Destination Guide to Amarillo, Texas
By Pamela Swain
The biggest town in Texas along the world-famous Route 66, Amarillo is close to everywhere and on the way to anywhere. Stop off for a rest and enjoy the relaxed ways of a small city — with Big Texan flavor — on the Texas Plains (or in the Panhandle, as it’s called here!). Catch one of our sunsets in the canyons and you won’t forget it.
WHEN TO GO
Spring to Fall…Summer for the outdoor play
GETTING THERE AND AROUND
Amarillo is on Interstate 40. There is an an International Airport and the town is also accessible via Greyhound and other bus companies, and Amtrak.
You’ll want to rent a car to get around as west Texas is a BIG place and public transport is not common.
Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Like the Grand Canyon only smaller, Palo Duro is 1,000 feet deep and over 100 miles long. There’s a great summer outdoor live stage production seen by people from all over the world. Make a point of having one of the real chuckwagon suppers or breakfasts at the canyon rims…great sunrises and sunsets.
Caprock State Park
Awesome canyon views, and beautiful red rock and earth. Get close to nature and the quiet of it.
BEST UNUSUAL ATTRACTION
Stanley Marsh’s “Cadillac Ranch”
Site-specific art at it’s funkiest. Marsh buried a number of Cadillac cars nose down in a previously productive wheat field.
BEST ACTIVITY/ LOCAL GUIDE
Go hiking in Palo Duro Canyon State Park and stick around for one of the chuckwagon meals. Many ranches offer wagon tours, and chuckwagon dinners. There are numerous local outfitters that can arrange hiking/camping and meals.
Shopping and eating out at Arnold’s Burgers on Washington St., home of the Texas Size and Shaped Hamburger.
The Big Texan Motel (at the Big Texan Steak Ranch)
Old West decor, cowboy poet’s breakfast, shooting gallery, Texas-shaped heated pool. Cheesy, but fun! Camping at the Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Arnold’s Burgers on Washington.
Tacos Garcia — homemade Mexican.
Scott’s Oyster Bar
Big Texan Steak Ranch — home of the 72 oz steak competition. If you can eat it all in an hour (with all the fixins), it’s free!
Harrigan’s — for the best steaks
Amarillo Little Theatre and Opry at the Big Texan Steak Ranch
Sixth Street (Historic Route 66) also has a number of clubs for nightlife
BEST LOCAL HAUNTS
Route 66 Pub
Golden Light Cafe
Numerous antique shops on Sixth Street (Historic Route 66) for some real, old Texas memorabilia
Amarillo Convention and Visitor’s Bureau