Looking for the best day trips from Texas?
Discover fun and interesting destinations near Amarillo including Caprock Canyon, Cadillac Ranch, Palo Duro Canyon, and more in this detailed guide.
Amarillo is one of the most underrated places in Texas.
The city, located in the Texas panhandle, has a host of tourist attractions and things to do for all types of travelers.
Even outside the city, you will find many interesting destinations within easy reach.
From historic ghost towns and quirky roadside attractions to sprawling canyons and placid lakes, there is no shortage of fascinating things to do near Amarillo, Texas.
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Cadillac Ranch, Texas
One of the most popular day trips from Amarillo is to drive out to the Cadillac Ranch, a world famous roadside attraction that has become an icon of Route 66.
This work of art was created by a group of local artists as a monument to the iconic tail fin cars.
It consists of 10 Cadillacs buried nose-first into the ground with their tail fins exposed.
Each of the cars has spray-painted graffiti and messages on them; visitors are allowed to spray paint the cars on their visit.
Teeming with visitors all day long, it is no wonder that this unusual work of art has become one of the most visited attractions along Route 66 in Texas.
10 miles, 15 mins
Also Read: 33 Best Day Trips in Texas
Canyon, Texas is one of the larger communities in the panhandle.
This charming town has a small population; it lies on the outskirts of Amarillo to the southwest.
The major attraction here is the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum which holds collections related to the history and culture of the Texas panhandle.
At the museum, you can learn about the area’s wildlife, geology, and human history.
If you visit Canyon near Amarillo, be sure to stop by this museum.
20 miles, 20 mins
Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Texas
Palo Duro Canyon State Park is one of the major attractions in Texas and one of the most famous day trips from Amarillo.
You can easily reach it within an hour’s drive from Amarillo.
This stunning canyon filled with beautiful cliffs, rock formations, and gushing creeks is a favorite with outdoor lovers.
Hike the lighthouse formation, see Texas the Musical, or camp under the starry night sky to enjoy this state park.
30 Miles, 30 mins
Alibates Flint Quarry National Monument, Texas
Alibates Flint Quarry National Monument is a historic site located in the Texas panhandle.
The Alibates Flint Quarries were a major source of flint for primitive tribes and later settlers and contributed significantly to their survival.
Today, you can see how flint was extracted from the quarry by visiting this site and admire the colorful alibates flint.
This monument is also famous for its petroglyphs made by the native American Indians who settled in the area.
37 miles, 38 mins
Lake Meredith National Recreation Area, Texas
Lake Meredith National Recreation Area is located in the Texas panhandle, near Amarillo.
This area encompasses the vast Lake Meredith and offers boating, fishing, water skiing, camping, hiking trails, and wildlife viewing.
Bring your camera to capture stunning scenic views of the serene lake or take part in an array of fun outdoor activities on a day trip from Amarillo to Lake Meredith.
This is one of the best day trips from Amarillo for nature lovers.
40 miles, 40 mins
Adrian is a small town in the panhandle to the east of Amarillo.
Located on Historic Route 66, this quaint old-world style community is the center of the Mother Road.
Attractions include Midpoint Café, midpoint markers, vintage gas station, and other historic buildings.
50 mins, 50 miles
Lake McClellan, Texas
Lake McClellan is a popular nature spot near Amarillo, Texas.
This natural lake attracts visitors from far and wide to its shores.
You can fish, swim, or enjoy other water sports at Lake McClellan on your day-trip here.
65 miles, 1 hr 5 mins
Also Read: Best Weekend Getaways from Amarillo, Texas
Glenrio, New Mexico
Glenrio is a ghost town located on the Texas-New Mexico border.
Visitors are drawn to this site by the unusual ruins of a once thriving town.
You can explore the old gas station, store, diner, and hotels here on your day trip from Amarillo to Glenrio.
