By Stephanie Hyland,

If you’re new to the “Yellow Rose of Texas” after accepting a job at Tyson Foods or AIG or enrolling in classes at Amarillo College, chances are you’ve been busy unpacking and haven’t had a chance to explore your new city yet. Well, we’ll make it simple for you! Here are nine must-see attractions in Amarillo, Texas.


Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, TX
Photo by waxhawian

Amarillo is home to one of the most famous art installations in the United States! The Cadillac Ranch was created along the iconic Route 66 in 1974 by Chip Lord, Hudson Marquez, and Doug Michels, who were a part of the art group Ant Farm. The installation is said to be a tribute to the “Golden Age” of American automobiles and consists of ten Cadillacs that are half-buried in the ground. The cars have become very colorful over the years from people adding their own touch to the buried classics while stopping by. This installation has been featured in a variety of music videos and movies over the years, too!


Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo
Photo by Jeff Noble

Calling all meat lovers! There’s no better place to get a steak than in Texas. The Big Texan Steak Ranch is home to the famous 72-ounce Steak Challenge. This contest got its start back in 1962 when owner R.J. “Bob” Lee challenged a dining room full of cowboys to eat as many one-pound steaks as they could within one hour without receiving help or getting ill. After one cowboy consumed all 72 ounces of the steak, a baked potato, a shrimp cocktail, a dinner roll, and a salad, it was proclaimed by Lee that anyone who could eat the entire 72-ounce dinner in one hour would receive the meal for free.


Amarillo Botanical Garden in Texas
Photo by Barbara Brannon

If you’re a garden lover, you cannot miss out on the Amarillo Botanical Gardens. This attraction was established in the early 1920s by a local garden club with a mission to prove that beautiful things could be grown in the dry Amarillo climate. The gardens are home to the Mary E. Bivins Tropical Conservatory, and visitors can enjoy programs like Music in the Gardens and guided tours of the grounds.


Historic Route 66 in Amarillo, TX
Photo by Tony Hisgett

The U.S. Route 66-Sixth Street Historic District is not only a great place to shop and eat, but it’s also perfect for learning more of the area’s history. The district displays elements of Art Deco, Spanish Revival, and even Art Moderne design, which has come to represent the different development phases and trends of American culture in that area during the early 20th century. Visitors can enjoy the many restaurants, shops, and festivals along the streets of this iconic location throughout the year.


Palo Duro State Park in Amarillo, TX
Photo by Todd Shoemake

Even though Palo Duro State Park doesn’t have an Amarillo address, the 30-minute commute to the “Grand Canyon of Texas” is an attraction you have to check out. It’s the second largest canyon in the country, and visitors can explore more than 30 miles of trails by foot, horse, car, or mountain bike. The park also has campsites, guided tours, and performances at the Pioneer Amphitheater.


Amarillo, TX Zoo
Photo by Bradley Gordon

Animal lovers will enjoy the 15 acres that make up the Amarillo Zoo, which is home to more than 60 species, including the African Lion, Green Iguana, Sulfur-Crested Cockatoo, and Emperor Scorpion. The zoo offers a variety of educational programs that go beyond the typical animal-viewing experience, and visitors can even host birthday parties, company gatherings, and overnight camping events.


Splash Amarillo in Amarillo, TX
Photo provided by Splash Amarillo

When the Amarillo heat is too much for you, visit Splash Amarillo to cool down! This outdoor water park caters to all ages and has many fun features, like water slides and wave pools. If swimming isn’t your thing, you can enjoy Splash Amarillo’s sand volleyball and basketball courts. Splash Amarillo takes safety very seriously and ensures that all park rides that have pools are monitored by certified lifeguards as well.


Wildcat Bluff in Amarillo, TX
Photo by Robert Nunnally

For outdoor enthusiasts who love walking trails and wildflowers, visiting The Wildcat Bluff Nature Center will be your new favorite activity. The center is just outside of Downtown Amarillo and has more than 600 acres of grassland. History buffs will also enjoy this attraction because the center is the a site of the historic Gregg-Marcy Wagon Trail from Santa Fe to Fort Smith—in fact, wagon ruts are still visible there today.


The Don Harrington Discovery Center
Photo provided by The Don Harrington Discovery Center

If you or your kids enjoy science experiments and hands-on exhibits, look no further than the Don Harrington Discovery Center and Space Theater for a fun afternoon! This nonprofit science museum prides themselves on sparking curiosity of young minds while providing relevant and interactive activities for visitors to enjoy. Some of the exhibits they offer include Critter Row, Kinderstudio, and The Space Gallery.

What other attractions in Amarillo would you include in our list?


If you’re moving to Amarillo and need storage space to help with the transition, view’s directory of storage units in Amarillo, Texas.

All images have either been provided by a listed organization or are licensed under the Creative Commons

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