The 20 Best Things To Do in Amarillo, TX For First-Timers
If you’re planning to take a trip to Amarillo, Texas, and it’s your first time visiting the area, you’re in for a wonderful time. There is so much to do in Amarillo that you won’t run out of fun experiences, even if you stay for a month. We’ve put together a list of the top 20 best things to do while you’re there so you can maximize your enjoyment of the city and its beautiful surroundings. Our list will help you to plan ahead so you and your traveling companions will have the time of your lives.
20. Visit the Cadillac Ranch
The Cadillac Ranch is one of the most popular tourist attractions on the west side of Amarillo. It’s located just off of Interstate 40. Acres of old Cadillacs are buried nose-first in the ground in an artistic display. Guests are invited to use a can of spray paint and do your own style of graffiti on the old cars and it’s all perfectly legal to tag the cars. The interiors of the cars are all exposed and it’s a novel attraction that you’re welcome to turn the kids loose in and let them run in and out of the vehicles at will. It’s completely free to gain admission to the ranch.
19. Tour the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum
Learn about what Amarillo was like from the time of the dinosaurs to the present. This is the largest museum in the state of Texas and it is dedicated to the history of the state from ancient to modern times. Here you’ll find one of the best art collections in the entire southwest as well as many interesting exhibits that are fun as well as educational. You’ll also learn about the history of the resources and industry in the area.
18. Tour the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame and Museum
The American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame features a showcase of the history of the quarter horse which happens to be the most popular breed in America. There are tons of great exhibits that are displayed year-round. If you’re a horse enthusiast then this is a stop that you won’t want to miss out on. You can learn a lot about the history of the breed as well as see some amazing examples of quarter horses.
17. See the Jack Sizemore Traveland RV Museum
Here you will find the world’s oldest Airstream trailer and several examples of old RVs that have been significant in fueling the RV traveling frenzy. This is the perfect stop for anyone who has a fancy for RVs and it’s likely to bring back a lot of memories for older visitors to the site. The kids are welcome to go in and out of some of the exhibits which makes it a great stopover to take pictures, just so you can say you’ve been there.
16. Take the family to the Amarillo Botanical Gardens
The Amarillo Botanical Gardens is located on four acres in Amarillo’s Medical Center Park. This is a beautiful location to visit with amazing examples of the local flora and fauna in addition to a greenhouse, all types of specialty gardens, a tropical conservatory, and two very special gardens. The Butterfly Garden is spectacular and it will thrill visitors of all ages from kids to adults. Don’t miss the fragrance garden for some of the most amazing scents on the planet. This is a trip that will be well worth your time.
15. Go through the Texas Air and Space Museum
The Texas Air & Space Museum is dedicated to the history of aviation. If you’re an airplane or a space travel buff then you won’t want to pass this one by. It’s located in close proximity to the Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport. Here you’ll find a variety of military aircraft displays as well as artifacts from both air and space. This is a great attraction for people of all ages. Check ahead to find out about special times for tours due to the Coronavirus pandemic closures and limitations.
14. See Bills’ Backyard Classics Museum
Another popular attraction is the Bills’ Backyard Classics Museum. This is a large venue that displays a variety of classic car makes and models that go back to the 1920s era. There are classics, hot rods, and more. The museum is designed to accommodate the entire family with experiences for adults who are car enthusiasts as well as fun things for the kids to do.
13. Take the kids to the Amarillo Zoo
The Amarillo Zoo is filled with a variety of different animals. Although the park is compact in size, the venue has a lot to offer. There are exotic snakes and birds, along with panthers, bison, and other larger animals. You can view them through the exhibits. It’s a great way to spend the afternoon. The zoo offers a nice outing for families with kids.
12. Go to the Discovery Center
If you’re a fan of physics and the planets then the Don Harrington Discovery Center is an experience that you won’t want to miss out on. Learn all about the wonders of electricity through an interactive exhibit, see how you glow in the Electron Excitement Room along with a planetarium to explore the wonders of the universe.
11. Take your picture at the Second Amendment Cowboy landmark
This is a popular roadside attraction that you can see when you’re on your way to visit the Cadillac Ranch. It’s a statue of a cowboy that is on the route that takes you to the Cadillac Ranch art exhibit and novelty gift shop. It’s a great way to pack all of the attractions possible into an afternoon and it’s a popular place for taking photos.
