20 Best Things to do in Amarillo, Texas

Amarillo is a part of the Texas Panhandle, also known as ‘’The Yellow Rose of Texas’’.

It is the only city in the Lone Star State to pass through Route 66, which offers some of the most captivating destinations in all of Texas.

The city has plenty of Texan charm to choose from in the downtown area, with many well-known theatres, art shows, and the popular space museum, including the Don Harrington Discovery Center and the Space Theater.

But that’s not just what the city has to offer. From its most famous delicious steak challenge at the Big Texan Steak Ranch to watching the spectacular fireworks shows at Lake Meredith, it has some of the best surprises and getaways you will surely enjoy.

So, prepare to discover the top things to do in Amarillo and make unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime!

Things to do in Amarillo, Texas

Marvel at the Stunning Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Flickr/Steve Lange
Opening Hours: 8 am to 10 pm (Daily).
Cost: $8 per person (Ages 13 and up), Free for children (Ages 12 and under).
Address: 11450 State Hwy Park Rd 5, Canyon, TX 79015
Phone: (806) 488-2227

A visit to Palo Duro Canyon State Park is an absolute must for nature lovers.

This natural wonder, known as the “Grand Canyon of Texas,” spans 120 miles and features 16 miles of trails, scenic vistas, and towering rock formations. 

Don’t miss the stunning sunrise or sunset views from Capitol Peak, the highest point in the park, or the chance to hike the famous Lighthouse Trail, which takes you to the iconic rock formation resembling a lighthouse.

Tips: Wear comfortable shoes and bring plenty of water. Avoid visiting during the hottest part of the day.

Experience the Heritage of Route 66

Heritage of Route 66
Flickr/Tim Stewart
Cost: Free (Cadillac Ranch), Free (Historic District).
Address: 13651 I-40 Frontage Rd, Amarillo, TX 79124

Unsurprisingly, Amarillo is renowned as the “Heart of Route 66,” and it’s easy to see why.

The city boasts a rich history on the iconic road, with several landmarks and attractions showcasing its significance.

Take a stroll down Historic 6th Street, where you can find colorful murals, unique shops, and restaurants.

Or visit the famed Cadillac Ranch, where you can see ten Cadillacs partially buried in the ground painted with vibrant colors.

Tips: Wear comfortable shoes to explore the historic district. Drink plenty of water in the summer heat.

Learn About the Wild West at the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum

American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum
Flickr/When lost in…..
Opening Hours: 9 am to 5 pm (Monday to Saturday), 12 pm to 5 pm (Sunday).
Cost: $7 per person (Ages 13 and up), Free for children (Ages 12 and under)
Address: 2601 Interstate 40 East, Amarillo, TX 79104
Phone: (806) 376-5181

The American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum provides visitors with interactive exhibits and galleries that showcase the role of the iconic animal in the western heritage of America.

The museum holds the largest collection of equine materials, including artifacts, art, and photography that highlight the history of the horse’s role in different fields, from ranching and racing to rodeo and trail riding.

Tips: Plan to spend at least two hours fully enjoying the exhibits. Check the schedule for live demonstrations and events.

Get Your Adrenaline Pumping at Wonderland Amusement Park

Wonderland Amusement Park
Flickr/David Casteel
Opening Hours: 1 pm to 10 pm (Weekdays), 1 pm to 11 pm (Weekends).
Cost: $27.95 per person (1-day pass), Discounts are available for children and seniors.
Address: 2601 Dumas Dr, Amarillo, TX 79107
Phone: (806) 383-3344

‘’Would you like to go for thrills and spills?’’ With over 30 rides and attractions for all ages, Wonderland Amusement Park is the ultimate destination to experience exhilaration.

Don’t miss the hyper-speeder coaster, Texas Tornado, which sends you through a series of sharp twists and turns, or the classic El Paso Train, which takes you on a scenic tour of the park.

Tips: Buy tickets online in advance for faster entry. Check the schedule for special events and discounts.

Visit the World-Famous Big Texan Steak Ranch

 Big Texan Steak Ranch
Flickr/Maurizio Paganin
Opening Hours: 7 am to 10 pm (Daily).
Cost: Prices vary depending on menu items.
Address: 7701 I-40 E, Amarillo, TX 79118
Phone: (806) 372-6000

The Big Texan Steak Ranch has been a legendary tourist spot since 1960, offering visitors the chance to try their famous 72-ounce steak challenge, where you can eat a 72-ounce steak, a salad, a dinner roll, and a baked potato within an hour.

