Settled at the center of Texas canyons and other beautiful nature-made landscapes, Amarillo is the kind of city that reminds you of cowboys, old western movies, and spurred boots. Everything you have ever heard about Texas is in Amarillo— from ginormous steak challenges, to long highway roads where Cadillacs and antique automobiles travel.
There are dozens of fun, educational, and often historic, things to do, see, and explore in Amarillo. See collections of Western artworks in inner city museums, to the prairies, canyon cliffs, and campsites of outskirt parks and nature preserves. There is something new and adventurous to experience for every kind of guest to this big Texas city.
Find plenty of fun things to do in Amarillo, TX!
Lovin’ the car trade and classic automobiles?
Take a tour of Bill’s Backyard Classics. This old-fashioned museum is a walk-through of cars, one classic after another. In pristine condition, these cars have been lovingly, perfectly restored—and many date back to the late 1920s. You can opt for a self-guided tour.
Or, ask for a professional guided tour, and learn hundreds of cool facts about the cars in this collection. For auto lovers, it’s easy to spend over an hour admiring the restorations, and you are sure to find your favorite classic in the line-up. Fun fact: These classic cars are someone’s private, personal collection—so be respectful.
Lions, snakes and bison — oh my!
If your vacation is geared more towards family-friendly fun, the Amarillo Zoo is the place to be. Covering 15 acres of both exotic and American wildlife, there are a plethora of beautiful, fascinating animals to admire. Some of the most popular animal exhibits include panthers, lions, venomous snakes, and bison.
This zoo is considered small in comparison to other zoos nationwide, so guests often spend less than 2 hours walking through and seeing everything. You can rest with a picnic in the compact park with a gazebo, shaded benches, and pretty gardens.
Spend time in Amarillo's outdoors!
Take your lunch to Ellwood Park and hike nature trails, walk simpler paths, and watch your kiddos run around and play on the playgrounds. There are lots of picnic tables, as well as plenty of space for children and dogs to run.
For nature lovers with their hearts set on camping in Amarillo, the Palo Duro Canyon offers 60-miles of gorgeous ravines, tall cliffs, and lots of wildlife. There are heaps of fun activities set up throughout the canyons.
For example, a halfway-point Trading Post is set up old-western style, with rolled ice cream and hiking or camping essentials. The campsites are designated for safety and well-maintained, so you can hike awhile, then spend the night under the stars.
There is little-to-no pollution in the canyons, which means the beauty of the stars are out in full force. The park has recommendations and rules for hikers and campers, such as a gallon of water per person, super-comfortable and absorbent hiking boots, and plenty of sunscreen, non-perishable snacks, and trek poles or walking sticks.
Head out to Cadillac Ranch and enjoy colorful art!
Situated on Route 66, a little west of Amarillo is the public art installation of well-loved Cadillac's partially (and purposely) buried into the ground like headstones in a cemetery. The cars stem from models dating from 1949 to 1963 and people love to graffiti the cars with cans of neon spray paint. Snap a photo or two of your art. . . it won't stay around long before someone decides to repaint your car!
And— if you enjoy vintage vehicles, visit the Jack Sisemore Traveland RV Museum!
Step back into time and wander through this amazing time capsule of RVs and nostalgic campers dating back to 1943! Tour the mobile cabins at your leisure and take in all the vintage camping decor. It'll take you about an hour to tour the campers and you may also enjoy the many vintage Harley Davidson motorcycles as well. The fascinating museum is conveniently located right on Jack's current RV sales lot.
Work up your appetite yet?
Texas is known for their big appetites, and Amarillo is no exception. There are over 400 awesome restaurants in Amarillo, from classic American fare, to tastes of Italian cuisine, to seafood, barbecue, pizza, steak, and everything in between. Anything you have a craving for can be found in Amarillo.
One of the most popular restaurants in Amarillo has been a local favorite for decades—Ye Olde Pancake Station. Kids love their rendition of green eggs and ham, while other love their blueberry-smothered pancakes, over-easy eggs, homemade buttermilk biscuits, and chicken fried steak.
Other top Amarillo restaurants include:
• Coyote Bluff Cafe - American, Bar
• 575 Pizzeria - Pizza, Italian, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan, GF
• Tyler's Barbecue - American BBQ, GF
• Blue Sky - American, Burgers
• Saltgrass Steakhouse - American, Steakhouse, Bar, Vegetarian Friendly, GF
• Big Texan Steak Ranch - American, Steakhouse, Southwestern, Bar, GF
• Abuelo's - Mexican, Southwestern, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan, GF
• Hauffbrau Steak & Grill House - American, Steakhouse, Bar, GF
Stay at one of the best hotels in Amarillo!
For travelers booking a stay in Amarillo, there are a couple dozen top-ranked Amarillo hotels to choose from. However, to help you get started, here are four suggestions on lodging in Amarillo—Red Roof Inn Amarillo Downtown, Holiday Inn, Fairfield Inn & Suites, and Ashmore Inn & Suites.
Red Roof Inn Amarillo Downtown
Located near the Downtown Amarillo Airport, the Red Roof Inn Amarillo Downtown is simple and nice with lots of comfortable accommodations. The rooms are pleasant, clean, and spacious, the customer service is friendly and reliable, and the outdoor swimming pool is clean with a cozy lounge area. Other accommodations include free parking guests, free high-speed internet, and free daily breakfasts. Cruise the Route 66 Historic District, less than 2 miles away, is loaded with roadside must-sees. Check out the antique stores, ghost towns, and classic tributes to old-fashioned Americana history.
The Holiday Inn on West Amarillo Boulevard is located near West Medical Center, within walking distance to numerous shops, restaurants, and family-friendly activities. Ranked the 5th best business hotel in Amarillo, and the 6th best family hotel in the city, there are lots of homey, comfortable accommodations to acquiesce the basic needs of guests.
The most popular amenities include a heated indoor swimming pool and hot tub, an on-site restaurant, bar, and lounge, and a well-equipped fitness center. Planning for a night in? Order up room service and watch some free movies on a flat-screen television with basic cable.
Fairfield Inn & Suites
The Fairfield Inn & Suites, seated on Airport Boulevard, is clean, comfortable, and pleasant. Accommodation-wise, there are tons of freebies, like high-speed internet, basic cable television, daily breakfasts, and super-comfortable, clean towels, pillows, and linens. Other accommodations include fresh-baked cookies at check-in, superb and knowledgeable staff, close proximity to shops and restaurants, and an indoor swimming pool and hot tub. Take a walk to the Indian Oven for a dinner of epic cultural proportions. Sample the naan, curries, saffron rice, and biryani—yum!
Ashmore Inn & Suites
Well-kept and beautiful with prime location on East Interstate 40, Ashmore Inn & Suites is often described as peaceful and comfortable. The rooms are cozy, well-furnished, and clean, the customer service is friendly, knowledgeable, and spot-on, and the amenities are as good as home.
Nothing fancy—no frills, but basic comforts and fair prices go a long way. A few notable accommodations include free daily breakfasts, a fitness room, heated indoor swimming pool, hot tub, airport transportation, and self-serve laundry facilities.
For reflective, contemplative entertainment, take a walk around the grounds and watch the sunset from the front gazebo.
Are you ready to wrangle up a memorable time in Amarillo? Book now. Save now. TravNow!