Whether you consider yourself a real cowboy or simply love to travel, Amarillo, TX, deserves a spot on your bucket list. The city is often overlooked in favor of more prominent locations in the state, like Austin and Dallas, but its selection of unforgettable landmarks, inspiring architecture, and welcoming locals makes it one of the best travel destinations in the U.S. If you’re wondering exactly why you should visit Amarillo, TX, these four attractions are sure to tempt your wanderlust.
1. Cadillac Ranch
No trip to Amarillo, TX, is complete without a visit to the Cadillac Ranch. In fact, many travelers plan their whole trip around this public art installation. Created by three San Francisco artists in 1974 and backed by a billionaire, Cadillac Ranch consists of 10 vintage Cadillacs buried nose-down in the middle of a field.
While the premise is simple enough, the iconic landmark draws thousands of visitors every year. Some snap pictures, while others add their own marks with a can of spray paint — an act that is actually encouraged. Best of all, it’s free. You only need to cover the cost of a taxi ride or shuttle to the site, which is about 15 minutes from downtown.
2. Big Texan Steak Ranch
If your dreams consist of thick, juicy steaks and large servings of side dishes, then the Big Texan Steak Ranch is where you belong. Dating back to 1960, the restaurant is renowned for its top-quality steaks and delicious homestyle dishes. Want a free meal? Take on the steak contest. Anyone that eats an entire a 72-ounce steak, large baked potato, shrimp cocktail, roll with butter, and side salad within one hour eats for free. There’s even a hall of fame that records the names of all contest winners.
While the blue-trimmed, bright yellow building is hard to miss, you’ll know you’ve arrived at the restaurant when you catch sight of the giant bull and dinosaur statues out front. Conveniently, there’s an old west themed hotel on-site, along with a brewery and gift shop. The business has also recently opened the 20-acre Starlight Ranch event center, so be sure to check out the concert and event offerings when you’re in town.
3. Route 66 – Sixth Street Historic District
Historic Route 66 is just about as Americana as it gets. Luckily, Amarillo has preserved a section of the iconic road near the downtown area of the city. The charming Route 66 – Sixth Street Historic District offers antiques, restaurants, breathtaking architecture, and plenty of art.
To take in the magic of the district, take a stroll on foot down Sixth Street beginning at the Georgia Street intersection, and then head west until you reach Western Street (around one mile). The 13-block stretch features notable sites covering a variety of tastes. Here’s a closer at the most popular attractions:
While Amarillo has long attracted ranchers and cattle drivers, there’s something about the city that artists can’t resist either. Luckily, that quality has resulted in plenty of opportunities for visitors to check out local artwork. Some of the best spots are Lile Art Gallery and Blue Sage Pottery and Art Gallery.
If you’re a sucker for antiques, Sixth Street is the place for you. Many shops cover general antique styles, like Whispering Pines Antique and Alley Katz Antique Emporium, but some businesses specialize in certain areas. For instance, Wilson Electric Lamp is home to restored vintage lighting and electrical appliances.
Walking down Sixth Street is like stepping back in time. Many buildings date back between the early- to mid-20th century, making it a dream come true for architecture enthusiasts. Some spots you won’t want to miss include:
- The Bussey Buildings (1920s)
- The Nat Ballroom (1922)
- Adkinson-Baker Tire Company (1939)
- Taylor’s Texaco Station (1937)
- San Jacinto Fire Station (1926)
Each location offers its own unique history and story. Many still house operating businesses or at least welcome visitors. Stop by, say “Hi,” and grab a photo to memorialize your unforgettable trip.
Food & Drinks
Many restaurants on Sixth Street double as bars, transitioning from dinner to nightlife easily. For traditionalists, the burgers and onion rings at Smokey Joe’s are a must-try. While similar options are found at Furrbie’s, Braceros Mexican Grill and Bar switches up the game with a wide selection of Tex-Mex.
The historic district is a fantastic spot to visit year-round, but the strip really comes alive during the summer months. Beginning in June and running through September, Sixth Street plays host to a weekly Slow Cruise on Saturday night. Visitors can enjoy drink and meal specials across the district, accompanied by live music and a parade of restored vintage vehicles.
Not visiting until fall? Inject some thrills into your Amarillo getaway at the Sixth Street Massacre Haunted House. Located in a historic movie theater, the haunted house is sure to give you the chills. It’s open to the public during September and October every year.
4. Jack Sisemore RV Museum
If museums are a staple of your vacations, then you’ve found the answer as to why you need to visit Amarillo, Texas. The Jack Sisemore RV Museum offers an impressive collection of vintage RVs and campers. You can tour the museum six days a week and entrance is free.
Other popular museums in the area include:
- Amarillo Railroad Museum
- Texas Air and Space Museum
- Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum
- American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame and Museum
- Bill’s Backyard Classics
Both the Amarillo Railroad Museum and Texas Air and Space Museum are free, while the admission charges of the other three are all at or under $10.
Book Your Bus Trip to Amarillo, Texas
Now that you know why you should visit Amarillo, Texas, it’s time to book your travel through BusTickets.com. We make the process simple, convenient, and affordable with our user-friendly price comparison tool. Ready to explore Historic Route 66 or be the newest member of the 72-ounce steak contest hall of fame? Begin your adventure by buying your bus tickets today!