Discover the Joy: Fun Places and Things to Do in Amarillo, Texas!

Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Welcome to the vibrant city of Amarillo, Texas! Nestled in the Texas Panhandle, Amarillo is a treasure trove of activities, offering a delightful mix of historic charm, natural beauty, and modern attractions. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, you’ll find no shortage of fun places in Amarillo, Texas. Let’s embark on a journey through the city’s most exciting offerings.

Palo Duro Canyon State Park: A Natural Wonder

Palo Duro Canyon State Park, located in the Texas Panhandle, is a stunning natural wonder that offers a wide range of activities for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Here, we will delve into the various aspects of this park, from hiking and biking trails to camping and the must-see TEXAS Outdoor Musical.

Hiking and Biking

Palo Duro Canyon State Park boasts an extensive network of hiking and biking trails that wind through the breathtaking canyon landscape. These trails cater to all skill levels, making it an ideal destination for both beginners and seasoned adventurers. Below is a list of some of the notable trails:

Trail NameDistanceDifficultyHighlights
Lighthouse Trail5.7 milesModerateIconic rock formation, stunning views
Juniper Cliffside Trail2.1 milesEasyOverlooks the canyon
Capitol Peak Loop Trail4.7 milesModerateScenic loop with diverse terrain


For those seeking an immersive outdoor experience, Palo Duro Canyon State Park offers several campgrounds with various amenities. Whether you prefer primitive camping or RV sites with hookups, there’s an option for everyone. Here are some key campgrounds within the park:

CampgroundAmenitiesReservations Required
Hackberry CampgroundRestrooms, picnic tables, and fire ringsYes
Fortress Cliff CampgroundRV sites with hookups and showersYes
Sagebrush CampgroundPrimitive camping, no amenitiesNo

The TEXAS Outdoor Musical

While visiting Palo Duro Canyon State Park, don’t miss the iconic TEXAS Outdoor Musical. This captivating performance takes place in the stunning Pioneer Amphitheater within the park. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Schedule: The TEXAS Outdoor Musical typically runs from June to August, so plan your visit during these months;
  • Tickets: Purchase tickets in advance, as this show is immensely popular;
  • Experience: Enjoy a spectacular show that combines live music, dancing, and fireworks while celebrating the history of Texas.

Route 66 Historic District: Step Back in Time

The Route 66 Historic District in Amarillo, Texas, is a nostalgic journey back in time, featuring antique shops, unique eateries, and vibrant nightlife. Let’s explore the highlights of this iconic district.

Antique Shops

The Route 66 Historic District is renowned for its antique shops, offering a treasure trove of vintage and collectible items. Here are a few must-visit shops:

  • Antiques and Artisans Mall: A large mall with multiple vendors, featuring a diverse range of antiques;
  • Hill’s Antiques: Specializes in vintage furniture and home décor;
  • The Nat Antiques: Known for its selection of unique collectibles.

Dine and Wine

Amarillo’s Route 66 Historic District boasts an array of restaurants and cafes where you can savor local flavors and enjoy a unique dining experience. Here are some recommendations:

The Big Texan Steak RanchSteakhouseHome of the 72-ounce steak challenge
Blue Sky TexasAmericanFarm-to-table dishes, craft beer
Golden Light Cafe and CantinaTex-MexClassic Route 66 diner


The Route 66 Historic District comes alive at night with live music venues and entertainment options. Whether you’re into jazz, rock, or country, there’s something for everyone. Notable nightlife spots include:

  • The 806 Coffee + Lounge: Offers live music and a relaxed atmosphere;
  • Whiskey River: Known for its country music and dancing;
  • Leftwood’s: A popular dive bar with a friendly crowd and live bands.

Cadillac Ranch: An Iconic Art Installation

Cadillac Ranch, situated just west of Amarillo, Texas, is a renowned and iconic art installation that has captured the imagination of visitors from around the world. This section will provide detailed insights into the interactive art aspect of Cadillac Ranch, as well as the opportunities it presents for photography enthusiasts.

