Amarillo, a city in the Northwest plain of Texas is the cultural and business center of the State of Texas.
When the town began in the 1880s, it began as a railroad town. Today, that little railroad town has grown into a big city which is the home base of a lot of successful industries.
Some of these industries include wheat farming, cattle ranching, and oil production.
The Historic Route 66 runs through this city, thus, it is not surprising that the city has become this great today.
Among some other places that are worth visiting in Amarillo, you will find an award-winning local theatre, an opera house, and a lot of art museums.
Let’s explore some Amarillo texas attractions and the best things to do in Amarillo texas when you are in this city.
Things to Do In Amarillo
1. Palo Duro Canyon
Included in Amarillo TX attractions is The Palo Duro Canyon which is the second largest canyon in the whole of the United States. It is only second to the Grand Canyon.
A visit here should make your checklist of what to do in Amarillo during your visit.
The size of the Palo Duro Canyon is breathtaking. You will surely want to see it. So, make it one of the things to do in Amarillo.
Among other things you will find in this canyon, you will find many hiking trails, a lot of interesting animals and plants, amazing views, and some unique rights like the Lighthouse hoodoo.
You will find yourself revisiting this canyon more than twice during your stay in the city.
It’s worth noting that during the summer, the canyon can get as high as 120 degrees. And that’s is very hot and uncomfortable. You will find it so hard to take longer hikes during the summer.
Thus, it is more advisable to visit during the spring or fall. But if you are already set to go in the summer, don’t forget to bring a lot of water with you.
Apart from the temperature in the summer, the Canyon is a great place to take a hike.
2. Route 66 Historic District
A district that is covered by the famous route in the U.S, Route 66 Historic District consists of 13 commercial blocks in the San Jacinto Heights area.
The San Jacinto Heights area is to the west of Amarillo’s city center. The Route 66 district also encompasses blocks that are between George Avenue and Forest Avenues.
This cluster of buildings is one of the most intact groups of buildings that are very much associated with this highway.
The district is worth visiting to the variety of architectural styles used in the building on the district.
Most of these architectural styles are from the early 20th century. For instance, the Spanish Revival element, Art Moderne, art deco e.t.c.
You can see these architectural styles displayed on historically significant buildings in the district like the Natatorium, Taylor’s Texaco Station, the Adkinson-Baker Tire company, and a lot of others.
3. Jack Sisemore Traveland RV Museum
Quite an unusual but spectacular museum, the Jack Sizemore Traveland RV is a Museum that is completely dedicated to vintage RVs, a visit here should make your list of things to do in Amarillo.
The museum was found by a father-son team, Jack Sizemore and his son Trent. Both of them started collecting vehicles about 25 years ago.
Today, Jack Sizemore owns the oldest RV dealership in the whole of Texas. You are up to see more cars than you bargain for the museum is located in its building at the dealership
In the museum, you will find some of the most interesting vehicles that ever existed. Some of these vehicles include Fleetwood (the oldest in existence), the first Itasca motorhome to be built.
You will also see in the museum, the Flexible Bus which was used in the movie RV.
Most of these motor homes collection date from the 1930s to 1970s. A visit to the museum is like a trip on a time travel machine, for it takes you back in times when it all began.
Location: 4341 Canyon Drive, Amarillo, TX 79110. Phone No: 806-358-4891.
4. Hoof Prints of the American Quarter Horse
The Hoof Prints of the American Quarter Horse is a public art project which consists of more than 100 life-size painted horses that are scattered throughout the city.
You will surely notice these horses everywhere you turn as soon as you enter into Amarillo.
It is worth noting that none of these horses resemble the other. You can make taking a picture of yourself with these horses a tour activity for the day.
5. Cowgirls and Cowboys in the West
One of the best things to do in Amarillo during your visit is getting a horse ride.
Have you ever rode a horse? Or is riding a horse all “movie” to you? Would you like to make it a reality?
The Cowgirls and Cowboys in the West is a company that offers tours, event catering services and so many other hospitality services. Their tours have a western adventure theme.
They also offer a horseback riding lesson for a novice and a horse for every experienced horse riding. Their doors are open to all year-round.
There are also interesting tours they offer of which you can also partake in. These tours include Palo Duro Canyon, the cowboy lifestyle and the “Route 66”.
