This article originally appeared on Travelocity.com.

I travel often and I’ve crossed some amazing things off my bucket list. So when I had an opportunity to visit West Texas, I had a lot of people ask, “Why do you want to visit Lubbock?” Honestly, I wasn’t really sure before my trip. No, Lubbock wasn’t on my bucket list, but I love seeing what U.S. destinations have to offer.

So, would I find cowboys with spurs and tumbleweeds blowing down the streets? When I arrived in Lubbock, I discovered a vibrant city that embraces its Western heritage, filled with food, wine, art and fun. With an average of 263 days of sunshine every year, there’s something for everyone who visits Lubbock, Texas.

Getting to Know Lubbock

Lubbock is called the “Hub City” because it’s an economic, educational and health care hub in the Northwest Texas plains. It is also home to Texas Tech University and the city of about 250,000 people has some of the best schools in the U.S.

Visit Lubbock

See public art on the Texas Tech University campus. Photo courtesy of Visit Lubbock

Gnational Gnomad Tip: Explore two dozen pieces of public art on the Texas Tech University campus. The collection is designated as one of the top ten in the U.S.

The Lubbock area is the world’s largest cotton-growing region and the Texas high plains are filled with cotton fields. Find out more about that agricultural background at Bayer Museum of Agriculture, where exhibits include not only actual farm implements, but a collection of 700 toy tractors.

History of Lubbock

Lubbock is proud of its ranching history. One of the best first stops when you arrive is the National Ranching Heritage Center at Texas Tech University.

Visit Lubbock

The National Ranching Heritage Center. Photo by Susan Lanier-Graham

This 19-acre historical park and museum offers a unique look at American history. The museum features various galleries showcasing Western art, photography and artifacts.

Outdoors, there are authentic, restored structures dating back to 1780, telling the story of Texas ranchers. There is a 1.5-mile paved pathway, perfect for both wheelchairs and strollers, showcasing everything from an 1830s one-room cabin to the 1909 Queen Anne-style Barton House.

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Sometimes the best places to travel turn out to be the ones that take you by surprise. Lubbock in the West Texas panhandle offers up unexpected treasures.