The Best Way to Spend One Day in Amarillo Texas
“Amarillo by Mornin'”, at least that’s what King George says and we have to agree! Pretty much any road trip driving north out of Texas requires a drive through Amarillo. A little town located on Route 66 in the panhandle of Texas with hints of wild west themes. Most people assume this little town doesn’t have much to offer, but Amarillo has some pretty epic adventures just waiting to be discovered. Here’s the best way to spend a day in Amarillo, Texas.
Start with Coffee at Strata Coffee Bar
There’s no better way to start your day in Amarillo than with coffee! There are so many great little coffee shops, but I really enjoyed the essence that is Strata Coffee Bar. Their indoor seating area was trendy and appealing while also being inviting enough to stay for the day. The coffee had a creamy delicious flavor that couldn’t be beat.
Visit Cadillac Ranch and spray paint cars
Probably one of the most popular and well known rest stops in Amarillo is Cadillac Ranch. This is a tiny road side stop with six Cadillac’s half buried sticking out of the ground. There’s usually a small wagon right outside the gate where you can purchase a can of spray paint. There’s a short walk to the cars and then you can spray away and leave your mark in Amarillo.
Drive along the Historic Route 66 in Amarillo
Address: 6th Ave between Georgia & Western Amarillo, TX 79106
Route 66 was one of the first established highways in America. It runs from Missouri through several states and ends in Arizona. A stop on Route 66 in Amarillo will give you the opportunity to explore the mother road of America. From art galleries to historical buildings people come from miles around to see route 66 and enjoy it’s history. Some of the must see stops on this part of route 66 are The golden light café, an RV museum, and multiple boutiques like Alley Katz Antiques, and 6th Street Antique Mall.
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Dine at Big Texan: Amarillo’s oldest saloon style restaurant
Founded in 1960, The Big Texan has signs all along the highway boasting of it’s 72oz steak challenge. Any person who can finish the 4.5lb steak, salad, and roll in one hour gets it on the house. Featured on Man Vs. Food in 2008, the show really established the steak challenge as the top eating challenge in the world. The food at The Big Texan is authentic home made comfort food that reminds everyone of home. Eating here feels a bit like stepping back in time. I can just see the waiters line dancing in the rows and live music playing on Friday nights as the family gathers for dinner.
Hike the Lighthouse Trail at Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Palo Duro Canyon State Park is a 25 minute drive from Amarillo but worth the detour if you’re planning to spend a day in Amarillo. This is one of the best things to do in Amarillo, in my opinion. Known as the Grand Canyon of Texas, the views are incredible especially as you drive down into the canyon. The most famous trail in Palo Duro is of course the iconic Lighthouse Trail. It’s approximately 6 miles out and back and it’s a relatively easy trail. There’s a little bit of rock scrambling toward the end but nothing too strenuous. Once you reach the end you’ll see this 300 foot rock sculpture that resembles a lighthouse. This is a pretty kid friendly trail especially if your kids can handle the length of the trail. The views from the top are gorgeous and it definitely feels like you’re in the desert of Arizona verses the panhandle of Texas. Book day passes into the park ahead of time here to ensure entrance into the park!
Check out my full blog on everything there is to do in Palo Duro Canyon State Park: HERE.