On the Road
Nestled high in the Panhandle Plains of Texas, Amarillo is a one-of-a-kind destination that has bucket-list-worthy things to add to your Texas getaway plans.
From immersing yourself in America’s second-largest canyon to embracing that Americana vibe and so much more, here are seven memorable experiences you’ll want to have here.
Embrace the big outdoors
Thirty minutes from downtown Amarillo is the second-largest canyon in the United States: Palo Duro Canyon State Park. It clocks in at 800 feet deep and covers an expanse of 30,000 acres with 15,000 acres of trails to hike and bike to your heart’s content.
Stay a few days with lodging in cabins on the canyon rim and make sure to see the internationally known TEXAS Outdoor Musical. It has been performing since 1965!
And for extra thrills, zipline across the canyon at the Palo Duro Zip Line Adventure Park.
At Palo Duro Creek Ranch, you can sign up for a variety of Jeep tours that journey through the mysterious enchantment of the canyon and come fully equipped with incredible landscapes and views.
Cowgirl and cowboy up
Cowgirls & Cowboys in the West’s breathtaking Los Cedros Ranch is situated on the rim of Palo Duro Canyon, and they’ll take you horseback riding through all sorts of terrains for an experience you won't soon forget.
If you’re hanging with a large group, you can also get in on their private Chuck Wagon meals for more good times and lots of good food.
Get your kicks
You can’t go to Amarillo without hitting the Route 66 Historic District, where you’ll find more than a mile of art galleries, antique stores, restaurants, and bars in historic buildings.
Don’t miss The Nat — it was once the best ballroom floor around and is now home to about 100 makers, creators, artists, vendors, and more.
Drive to the ultimate roadside attraction
Cadillac Ranch has been stopping traffic since 1974. And it’s the pit stop you want to make for those Instagrammable pics. The 10 Cadillacs, spray-painted in a kaleidoscope of colors, are buried nose-down in a field, supposedly at the same angle as the Great Pyramid of Giza.
Steak your claim
The kitschy-cool factor is so real at the Big Texan empire that includes the Big Texan Steak Ranch and Brewery, home to the 72-ounce steak dinner challenge. Challenge deets? Your meal is free if you eat the steak along with the accompanying shrimp cocktail, baked potato, salad, and roll — all in one hour.
If you’re slightly less hungry, the menu is packed with Prime steaks in more manageable ounces, buffalo burgers, and the popular hand-breaded chicken-fried steak.
There’s also the Big Texan Motel onsite that looks like an old Western town. But don’t worry: as kitschy as it looks, it's still fully modernized.
Catch a concert — and more
That Big Texan empire also happens to include the Starlight Ranch outdoor music venue, where you can get in on must-see concerts from chart-topping artists or play a round of 18-hole mini golf at the Route 66 Mini Putt course.
If you’re into music and art, head to Amarillo in the fall for the Hoodoo Mural Festival on October 1. The event will celebrate the completion of at least five new downtown murals, done by top muralists from around the country, with a music festival, live painting, food trucks, art demos, and more.
Also come fall, get your cowboy boots ready because the WRCA World Championship Ranch Rodeo is back and kicking on November 10-13.
Discover more unique things to do in Amarillo, where rugged cowboy culture meets big-city sophistication, here.