You need not worry about what to say during the tour, the company makes provision for meal events during the tour.
For instance, you have the chuckwagon meal events which can be private or public depending on your booking.
Other educational and recreational activities you will enjoy while traveling with this company include photography tours, progressive horseback riding teams, and so on.
Location: 19300 South Farm to Market Road 1258, Amarillo TX 79118. Phone No: 806-672-9256
6. Cadillac Ranch
Don’t let the name fool you. The Cadillac Ranch is not truly a ranch, rather it is a public art display.
This art display was built by three great artists who were involved in a set group called the Ant Farm and this is today one of Amarillo TX. attractions.
The names of these artists are, Hudson Marquez, Chip Lord and Doug Michels. In the art display, you will find Cadillac Vehicles that are older, running, used, or junk.
The cars are arranged in such a way that they are placed at an angle and also nose-first into the ground.
If you are familiar with Cadillacs, you will also notice a lot of interesting features in these cars. Some of these features like the tailfins define them.
Due to the splendor of this exhibit, it has been used to action movies and music videos since its installation.
You are allowed to come with your spray paint if you desire to add a little bit of art that is personal to you on the exhibit, these arts are undoubtedly one of the fun things to see in Amarillo TX.
Location: 1 – 40 Frontage Road, Amarillo, Texas 79124. Phone No: 630-313-0187
7. The Mysterious Floating Mesa
Another fascinating road attraction, the Floating Mesa is one attraction you can’t stop thinking about after seeing it.
It was funded by the same billionaire who owns the Cadillac Ranch and the giant legs.
Where the Floating Mesa is, you will see in the site a mesa (ie a flat-topped hill) that has a strip of white-painted plywood installed close to its top.
When the sky appears in a certain color, the mesa’s top appears as if it is floating. You will be amazed by this illusion when you see it.
To get where the Floating Mesa is, just head northwest on the Tacoma Road. Before you get to the junction close to the state Highway 2381, you will see the Floating Mesa.
8. American Quarter Horse Heritage Centre and Museum.
American Quarter Horse Heritage Centre and Museum which is also called the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame and Museum is a Museum which is dedicated to highlighting popular breeds.
In the museum, you will get to see on the walls photographs and paintings of horses. These horses have been honored as members of the Hall of Fame.
The artist who drew many of these beautiful horses was the acclaimed Western artist Orren Mixer.
You will also get to see displays that tell about horseback riding such as cowboy and his riding attire, ribbons, photographs, and a lot of others. Each one of these artifacts is related to a Hall of Fame Inductee.
You learn so much about the horse, from its anatomy to its riding and even more from this museum through the interactive exhibits it has installed.
When you arrive at the museum, you will be given an orientation of what to do and what not to do before you are left to explore on your own.
Location: 2601 1-40 East, Amarillo, TX 79104. Phone 806-376-5181.
9. Amarillo Mural.
If you are to arrive in Amarillo by plane, before you leave the airport, do not forget to take a picture of yourself with the colorful Amarillo mural.
The mural is more like a landmark that serves as a proof that you have scratched Amarillo off your list of places to visit.
It will be more fun if you take this picture of yourself while wearing cowboy boots!
The murals are just on the second floor close to the ticketing area. It is very obvious so you can’t miss it.
10. Visit Amarillo National Parks
Visiting the park is fun, and during your visit you have the opportunity to include this in your list of fun things to do in Amarillo.
The names of the two National Parks in Amarillo are Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument and the Lake Meredith National Recreation Area.
The lake Meredith National Recreation Area is best for outdoor recreational activities like swimming, birdwatching, horseback riding, fishing, swimming, and camping.
The Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument is a beautiful park with a gorgeous landscape.
The site has a lot to tell, for it was in this area that the native Americans mined the colorful flints that use in the making of tools.
You can still see some of the shallow mines they dug.
Don’t forget to make an appointment with a ranger, for you won’t be allowed to see the mines without one.
11. Tascosa Drive-In Theatre
The Tascosa Drive-In Theatre is one of Texas’s last drive-in movie theatre. The theatre is a good place to take your family on a night out. It is also a good spot to take your partner on a romantic date night.
After getting food from the concession stand, head back to your seat to enjoy the nights program.
The theatre is only open on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights.