The prices are very reasonable for the amount of food you receive, and even if you’re not up for the challenge, it’s worth a visit to experience the laid-back western atmosphere and enjoy some delicious comfort food.

While you wait for your order, there is a shooting range, gift shop, and some neat Pictionary walk that changes into monsters as you walk by. 

Tips: Avoid long wait times by getting there early on weekends; this restaurant doesn’t take reservations.

Discover Art and Culture at the Amarillo Museum of Art

 Amarillo Museum of Art
Opening Hours: 10 am to 5 pm (Tuesday to Friday), 1 pm to 5 pm (Saturday and Sunday). Closed on Mondays.
Cost: Free admission.
Address: 2200 S Van Buren St, Amarillo, TX 79109
Phone: (806) 371-5050

Amarillo Museum of Art is a three-story Amarillo University building housed in Edward Durrel Stone Design. 

It is a hidden treasure with a diverse collection of rotating arts, including Western and Asian contemporary arts. 

The museum also offers lectures and various school exhibits from the local schools and colleges throughout the year.

which makes it an ideal destination for families and kids to explore educational programs.   

Tips: Check the schedule for special exhibits and events. Don’t miss the outdoor sculpture garden.

Take a Step Back in Time at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum

 Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum
Opening Hours: 9 am to 5 pm (Monday to Saturday), 1 pm to 6 pm (Sunday).
Cost: $10 per person (Ages 13 and up), Free for children (Ages 12 and under).
Address: 2503 4th Ave, Canyon, TX 79015
Phone: (806) 651-2244

The Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum is Texas’ largest history museum, showcasing the Lone Star State’s cultural heritage and history.

It covers every aspect of plain history, from natural to human history.

Take a journey through time by witnessing immersive exhibits that showcase everything from dinosaur fossils to historic Texan artifacts.

Many exhibits are oriented toward children, so this is a must-see for families and adults. Several exhibits change on a regular basis, ensuring that there is always something new to discover.

Tips: Be sure to visit the Pioneer Town exhibit. Check the schedule for guided tours and events.

Explore the Creative Community at The Galleries at Sunset Center

The Galleries at Sunset Center
Opening Hours: Open by Appointment.
Cost: Free admission.
Address: 3701 Plains Blvd, Amarillo, TX 79102
Phone: (806) 353-5700

We highly recommend visiting the Sunset Center if you enjoy art, paintings, pottery, and other media.

Especially during the First Friday Art Walk, you will see all of the well-known local artists from Amarillo and even Texas.

The Galleries at Sunset Center is a performing arts center that features a wide range of artistic events, concerts, art exhibitions, and workshops by local and regional artists.

Don’t miss out on the galleries’ unique and diverse exhibitions, including photography, painting, sculpture, and mixed media.

Tips: Check the schedule for special events and exhibitions. Attend a workshop or class in the art studios.

Indulge in Local Cuisine at Tyler’s Barbeque

 Tyler's Barbeque
Flickr/Texas Monthly Events
Opening Hours: 11 am to 8 pm (Monday to Saturday).
Cost: Prices vary depending on menu items.
Address: 2014 Paramount Blvd, Amarillo, TX 79109
Phone: (806) 331-2271

If you visit Tyler’s Barbeque in Amarillo, you will know where to go for the best BBQ.’

This family-owned restaurant has been serving mouth-watering and award-winning barbeque dishes to locals and tourists for over a decade.

Don’t miss the chance to try their famous brisket, ribs, and smoked turkey, all served with their signature sides.

So, if you’re looking for authentic Texan cuisine, Tyler’s Barbeque is highly recommended.

Tips: Be prepared for long lines during peak dining hours. Check the menu for daily specials.

Relax at the Lake Tanglewood

Lake Tanglewood
Youtube/Coldwell Banker Amarillo
Opening Hours: Open year-round.
Cost: $45 per day (Boat rental), $45 per hour (Kayak rental).
Address: 12701 Tanglewood Dr, Amarillo, TX 79118
Phone: (806) 622-0400

Lake Tanglewood is a private community located minutes away from Amarillo that offers a serene and picturesque environment surrounded by natural beauty.

Whether you are going for a great spot for fishing, boating, camping, or exploring other outdoor activities, this lake provides everything for a family/friends trip or a romantic getaway.