75 miles, 1 hr 10 mins
Lake McKenzie, Texas
Lake McKenzie is a small, yet scenic lake in the Texas panhandle.
This man-made reservoir is a popular spot to visit on weekends and camping holidays.
If you are visiting Amarillo during the week, try driving out here for a leisurely weekend drive around the lake filled with blue sky and trees.
The lake is one of the best day trips from Amarillo to beat the summer heat.
75 miles, 1 hr 10 mins
McLean is a small town on Route 66 in the Texas panhandle.
This charming, little community has a collection of historic structures built during the heyday of Route 66.
You can have a great time photographing the vintage gas station or the 20th century buildings on Main Street or the iconic Cactus Inn Motel.
Take a step back in history at the McLean Historical Museum which features vintage artifacts or the one of a kind Devil’s Rope Museum.
75 miles, 1 hr 10 mins
Shamrock is the county seat of Wheeler County and a popular route 66 stop.
You can get great photographs here as this small town boasts photogenic street scenes, old-world buildings, vintage signs, and more.
96 miles, 1 hr 30 mins
Caprock Canyon State Park, Texas
Only 2 hrs away from Amarillo, Caprock Canyons State Park is a popular destination in the vicinity.
The park is home to a variety of attractions including rock climbing and hiking trails that are great for thrill-seekers.
You can also visit the bat cave in the park and see the bats take flight at dusk.
102 miles, 1 hr 45 mins
Also Read: Best Bat Caves in Texas
Ute Lake State Park, New Mexico
Located across the border in New Mexico, Ute Lake State Park is a great getaway for outdoorsy types.
You can take part in a variety of water activities at this state park including boating, canoeing and kayaking.
This place is also popular among anglers so bring your fishing rod along if you are visiting.
113 miles, 1hr 45 mins
Rita Blanca National Grassland, Texas
The Rita Blanca National Grassland is situated in the Texas Panhandle, near Amarillo.
This grassland features a variety of interesting attractions and activities for visitors including hunting elk and antelopes, fishing, camping, hiking trails, historic sites, and more.
105 miles, 1hr 45 mins
Tucumcari, New Mexico
Tucumcari is located on Historic Route 66 in New Mexico.
To get there, you will drive through the beautiful plains of the panhandle and a variety of other interesting landscapes on your way to this quaint old-world town.
You can take great photographs of vintage buildings, eat good food at several restaurants in Tucumcari, spot the murals, and go shopping.
A popular attraction is the Mesalands Dinosaur Museum where kids can see fossils, footprints, and bones of the prehistoric beasts.
115 miles, 1 hr 45 mins
If you are looking for a place to take your kids on a day-trip, consider the popular city of Lubbock.
Lubbock has several interesting things to do including the Museum of Texas Tech where kids can see dinosaurs and the American Windmill Museum.
The Science Spectrum & OMNI Theater in Lubbock is another great spot for kids.
This museum features interactive exhibits that teach children about scientific phenomena, animals, and nature.
Lubbock is one of the best day trips from Amarillo to take kids in the summer vacation.
125 miles, 1 hr 50 mins
Buffalo Springs Lake, Texas
Located in the Texas Panhandle, Buffalo Springs Lake is a great place for camping holidays as there are plenty of campsites in the park.
You can also enjoy fishing, boating and water sports at this man-made reservoir.
If you want to explore nature and wildlife without getting your feet wet, visit the Visitor Center which has several exhibits about the area.
133 miles, 2 hrs
Copper Breaks State Park, Texas
Copper Breaks State Park is an awesome destination for adventurous individuals.
The park features some of the best rock climbing spots in Texas as well as hiking trails that lead to panoramic view points.
160 miles, 2 hrs 30 mins
The best day trips from Amarillo, Texas that are highlighted in this article will give you a variety of options to explore whether you’re traveling with children or road tripping in Texas.
Which one of these attractions are at the top of your bucket list?
Further Reading: Best national & State Parks near Amarillo, Texas