Amarillo, Texas – Cadillac Ranch and Route 66

 

Our 4,000+ mile road trip around the west coast continued on into Texas, as we were able to experience historic Route 66. The drive from New Mexico to the Lone Star State included bright neon signs, middle-of-nowhere motels and rustic truck stops.

We loved it!! 

Amarillo was our city of choice in the Texas Panhandle, and it didn’t let us down. What felt like a small town, the atmosphere was very retro and historic. The very unique and funky art, vintage pubs and eateries, friendly locals and Route 66 themed Airbnb topped our entire road trip. (Take $40 off your first Airbnb stay here)We’ve highlighted a few of our favorite activities and dining options below in pictures. 

Cadillac Ranch

Along Route 66, on the east side of Amarillo is Cadillac Ranch. Ten Cadillacs, ranging from 1948 to 1963 models are buried nose-first into the ground at a cattle farm in the middle-of-nowhere, creating a roadside landmark and public work of art. 

This funky roadside attraction has been around for over 40 years and hundreds of tourists drop by daily to leave their mark. The creators of this piece of art actually encourage visitors to bring along a can of spray paint and add on to this piece of history. 

Story Time

You’re probably wondering how ten Caddies ended up half buried in the ground at a farm in the Texas Panhandle. Back in the 1970’s, a group of California based artists teamed up with Texas millionaire Stanley Marsh 3. The artists called themselves “The Ant Farm” and were inspired by a children’s book that displayed automobile fins. They sketched up their idea and pitched to several millionaires, ultimately securing funding from Stanley Marsh 3. 

The ten Cadillac models were buried nose down into the dirt along Route 66 on the property owned by the eccentric Texas millionaire to display the evolution of the car’s tail fin. When the attraction was completed and opened for the public in 1974, the cars displayed their original factory paint jobs. As the years have passed, people were scratching and painting their names on the cars and there’s layers upon layers which has resulted in an ever changing public work of art.

*Pro Tip: Bring along some cans of spray paint to leave your own mark. There’s cans upon cans of paint littered around the cars but most are empty. If you have some left after use, there’s a plastic bin at the front gate where you can leave your extra paint behind for the next visitors. 

*Pro Tip #2: As there’s layers..and layers..and layers of paint on each car, leave your tag or print on an empty canvas. Create a foundation of white or black to begin your masterpiece. Be sure to snap a quick photo of your art as it won’t last long with others coming through to leave their own mark. 

 

Wild Bills Bar & Grill

Located just down the block from our absolutely amazing artsy Airbnb was this hidden gem. Wild Bills Fillin’ Station was our late night snack destination during our visit. The staff and locals here were incredibly welcoming and friendly! Our favorites included the fried pickles, fried green beans and the wine based margaritas. (Yes we eat this healthy all the time haha)

The Golden Light Cafe

 

Believed to be the longest continually operating restaurant along Route 66, GoldenLight Cafe opened in 1946. This vintage burger joint was our favorite lunch spot and our juicy burgers and hand-cut fries along with live music made for an awesome atmosphere! 

There’s just something about Amarillo. The city is brimming with delicious food and unique attractions. It’s blend of culture, funky art and history as well as it’s originality makes it a must see stop along Route 66! 

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