Interactive Art

One of the most captivating features of Cadillac Ranch is its interactive nature. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own spray paint cans and actively participate in the ongoing transformation of the Cadillacs. Here’s what you need to know about this unique aspect:

  • Expression through Graffiti: The ten partially buried Cadillac cars serve as a canvas for visitors to express themselves creatively. The result is a constantly evolving, vibrant, and colorful artwork that reflects the collective creativity of countless individuals;
  • Bring Your Own Paint: To fully engage in the interactive experience, consider bringing your own spray paint cans. It’s an opportunity to leave your mark and become a part of the ever-changing art installation;
  • Respect the Environment: While expressing your creativity is encouraged, it’s important to be respectful of the environment and other visitors. Follow any posted rules or guidelines to ensure everyone can enjoy the experience.


For photography enthusiasts, Cadillac Ranch offers a visually captivating backdrop with its vintage Cadillacs and the unique graffiti-covered landscape. Here are some tips for capturing the best moments:

  • Golden Hour: Visit during the early morning or late afternoon to take advantage of the soft, warm lighting during the golden hour. It adds a magical touch to your photographs;
  • Wide-Angle Lens: A wide-angle lens is ideal for capturing the entire row of Cadillacs and the surrounding open landscape. It allows you to showcase the scale and grandeur of the installation;
  • Details and Close-ups: Don’t forget to capture the intricate details of the graffiti and the quirky angles of the cars. These close-ups can provide a unique perspective on the art;
  • Time-Lapse: Consider setting up a time-lapse to document the changing artwork over time. It’s a fascinating way to showcase the dynamic nature of Cadillac Ranch.

Amarillo Zoo: A Wild Encounter

The Amarillo Zoo is a hidden gem located in Amarillo, Texas, offering a captivating encounter with exotic animals from around the world. This section will delve into the diverse range of creatures you can meet and the educational programs that make the zoo a valuable learning experience.

Exotic Animals

The Amarillo Zoo is home to a diverse collection of exotic animals, providing visitors with a glimpse into the fascinating world of wildlife from different regions. Here are some of the notable animals you can encounter:

AnimalOriginUnique Characteristics
Sumatran TigerSoutheast AsiaEndangered species, powerful predators
African LionAfricaMajestic mane, social behavior
Red KangarooAustraliaMarsupial, known for powerful jumps
Golden Lion TamarinSouth AmericaSmall primate with striking colors
Mexican Red-Knee TarantulaMexicoLarge and colorful arachnid species

Educational Programs

The Amarillo Zoo is dedicated to conservation and education. To enhance the visitor experience, the zoo offers a range of educational programs and activities:

  • Animal Encounters: Participate in animal encounters where you can get up close and personal with some of the zoo’s residents. These encounters provide valuable insights into their behaviors and habitats;
  • Zoo Camps: Enroll in zoo camps for a deeper understanding of wildlife. These programs are designed for children and adults alike and cover various topics such as animal care, conservation, and biology;
  • Conservation Initiatives: Learn about the zoo’s conservation efforts and how they contribute to the protection of endangered species. The Amarillo Zoo actively participates in global conservation programs;
  • Guided Tours: Consider taking a guided tour led by knowledgeable zoo staff. They can share fascinating facts about the animals and their habitats while providing an engaging and educational experience;
  • Interactive Exhibits: Explore the interactive exhibits throughout the zoo, which often include informative signage and hands-on activities that promote learning.

Wonderland Amusement Park: Thrills and Spills

Wonderland Amusement Park in Amarillo, Texas, promises an exhilarating experience for thrill-seekers and family fun enthusiasts alike. In this section, we’ll provide a detailed look at the exciting roller coasters and family rides that make this amusement park a must-visit destination.

