Planning a trip to Amarillo, Texas, is exciting because it’s glimmering with potential for making pleasant memories! But, of course, it’s always better when you travel with loved ones. So, how much do you know about The Yellow Rose of Texas?
Amarillo started as a tiny settlement in the 1890s. It has become a powerhouse of great entertainment and some of the tastiest cuisine in Texas! So whether you adore nature, dream of juicy steaks, or like to lose yourself in art, Amarillo has something to sweep you off your feet.
About Amarillo Texas
Amarillo – The Yellow Rose of Texas – Its name originates from the Spanish word for yellow. It has had a rich history of cattle ranching since the 1890s, and modern Amarillo continues to thrive! Let’s look at the best places to dine, recreational facilities & accommodations, transport, and infrastructure.
Facts About Amarillo Texas
- Location: Texas, United States
- County: Potter County
- Towns: Amarillo
- Land Area: 90.3 square miles (234 km2)
- Zipcodes: 79101 – 79111, 79114, 79116 – 79121. Others include 79124, 79159, 79166, 79168, 79172, 79174, 79178, 79185, 79189
- Population: 202,300 (2022)
- Crime rate: 36/100 (violence), 63.2/100 (property)
- Average Temperature June: Low 60.8°F (16°C) / High 87.8°f (31°C)
- Average Temperature January: Low 23°F (-5°C) / High 50°F (10°C)
- Universities: Texas Tech University, West Texas A&M University, Wayland Baptist University, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.
- Airports: Tradewind Airport & Hutchinson Airport (Local), Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport (Domestic), Albuquerque International Sunport (International)
- Best hotels: Drury Inn & Suites Amarillo, Hyatt Place Amarillo West, Embassy Suites by Hilton Amarillo Downtown
- Best Restaurants: Coyote Bluff Café, El Manantial, Tyler’s Barbeque, Yellow City Street Food
What’s Amarillo Known For
Amarillo once owned the biggest collection of Helium in the world, has a V-22 assembly plant, is one of the largest meat-packing locations in the US, and nuclear company Pantex employs many people from Amarillo.
- Helium Capital of the world – The government discovered Helium in 1920, started collecting it in 1960, and selling it in the 2000s. Amarillo had a staggering 32 billion cubic feet of helium underneath nearby cliffsides of porous rock, naming itself the Helium Capital of the World.
- V-22 assembly plant – Amarillo has a V-22 Osprey assembly plant, giving them the nickname Rotor City. The V-22 is a tiltrotor military aircraft capable of vertically taking off and landing and a short takeoff and landing.
- Significant meat-packing market – Amarillo’s cattle ranching history makes it one of the biggest meat-packing markets throughout America.
- Pantex is a major employer – Pantex is a facility that assembles and disassembles nuclear weapons in the country and has many employees from Amarillo. Its presence gives Amarillo the nickname Bomb City.
People From Amarillo
Amarillo, Texas, birthed numerous people with extraordinary talent who became famous actors & actresses, authors, and singers. They include actress Carolyn Jones, author Jennifer Archer, and singer Joe Ely.
- Carolyn Jones – An film and TV actress who received a Golden Globe Award for her performances in 1959. She played Morticia Addams in the original 1964 TV series The Addams Family.
- Jennifer Archer – A teen & adult fiction and women’s romance writer. Some of her famous works include her paranormal romance Once Upon a Dream (2001), The Me I Used to Be (2005), and Sandwiched (2005).
- Joe Ely – Songwriter, guitarist, and singer that includes Tex-Mex, honky-tonk, and Texas country. He performed with Bruce Springsteen and The Chieftans. He has several popular songs, such as All Just To Get To You (1995).
Where Is Amarillo
Amarillo is a city in the state of Texas, and while it sits primarily in Potter County, it does extend into Randal County. The Texas Panhandle ranks it as the 14th city with the largest population. Once named Oneida, Amarillo finds itself in the Llano Estacado region.
Amarillo, Texas, is bustling with life, energy, and accomplishment! There are several prominent cities, points of interest, and educational and entertainment areas that can tide you over. Here are some of the best locations nearby Amarillo, Texas!
- Wonderland Amusement Park
- The Big Texan Steak Ranch & Brewery
- Palo Duro Canyon State Park
- Timbercreek Canyon
- Lubbock, Texas (114 miles)
- Buffalo Lake National Wildlife Refuge
- Sanford Recreation Area
Getting About In Amarillo
Amarillo’s travel & tourism sector is majorly successful, generating $900 million annually and serving around 2 million visitors.
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If you plan to walk short distances to your destination, traveling on foot in Amarillo, Texas, is a viable option! It will take you a little longer but won’t cost a traveling expense. Note that walking is only suitable from March 18 – November 13 – the snowless season.
