Amarillo offers a true Western heritage, a unique geographical area with wide open spaces and breathtaking sunrises and sunsets. Amarillo is also gateway to Palo Duro Canyon, America's second largest canyon. With its relatively mild climate, the city is rated as having some of the cleanest air in the country.
Indians, conquistadors, buffalo hunters, settlers, cowboys, adventurers, lawmen, gunfighters, and the railroad all contributed in many ways to the development and growth of the area. That heritage is still felt here, where "cowboy" is still an honorable profession. Here you can enjoy the very best of the Old and New West!
Founded in 1887, the city charter was adopted in 1913. Amarillo is one of the first cities in the nation to use the City Commissioner-City Manager form of government. Now home to approximately 198,000 residents, the city features excellent accommodations, a spacious convention/civic center, symphony, ballet, little theater, opera, and is the home of Amarillo College.
Though it is on the very northern tip of the Llano Estacado Plateau, Amarillo has closer ties with the High Plains region, serving as the economic, industrial, transportation, and cultural hub of the region.
Tribute to a fallen comrade
Richard Douglas Husband (1957-2003), an Amarillo native and the namesake of the city's airport, was the commander of the space shuttle Columbia which disintegrated in the skies over Texas on 1 February 2003, killing him and his six crewmates.
- 1 Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport (AMA IATA), 10801 Airport Boulevard (Approximately 2 miles north of I-40 East, and approximately 7 miles east of downtown Amarillo). Served by American Eagle, United Express, and Southwest Airlines with non-stop flights to Dallas, Houston, Denver, and Las Vegas.
- 2 Tradewind Airport (TDW IATA), 4105 Tradewind Rd. (approximately 3 miles south of downtown.). General aviation airport
Amarillo is located on:
- Interstate 40 east of Albuquerque, New Mexico and west of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
- Interstate 27 north of Lubbock, Texas.
- U.S. Highway 60 west-southwest of Pampa, Texas.
- U.S. Highway 287 south of Boise City, Oklahoma.
- Amarillo also straddles historic Route 66.
The N-S avenues in central Amarillo are named for the presidents of the United States in order of when they served, from Washington just west of downtown through Cleveland to the east. Most of the E-W avenues are numbered, from N 24th through S 58th.
Old Route 66 crosses east to west through Amarillo, named Amarillo Boulevard. It passes just to the north of the airport, downtown, and the medical center, connecting US-60 on the east side with I-40 on the west side.
Loop 335 has been designated, but has not yet been developed into a limited access loop as in other cities. It comprises Soncy Road on the west (near Westgate Mall), St. Francis Avenue on the north, Hollywood Road on the south, and Lakeside Drive on the east (near the airport).
Local bus service is provided by Amarillo Transit.
- 1 Amarillo Museum of Art, 2200 S. Van Buren (on the Amarillo College Washington Street Campus). Gallery of Asian art plus a rotating selection of exhibits. On the third Thursday of each month is a special event with live music, hands-on art activities, film and free coffee. Admission is free anytime.
- 2 Cadillac Ranch. Built as an eccentric roadside attraction by the art collective Ant Farm on the now decommissioned Route 66, it was moved and can now be found via a frontage road for I-40 just outside of Amarillo. You can see it from I-40; it will be on the southern side of the road. Park along the side of the road and walk about 100 yards to see ten old Cadillacs upended and half-buried in a cow pasture. Visitors are encouraged to spray-paint the cars; there are spray paint cans in a hole at the end of the formation. Surprisingly compelling.
- Dynamite Museum. Another art project. This one consists of pseudo-road signs, scattered among commercial and residential parts of Amarillo. They feature sayings and pictures that are seeming non-sequiturs.
- Ozymandias on the Plains. Just off the freeway south of town, this sculpture of two legs and the accompanying plaque is a takeoff on a poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley.
- Amarillo Botanical Gardens, 1400 Streit Drive (Harrington Medical Center Complex), ☏ , fax: . Tu-F 9AM-5PM, Su 1PM-5PM. $4/3/2/Free (General/Seniors 60+/Children 4-12/Children under 4).
- 3 The American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum, 2601 East I-40, ☏ . M-Sa 9AM-5PM. A hidden gem of Western art. Beautiful, larger-than-life bronze statues. Visitors can spend time reflecting outside at the newly renovated Wall of Honor Plaza, honoring and memorializing the horses. From the east, a light sculpture displays a herd of running American Quarter Horses; from the west, granite bricks preserve and pay tribute to the people and horses meaningful to generous donors. The Hegel Stables section of the museum houses a variety of interactive exhibits. Take a look at the inner workings with an X-ray-style exhibit. In the Experienced Eye Theater, different disciplines are shown. Following the historical timeline, journey through the news-worthy events happening concurrently as the Hall of Fame inductees were influencing history. Glass cases house artifacts, attire, tack, photos and many more interesting pieces from each inductee's life. Adults $7, seniors $6, children (6-18) $3, under 5 free.
- 4 Texas Air & Space Museum, 10001 American Dr, ☏ .
- 1 Wonderland Amusement Park.
- Silver Mesa Ranch, ☏ . The ranch offers horseback rides, horse-drawn wagons, cowboy breakfasts or dinners, Old West gunfights, cabin rentals and more.
- 2 Tri-State Fair and Rodeo, 3301 SE 10th Ave. 8AM–midnight. In mid-September each year. Famous for being the largest annual event in the Texas Panhandle, the Tri-State Fair and Rodeo features a PRCA Rodeo, livestock and horse shows, live entertainment, exhibits, and a midway with rides and games. Great outing for families. $10 adults, $5 children and seniors.
