Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Potter County, TX

  • Published 2022/10/23

Potter County, Texas, lies between New Mexico’s Albuquerque City and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Its county seat, Amarillo, is one of Texas’ more populated and bustling urban cities.

This makes Potter County an exciting destination for Texan urban exploration.

Make no mistake, however, because Potter County also has plenty of Wild West adventures along its expansive highways.

From attractive art destinations to fun outdoor activities, Potter County is a great destination to maximize your Texas itinerary.

Check out this list of the best things to do in Potter County, Texas.

Take Photos of the Quirky Cadillac Ranch

Daytime view of Cadillac Ranch

Edwin Verin /

Cadillac Ranch is one of the primary attractions in Amarillo, Potter County.

It’s a bizarre public art installation that features 10 Cadillacs from the 1940s to the 1960s.

The unique thing about Cadillac Ranch is that the cars are buried deep in the ground, making it look like alien territory!

Because of its oddness, it has quickly become one of Texas’s best photo opportunity places.

A buried car at Cadillac Ranch

Chris Wynn Photography /

An avant-garde art group installed Cadillac Ranch, which explains why it is such a funky art installation.

The Cadillacs used were either junked or old, giving the artwork a vintage vibe.

You can find Cadillac Ranch along I-40 Frontage Road in Amarillo City, Texas.

Graffiti-covered car at Cadillac Ranch

Grossinger /

Check out the Helium Time Columns Monument

Another attraction in Amarillo City’s Medical Center Park is the Helium Time Columns Monument, an exciting landmark commemorating the discovery of helium.

The monument goes back to 1968, the 100th anniversary of helium discovery.

The monument itself is a work of art.

It stands around six stories tall and is designed to imitate the structure of a helium atom.

It’s not merely a monument, however.

The Helium Time Columns Monument is filled with helium and “artifact submissions,” such as books and letters about science and civilization.

These artifacts act as time capsules that are opened and revealed every 25, 50,100, and 1000 years, starting from 1968.

Explore the Ancient Lands of Alibates Flint Quarries

Closeup of rocks at Alibates Flint Quarries

Ted.gould, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Alibates Flint Quarries is a stellar way to enjoy Texas wildlife while appreciating its rich history that dates back to ancient times.

Under Texas rangers, Alibates Flint Quarries also serves as a museum and a learning center about the civilization and ecology of the land.

The center got its name because its location was once a rich source of flint for mammoth hunters 13,000 years ago.

Exterior of Alibates Flint Quarries museum

Jacob Boomsma /

Through the Alibates Flint Quarries Visitor Center, you can learn about the area while hiking with a ranger who will serve as your guide.

Once you’re done with the hike, you can also see their museum exhibit.

Alibates Flint Quarries is a must-visit in Potter County.

Exhibit in Alibates Flint Quarries museum

Jacob Boomsma /

Take a Stroll at Amarillo Botanical Gardens

Amarillo Botanical Gardens is one of the prettiest locations in Potter County.

The garden is an oasis in the busy city of Amarillo.

The flora’s layout and collection make it a popular spot for wedding photos.

They also have a Japanese Garden famous for events and photoshoots.

If you’re a flora enthusiast, the main highlight here is their indoor greenhouse, which acts as a tropical conservatory.

Besides the bountiful number of plants and flowers in its greenhouse and garden areas, it also has several exciting sculptures that complete its aesthetic.

Also located at the Medical Park Center, it’s just a few walks from Don Harrington Discovery Center and Space Theater.

View Thousands of Artworks at the Amarillo Museum of Art

Exterior of the Amarillo Museum of Art

Who What Where Nguyen Why a/k/a Anonymous Cow, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Located along South Van Buren Street in Amarillo College, the Amarillo Museum of Art is a beautiful gem in the heart of Potter County’s business districts.

Amarillo Museum of Art has over 1,800 artworks focusing on modern and contemporary American art.

They also have Eastern art in their collections and exhibits.

The museum is well-known for its Southeast Asian collection full of sculptures and statues.

Another cool thing about the museum is that they have a section that lets you draw your art.