Amarillo, Texas, has the Amarillo City Transit (ACT) bus system, and although it is reliable and affordable, it only offers a few routes. There are no trains, but you have the option of multiple nearby airports if you want to travel long distances.
You can rent cars from companies like Budget and Avis, which offer daily packages. Taxis are on the expensive side for long distances; you can expect to pay a standard and every other after that.
Driving & Riding
Cars are at the top of the convenience list for getting around Amarillo because they’re accessible even during the snowy months. For motorcycles, things can become slippery during the winter months, and while Amarillo has bicycle lanes, riding in icy weather may not be worth the medical costs.
What Can You Do In Amarillo Texas?
Amarillo, Texas, entertains in the form of the Wonderland Amusement Park, exciting art at the Amarillo Museum of Art, and great food at The Big Texas Steak Ranch & Brewery.
Wonderland Amusement Park
Paul and Alathea Roads, who still run the park today, founded it in 1951. They started introducing rides that appealed to kids and adults in 1969, and today you can find rides like Drop of Fear, Bumper Cars, and the Texas Tornado coaster.
Amarillo Museum of Art
Architect Edward Durell Stone designed the museum, which opened in 1972 at Amarillo College. There are several visual indoor artworks, plus days with live music, refreshments, more than 300 Asian artifacts, and outdoor sculptures.
The Big Texan Steak Ranch & Brewery
It’s a motel and steakhouse located on Interstate 40. It’s famous for its 72-ounce (2.04 kg) steak challenge. Finish the steak, buttered bread roll, baked potato, shrimp cocktail, and salad – all in 1 hour – and it’s all free!
Where Can You Eat In Amarillo Texas?
Amarillo, Texas, has excellent dining options packed with flavor, spices, and satisfaction to match every palate. You can expect Mexican cuisine, American-style burgers, tacos, barbeque, steaks, and even mouthwatering street food. Here are some of the best locations to eat!
Coyote Bluff Café
This restaurant offers traditional American-style cuisine consisting of succulent burgers, salads, hot wings, and a beer bar to wash them down. Their sizzling ribeye steaks with chips are also a winner!
The delicious blends of Mexican, Latin, and Spanish cuisine makes this restaurant popular with locals and tourists. You can find breakfast meals like Chilaquiles and Migas, soups like Pozole, and a child menu with tacos and burritos – something for everyone!
You’ll find loads of American-style barbeque dishes in all their saucy glory and tenderness at Tyler’s Barbeque. The menu has ribs, meaty sandwiches, dinner plates, desserts, and icy cold, refreshing lemonade or tea to complement your barbeque dish.
Yellow City Street Food
This restaurant is fantastic if you want American-style street food tacos stuffed with meats, cheeses, and other delicious sauces. There’s beer, daily specials, and vegan-friendly meals. The chef changes the menu every week, viewable on Facebook.
Where Can You Stay In Amarillo Texas?
With millions of tourists passing through annually, Amarillo ensured only the best accommodation for visitors and locals. You don’t need to look far for the best places to stay!
- Drury Inn & Suites Amarillo – As a traveler’s choice for 2022, it offers amenities like Wifi, gyms, business areas, breakfast, and dinnertime snacks with soft drinks and popcorn.
All rooms have a microwave, fridge, air conditioning, flatscreen TVs, telephones, and coffee & tea makers. The sheets are also clean and cozy for a great night’s rest.
- Hyatt Place Amarillo West – Rooms have sofa-sleepers, a work desk, air conditioning, a coffee & tea maker, and a fridge. They’re also ADA-friendly, with roll-in showers, easy-to-access tubs, and ADA amenities.
Other amenities include high-speed Wifi, a gym, family activities, a pool, complimentary breakfast, pet-friendly facilities, and a business center. You can choose between smoking and non-smoking rooms.
- Embassy Suites by Hilton Amarillo Downtown – You can expect a free full breakfast, a fitness center, and a business center equipped with printing and copying services. Wifi is quick and free, perfect for working from your hotel room.
All rooms have air conditioning, microwaves, fridges, flatscreen TVs, and telephones. You can opt for a smoking or non-smoking room.
Amarillo Texas FAQs
Whether you’re considering visiting or relocating to Amarillo, Texas, you will likely have follow-up questions. So here are some frequently asked questions about Amarillo, Texas.
Which Are The Best Months For Visiting Amarillo Texas?
November 18 – March 13 is Amarillo’s snowy season. If you plan to travel during warmer weather, avoid traveling to Amarillo during these times – unless you don’t mind the cold!
How Safe Is Amarillo Texas?
FBI crime statistics reveal that Amarillo’s violent crime rate (36/100) is slightly higher than the national US average (22.7/100). These involve murder, manslaughter, robbery, sexual assault, and aggravated assault.
Property crime statistics for Amarillo (63.2/100) are much higher than the US average (35.4/100). These crimes include burglary, larceny, theft, and arson.