Top 3 Things to Do in Amarillo, Texas

Nestled in the heart of the Texas Panhandle, Amarillo may not be the first destination that comes to mind when planning a road trip through the Southwest. However, our recent two-night stay in this vibrant city left us pleasantly surprised and turned, what was initially planned as a brief stopover on our way to New Mexico, into a memorable experience.

Before we get into the top 3 things to do in Amarillo, we just have to talk about the amazing accommodation we found!

The Cozy Cactus

After a tiring 8-hour drive to kick off our road trip, we were immediately revitalized upon entering The Cozy Cactus. This super cute Amarillo homestay is tucked away in a charming neighborhood and provided us with the perfect blend of comfort and convenience. The home is perfectly located near Route 66 and only a minute’s drive from interstate 40. The quiet neighborhood and comfy beds provided us with an excellent night’s sleep and left us rejuvenated and energized for the adventures to come.

Another major plus for us was the beautiful kitchen. As budget travelers, we really appreciate being able to prepare our own meals and pack lunches. The Cozy Cactus provided everything we needed to cook our own meals as well as the most essential amenity for Ryne: a selection of delicious coffees.

We can’t recommend this vacation rental enough. We were thrilled with every aspect of our stay, including our communication with the very friendly and responsive hostess.

Palo Duro Canyon

The highlight of our Amarillo adventure was undoubtedly our visit to Palo Duro Canyon State Park. Palo Duro Canyon, also known as the Grand Canyon of Texas, is the second largest canyon in the United States. Of course, we had to hike it.

There are a number of trails to choose from, but we only had one day here, so we chose to hike the most popular trail in the park, the Lighthouse Trail. Recognizing how hot it can get in the arid climate of the Texas panhandle, we embarked early in the morning and are so glad we did. As the sun began its ascent and highlighted distant rock formations, we were treated to spectacular vistas and wildlife encounters amidst the morning tranquility of the canyon. The trail itself is easy to traverse and culminates in awe-inspiring views of this iconic rock formation as well as the canyon itself.

Whether you plan to camp or just stop in for a day hike, we highly recommend reserving your entrance in advance. Texas state parks often limit the number of daily visitors and you wouldn’t want to drive all the way out here just to be turned away at the gate. As always remember to pack plenty of water and leave this serene natural environment free of waste.

Route 66

Of course, no visit to Amarillo would be complete without a journey down the iconic Route 66. Route 66 is one of, if not the, most defining highway in U.S. history and it’s influence on Amarillo is no exception. In recognition of the highway’s significance, a section of Route 66 in Amarillo was designated as a Historic District, preserving the route’s heritage and character for future generations to enjoy. This was apparent to us, as we cruised past nostalgic landmarks, vintage architecture and eclectic shops on our way to some tasty happy hour beers at one of the many local craft breweries.

Cadillac Ranch

Another famous landmark in Amarillo is the Cadillac Ranch. This is literally a plot of land just outside the west side of town that features 10 vintage Cadillacs buried nose first into the ground. The exposed sections of the vehicles’ bodies now serve as a canvas to amateur graffiti artists. And when we say amateur, we really mean amateur. There is an on-location vendor selling spray paint to anybody who wants to get in touch with their artistic side. We weren’t overly impressed with the Cadillac Ranch, but it’s a good, and free, excuse to get out and stretch your legs if you’re just passing through.

Our time in Amarillo was filled with unexpected delights and unforgettable experiences. From sipping craft beers at Six Car Pub & Brewery to exploring the rugged beauty of Palo Duro Canyon, Amarillo captured our hearts with its unique charm and hospitality. We would once again like to thank our hostess at The Cozy Cactus for making our stay so pleasant!

About the Authors

Authors of He Said or She Said: Ryne & Denise Cook

Ryne and Denise Cook: Amarillo has so much more to offer than meets the eye. We thoroughly enjoyed our time there and are happy to share our experiences with readers like you.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

He Said or She Said