Explore Amarillo, Texas: Top Things to Do in the Yellow Rose of the High Plains

Nestled in the Texas Panhandle, Amarillo offers a unique blend of Western charm and contemporary culture, making it a fascinating destination for travelers and locals alike. Known as the “Yellow Rose of Texas,” Amarillo boasts a variety of attractions that highlight its rich history, vibrant arts scene, and stunning natural landscapes. Whether you’re interested in exploring museums, enjoying local cuisine, or embracing outdoor adventures, Amarillo has something to excite every visitor. In this guide, we’ll discover the best things to do in Amarillo, ensuring a memorable experience in this iconic Texan city.


1. Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Experience the Grand Canyon of Texas

Just a short drive from Amarillo lies Palo Duro Canyon, the second-largest canyon in the United States. Renowned for its breathtaking vistas, rugged beauty, and extensive network of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails, Palo Duro Canyon State Park is a must-visit for nature lovers and adventure seekers. Don’t miss the TEXAS Outdoor Musical, performed in an amphitheater with the canyon as a stunning backdrop during the summer months.

2. Cadillac Ranch

Iconic Roadside Art Installation

Cadillac Ranch, an unconventional tribute to America’s automotive culture, features ten Cadillac cars half-buried nose-first in the ground. Created in 1974 by the art group Ant Farm, this quirky landmark invites visitors to leave their mark with spray paint. It’s a dynamic art piece that changes daily and a popular stop along historic Route 66.

3. Amarillo Botanical Gardens

A Peaceful Escape

Discover the beauty and tranquility of the Amarillo Botanical Gardens. With collections of native and exotic plant species, these gardens offer a peaceful escape all year round. Seasonal events, like the magical Christmas in the Gardens, illuminate the space with thousands of lights, creating a festive atmosphere.

4. The American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum

Celebrating Equestrian Heritage

Amarillo’s deep connection to equestrian culture is celebrated at The American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum. This facility honors the legendary American Quarter Horse and features interactive exhibits, a hall of fame, and live demonstrations. It’s a fascinating destination for horse enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

5. Amarillo Zoo

Fun for the Entire Family

The Amarillo Zoo is a fantastic place for family fun, offering a chance to see over 60 species of animals. The zoo focuses on education and conservation, providing a variety of programs that allow visitors to learn about wildlife and environmental preservation.

6. The Big Texan Steak Ranch

A Taste of Texas

No trip to Amarillo would be complete without a meal at The Big Texan Steak Ranch. Famous for its 72-ounce steak challenge, this restaurant not only offers hearty Texan cuisine but also a taste of local folklore and hospitality. Even if you’re not up for the challenge, the menu’s variety ensures there’s something for everyone.

7. Route 66 Historic District

Step Back in Time

The Route 66 Historic District in Amarillo offers a nostalgic journey through the golden age of the Mother Road. Featuring antique shops, boutiques, and eateries housed in vintage buildings, this area is perfect for shopping and dining while soaking up the retro vibe.

8. Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum

Dive into Texas History

Located a short drive from Amarillo in Canyon, TX, the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum is the largest history museum in Texas. Its extensive exhibits cover the area’s geology, paleontology, and cultural history, providing visitors with a comprehensive overview of the Texas Panhandle’s past.

9. Wonderland Amusement Park

Thrills and Fun for Everyone

For those seeking excitement, Wonderland Amusement Park offers thrilling rides, games, and attractions for all ages. From roller coasters to water rides, it’s a great spot to enjoy a fun-filled day with family or friends.

10. Amarillo Little Theatre

Live Entertainment

Experience the vibrant local arts scene at the Amarillo Little Theatre, one of the oldest continuously operating theatres in the country. The theatre presents a variety of plays and musicals throughout the year, showcasing local talent and providing high-quality entertainment.


Amarillo, Texas, is a city rich in culture, history, and natural beauty, offering a diverse range of activities that cater to all interests. Whether you’re exploring the depths of Palo Duro Canyon, experiencing the unique art at Cadillac Ranch, or enjoying a classic Texan meal at The Big Texan Steak Ranch, Amarillo promises an unforgettable experience. Each attraction not only entertains but also tells a part of Amarillo’s storied history, making it an ideal destination for those who wish to immerse themselves in the true spirit of Texas. So, pack your bags and prepare for an adventure in Amarillo, where the Old West meets modern entertainment and natural wonders beckon at every turn.