access to main thoroughfares.
This “suburban” layout also means that there is probably a park with a pond and playground within walking distance of your house. There will also be a convenience store and one or more fast food, chain and local restaurants nearby.
So, what about Lubbock? You get a big city with a small town atmosphere, and all of the opportunities that you would find in the Metroplex.