For Valentine’s Day 2015 we decided to check out the little town of Amarillo, TX. and drove throughout the night to get there on Valentines Day morning. Hence, the title, Amarillo by Morning 🙂 Couldn’t resist. Anyway, it was a whirlwind two-night trip, but we had a wonderful time exploring a new city together. The first thing I noticed was the wind. It was crazy and it didn’t stop the whole time we were there. Other than that, it seemed like a nice little town. Much slower pace than here in Denver, but still has all the amenities anyone could need. I did notice a lot of banks for some reason, lol.
After a short nap and a late lunch, we headed to The American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum. It is really well done and brought me back to the summers I spent on a ranch. I enjoyed looking at all the saddles and other tack. They also had a great bit of history on the Quarter House and some of the more famous studs. According to their website, their museum beautifully showcases the dozens of horses and people who have earned the distinction of becoming part of the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame. To be part of the Hall of Fame, horses and people must have been outstanding over a period of years in a variety of categories. They must have brought exceptional visibility and/or contribution to the American Quarter Horse. The only thing that disappointed me was that they didn’t have any live horses around. Oh well, maybe some other time. I did take a lot of pictures and we watched a few videos they had running. I enjoyed it and recommend it to anyone who is visiting the area.
1600 Quarter Horse Drive
Tuesday through Saturday – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
After we left the museum we drive up and down Route 66 for a while. We had wanted to stop and walk around a little but, being Valentine’s Day weekend, and a Saturday, it was crazy busy. We decided to go back the next day when it wasn’t so busy. In the meantime, we decided to drive around more and see a little bit more of the town. It is a small little town, but as I said before, has all the amenities one could need.
Eventually we ended up back at our hotel and got ready for dinner. We went to The Big Texan Steak Ranch. There is a large bull statue that advertises their “free” 72 oz. steak challenge. Gene had joked about doing the challenge but didn’t. Maybe on another trip. Anyway, while we waited for our reservation we checked out the gift shop and hotel that is attached. It was great, and we eventually enjoyed our dinner. It is a really cool restaurant, but as I said, it’s so much more. I wrote a separate post that you can read by clicking on the link above.
7701 Interstate 40 East Access Rd
Daily – 10 am – 10:30 pm
The next morning we got up late due to a late-night out but wanted to hit a restaurant for lunch on Historic 6th Avenue (part of Route 66). We ended up at a place called Smokey Joe’s BBQ. There is no other way to describe this place but a dive biker bar. However, we knew this going in, and the place was packed, so we knew it was probably good. They had a large outdoor patio to sit out on during warmer months, which seemed like a great place to sit and watch people walk by and shop. We had a great meal and were glad that we listened to some of the locals and tried this place. A little later we braved the cold a little bit and walked around the historic street. All I can say is that if you are into antiques, Amarillo is the place for you. There were so many antique shops and stores that I stopped counting. Being a Sunday most of them were closed, but it was still nice to take a peek through the windows. Lol
2903 SW 6th Ave
Daily 11 am – 12 am
After taking some more pictures, we headed over to what they call the Cadillac Ranch. It is a famous art sculpture in Amarillo that consists of what were either older running used or junk Cadillac automobiles from 1949 to 1963, half-buried nose-first in the ground, at an angle corresponding to that of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. Writing graffiti on or otherwise spray-painting the vehicles is now encouraged, and the vehicles, which have long since lost their original colors, are wildly decorated. It is a really cool thing to see and I think a great idea for people to express themselves in a constructive way.
13651 I-40 Frontage Rd, Amarillo, TX
Hours: Daily – Daylight hours
Just west of the Amarillo city line. I-40 exit 60. Follow the frontage road on the south side of I-40 (old Route 66) east for one mile. Cadillac Ranch will be on the right (south) side; just park your car along the shoulder and enter the pasture through an unlocked gate. Visitors are encouraged; dog friendly.
We only had a couple of days in Amarillo, but we had a nice time. I really enjoyed the area. We will be back in Amarillo someday and get a chance to explore more. For now, I hope you enjoyed reading about our trip. Please return soon, as I will be doing some separate posts on activities and restaurants I mentioned in this post. Enjoy.
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