Cattle auctions to Cadillacs, Amarillo has an undeniable old Texas appeal. The town has long been a travelers’ waypoint, and a few kitschy attractions remain along old Route 66. When you get tired of the dusty, flat-as-a-pancake roads, dramatic Palo Duro Canyon is just a 30-mile drive south.
In 1974 an avant-garde arts collective planted 10 Caddies nose-down in the dirt on land owned by an eccentric businessman. Today, the colorful cars are still a Route 66 roadside attraction. Bring your spray paint and leave your own mark. Afterwards, belly up to the Big Texan Steak Ranch. If you finish a 72-ounce steak in 60 minutes, it’s free. Still interested in the ranching industry? There’s the Amarillo Livestock Auction and the American Quarter Horse Museum.
Second in size only to the Grand Canyon, the 120-mile-long Palo Duro Canyon State Park is a must-see. Hike amid the carved red, orange and ochre rock or attend the over-the-top, state-triotic Texas Show at the park’s Pioneer Amphitheater. Amarillo is all Texas, all the time.