12. Wonderland Amusement Park
Opened since 1951, Wonderland Amusement Park is not a modern amusement park.
Though it is old fashioned, the park has so much fun to offer and this makes the list of fun things to do in Amarillo Texas.
When the park was founded, it started with just three rides. Its name was the Kiddie Land. Today, the Park has more than 30 rides and attractions. The number keeps increasing daily.
Some of the fun spots in which the park has included traditional amusement parks like bumper cars, miniature golf courses, rides like bumper cars. There is also a section for water rides.
The park also has several rollercoasters. You can ride the Texas Tornado, Hornet, and Cyclone.
You can also take your kids play with merry-go-round, toy boats, and train rides in the Park.
There are also concession stands that sell food, drinks, and cotton candy. But some for your self, they are all very tasty!
Location: 2601 Dumas Drive, Amarillo, Texas 79107. Phone No: 806-383-3344
13. Bill’s Backyard Classics
Are you a lover of cars and would love to see some classic car collection, then Bill’s Backyard Classics should make your checklist of things to do in Amarillo.
An automobile museum, the Bill’s Backyard Classics is a private collection of automobiles owned by Bill and Linda Pratt.
Apart from showcasing their private collection, the reason the Pratts built this Museum is to share their interest and love for hot rods and very classic cars.
The number of classic cars in the museum houses is about 100. The model of these cars date from 1928 to about 2012.
You will see some impressive automobiles like the 1956 Cadillac Fleetwood Limo that was once owned by Judge Roy Hofheinz and also the Bob Seder’s 1961 Pontiac Catalina convertible.
Sometimes, the museum plays host some community events like car shows and other fun activities that are family-friendly.
Location: 5309 S Washington Street, Amarillo, Texas 79110. Phone No: 806-373-8194.
14. Texas Air and Space Museum
Located at the Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport, the Texas Air and Space Museum is one of the fun places you should visit in Amarillo.
In this museum, you will see a lot of military and civilian aircraft. These aircraft maybe for air and space travel.
There is also an outdoor aircraft part (still part of the museum) that serves as a garage for aircraft like the 1974 Grumman G-1159 Gulfstream II and the C-7A Caribou.
Among the many aircraft that are displayed indoor, you will see the notable North American P-51D Mustang, a helicopter from M.A.S.H, a Bell OH-13S, and a Douglas DC-3 N34.
As you take a tour around this museum, you will be amazed by how much the idea birthed in the Wright brothers has grown.
Location: 10001 American Drive, Amarillo, Texas 79111. Phone No: 806-335-9159
15. Ozymandias on the Plains
Talking of a bizarre site, what do you think of a pair of giant legs sticking out of the ground?
Well, that’s exactly what you will see in the Ozymandias on the Plains. These giant pair of legs serves as an Amarillo Texas attraction. It can be found on the south side of the city.
These giant legs were made by Lightnin’ McDuff who is an artist from Amarillo. The person who funded this bizarre project in Stanley Marsh 3.
Stanley Marsh 3 is also the one behind some of the public art projects you will see in Amarillo. He is the billionaire behind the Cadillac Ranch.
16. Combine City
They combined city is more like what you will expect when a farmer decides to replicate the Cattle Ranch.
Instead of Cadillac, you will find a cluster of trucks.
Though it won’t be possible for you to work around this “city” as you would on the Cadillac Ranch, you can watch this amazing “combine” from outside.
For a better view, I recommend you come with a zoom lens if you desire to get a good picture of this amazing place.
Combine City is just at the right before Whitaker Road assuming you are heading towards Market Road 1151. Pay a visit here to see this Amarillo Texas attraction.
17. Globe-News Centre for the Performing Arts.
Located in the downtown of Amarillo, The Globe-News Centre for the Performing Arts is the home to the Amarillo Opera, the Amarillo Symphony, and the Lone Star Ballet. This should be amongst the fun things to do in Amarillo during your visit if you are a music lover.
Throughout the year, the Globe-News Centre for the Performing Arts plays host to a lot of events.
Some of these events include ballet performances, symphony orchestra performances, concerts, theatrical performances, and so many others.
Sometimes, the Center is used for hosting private and/or community events.
The building which houses the Center is a wonder on its own. Its architectural designs are impressive.