- Center City Mayhem, S Van Buren (in Downtown Amarillo. From Washington & BI-40, go North on Washington, turn right (East) on 9th street, go 5 blocks and turn right (north) on Van buren), ☏ . 7PM-midnight every weekend in October. Amarillo's Premier Haunted House, inside the AAYC (Amarillo Activity Youth Center). Our haunted house is in the old downtown YMCA building and has been certified by the PDAPS (Palo Duro Area Paranormal Society) as Haunted. We are open the entire month of October. The AAYC also has party rooms that can be rented out anytime.
- 1 Westgate Mall. Off the Coulter or Soncy exits from I-40 on the west side of town. A lot of shopping strips surround the mall.
- Historic Route 66 District (6th Ave. between Western and Georgia Sts). Art, street fairs, theaters, and lots of shopping; this downtown district offers a look into old Route 66 along with lots of boutiques and stores to browse through.
- Cavender's Boot City, 7920 I-40 W. at Coulter Dr., ☏ . Pick up authentic West Texas attire at this famous Texas retail chain, which offers boots, hats, belt buckles, jeans, jewelry, and a variety of other Western apparel.
- Belmar Bakery & Cafe, 3325 Bell St, ☏ . Voted Best Bakery in Amarillo, great sandwiches, salads, and soups, too.
- 1 The Big Texan Steak Ranch, 7700 I-40 at Lakeside, ☏ . Open daily. A Route 66 icon, the Big Texan was moved when I-40 came barreling through town. Known nationwide for its 72-oz steak dinner offered free to anyone who can eat the entire meal in one hour. More than 35,000 people have taken the challenge and 7,000 have succeeded. Country/Western performances every Tues.
- Calico County, 2410 Paramount (off I-40), ☏ . Home-style cooking just like Mom's! Chicken fried steak, meat loaf, catfish, all veggie plates, chicken and dumplings.
- Abuelo's Mexican Food, 3501 45th St (Take 45th off I-27), ☏ . Voted Best Mexican food in Amarillo for several years.
The main nightlife district in Amarillo is South Polk Street downtown, between 7th and 8th avenues
- R&R Bar, 701 S Georgia St, ☏ . LGBT friendly, they serve strong cocktails and have a great selection of music.
- Crush Wine Bar & Deli, 701 S Polk St, ☏ . A chic wine bar and deli that is cozy and friendly enough to spend hours of time eating and drinking
- Golden Light Cafe, 2908 W. 6th Ave, ☏ . Known as a Route 66 landmark, go here for great hamburgers and country western music.
- Bodegas, 709 S. Polk St, ☏ . Stylish wine and jazz club.
- Route 66 Roadhouse, 609 S. Independence st, ☏ . Best choice for live music, it features pool tables and dartboards.
- Butlers, 703 S Polk St, ☏ . Music venue known for its martinis and other mixed drinks
There are many motels along Interstate 40 on the city's west side.
- 1 Amarillo KOA, 1100 Folsom Rd, toll-free: . Well kept campground that offers a heated outdoor pool, free Wi-Fi, playground for the children and a gift shop with camping supplies.
- 2 Ashmore Inn & Suites, 2301 I 40 east (behind Cracker Barrel off Interstate 40), ☏ . Quiet hotel off the interstate, and close to the airport. All rooms include free breakfast, Wi-Fi access, and nightly hospitality hour M-F. $89.
- 3 Courtyard Amarillo Downtown, 724 S Polk St, ☏ .
- 4 Microtel Inn, 1501 Ross St, ☏ . Check-in: 3pm, check-out: 11pm. Free local and free long distance calls in the continental United States, and free wireless high-speed Internet access in every room, advance online check-in and check-out. Remote TV with ESPN, CNN and one movie channel and complimentary continental breakfast.
- Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument, 35 miles north near Borger. A prehistoric quarry that produced widely traded flint stones.
- Canyon, a few miles south on US 87, is home to the largest historical museum in Texas, the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum.
- Conway is a very small town a few miles east of Amarillo. If you enjoyed the Cadillac Ranch, stop here to find a similar art project done with Volkswagen Beetles. If that's not enough, you can find a version done with 12 wheat combines on FM 1151 near Canyon.
- Carson County Square House Museum, a few miles to the east in Panhandle, has an interesting collection of early pioneer and railroad artifacts.
- Lake Meredith National Recreation Area, 30 miles northeast near Fritch.
- Palo Duro Canyon, 27 miles southeast near Canyon. The second largest canyon in the United States. The Palo Duro canyon is roughly 120 miles long and has an average width of 6 miles, but reaches a width of 20 miles at places. Its maximum depth is 800 feet.
Vega, 28 miles west, and some nearby ghost towns have a number of well-preserved Route 66 sites.
- Wildcat Bluff Nature Center, 3 miles north of I-40 on Soncy. Learn about the plants and animals of the Great Plains and go for a hike!
|Routes through Amarillo|
|Clayton ← Dumas ← ends ←||N S||→ Canyon → Lubbock|
|Tucumcari ← Vega ←||W E||→ Conway → Oklahoma City|
|Clovis ← Canyon ←||W E||→ Panhandle → Enid|
|Boise City ← Dumas ←||N S||→ Clarendon → Wichita Falls|
|END ←||W E||→ Fritch → Borger|
|Tucumcari ← Vega ←||W E||→ Conway → Oklahoma City|