Roller Coasters

Wonderland Amusement Park is renowned for its thrilling roller coasters, each offering a unique and heart-pounding experience. Here’s a breakdown of some of the park’s most exhilarating roller coasters:

Roller CoasterHeight (feet)Speed (mph)Key Features
Texas Tornado8060Twists, turns, and inversions
Cyclone9250Wooden coaster with classic charm
Mousetrap5040Wild mouse-style coaster
  • Texas Tornado: This coaster is a fan favorite, known for its inversions and intense twists that deliver an adrenaline rush like no other;
  • Cyclone: Wooden roller coaster enthusiasts will appreciate the classic feel of the Cyclone, with its towering structure and thrilling drops;
  • Mousetrap: Perfect for those seeking a wild but family-friendly experience, the Mousetrap offers exciting hairpin turns.

Family Rides

Wonderland Amusement Park also caters to families with a wide range of rides suitable for all ages. Here are some of the family-friendly attractions you can enjoy:

  • Wonder Wheel: Take a relaxing spin on the giant Ferris wheel for panoramic views of the park;
  • Bumper Cars: Engage in friendly competition as you navigate your bumper car through a lively arena;
  • Carousel: Enjoy a classic carousel ride with beautifully crafted animal figures;
  • Tea Cups: Spin and twirl in colorful teacups, providing a mild yet enjoyable sensation for young and old alike;
  • Mini Golf: Challenge your family to a round of mini-golf on the park’s well-designed course.

Amarillo Museum of Art: A Cultural Journey

The Amarillo Museum of Art is a cultural treasure located in Amarillo, Texas, providing visitors with the opportunity to explore diverse art collections and engage with the local art community. In this section, we will delve into the art exhibitions and educational offerings that make this museum a valuable cultural institution.

Art Exhibitions

The Amarillo Museum of Art boasts a rich and varied collection of artworks, representing different styles, time periods, and cultures. Here’s a glimpse into what you can expect to discover:

  • American Art: Explore American art spanning from the 18th century to contemporary works, including paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts;
  • European Art: Delve into European art history with pieces that showcase various artistic movements and periods;
  • Native American Art: Discover the rich artistic heritage of Native American cultures through a selection of traditional and contemporary pieces;
  • Temporary Exhibitions: The museum regularly hosts temporary exhibitions that feature a wide range of artists and themes, providing fresh and dynamic experiences for visitors;
  • Outdoor Sculptures: Don’t miss the outdoor sculpture garden, where you can admire a collection of sculptures set against a backdrop of greenery and open sky.

Workshops and Lectures

The Amarillo Museum of Art actively engages with the community by offering a variety of workshops, lectures, and educational programs. Here’s how you can immerse yourself in the art world:

  • Art Workshops: Participate in hands-on art workshops that cater to different skill levels, from beginners to experienced artists;
  • Lectures and Talks: Attend insightful lectures and talks by artists, curators, and art experts, gaining a deeper understanding of the featured exhibitions;
  • Educational Programs: The museum offers educational programs for schools and groups, making art accessible and engaging for all ages;
  • Community Events: Join in on community events that celebrate art and creativity, fostering a sense of artistic camaraderie.


Amarillo, Texas, is a city bursting with excitement and charm. From the rugged beauty of Palo Duro Canyon to the quirky Cadillac Ranch, there’s an abundance of fun places in Amarillo, Texas, waiting to be explored. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural enrichment, the things to do in Amarillo, Texas, cater to all tastes and interests. So pack your bags, set your sights on Amarillo, and get ready for an unforgettable experience in this dynamic Texas city!


What are the best family-friendly things to do in Amarillo, Texas?

Amarillo offers numerous family-friendly activities, including the Amarillo Zoo, Wonderland Amusement Park, and the Don Harrington Discovery Center.

Are there outdoor activities in Amarillo?

Absolutely! Palo Duro Canyon State Park offers hiking, camping, and biking. Horseback riding in the Panhandle is another great outdoor experience.

What unique attractions can I find in Amarillo?

Amarillo is home to the iconic Cadillac Ranch and the famous Big Texan Steak Ranch, among other unique attractions.

Leave a Reply

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