At the end of September, our family of four set out on our biggest adventure to date. We were going to drive two small kids–including a persnickety toddler–through Texas and Colorado on a nice, long trip to visit Rocky Mountain National Park. Like any good Texan, we had every intention of stopping in Amarillo for the night for a place to sleep before heading out for the second leg each way. If you know anything about the Texas Panhandle, Amarillo is a very safe bet since it is literally hundreds of miles to another city!
When we were living in Colorado several years ago, we often stopped in Amarillo for the night, but we’d never actually done anything in Amarillo. With two energetic little ones, we were ready to see what Amarillo had to offer on our family field trip! We had no idea how many options existed!
Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Right outside of Amarillo lies Palo Duro Canyon, the second largest canyon in the United States after the Grand Canyon. It is extremely affordable and offers breathtaking views. Carved by a fork of the Red River, Palo Duro Canyon offers hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and other activities. Honestly, this place is beautiful. I wish we’d had more time to hike and enjoy the views.
Despite the fact that I’m wearing zero makeup here, I LOVE this family photo with the sun setting over the canyon.
If your kids are a little bit older, you might enjoy bringing spray paint for some fun and to leave your mark at Cadillac Ranch! This simple, colorful attraction is free and offers a great place to stretch your legs and take some photos at ones of America’s most iconic art displays. This is a good one to check off of your bucket list!
For a good night’s sleep we stayed at the Ashmore Inn and Suites. Right on the highway, this hotel offers easy access to local attractions and restaurants. Having a suite with a refrigerator and pull-out couch was very convenient. The kitchenette sink and microwave made it easy to wash and steam our sippy cups. While it’s not a new hotel, the hotel was clean and the staff was friendly, and it’s an affordable option when you’re on the go!
Other fantastic attractions in Amarillo include the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum–the largest history museum in Texas, the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame and Museum, the Big Texan Steak Ranch, and so much more!
Next time you’re making the journey between Texas and Colorado, not only will you want to plan a stay in Amarillo, you will want to consider visiting some of the many great attractions as well!
Disclosure: We received a complimentary stay in Amarillo for purposes of this post. As always, all experiences and opinions are our own.