‘’What are other attractions nearby?’’ Along with the stunning view of wildlife and the lake, it offers a Golf course, community church, and lake-side restaurants.

Tips: Rent a boat or kayak for an enjoyable day on the lake. Pack a picnic for a relaxing afternoon by the water.

Catch a Show at the Globe-News Center for the Performing Arts

 Globe-News Center
Flickr/Kenneth Jackson
Opening Hours: Varies by Event.
Cost: Prices vary depending on the event and seating location.
Address: 500 S Buchanan St, Amarillo, TX 79101
Phone: (806) 378-3096

The Globe-News Center for the Performing Arts is Amarillo’s premier destination for world-class entertainment.

The year-round schedule of performances at this state-of-art venue includes concerts, Broadway productions, and ballet performances.

You can constantly feel like you are in the front and center since so many events will keep you amused, including choral groups, theatrical productions, and many symphonic and youth symphony concerts. 

So, if you are visiting for a bit of sight and sound experience of entertainment, visiting the Globe-News Center of the Performing Arts is recommended.

Tips: Check the schedule for upcoming performances and events. Consider purchasing tickets in advance for popular shows.

Shop Locally at the Amarillo Downtown Farmers Market

 Amarillo Downtown Farmers Market
Flickr/Herminio Alcaraz
Opening Hours: 8 am to 12 pm (Saturday, June to October).
Address: 1000 S Polk St, Amarillo, TX 79101
Phone: (806) 335-6360

The Amarillo Downtown Farmers Market is ideal for sampling locally grown produce, meats, cheeses, and other artisanal products from regional vendors.

From June to October, the market is open every Saturday and offers a wide variety of fresh and delicious products to take home.

With everything it offers on weekends, you will have the best time as it offers local musical acts and arts with food and drinks everywhere around the corner.

 Tips: Arrive early for the best selection of products. Bring cash, as some vendors may not accept credit cards.

Take a Dip at the Family Water Park

 Family Water Park
Opening Hours: 1 pm to 7 pm (Monday to Friday), 12 pm to 8 pm (Saturday), and 1 pm to 7 pm (Sunday). 
Cost: $7 per person.
Address: 24th Ave and Osage St, Amarillo, TX 79102
Phone: (806) 378-9391

The Family Water Park is a fan-favorite destination, especially during hot summer days.

The water park boasts several water slides, a lazy river, a wave pool, and other exciting attractions for kids and adults alike.

Tips: Visit during weekdays for smaller crowds. Wear sun protection and bring your own towels.

Attend the Tri-State Fair & Rodeo

Tri-State Fair & Rodeo
Flickr/Albert Mock
Opening Hours: Varies by Event (September).
Cost: Prices vary depending on the event and activity.
Address: 3301 SE 10th Ave, Amarillo, TX 79104
Phone: (806) 376-7767

Annually, the Tri-State Fair & Rodeo takes place on the Tri-State Fairgrounds, located a few miles east of Amarillo’s downtown.

It showcases the best of Texas and the surrounding areas with various events and entertainment for all ages.

The occasion includes carnival games, live entertainment, a petting zoo, and the renowned rodeo competition that draws skilled cowboys and cowgirls nationwide.

Tips: Check the schedule for daily events and entertainment. Arrive early for parking and admission.

Visit the Chestnut Square Historic Village

 Chestnut Square Historic Village
Flickr/E’s and D’s Adventures in Life
Opening Hours: Varies by Season.
Cost: $7 per person (Ages 13 and up), Free for children (Ages 12 and under).
Address: 2929 W Chestnut St, Amarillo, TX 79102
Phone: (806) 374-6885

“Would you like to go back in time?” Visiting the Chesnut Square Historic Village will undoubtedly provide you with a glimpse of a living history museum that will provide you with a great local history and historical hokes to witness life during the late 1800s and 1900s.

The village features several recreated homes, a general store, a schoolhouse, and other elements that showcase the life of the pioneers who settled in the area.

Tips: Take a guided tour for a more in-depth experience. Don’t miss the chance to see a blacksmith in action.

Watch the Spectacular Fireworks Show at Lake Meredith

Lake Meredith
Youtube/Brandon Green
Opening Hours: Open year-round. Cost: Free admission.
Address: Lake Meredith National Recreation Area, Fritch, TX 79036
Phone: (806) 857-3151

Lake Meredith is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, but it’s also famous for its annual Fourth of July fireworks show.

The spectacular fireworks display is one of the best in Texas and draws visitors from all over the country.

