Situated in the heart of the Texas panhandle, the city of Amarillo provides visitors with a long list of reasons to visit each year. Often considered both the business and cultural center of the region, Amarillo is a destination that captures the interest of travelers from across the map with good reason.
Whether you have a passion for art and history, or you’re headed this way with the entire family, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. The following are 15 things you’ll want to be sure to add to the itinerary when you’re in town.
15. The Amarillo Zoo
(image via Amarillo Zoo)
Those hoping to incorporate a touch of wild adventure into their Amarillo trip will find what they’re looking for at the Amarillo Zoo. Situated at 700 Comanchero Trail, this zoo spans 15 acres of land and is home to over 150 animals.
Guests here will enjoy learning more about the 88 on-site species that hail from around the globe during their visit. This zoo is educational and engaging and focuses on conservation efforts, from lions and exotic birds to tigers, bison, foxes, and more.
14. Bill’s Backyard Classics
(image via Bill's Backyard Classics)
If you happen to be a classic car enthusiast, Amarillo has something for you too. Be sure to head over to Bill’s Backyard Classics at 5309 S. Washington Street when you’re looking to enjoy an enthralling private collection of classic cars and hot rods.
This collection hosts over 100 vehicles dating from 1928 to 2012 and is owned by Bill and Linda Pratt. Car shows are hosted regularly at Bill’s Backyard Classics, but a visit on any given day provides an opportunity to enjoy Pontiac Catalina convertibles, Cadillac Fleetwood limos, and more!
13. The Don Harrington Discovery Center
(image via DHDC Amarillo)
When you’re looking for that kid-friendly Amarillo stop that’s educational and engaging for young minds, search no further than The Don Harrington Discovery Center. Found at 1200 Streit Drive, this hands-on science center is interactive and exciting for visitors of all ages.
This discovery center includes access to a planetarium, space gallery, and displays that teach everything from weather to water patterns. A stop here is a chance for kids to get creative, learn, and leave with exciting factoids to bring home with them.
12. The American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame and Museum
(image via American Quarter Horse Assn.)
It’s hard for many travelers to imagine a trip this way without a little time dedicated to horses. A trip to The American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame and Museum is a good way to make that happen.
Located at 2601 I-40 East, this hall of fame and museum features a variety of photographs and paintings of this iconic breed. When you’re here, be sure to check out the exhibits that highlight the history of horseback riding in Texas. Several interactive displays showcase horse anatomy, riding postures, and beyond.
11. Check Out the Cadillac Ranch
(image via Heidi Kaden)
If you happen to be an adventurer that brings artistic inspiration with you wherever you go, stopping by Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo will likely be the highlight of your trip. Found at 1-40 Frontage Road, Cadillac Ranch is decidedly more of a public art installation than a ranch at all.
Created by Hudson Marquez, Doug Michels, and Chip Lord, this art installation involves a collection of Cadillacs that have been placed nose-first into the ground. While all of the vehicles have been painted, the idea is to keep the installation evolving with every visit. Guests to Cadillac Ranch are encouraged to bring their own spray paint and put a personal touch on the exhibit before they go.
10. The Jack Sisemore Traveland RV Museum
For the quirky travelers looking for an off-the-beaten-path stop in Amarillo; time at The Jack Sisemore Traveland RV Museum should do the trick. Found at 14501 1-27, this one-of-a-kind museum is a testament to all things vintage RVs.
Unusual? Yes. Worth the trip? Most definitely! The Jack Sisemore Traveland RV Museum was created more than 25 years ago by a father and son duo with a shared passion for vintage RVs. Today, the museum is a place where visitors can get their eyes on everything from the first Itasca motorhome to the Flxible Bus. RVs on-site date back to the 1930s, making it a true trip down memory lane.
9. See the Route 66 Historic District
(image via The Big Texan)
Perhaps one of the most iconic stops in all of Amarillo is the Route 66 Historic District. Made up of 13 blocks just west of Amarillo’s city center, this district showcases a collection of beautiful buildings that sit along with one of the most infamous highways in America.
A stroll through the Route 66 Historic District is a chance to admire architecture covering everything from art décor and Spanish Revival to styles that defined the early 20th century. From the Natatorium and Taylor’s Texaco Station to the Adkinson-Baker Tire Company, this district holds onto the past in a way that rivals the future.
8. Explore the Amarillo Botanical Gardens
(image via Amarillo Botanical Gardens)
When nothing sounds better than time immersed in the beauty of nature, a day at the Amarillo Botanical Gardens should be first on your itinerary. Born from the Amarillo Gardening Club, which formed in 1929, the botanical gardens known and loved today have grown far beyond the club’s original plans.
