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Why Fly to Amarillo?
Located in the northern portion of the Texas panhandle, Amarillo serves as the region's economic and cultural hub. The city of about 200,000 is a major center for industry, boasting one of the largest meat packing sectors in the country. It also plays a significant role in the manufacturing and agriculture industries. The city's history dates back to the late 19th century when it served as a ranching community. With the construction of railroads, Amarillo grew to become a major cattle marketing center. The city continues to be proud of its cowboy heritage and celebrates this unique cultural during several annual events, such as the Tri-State Fair & Rodeo. The Amarillo National Center and the Amarillo Civic Center are both premier venues for various types of competitions, including rodeos, motor sports and national equestrian contests. The Texas town also boasts a vibrant arts community. One of the area's most famous art installations is Cadillac Ranch. Located just west of the city, the public arts project is made up of painted Cadillac cars that stick out of the ground. The city's Globe-News Center for the Performing Arts houses several major performance arts institutions, including the Amarillo Opera, the Amarillo Symphony and the Lone Star Ballet. Family vacationers can spend a day at Wonderland Park, an amusement park located in the city's Thompson Memorial Park. The park is also home to the city's zoo. Amarillo also boasts an interactive science center called the Don Harrington Discovery Center. As for shopping, Amarillo is the perfect place to pick up a pair of cowboy boots, hats and other Texas-themed merchandise. You can find Amarillo hotels downtown along Interstate 40. For cheap flights to Amarillo, use Travelzoo's SuperSearch.
Which Airlines Fly to Amarillo?
The Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport (AMA) serves the Amarillo region. The small facility receives flights from several domestic carriers. You can compare affordable airfare from Dallas on American Eagle and Southwest. Or search for discount flights from Houston on Continental. United flies to Amarillo as well.
Amarillo Flight Tips
Alternatively, you can buy plane tickets to Lubbock, which is located only about two hours south of Amarillo. The Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport (LBB) receives flights from American Eagle, Continental, Delta, Southwest and United. Or search for flights to Oklahoma City, which is about four hours east of Amarillo. Meanwhile, you can find discount airfare to Albuquerque, which is about 280 miles away.
Quick Travel Guide to Amarillo
Begin your trip to Amarillo by exploring the area's eclectic arts scene. One of the most popular tourist destinations in the region is Cadillac Ranch. The unique art installation is located just a few miles west of the city center. Created in 1974 in part by local millionaire Stanley Marsh, the monument consists of ten classic Cadillacs buried vertically in the Texas desert. Another famous example of folk art is the Dynamite Museum. This art project consists of thousands of tongue-in-cheek road signs scattered throughout the city.
If you're interested in the history of the panhandle region, pay a visit to the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum. Located on the campus of West Texas A&M University, the institution claims to be the largest historical museum in Texas. The museum was established in 1933 and features a host of Texas art as well as artifacts that represent the region's unique geological and archeological history. The museum also boats a Textiles Gallery that displays more than 125 years worth of period clothing and quilts. Other permanent exhibitions include the petroleum wing, a transportation collection, a firearms collection, a pioneer town and a collection of sports paraphernalia.
If you're traveling with children, spend an afternoon at the Don Harrington Discovery Center. Located in the city's hospital district, this interactive science museum features more than 60 hands-on exhibits as well as a planetarium. At the front of the institution is the Helium Centennial Time Columns Monument. Erected in 1968, the monument serves to honor Amarillo's history as the "Helium Capital of the World."
For those interested in exploring the local fine arts scene, visit the Galleries at Sunset Center. This building features a collective group of more than 55 galleries representing more than 100 artists. The facility hosts special art walks every first Friday of the month where visitors can walk among the art and appreciate the unique talents of Amarillo's rich local artist community. In addition, the facility features an outdoor sculpture garden.
Get a feel for the natural beauty of the area by visiting the Amarillo Botanical Gardens. The lush garden showcases a flourishing indoor collection of exotic plants in its tropical conservatory. Outdoor sites include a Japanese garden, a fragrance garden and a butterfly garden. The facility is open throughout the year, though it shortens its public hours during the winter months.