15 Best Things to Do in Amarillo, TX

Amarillo, TX
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Amarillo, which was originally named Oneida, is a city in Texas and the seat of Potter County.

Aside from the Texan charm, this is a place with its own unique and vast history that gives it an interesting culture and makes it a place worth visiting for anyone looking to travel there.

The city has a rich history concerning railroads and cattle marketing, and there are several sites throughout the area that commemorates this.

But, there are other points of interest in this city that focuses on a wide array of topics, such as science, wildlife, and just plain amusement.

So, if you’re looking to visit, here are just a few things you can do if you find yourself in Amarillo, Texas:

Start Your Trip at the Texas Air and Space Museum

An aircraft in Texas Air and Space Museum
Richard Warner, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Texas Air and Space Museum, located at 10001 American Drive, is probably one of the first sights you’ll see when you get to Amarillo since it’s so close to the airport.

Just imagine, you’ve just stepped off the plane, and you’ll already be treated to a destination that’s basically a love letter to air and space travel.

Aircrafts displayed in Texas Air and Space Museum
Richardawarner, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In the outer part of the museum, you’ll find full-sized aircraft that you can marvel at for as long as you wish.

There are also indoor exhibits that tell the story of the pilots who flew these machines and made them soar through the skies at different points in history.

You can also learn about the history of the airport; you’ll find out what happened during the world wars and other wars and other interesting points in the site’s story.

Marvel at the Pieces Inside the Amarillo Museum of Art

Exterior of Amarillo Museum of Art
Who What Where Nguyen Why a/k/a Anonymous Cow, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Amarillo Museum of Art, located at Amarillo College, is dedicated to enriching the lives of both local residents and visitors who may happen to stop by, and it’s one of the best places to visit if you want to learn the culture and arts of Amarillo.

This museum primarily focuses on temporary exhibits, meaning you’ll find something different depending on when they visit.

If you’re the creative type who’s looking for new and interesting things in the art world, then this is definitely the place to go.

The works they feature are original works in different forms of media, time periods, and styles.

You can also attend gallery talks if you’re interested in learning about different topics in art and the different exhibits.

Have a Great Meal at The Big Texan Steak Ranch and Brewery

Exterior of The Big Texan Steak Ranch and Brewery
Mathieu BROSSAIS, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Another thing that you can’t do when visiting Texas is to try out the delectable local cuisine, and the best place to start doing that in Amarillo is by stopping by the Big Texan Steak Ranch and Brewery at 7701 Interstate 40 East Access Rd.

Try out one of their signature items, such as fried mushrooms, baby back ribs, and mountain oysters.

Interior of The Big Texan Steak Ranch and Brewery
Valerie Everett from Indianapolis, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You can also order a giant fried chicken if you’re looking for a big and hearty meal and finish it off with a chocolate cake for dessert.

And once you’re done with the meal, don’t forget to try out one of the drinks from their brewery to top off your dining experience.

Sign of The Big Texan Steak Ranch and Brewery
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View the Lovely Plants of the Amarillo Botanical Gardens

Another great place to visit if you’re looking for more nature would be the Amarillo Botanical Gardens at 1400 Streit Dr.

There, you’ll find lush gardens and sweeping landscapes bursting with exotic plants all over.

Just imagine the sights you’ll see and the sounds you’ll hear while there.

It’s a great place to relax and find peace with nature; some people are more comfortable with nature than others, and if you’re one of those, then let yourself get lost in this garden.

Try the Burgers of the Coyote Bluff Cafe

The Coyote Bluff Cafe at 2417 S.Grand has been serving some of the best burgers in Amarillo since 1994, and they have no plans of stopping anytime soon.

But burgers aren’t the only thing they serve, and you’re in for a treat the moment you step foot in this establishment.

Try out their old-fashioned burger if you want something comfortable and traditional, but if you’re up for an adrenaline rush, then go for the burger from hell.

You can try out one of their mozzarella cheese sticks, or if you’re feeling more adventurous, then go for their hot wings and stuffed jalapenos.

There are also grilled chicken sandwiches, chicken tenders, onion rings, and french fries.

And of course, wash down your meal with a good drink, which can range from a wide variety of beers and wines to different kinds of sodas, depending on your preferences.

Interact with the Animals of the Amarillo Zoo

A sleeping coyote in Amarillo Zoo
Billy Hathorn at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Amarillo isn’t just about the history and the culture; there is also a lot of the natural world to see in the place.

Do you love animals, and are you interested in creatures from all over the world?

If that’s the case, then Amarillo Zoo, located in Thompson Park, will definitely pique your interest.

Serval in Amarillo Zoo
Bradley Gordon from Lakewood, Colorado, U.S.A., CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The zoo has every kind of animal, from mammals to invertebrates, and each of them is as cool and unique as you would imagine.

Stop by their bird enclosures and view their specimens, such as the Indian Peafowl, Scarlet Macaw, and Eclectus Parrot, among other things.

You’ll also get the chance to see lions, porcupines, tigers, and bison, in other areas of the zoo.

Show Your Love for Cars at Bill's Backyard Classics

Are you a car enthusiast who loves hot rods and classic cars?

If that’s the case, then Bill’s Backyard Classics at 5309 S Washington Street will be better than heaven for you.

View the numerous automobiles this place has on display and fall in love with each piece you see.

There are more than 88 cars in the entire collection, so there’s a definite chance you’ll find something you only thought you’ll see in your dreams.

The staff rotates their exhibit every so often, meaning you’ll find something different every time you go there, which is a great incentive to go there more than once.

Learn about Unique RVs at the Jack Sisemore RV Museum

Another museum that features automobiles is the Jack Sisemore RV Museum at 14501 Interstate Hwy 27, though this one has a more unique spin than most other places you’ll find.

