Amarillo, TX – I-40’s last call for ice cream

On the western edge of the Braum’s landscape sits Amarillo, Texas, home to five Braum’s stores. The largest city in the Texas Panhandle, Amarillo was originally called Oneida when it was founded in the late 1880s. The town grew to prominence as a hub of the cattle trade, and remains a stronghold of the meatpacking industry.

As a stop on Interstate 40, Amarillo offers residents and guests alike plenty of entertainment, whether you’re moving into the area or just making a pit stop on a cross-country trek.

Here are some must-see places in the area:

Cadillac Ranch

Erected in 1974, Cadillac Ranch is an art installation by the group Ant Farm, who planted 10 Cadillac automobiles nose-first in the west Texas dirt. Funded by the eccentric businessman Stanley Marsh 3, is decorated – and redecorated – by graffiti artists passing by. The unique installation is a must-see sight on the south access road of the highway, east of the exit for Arnot Road.

American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum

The American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum, an education arm of the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), exists to preserve the legacy of the famed American Quarter Horse. The quarter horse, long associated with cowboy life and ranch work, was in danger of extinction before becoming an iconic symbol of the American West.

The AQHA museum is a repository of artwork, stories, and artifacts celebrating the role the breed played in winning the West. Exhibits include bronze statues, an educational gallery and a theater.

Kwahadi Museum of the American Indian

The Kwahadi Museum of the American Indian celebrates the culture and lifestyles of the Pueblo and Plains peoples. The museum’s halls feature paintings, carvings, and artifacts from the tribes of the area.

Each summer, the Kwahadi brings to life the pageantry and spectacle of the Kwahadi dancers, a youth performance squad which features stories, songs, and dances. This award-winning troupe performs all summer long at the museum, as well as at select times during the fall and winter.

Amarillo Botanical Gardens

The high plains of Texas aren’t exactly renowned for their amenability to growing things. The Amarillo Garden Club, first organized in 1929, sought to change that. Over the course of the next 25 years, the club expanded and new clubs were formed. With the advent of the Garden Center in 1954, the clubs had a common home, and they worked collectively to fill the space with plant life. By 2007, this garden center had transformed into the Amarillo Botanical Gardens.

The Amarillo Botanical Gardens hosts educational programs for gardeners and school children, and offers facility rentals for private events.

Palo Duro Canyon

While not in the city proper, no visit to Amarillo is complete without a trip to Palo Duro State Canyon State Park. Second in size only to the Grand Canyon, Palo Duro Canyon is located just a few miles south of Amarillo, toward Canyon, Texas. Spanish explorers made their way into the canyon in 1541, and the canyon has been continuously inhabited by native tribes from the area. The canyon is well-regarded for its geological formations, and each summer hosts the musical performance Texas.

In and around the state park are a number of attractions. The Palo Duro Riding Stables offers horseback riding, camping, and hiking.  Adventure seekers can streak across the sky above the canyon on the ziplines at the Palo Duro Adventure Park.

Before you head out of town, visit any five of the area Braum’s stores for  a refreshing limeade, cool shake, or a hearty burger and fries.

1900 S. Grand St.

801 E. Amarillo Blvd.

1700 S. Western

4629 S. Western

7401 SW 34th Ave.

Photo courtesy CGP Grey (www.cgpgrey.com)