10. Visit the Helium landmark
The Helium landmark is another attraction that you need to see when you’re passing through Amarillo. The monument is dedicated to the importance of the city of Amarillo in the helium industry. It’s an educational site that contains a time capsule with elements that will be opened every ten years. The monument also serves as a sundial. You will find out about what makes Amarillo such a big player in the helium industry while you learn about its fascinating past.
9. Spend a day at the Wonderland Amusement Park
Wonderland Amusement Park is a great place to take the entire family while you’re visiting. You’ll find a variety of interesting things for people of all ages. There are roller coasters, thrill rides, miniature golf, and a variety of food, games, and fun for everyone.
8. Visit the Kwahadi Museum of the American Indian
The Kwahadi Museum of the American Indian is a heritage museum that features a variety of cultural exhibits. You’ll find Native American art, and the museum also sponsors traditional dance performances. You might want to check ahead for a schedule of the opening times in advance. The building itself is made in the design of a Pueblo village.
7. Visit the Harrington House
The Harrington House was built in 1914 and it is one of the more popular historic landmarks in the city. Inside you’ll see original tapestries and ornate detailing in the interior architecture. The Harrington House was built by John and Pat Landergin, dominant cattlemen of the 1914 era, and it was turned into a museum in 1940 by Don and Sybil Harrington. This is a beautiful mansion that features flooring done in 18th-century parquet de Versailles styling with many neoclassical styling elements throughout the home. If you want to learn about the history of the home and its significance in Amarillo, we recommend going with the guided tour for a full explanation.
6. Catch a show at the Globe News Center for the Performing Arts
This is a $30 million facility that first opened its doors early in 2006. The center provides cultural performances of the Lone Star Ballet, the Amarillo Symphony, the Amarillo Opera, and it is the home of all of these organizations. There are a lot of different shows and events held at the Globe-News Center for the Performing Arts and catching a show would be a lovely way to spend the evening.
5. Visit the Amarillo Museum of Art
The Amarillo Museum of Art is located on S. Van Buren Street at Amarillo College. The museum houses a lovely collection of works from local and regional artists. If you’re an art enthusiast this is a venue that you definitely will want to consider.
4. Tour the Amarillo Railroad Museum
The Amarillo Railroad Museum is a must-see for all railroad enthusiasts. You can learn about the rich railroad history for the state of Texas, particularly as it unfolded in the Texas Panhandle region. Selected exhibits of railroad equipment from the past have been preserved and included in the exhibits, and you’ll also find fascinating models in the museum. There are a lot of great pieces to see in this large and expansive museum so you might want to schedule a few hours for your visit there. It’s an educational museum so you can learn a lot about the history of the railroad here.
3. Catch a show at Amarillo Little Theatre Inc.
The Amarillo Little Theatre Inc. is a nonprofit community-based theater that has the mission of bringing volunteer theater professionals together to provide quality entertainment for the community. The theater is home to the Theatre Academy with classrooms and rehearsal spaces for the group that is called the Adventure Space. There is a stage for theatrical and dance productions and two modern dance studios. We recommend that you check the website in advance of your visit and book ahead of time to secure your seat for the show of your choice. The venue only holds up to 453 guests.
2. Stop by the Richard Daniel-Baker Peace Park
This is a popular attraction that gives road-weary travelers a place to pull off and stretch their legs. This park is an interesting place that offers information about who developed the peace sign. There are several signs posted that offer recommendations for making peace. This is a great place to take novelty photos. What’s really cool about this attraction is that it offers you time to walk around but you don’t have to spend a long time there to see everything that there is to see. It’s a small roadside attraction that you might find interesting.
1. Take a tour of Pondaseta Brewing
For adults anyway, no trip to Amarillo is complete without a stopover at Pondaseta Brewing. If you’re a fan of craft beer then this is the premier locale for sampling the most popular brews in the city of Amarillo. The Brewery showcases the unique variety of brews that are created in the panhandle region. The atmosphere is casual so come as you are. The brewery has an interesting history. It started out as a brewery that was founded by members of a Texas country music band called the Newton Road Ramblers. They had a passion for music and for beer. When the music started to fade as a passion, they went after their next favorite thing in the world. They had been homebrewing for 10 years when the guys decided to turn their fondness for the brew into a lively business that everyone could enjoy. The story is great and the selection of beer is even better.