The main theatre looks so much like the Palo Duro Canyon which is not so far from the theatre. This is because, it is covered in red sandstone. Its seating capacity is about 1,300 seater!
Including the theatre, the building is divided into three stages. They include business and administrative offices, dressing areas, and the spaces for staging.
Location: 500 S. Buchanan Street, Amarillo, Texas 79101. Phone No: 806-342-5600
18. The Galleries at Sunset Centre
The Sunset Art Gallery of Amarillo is one of the best galleries in the United States. The gallery houses the work of about 100 artists.
The type of art displayed in this gallery ranges from sculpture to oil painting. You will find all genres of art there.
The Amarillo’s First Friday Art walk, which holds every month and is open to the community is sponsored by the Gallery and others.
You are free to attend the Art Walk. During the Art Walk, the artist who owns some of the arts in the gallery are mostly present.
They also serve delicious food in these monthly events, with live music. You can’t afford to miss this program when you visit Amarillo.
The Sunset Art Gallery of Amarillo is just one of the 55 galleries housed in the Galleries of Sunset Center.
Check out others, you will be amazed by the sculptures and other arts that are being displayed in these Galleries.
Location: 3701 Plains Blvd, Suite 122, Amarillo, Texas 79102. Phone No: 806-353-5700.
19. Harrington House
Located in Amarillo, Texas, the Harrington House is the very home that was built by John and Pay Landergin, who were just cattlemen in the year 1914.
The home was later bought by Don and Sybil Harrington. This two worked in the Oil and Gas industry. They preserved the house after they bought it.
This home is special and worth reckoning because it is no ordinary house. It was built with beautiful materials and superior workmanship using the neoclassical architectural style.
The furnishing that is used to cover its Reception and parquet flooring is all original tapestry which date as far back as the 18th century.
It is no surprise that the Harrington kept the impressive art collections and the furnishing used in building this beautiful home. Some of these arts are still found in this home today.
Some of the furniture you will find when you visit the house includes a Regency side cabinet. You will also see a pair of George III-style giltwood mirrors and a customized urn-shaped finials down in the reception hall.
Location: 1600 S. Polk Street, Amarillo, Texas 79102. Phone No: 806-374-5490
20. Amarillo Museum of Art.
Famous for its art exhibit, the Amarillo Museum of Art displays arts from different periods and genres.
Most of its arts are made by local artists inspired by Texas, thus, it is the best place to view the art culture of Texas.
You are free to visit the Museum on any working day, and you can explore on your own without a guide.
If you don’t want to explore alone, you can request for a docent-guided tours. It can be for groups or personal. The museum also gives field trip tours.
Sometimes, the museum hosts talks, lectures, and programs to educate everyone on the importance of art, and what is obtainable in today’s art.
They also go a step further through their Museum Summer Camp and Museum School to impact knowledge about on the young ones.
Don’t forget to visit the Museum Store to get a book, an apparel, a gift or a souvenir. It will be a reminder of your visit to the museum.
Location: 2200 S Van Buren Street, Amarillo, Texas 79109. Phone No: 806-371-5050.
21. Kwahadi Museum of the American Indian.
One of the recent museums in Amarillo, the building that houses the Kwahadi Museum of the American Indian was designed in a manner to reminisce an Indian Pueblo.
The whole museum and it’s exhibits tell a lot about the art, culture of the Native Americans.
Some of the significant arts which you can find in this museum include bronze castings by Tom Knapp, Thomas Mails Collection of Native American Culture, etc.
You will also find the Navajo rug collection.
Throughout the year, the museum holds dance performances loved by the public. The date is not steady as it changes seasonally.
You can attend any of the different performances that occur within the year.
Location: 9151 I-40, Amarillo, Texas 79118. Phone No: 806-335-3175.
22. Ye Olde Pancake Station.
One of the best restaurants in Amarillo. The Ye Olde Pancake Station serves everything from breakfast classics to breakfast burritos even to skillets.
The environment of the restaurants is homely, and it serves one of the best fluffy pancakes you have ever eaten.
It gets so busy during the weekend, thus, I suggest you visit here on time.
23. Amarillo Civic Centre Complex
The Amarillo Civic Centre Complex is both a convention and an event center. It is multi-purpose.