The fireworks display will occur between Sanford Yake and Fritch Fortress, with viewing areas at Fritch Fortress, North Canyon, Cedar Canyon, and Sanford Yake at the campground and parking lot. 

Overflow parking will be available at Blue West on the lake’s north side. So, if you have a boat, the best viewing spots are on the lake. 

Enjoy the company of local artists’ concerts and entertainment at the Amphitheater prior to the main fireworks displays while you prepare your drinks and meal from food vendors throughout the Lake park.

We recommend arriving early to find a good spot, as there will be many crowds during this day.

Tips: Check water levels and boating restrictions before visiting.

Hike the Caprock Canyons State Park

Caprock Canyons State Park
Flickr/Bob Oatman
Opening Hours: 6 am to 10 pm (Daily).
Cost: $5 per person (Ages 13 and up), Free for children (Ages 12 and under).
Address: 850 Caprock Canyons State Park Rd, Quitaque, TX 79255
Phone: (806) 455-1492

Caprock Canyons State Park is another natural wonder located near Amarillo, offering visitors the chance to witness stunningly beautiful landscapes, wildlife, and unique geological formations.

The park has several hiking trails, including the Eagle Point Trail, which provides breathtaking views of the Texas plains.

If you enjoy backpacking and camping, this is the place where you can immerse yourself in the wilderness, as it offers many thrilling outdoor adventures.

Tips: Bring plenty of water and snacks for hikes. Check the schedule for guided tours and events.

Wander through the Amarillo Botanical Gardens

Amarillo Botanical Gardens
Flickr/Barbara Brannon
Opening Hours: 9 am to 5 pm (Tuesday to Saturday), 1 pm to 5 pm (Sunday). Closed on Mondays.
Cost: $5 per person.
Address: 1400 Streit Dr, Amarillo, TX 79106
Phone: (806) 352-6513

Amarillo Botanical Gardens is an ideal spot for nature lovers and garden enthusiasts.

The gardens span over four acres and offer several themed gardens, each showcasing different plant species and arrangements. 

Don’t miss the chance to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery at the tranquil koi pond.

Tips: Wear comfortable shoes and bring a camera. Visit during the early morning or late afternoon for cooler temperatures.

Visit the Don Harrington Discovery Center

Don Harrington Discovery Center
Flickr/Amarillo CVC
Opening Hours: 10 am to 4:30 pm (Tuesday to Saturday), 12 pm to 4:30 pm (Sunday). Closed
Address: 1200 Streit Dr, Amarillo, TX 79106
Phone: (806) 355-9547

The Don Harrington Discovery Center is a science museum with interactive exhibits, demonstrations, and educational programs for all ages.

From Physics and Astronomy to Geology and Paleontology, the exhibits in the center cover a wide range of scientific fields for visitors to explore and learn more about Science.

Bring your little ones and family along the playground where the kids can have their best time, and the adults can relax in the green space. 

If you’re in Amarillo and have time to visit some of the local attractions, especially with children, put this at the top of your list.

Tips: Check the schedule for daily events and programs. Don’t miss the chance to visit the planetarium.

Tour Amarillo’s Mural Community

 Amarillo's Mural Community
Flickr/Donnie King
Addresses: Multiple locations throughout the city
Opening hours: N/A

For art lovers and fans of street art, a tour of Amarillo’s mural community is highly recommended.

Several murals and public art installations can be found throughout downtown Amarillo, showcasing a wide range of styles, themes, and techniques used by artists from all over the city.

So, if you are an art enthusiast, we recommend visiting this true masterpiece in the downtown area, where you can become a part of the local art.

Tip: Photographs are encouraged, so make sure to capture all of the arts and their featured artists and promote their work.

Make Every Moment Count In Amarillo, So Start Planning…

Whether you are traveling with your friends, families, or partner, visiting Amarillo will surely be a great vacation to spend in Lone Star State, Texas.

And, with everything it has to offer, Amarillo will surely become your new favorite place to visit whenever you want a cheap and budget-friendly getaway full of hidden discoveries and fun activities to explore. 

TIP: The best to visit Amarillo would be during the spring and fall season when the temperatures are mildly cold, and lots of events are held.

So hurry up and don’t wait much longer! 

Note: Keep in mind that information about travel can change quickly. To make sure your trip is fun and safe, we encourage you to double-check official websites and government/travel advisory sites for the latest information on travel restrictions, entry requirements, and safety measures.