Amarillo Museum of Art isn’t the typical large museum in other major U.S. cities.

You can tour the place in less than one to two hours, so it’s a great stopover in Amarillo City.

Go Hiking at Wildcat Bluff Nature Center

Wildcat Bluff Nature Center is one of the best places to enjoy the outdoors of Potter County.

You’ll have an easy and safe time exploring the nature trails at the privately maintained center.

It’s a family-friendly destination, so it’s a great way to immerse children in nature.

You’ll discover the area’s flora and fauna as you explore its trails.

You can also spot animals here, such as cattle, birds, and various insects.

There are also reptiles like snakes in the area, so proceed cautiously!

Along the way, you’ll see loads of information about local wildlife scattered across their sprawling fields.

It’s an all-around excellent learning experience and immersing yourself in Potter County.

You can visit Wildcat Bluff Nature Center in Amarillo City, located along North Soncy Road.

Learn about Aviation History at Texas Air and Space Museum

Aircraft in Texas Air and Space Museum

Richard Warner, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Texas Air and Space Museum is another interesting museum in Amarillo City.

The museum is several decades old and is a well-known destination for its aviation exhibits that feature many military aircraft, documents, and equipment from different periods of U.S. history.

One of the highlights is the historic World War II N34 aircraft, which is only one of the few planes on the National Register of Historic Places.

There’s also the Grumman Gulfstream II Nasa Shuttle Training Aircraft, piloted by NASA astronaut Rick Husband, an Amarillo native.

Aircrafts in Texas Air and Space Museum

Richardawarner, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

There’s much more to discover here at the Texas Air and Space Museum.

If you’re an aviation enthusiast, this is a must-visit.

You can find it along American Drive in Amarillo City.

Go Camping at McBride Canyon Campsite

If you want an authentic camping experience in Texas, McBride Canyon Campsite is a must-visit.

Isolated but well-maintained, this campsite is beautifully situated by Lake Meredith, an expansive lake north of Amarillo City.

The trails here lead to several exciting spots of McBride Canyon.

During the day, you’ll see beautiful greenery and unobstructed views of breathtaking cloud formations.

You can also bring your mountain bike, as the area is suitable for cycling.

Some amenities include toilets and grills, but pack your water if you’re camping.

McBride Canyon Campsite can be accessed through McBride Canyon Road from Highway 136.

Challenge Yourself at the Big Texan Steak Ranch and Brewery

Exterior of the Big Texan Steak Ranch and Brewery

Gorup de Besanez, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you’re looking for a proper cowboy meal, the Big Texan Steak Ranch and Brewery is one of the most iconic restaurants in Potter County.

They’re famous for the 72-ounce Steak Challenge, where you must consume a massive 72-ounce steak in an hour.

If you succeed, the steak is free! If not, you’ll need to pay 72 dollars.

Building sign of the Big Texan Steak Ranch and Brewery

Billy Hathorn at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

They serve authentic Texan handcrafted beers; Draft Magazine voted them one of the top 10 places to have a beer in the U.S.

Another cool thing about the place is they have Airbnb and recreational vehicle accommodations on their property.

The Big Texan Steak Ranch and Brewery is along I-40 East in Amarillo City.

Have a Blast at Wonderland Amusement Park

Rollercoaster at Wonderland Amusement Park

The original uploader was Billy Hathorn at English Wikipedia., CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

Founded in 1951, Wonderland Amusement Park is one of the premier destinations in Potter County for family fun.

There are over 30 rides and attractions in Wonderland Amusement Park.

It’s also home to the Texas Tornado, a steel rollercoaster that became one of the 50 best steel coasters in the country.

If you’re not a fan of adrenaline-pumping rides, there’s much more in store for you.

From bumper cars and Ferris wheels to its wet rides, Wonderland Amusement Park is a surefire way to blast with friends and family.

Rides like carousels, mini-train, and boat rides are also perfect if you bring the little ones along.

You can visit the amusement park along Dumas Drive in Amarillo City.

Visit the Kwahadi Museum of the American Indian

Kwahadi Museum of the American Indian is another interesting museum you can visit in Amarillo.

