The Lighthouse rock formation in Palo Duro Canyon State Park
The colorful cars of Cadillac Ranch
Exploring Palo Duro Canyon on a Jeep tour with Palo Duro Creek Ranch
Walking into the Big Texan Steak Ranch
Admiring one of the city’s vibrant murals
Thrilling rides at Amarillo Wonderland
Horseback riding in Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Evening entertainment at the HOODOO Mural Festival
Classic cars and street art along Route 66
Attending a concert at the Starlight Ranch Event Center
Nature and nostalgia at the heart of historic Route 66
Art and Americana
Amarillo is the largest city on the 286-kilometer section of Route 66 that runs from Oklahoma to New Mexico. Fans of Route 66 can relive the Mother Road’s glory days in the Route 66 Historic District, where art galleries, antique shops and restaurants brighten original buildings with Western flair. The walkable district is a popular place to take photos, shop for souvenirs and learn about must-see spots nearby.
One such Route 66 attraction is the famed Cadillac Ranch. This interactive installation – featuring 10 classic Cadillacs half-buried in the ground – invites you to add your spray-painted mark to the artwork guests have made over the years. A few kilometers away, Bill’s Backyard Classics presents a warehouse full of preserved and restored hotrods, and the free Jack Sisemore RV Museum showcases recreational vehicles from the 1930s through the '70s. It’s all in a day’s drive from Downtown Amarillo.
Amarillo’s ranching roots run deep, and the city’s appreciation of the American Quarter Horse is evident in everything from attractions to annual events. Delve into horseback riding history at the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum. The modern museum features interactive displays, art and archives for newcomers and enthusiasts alike.
A full calendar of rodeos and exhibitions ensures Western ways are always on display in Amarillo. You can watch professional cowboys and cowgirls in action during annual events like the Coors Cowboy Club Cattle Drive, the Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association World Championships and the WRCA World Championship Ranch Rodeo; get a sense of the city’s creative side during the HOODOO Mural Festival; and catch a country concert at the Starlight Ranch Event Center. The spacious outdoor venue is a recent addition to the Big Texan Steak Ranch, a Route 66 landmark known for its Texas-sized steak challenge.
Amarillo’s bustling streets give way to the wide-open spaces of Palo Duro Canyon State Park, home of the second-largest canyon in the USA. You can explore the spectacular canyon on a horseback posse ride with Cowgirls and Cowboys in the West or take a Jeep tour with Palo Duro Creek Ranch. If you prefer to adventure on foot, the park has plenty of hiking trails. Walk along the Lighthouse Trail to visit its namesake rock formation. The rust-toned rock tower is an Amarillo icon and a sight you won’t want to miss.