Inside the complex, you will find different facilities such as 2,848-seat auditorium that is used most times for musical performances, Broadway shows, and so forth.
The complex is also where the Cal Farley Coliseum, a sports arena that is the home of the Amarillo Venom Indoor football league and the Amarillo Bulls hockey team.
The center is used sometimes for conventions, concerts, wrestling, I’ve skating shows, and so many more.
There is also Grand Plaza which was designed to be used for smaller events. The Grand Plaza also serves as a tribute to the state.
In case there is a need to hold not so large trade shows, banquets, meetings, and other events that are of moderate attendance, they can be held at any of the two exhibit halls housed by the center.
Location: 401 S Buchanan Street, Amarillo, Texas 79101. Phone No: 806-378-3096.
24. Helium Centennial Times Column Monument.
Built-in the year 1968, the Helium Centennial Times Column Monument was built to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the discovery of helium.
It’s not surprising that this was held in Amarillo. This is because the headquarters of the Federal Helium Program and also the Helium Plant (which was established in 1929) is in Amarillo.
Before now, the Helium Monument was at I-40 and Nelson, But it was moved from that location to its current location in the year 1982 by the aid of a helicopter.
Today, you can find the Monument on the grounds of the Don Harrington Discovery Centre.
The four-time capsules which are held by the monument include documents, books, historical artifacts e.t.c, all of which are related to how life was in 1968.
The time capsules contents are inside four chambers which are completely filled to the brim with helium, you definitely have to add a visit here to your list of top things to do in Amarillo TX.
Location: 1200 Streit Drive, Amarillo, Texas 79106. Phone No: 806-355-9547.
25. Big Texan Opry (Big Texan Steak Ranch)
Both a landmark and a legend along Route 66, The Big Texan was opened in the year 1960.
Since it’s establishment, it has become a favorite spot for all sorts of drivers who drive along Route 66 to stop for a steak.
You can’t miss the building, the architectural style used in building it makes it so easy to be spotted along the way. You can’t miss its bill post.
You can’t taste this steak meal and not come back for more. There is also the 72-oz steak meal which is offered free of charge to any customer that could finish it before an hour.
There is also a gift shop beside the restaurant. You can buy exotic gifts and souvenirs you can take home with you.
Location: 7701 I-40 East, Amarillo, Texas 79118.
26. Amarillo Botanical Gardens
If you are a lover of nature then getting close to nature should be among your list of things to do in Amarillo Texas.
This is a garden of more than 4 acres that features plants that are native to Texas, the Amarillo Garden is seasoned.
The indoor conservatory which is inside the Amarillo Garden display exotic and tropical plants which were obtained from different part of the world.
If you desire a guided tour, the garden offers a guided tour but it is available only during business hours. Booking should be made a week before the tour.
Visitors are also allowed to explore the garden by themselves if they want to.
Apart from tours, the Botanical Gardens do offer educational programs like gardening, plant management, and so on.
It is also available for rent for private events or occasions like weddings.
Location: 1400 Streit Drive, Amarillo, TX 79106. Phone No: 806-352-6513.
27. Don Harrington Discovery Center
Don Harrington Discovery Center is a science center that is located in the heart of Amarillo.
As expected, this center displays several interactive exhibits which have relation to the science discipline.
The center has a place called the “Space Theatre” which is a planetarium. It also houses the “Space Gallery” which is fully dedicated to earth’s weather conditions and the weather condition in the outer space.
You will also be shown the museum and space centers which feature family-friendly areas like KinderStudio and Little Builders.
KinderStudio and Little Builders are special areas in the center where kids can play, create and explore. You can leave your kids in a staff’s capable hand while you check out the Centre.
Older children and adults are not left behind in the fun as well.
You are free to attend any of the family-friendly events and educational programs the Discovery Centre host every year.
Location: 1200 Streit Amarillo, TX 79106. Phone No: 806-355-9547.
28. Amarillo Zoo
Would you like to get to know what to do in Amarillo texas with kids, how about taking them to see lovely animals at the Amarillo Zoo?
A host of interesting and exotic animals, The Amarillo Zoo is a 15-acre zoological Park.
There are about 150 animals in the Zoo, at least one of them came from 88 species of animals from different parts of the world.
Some of the animals which are native to Texas that can be seen in the Zoo includes, Tarantulas, and grey foxes.