It’s a heritage museum dedicated to the Kwahadi, a Plains Indian Tribe.

There’s a lot of Native American art in their exhibits, with the Thomas Mails collection as a highlight.

The museum also has beautiful architecture, paying tribute to a traditional Pueblo Indian Kiva.

You’ll see many decorative totems and regalia on top of the artwork.

One thing you don’t want to miss here is the Kwahadi Dancers, who regularly perform folk dances and songs that change depending on the season.

The Kwahadi Museum of the American Indian is located at 9151 I-40 in Amarillo City.

Explore Space at the Don Harrington Discovery Center and Space Theater

Exterior of the Don Harrington Discovery Center and Space Theater

SarahDHDC, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Don Harrington Discovery Center and Space Theater is a nonprofit science center that also acts as a planetarium, making it a perfect educational center for kids and families.

Their planetarium is easily the biggest attraction here.

It’s a highly interactive dome that lets you explore various elements of space, such as galaxies and even black holes!

Besides space exploration, you can explore Earth’s deep oceans and famous coral reefs.

They also have a wide array of permanent interactive exhibits.

At their Outdoor Science Park, you can see fossil dig pits and animatronic dinosaurs.

The Critter Row also lets you interact with friendly insects and animals.

Don Harrington Discovery Center and Space Theater is in Amarillo’s Medical Center Park along Streit Drive.

Explore the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame

The American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame is a niche activity that’s a great addition to your itinerary if you’re a fan of American horse racing.

One of the world’s most popular horse breeds due to their versatility, the American Quarter Horse gets all sorts of memorabilia in this museum.

You’ll see life-sized bronze statues and a “Wall of Honor” dedicated to the relevant people and horses who made a mark in American Quarter Horse history.

There’s also a section where kids can interact with a life-sized horse and learn about riding, haltering, and proper horse care.

You can visit the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame along East Interstate in Amarillo City.

See the Animals at Amarillo Zoo

Sleeping coyote at Amarillo Zoo

Billy Hathorn at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Amarillo Zoo is one of the best destinations for kids in Texas.

You can find it along Thompson Memorial Park along Comanchero Road Trail in Amarillo City.

Amarillo Zoo offers an exciting immersion with over 70 animal species worldwide.

The zoo has everything from mammals, reptiles, birds, and invertebrates.

The zoo also has some quirky amenities that kids will particularly enjoy.

Serval at Amarillo Zoo

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

They have a “zoo wagon” that you can rent.

It’s a two-seater safari wagon that you can use to tour the kids in a fun way around the zoo.

You’ll see a lot of fantastic animals here, from local ones like black bears to the more exotic kinds like camels and tigers.

Amarillo zoo isn’t a large zoo, so you can tour everything in around two hours or less.

Go Back in Time at the Historical Harrington House

Exterior of the Harrington House

BriceWi999, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Harrington House is a historical house that was originally the mansion of Don and Sybil Harrington.

They were oil and gas business magnates who were vital in shaping the economy in Texas.

One of the first things you’ll notice here is its awe-inspiring architecture.

The Harrington House is a Neoclassical work of art designed with a symmetrical facade with fluted columns.

Since 1914, this house has been carefully maintained and restored to offer an authentic glimpse of the life of the Harringtons.

Many of the furniture and artwork were initially bought by the Harringtons.

Another aesthetically pleasing area of the mansion is its library.

Because of its elegant design, you’ll be transported to Tudor, England, highlighted by original tapestry covering from the 18th century.

Harrington House offers guided tours throughout the week.

It’s a haven for architecture and history buffs, so give it a go since you can easily find it at 1600 South Polk Street in Amarillo City.

Final Thoughts

Potter County is home to a lot of great museums, learning centers, and all sorts of exciting monuments and installations.

If you’re someone who likes learning culture and science, this county is a no-brainer when it comes to prime Texas destinations.

When you’re done checking its urban areas, you can explore its Northern area, brimming with remnants of its rich natural history.

Plan your trip and use this guide to the best things to do in Potter County, Texas.

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