The place collects unique and vintage RVs before putting them up for display on the museum floor.

It’s taken over 25 years to collect every piece in the building, and each of them has their own design and story to tell.

What’s great about this museum is that it showcases a part of American life that’s so often overlooked in favor of more glamorous or exciting things.

But here, you’ll find something simpler, more down to earth, but no less interesting and bursting with life.

Have a Pizza Fun Time at the Fire Slice Pizzeria

Pizza is amazing, and that’s something that almost everyone can agree on.

And, if you find yourself craving this classic snack while you’re on vacation, then Fire Slice Pizzeria at 7306 SW 34th Avenue will be the place that’ll satisfy your needs.

The restaurant was opened in 2009, and since that time, they’ve been serving some of the best pizzas in the city.

They bake their dough, which had undergone a special process to give the best crust, in brick ovens for a homey and more personal result.

The staff only uses the finest and freshest ingredients out there to ensure the best results for their patrons.

Everything is made from scratch, so you can be sure that love and care was put into every part of the process.

So, do try to visit the place if you get the opportunity; it’s going to be a guarantee that you’ll enjoy your time there. See more of the best restaurants in Amarillo.

Learn about the American Quarter Horse at the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame and Museum

Exterior of American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame and Museum
No machine-readable author provided. J. Nguyen~commonswiki assumed (based on copyright claims)., CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Here’s another museum to visit: the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame and Museum at 1600 Quarter Horse Drive.

What makes this unique from every other museum out there is its sole focus on the American Quarter Horse.

The moment you step into the gate, you’ll be greeted by various large and historical American Quarter horses.

Man riding a horse sculpture in front of American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame and Museum
No machine-readable author provided. J. Nguyen~commonswiki assumed (based on copyright claims)., CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You’ll also see the Wall of Honor Plaza, which honors and memorializes the animals that paved the way for the American Quarter Horse and turned it into what it is today.

And once you step inside the building itself, you’ll find yourself in a large grand hall that’ll lead you to several exhibiting the history and bloodlines of the American Quarter Horses.

See the Scope of the Railroad History of the Area at the Amarillo Railroad Museum, Inc.

Another museum commemorating Amarillo’s interesting and varied history is the Amarillo Railroad Museum, Inc at 3160 I Avenue.

This place showcases the rich railroad heritage of the area by preserving select railroad equipment and railroad modeling.

Their main goal is to construct an HO-scale model that depicts the Santa Fe Railway route across the Texas Panhandle to give their visitors a glimpse of just how complex it is and the many moving parts involved in transporting cargo across such a long distance.

One of the highlights of the museum is the retired cars they have.

They were initially called “The White Train” because of the color they had when they first set out on the tracks.

But, as time passed, and they were used for other purposes, the cars were repainted to other colors like blue and red, and the only memory we have of their original color now exists in historical records.

Show Your Love for Science at the Don Harrington Discovery Center

Exterior of Don Harrington Discovery Center
SarahDHDC, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Now, here’s a place for the space and science enthusiasts out there.

The Don Harrington Discovery Center at 1200 Streit Drive is a planetarium, and interactive science center all rolled into one.

One of the first things you should visit when you get there would be their outdoor park, where you’ll find, among other things, an actual fossil dig pit.

Next, you can go to the space gallery, which can be found just outside the space theater and is dedicated to exploring the weather conditions on this planet and the ones beyond it.

And if you’re more interested in animals, try to stop by the critter row to meet the furry and scaly creature the center houses.

Get up close and personal with these tiny critters as you learn about them, and you’ll even get to touch them and hold them in your hand as long as you’re under the supervision of their expert staff.

Watch a Dance Performance at the Kwahadi Museum of the American Indian

End your journey by having a cultural experience at the Kwahadi Museum of the American Indian at 9151 I-40 East.

The building where the museum is housed mimics the design of a Native American Pueblo, giving it a distinct look that’s impossible to miss while you’re looking for it.

One of the highlights of the place is the cultural performances that you definitely won’t want to miss.

There are several dance performances that are planned throughout the year, so make sure to catch at least one if you can.

Have Fun at the Wonderland Amusement Park

A rollercoaster in Wonderland Amusement Park
The original uploader was Billy Hathorn at English Wikipedia., CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

Most people, when on vacation, just want to have some fun while not worrying about anything serious or too important, and what is the better embodiment of that experience than an amusement park?

The Wonderland Amusement Park is located at 2601 Dumas Drive and offers a day of fun for children and adults alike.

They have rollercoasters and thrill rides for the adrenaline junkies out there; get your blood pumping and flirt with danger by defying gravity on one of these rides.

You can also go and ride the classic Ferris wheel if you’re looking for something more chill and calm; just look at the lovely view all around you and spend some quiet time there with one of your loved ones.

The place even has miniature golf for the people looking for a unique experience.

Wander through the Wildcat Bluff Nature Center

If you want to interact with more the area in more natural and less city-like settings, then the Wildcat Bluff Nature Center at 2301 N Soncy may give you just what you need.

The place boasts 640 acres of wide-open fields that have 5 miles of trails, 5 acres of paved and accessible paths, and a dig pit for learning about the prehistory of the area.

You can go on a hike on your own or join a group tour to get a more educational and comprehensive experience of the area.

Final Thoughts

From museums to burger joints, Amarillo is a place that definitely has it all.

You won’t run out of interesting things to do, and this list is just a starting point.

Once you find yourself in the city itself, you’ll find yourself getting distracted on your own and finding things you want to do that wasn’t in your original itinerary.

When that happens, follow your heart and find the adventure that awaits you in this Texan city that’s filled with heart and overflowing with charm.