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Revision as of 16:29, 7 April 2008

Cadillac Ranch

Amarillo [2], 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

  • Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport (AMA) [3] - 10801 Airport Boulevard. Approximately 2 miles north of East I-40, and approximately 7 miles east of downtown Amarillo. Nonstop flights are available to Dallas (DFW International Airport on American Eagle; Love Field on Southwest), Houston (Bush Intercontinental on Continental Express; Hobby on Southwest), Albuquerque, Denver, and Las Vegas (all three on Southwest).
  • 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). Admission is free.
The socks are vandalism, the plaque a series of bold-face lies
  • 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. If you have GPS you can try using 35°11′14″N, 101°59′13.4″W to find it.
  • Dynamite Museum, another art project. This one consists of psuedo-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), [1]. Tu-F 9AM-5PM, Su 1PM-5PM. $4/3/2/Free (General/Seniors 60+/Children 4-12/Children under 4).


  • Silver Mesa Ranch [4] - Tel.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 [5] in mid September.
  • Cowboy Roundup USA [6] in early June.


  • Westgate Mall [7] - 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.


The Big Texan Steakhouse
  • Big Texan Steak Ranch & Opry. 806/372-6000. 7700 I-40 at Lakeside. Open daily. Originally a Route 66 icon, the Big Texan was moved when I-40 came barrelling 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.
  • Belmar Bakery & Cafe [8] - 3325 Bell St., 355.0141. Voted Best Bakery in Amarillo, great sandwiches, salads, and soups, too.
  • Calico County 2410 Paramount, off I-40, 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., 806/354.8294. Voted Best Mexican food in Amarillo for several years.


  • Midnight Rodeo [9] - 4400 S Georgia St., (806) 358-7083. Largest honky-tonk in the Texas Panhandle


  • Microtel Inn [10], 1501 Ross Street, (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.
  • Ambassador Hotel [11], 3100 I-40 West (806) 358-6161 Heated indoor pool and whirlpool, two business centers, two restaurants, a fitness center, and Zach's Club 54. Also facilities for meetings, conventions and special events, with eight expansive meeting rooms totaling 8,500 square feet, a garden atrium and complete catering service.

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

Get out

  • 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 Volkswagon 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.
  • Vega, 28 miles west, and some nearby ghost towns have a number of well-preserved Route 66 sites.
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