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The Panhandle Plains Historical Museum is the largest museum in all of Texas. Owned by Panhandle-Plains Historical Society and managed by West Texas A&M University and the Texas A&M University Board of Regents, this museum is definitely a medium to divulge in the local history. With an incredibly diverse range of exhibits showcasing archaeology, paleontology and geology, Panhandle Plains could be explored for weeks.
American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum is dedicated to the quarter horse, a breed smaller than average that can run short distances faster than any other horse. The AQHA offers memberships for those interested in owning their own quarter horse or entering it in competitions. Equestrian classes, seminars and training courses are available at the AQHA. Popular events such as racing and horse sales are held regularly.
The Don Harrington Discover Center is all about inspiring children to take an active interest in science and learning. The center has a number of permanent, hands-on exhibits on subjects from shapes to planets. There's an activity room for the super-young ones as well. Learn about everything from ice age mammals to the planets in our solar system. Hands-on activities let kids explore and discover for themselves.
Spanning across 20,000 acres (8093.71 hectares), the Palo Duro Canyon State Park covers the area between Randall County to the Texas Panhandle. A rugged landscape accentuated with the conspicuous Lighthouse Rock and the dramatic Palo Duro Canyon, it's rightly dubbed as "The Grand Canyon of Texas". The name of the park means "hard wood" in Spanish, a title recognizing the abundance of juniper and mesquite trees towering over the region. Home to a network of trails, Palo Duro Canyon State Park is a must for hiking enthusiasts and equestrian activities. The Pioneer Amphitheater here puts up performances narrating stories of tribes that lived here centuries ago. The place is a captivating amalgamation of nature and culture shining brightly as the State's pride.
The Amarillo Botanical Gardens is a great place to visit for families or individuals who want to have a fun, educational experience involving the outdoors and native plant life. New exhibits are regularly being added, such as the Palo Duro Canyon Garden. Guided tours are available by request if made a week in advance. Be sure to find the tropical conservatory for a chance to investigate rare and exotic indoor plants.
Built by local millionaire/philanthropist Stanley Marsh III, Cadillac Ranch is easily one of Texas' most recognizable attractions. Eleven rusted, gutted-out Cadillacs are lined up and photogenically planted hood-first in the dirt. Unlike the pyramids, Stonehenge and other cultural landmarks, visitors are encouraged to bring spray paint and let loose on this monument. Every visitor to Amarillo should experience Caddy Ranch at least once.
Route 66 is a part of America's identity. The birth of cars, Western freewheeling, traveling, Jack Kerouac and Route 66; these histories go hand-in-hand, and Amarillo features some truly iconic sections of the road. The Big Texan Restaurant has been offering diners its 72 oz. steak challenge since the 1970s. The Cowboy Motel can easily be recognized by its giant antique cowboy road sign in front. Route 66 is the perfect place for shopping, dining, and experiencing a legendary section of American history.
Residing on a 15-acre (6 hectare) plot of forest land, the Amarillo Zoo allows guests to experience over 45 different species of animals, along with rare plant breeds. The zoo is constantly adding new animals, some of the most popular being the Bengal Tigers and Wallabies. The Amarillo Zoo is the perfect place for a fun family outing while on vacation.
Feel a sense of nostalgia as you step back in time at this unique museum. Displaying various RV's from decades past, the Jack Sisemore Traveland RV Museum is owned and operated by the Sisemore family who've collected and restored these beloved homes on wheels for years. See how the evolution of RV's progressed as you take a tour of vehicles from the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s. The museum is free to the public, making it a budget friendly activity for the whole family.
The Wildcat Bluff Nature Center is a protected, natural piece of the Amarillo landscape. Trails wind through 600 acres (242.8 hectares) of land where Amarillo's unique wildlife can be experienced. Horned-lizards, porcupines and hawks inhabit the area. Taking a hike is the perfect experience for curious youngsters and families. Summer camps, guided tours and other activities are organized regularly by the Wildcat Bluff Nature Center.