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North America > United States of America > Texas > Texas Panhandle > High Plains > Amarillo
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Cadillac Ranch

Amarillo, which means "yellow" in Spanish, is the center of the Texas Panhandle, located at the edge of the Great Plains.


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 185,000 residents, the city features excellent accommodations, a spacious convention/civic center, symphony, ballet, little theater, opera, and is the home of Amarillo College.

Though technically located 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.

Get in

By air

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.

  • Tradewinds Airport, 4105 Tradewind Rd. FAA code TDW. General aviation airport approximately 3 miles south of downtown.

By car

Amarillo is located on:

Get around

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).


  • 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.
The socks are vandalism, the plaque a series of bold-face lies
  • 1 Cadillac Ranch. Originally an eccentric roadside attraction placed 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. Located 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), +1 806 352-6513, fax: +1 806-352-6227. Tu-F 9AM-5PM, Su 1PM-5PM. $4/3/2/Free (General/Seniors 60+/Children 4-12/Children under 4).
  • The American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum, 2601 East I-40, +1 806-376-5181. 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 $6, seniors $5, children (6-18) $2, nder 5 free.


  • Silver Mesa Ranch, +1 806-457-8440. The ranch offers horseback rides, horse-drawn wagons, cowboy breakfasts or dinners, Old West gunfights, cabin rentals and more.
  • Tri-State Fair and Rodeo. In mid September. 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, a midway with rides and games, exhibits, and much more. Great outing for families.
  • 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), +1 806 373-2292. 7PM-midnight every weekend in October. Amarillo's Premier Haunted House, located 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.


  • 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 itself as well.
  • 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., +1 806 358-1400. 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.


The Big Texan Steakhouse
  • Big Texan Steak Ranch & Opry, 7700 I-40 at Lakeside, +1 806-372-6000. Open daily. Originally 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), +1 806-358-7664. Home-style cooking just like Moms! chicken fried steak, meat loaf, catfish, all veggie plates, chicken and dumplings.
  • Abulelo's Mexican Food, 3501 45th St (Take 45th off I-27), +1 806 354-8294. Voted Best Mexican food in Amarillo for several years.
  • Texas Roadhouse Restaurant, 2805 I-40 West, +1 806 352-7427. A nation-wide chain restaurant.


The main nightlife district in Amarillo is South Polk Street downtown, between 7th and 8th avenues

  • Midnight Rodeo, 4400 S Georgia St, +1 806 358-7083. Largest honky-tonk in the Texas Panhandle.
  • R&R Bar, 701 S Georgia St, +1 806 342-9000. LGBT friendly, they serve strong cocktails and have a great selection of music.
  • Crush Wine Bar & Deli, 701 S Polk St, +1 806 418-2011. 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, +1 806-374-9237. Known as a Route 66 landmark, go here for great hamburgers and country western music.
  • Bodegas, 709 S. Polk St, +1 806-378-5790. Stylish wine and jazz club.
  • Route 66 Roadhouse, 609 S. Independence st, +1 806-355-7399. Best choice for live music, it features pool tables and dartboards.
  • Butlers, 703 S Polk St, +1 806 376-8180. Music venue known for it's martinis and other mixed drinks


Many new motels have been built recently along Interstate 40 on the city's west side.

  • 1 Amarillo KOA, 1100 Folsom Rd, toll-free: +1-800-562-3431. 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), +1 806-374-0033. Quiet hotel off the interstate, and close to the airport. All rooms include free breakfast, wifi access, and nightly hospitality hour Mon-Fri. $89.
  • 4 Microtel Inn, 1501 Ross St, +1 806 372-8373. 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.

Go next

  • 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.

Routes through Amarillo
ClaytonDumas Template:Lfarrow I-27.svg ends ←  N I-27.svgUS 87.svg S  CanyonLubbock
TucumcariVega  W I-40.svg E  ConwayOklahoma City
ClovisCanyon  W US 60.svg E  PanhandleEnid
Boise CityDumas  N US 287.svg S  ClarendonWichita Falls
END  W Texas 136.svg E  FritchBorger
TucumcariVega  W US 66 (historic).svg E  ConwayOklahoma City

This city travel guide to Amarillo is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.