The Amarillo Botanical Gardens are located at 1400 Streit Drive and are a great place to take a stroll, enjoy the views, or put your photography skills to the test. The gardens are open year-round with varying seasonal hours and offer guided tours upon request.
Visitors to the Amarillo Botanical Gardens will enjoy encountering a variety of shrubs, herbs, trees, and flowers during a visit. The gardens are situated both indoors and outside, and when you’ve finished browsing, you can even visit the on-site library filled with garden-specific literature.
7. The Amarillo Railroad Museum
(image via Amarillo Railroad Musuem, Inc.)
An afternoon at The Amarillo Railroad Museum might be the ticket for those heading to Amarillo with a passion for transportation. Found at 3160 I Avenue, the Amarillo Railroad Museum features exhibits and displays that tell the story of the railroad as it made its way through the Texas panhandle.
This family-friendly stop is great when you’re in the mood to get up close to a collection of historic railroad equipment, model trains, and more. This museum spans two levels and offers guests a chance to enjoy an outdoor railroad garden and train engine experiences, too.
6. See a Show at the Amarillo Opera
When classical performances are what tug at the heartstrings, the Amarillo Opera is sure to inspire. Found at 2223 S Van Buren Street, the Amarillo Opera has been an icon in the city since 1988.
This professional opera house works in tandem with Amarillo College and hosts a variety of amazing shows year-round. Tickets can be booked for everything from modern operas to traditional favorites. Subtitles are projected above the stage for performances in languages beyond English.
5. Amarillo Little Theatre
(image via Amarillo Little Theatre)
If small stage performances are more your style, a night at the Amarillo Little Theatre might be just what you’ve been looking for. Located at 2019 Civic Circle, the Amarillo Little Theatre is a community-based stage that puts on local plays and shows throughout the year.
This theatre is a place where local artists get a chance to shine. If you book tickets for a performance, be sure to stick around after the show because mixing and mingling with the cast is half the fun. It’s a family-friendly theatre complete with a concession stand and pre-show cocktail options too.
4. Globe-News Center for the Performing Arts
Amarillo is a destination known for providing a variety of options for fun to visitors. That said, if you’re an enthusiast of the arts, booking tickets for the Globe-News Center for the Performing Arts is a must.
Found at 500 S. Buchanan Street, this performing arts center sits in the heart of downtown Amarillo. It’s home to the Lone Star Ballet and the Amarillo Symphony, just to name a few. A variety of events are hosted here throughout the year spanning ballet, opera, theater, and concerts. Altogether, this performing arts center enjoys three seating levels and undeniably intriguing architectural features. It can easily seat up to 1,300 audience members in the main auditorium.
3. See the Harrington House
(image via Harrington House Historic Home)
History buffs heading to Amarillo, Texas, won’t want to miss out on a chance to visit the Harrington House at least once while they’re in town. Located at 1600 S Polk Street, the Harrington House dates back to 1914 when John and Pat Landergin constructed it.
Harrington House is renowned for its exceptionally preserved neoclassical architecture and impeccable workmanship throughout. A walk through this residence is a chance to encounter original tapestry wall coverings, a fully finished reception hall, and 18th-century parquet flooring. A tour here is a step back in time and an opportunity to admire a stunning on-site art collection, too. Don’t be surprised if you end up lingering longer than you planned!
2. Texas Air and Space Museum
(image via Wikimedia)
If you’re the type of traveler that likes to take your adventures sky-high, a stop at the Texas Air and Space Museum while you’re in town promises to please. Situated at 10001 American Drive within the Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport, this museum pays homage to feats of aviation.
From the C-7A Caribou to the North American P-51D Mustang, the Texas Air and Space Museum is designed to thrill. Stepping inside, visitors can enjoy exhibits complete with both military and civilian aircraft alike. You can also browse space travel artifacts or check out the outdoor aircraft park.
1. Wonderland Amusement Park
(image via Wonderland Amusement Park)
For the Amarillo-bound traveler adventuring with kids, or who is a kid at heart, you’ll want to be sure to start your adventures at Wonderland Amusement Park. This stop opened in 1951 under the name Kiddie Land and originally only hosted three rides!
Today, the park is known and loved as Wonderland Amusement Park and has grown significantly. Guests here can enjoy time on more than 30 rides and attractions. There are also water rides, bumper cars, and a mini-golf course to try out, too. Whether you’re one for roller coasters or bags of cotton candy, this is a place that promises to please. It’s located at 2601 Dumas Drive.
As you can see, Amarillo has a lot to offer everyone. If you are looking to do more in the surrounding area, check out other weekend trips from nearby Amarillo, Texas.
These areas are perfect for a quick day trip or a long weekend getaway. Explore our favorite things to do or peruse some pre-built itineraries.