You will also see the lions, tigers, exotic birds, and so many other exotic animals. The Zoo offers other fun activities apart from seeing the animals in the enclosures.
For instance, you can attend the live animal shows, animal encounters, and keeper chats.
After touring the Zoo, visit the concession stands just at the Zoo, and buy any of the variety of park food they sell there. Don’t forget to get a gift or a souvenir that is related to the Zoo and its animals from the Souvenir stand. This will be a constant reminder of your visit to the Zoo
Location: 700 Comanchero Trail, Amarillo, Texas 79107. Phone No: 806-381-7911
29. Amarillo Little Theatre.
Rated as one of the best small theatres in the whole of the United States, the Amarillo Little Theatre is known for its variety of plays and shows which is displays all through the year.
It has under its employment so many experienced local artists who perform wonderful shows. After the shows, the visitors are allowed to mix and mingle with the performers.
Some of the performances the display includes classical pieces and comedies. They also show broadway-style musical shows. Most of the shows are family-friendly.
After the show, you can visit the concession stand for food, drinks, and tailor-made cocktails.
To secure good spots, I suggest you make reservations on time. The theatre gets often fully booked days before the event.
Location: 2019 Civic Circle, Amarillo, Texas 79109. Phone No: 806-355-9991
30. Wildcat Bluff Nature Centre
Encompassing a rolling grassland of more than 600 acres, the Wildcat Bluff Nature Centre is one of the best natural parks in the country.
Park has so many nature trails, where its visitors can take a stroll, or maybe host a picnic. The environment is so peaceful.
Among the grasses and the cottonwood trees, you will see wildflowers sprinkled everywhere making the whole park look like a very beautiful natural bluff.
The park has Wildlife some of which are quails, horned lizards, and hawks.
The historic Gregg-Marcy Wagon Trail which travels from Sante Fe to Forth Smith is regarded as a part of the nature center.
The park is quite interesting to visit. When you get to the visitors center, you will be shown photographs of the plant and the animals which can be found in the Park. You will also be given information about them.
You can learn a thing or two about the park, as you are guided around it by the tour guides.
Location: 2301 N. Soncy Road, Amarillo, Texas 79124. Phone No: 806-352-6007.
31. Amarillo Opera
A professional Opera company, the Amarillo Opera has been in operation since the year 1988.
Don’t be surprised if you see students at Amarillo College here, for the opera work closely with the school. The spaces in the opera house are used by the college as office spaces, rehearsals, performance spaces.
The opera house has produced several shows throughout its years which are so successful. These works range from classic, inventive works to modern works that are filled with so much creativity.
Considering the quality of there performance, it is not surprising that Amarillo Opera is an award-winning opera.
Though most of its plays are not in English, the opera house does project the English language subtitle a little above the stage to enable the guest to follow the program or performance.
Location: 2223 S Van Buren Street, Amarillo, Texas 79109. Phone No: 806-372-7464.
32. Amarillo Railroad Museum.
The Amarillo Railroad Museum.is a railroad museum that was established to preserve the heritage and the railroad history of Texas and it is today one of Amarillo Texax attractions and should make the best things to do in Amarillo.
In the museum, you will find a lot of railroad equipment as well as model trains that are preserved there.
There is also a layout of the HO scale in the museum. This layout, which is the largest in the museum was designed to capture the 200 miles tracts of the Santa Fe’s railroad in Texas.
The layout spans about the era from 1952 to the 70s. Its measurement shows that this 2-level layout fills a 48 foot by 75-foot room.
Apart from the models which are inside the museum, you will also find an outdoor railroad garden, and a historical train engine and cars just outside of the museum.
You will also find a nuclear weapon transport train owned by the Department of Energy in this Museum.
Location: 3160 I Avenue, Amarillo, Texas 79111. Phone No: 806-335-3333
Start Planning Your Visit to Amarillo.
Most cities barely have interesting spots, Amarillo is not one of them. From the art museums, to the Cadillac Ranch, then to the RV Museum, what’s there not to tell?
Some scenes just stick in your brain and never leaves. I think you will understand after you have seen the giants legs on the Ozymandy plains.
Start making plans for your trip today, get hold of the fun things to do in Amarillo, these should make your visit to this awesome city worthwhile.