Water pumping windmill next to a historic house at the National Ranching Heritage Center in Lubbock, Texas.

© Regine Poirier/Shutterstock

National Ranching Heritage Center

Top choice in Panhandle Plains

A true Lubbock gem, this open-air museum, part of the large, modern Texas Tech museum complex, provides a fascinating snapshot of what life was like on the Texas High Plains from the late 1700s until the Dust Bowl era of the 1930s. Almost 50 preserved ranch structures are arrayed across its 27 acres.

Highlights include the gun ports on the 1780 Los Corralitos house, the 2nd-story stronghold on the 1872 Jowell House and the grand 1909 Barton House.

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