Panhandle Day Trips

Panhandle Day Trips

BORGER

Population 15,545
Altitude 3,116

General

Established following the discovery of rich Panhandle Oil Field in 1926. In months, a boom town of tents and shacks sprang up, and the population numbered more than 40,000. Orderly growth soon replaced the ribald oil-boom days, and now Borger is a center for oil, chemicals, and cattle. Tanks and towers of oil and petrochemical plants dominate the skyline. Home of Frank Phillips College.

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Attractions

CITY PARKS - 16 parks offer extensive picnic facilities, tennis courts, sports fields, playground equipment, swimming pools, and two 18 hole golf courses.

HUTCHINSON COUNTY HISTORICAL MUSEUM - Exhibits depicting Hutchinson County are from time of Coronado to boom-town days. Open Mon. to Fri. from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sat. 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; open Sun during the summer months, memorial Day through Labor Day, 2 to 4 p.m. Closed major legal holidays. 618 N. Main Street; 806--273-6121.

SCENIC DRIVE - A 25 mile loop west and north to Stinnett crosses rough, canyon cut landscapes of the Canadian River brakes; leads across the dam impounding Lake Meredith, Texas 136 west, F.M. 1319, and F.M. 687 north.



BOYS RANCH

Population 550
Altitude 3,175

General

Cal Farley's Boys Ranch is a nationally known home for boys and girls who benefit from guidance, affectionate discipline, and education in a ranch setting. Established in 2939 by the late Cal Farley, Texas businessman and world welterweight wrestling champion of the 1920s.

The first boys who came to the ranch lived in the abandoned courthouse of Old Tascosa that is now that Julian Bivins Museum. Founded and expanded by private donations, the ranch today covers 10,600 acres. Facilities includes a chapel, clinic, schools, fine arts and auditorium, visitors center, and 23 homes for children.

More than 400 boys and girls help operate the ranch, attend school and vocational classes, and enjoy a year-round program of athletics. A popular annual event is the Boys Ranch Rodeo, Labor Day weekend, featuring competition among youths of all ages. Although some 80 percent of the young people were headed for trouble before coming to the ranch, most remain and graduate from the fully accredited Boys Ranch High School, entering the adult world as useful, self-reliant citizens. Visitors are welcome at the ranch; open daily 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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Attractions

BOOT HILL CEMETERY - When Tascosa was the wide open, riotous cowboy capital of the 1880s, gunfights were traditional means for settling disputes and its cemetery was an essential part of the town. The boys maintain the cemetery today. U.S. 385.


JULIAN BIVINS MUSEUM - Housed in the former Oldham County Courthouse, name honors Panhandle rancher whose donation of land formed the nucleus of Boys Ranch. Artifacts from Indian and prehistoric Panhandle cultures, cowboy and pioneer items, photos and documents about Boys Ranch history. Open daily year round, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

OLD TASCOSA - Pioneer settler in the early 1870s built adobe huts and irrigation ditches along area creeks. After 1875, village became a supply and shipping point for several huge Texas ranches, including the famed XIT and LIT. Bustling town was known as "the Cowboy Capital of the Plains"; became county sat when Oldham County was organized in 1880. The famous and infamous - from Kit Carson to Billy the Kid -once strode its rough plank sidewalks. But as with many Texas cowtowns; the decline set in when the open range was girded with fences, and the railroad bypassed the site. It was deserted by the 1930s.



CANADIAN

Population 2,385
Altitude 2,339

General

Canadian became county seat when Hemphill County was organized in 1887. It's located on the Canadian River ant the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe RR in the northwestern part of the county. Early settlers held one of the first rodeos in Texas. Today a chief commercial center of county, that derives much of its economy from ranching and some oil activity.

Northwest of Canadian is the Black Kettle National Grasslands, administered by National Forest Service. Visitors find campsites, cottages, picnic grounds at small Lake Marvin. Fishing for bass, channel catfish, and sunfish. Nature trails popular during fall foliage season and visitors often see deer, wild turkey, and waterfowl.

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Attractions

RIVER VALLEY PIONEER MUSEUM - Quaint museum features memorabilia on history of Canadian and Hemphill County. Traveling exhibits from other museums also displayed regularly. Open Tues. - Fri. from 10 a.m. to noon, 1 to 4 p.m.; Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. 118 South 2nd Street. (U.S. 60/83). Donations are accepted.



CANYON

Population 12,179
Altitude 3,566

General

Originated in 1878 as headquarters for huge T Anchor Ranch; seat of Randall County and gateway to spectacular Palo Duro Canyon State Park; home of West Texas State A&M University.

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Attractions

BUFFALO LAKE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE - One of the major waterfowl refuges on the Central Flyway, the 7,t677 acre refuge is a winter haven for a million ducks and 80,000 geese. Once known as Tierra Blanca Water Conservation Project, the lake now holds very little water but refuge about 12 miles west continues to draw visitors on its interpretive walking trail and 4.5 mile auto interpretive rail. Activities include picnicking, sightseeing, birding, nature study, photography, and campsites with tables, grills - no water or electricity. Open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Refuge headquarters; 3 miles south of Umbarger on F.M. 168.

PALO DURO CANYON STATE PARK - One of the state's largest state parks. 15,103 acres amid scenic landscape of Palo Duro Canyon. On the tabletop expanse of the Texas High Plains, a branch of the Red River has carved the incredible spires and pinnacles of Palo Duro. Walls plunge a thousand feet to the canyon floor, exposing brilliant multicolored strata. Camping, picnicking rest rooms and showers, horseback riding, hiking trails, Sad Monkey miniature train ride, souvenir and snack shop, interpretive center, and amphitheater where shows are staged during the summer season. About 12 miles east via Texas 217 and Park Road 5. Admission is charged.
Within park is historical marker citing last great Indian battle in Texas. On a sweep across the High Plains in 1874, the famous Col. Ronald S. Mackenzie, leading troops of 4th Cavalry from Fort Richardson discovered huge camp of Comanches in the canyon. The Indians had broken from their reservations and were menacing a wide area. Achieving surprise, troops quickly overran the village and captured some 1,400 horses. The Indians fled to strong points in canyon. In a master stroke of tactics Mackenzie did not try to dislodge the Indians, but burned the village and slaughtered their horses; the proud plains warriors had no choice but to plod back to their reservations in Oklahoma.


PANHANDLE PLAINS HISTORICAL MUSEUM - On campus of West Texas State A&M University honors pioneers of Texas' colorful past. Entrance doors ornamented with historic brands, fascinating Old West exhibits include chuck wagon, extensive gun collection, prehistoric fossils and wildlife. Other collections show prehistoric Indian cultures, archaeology and Frank Reaugh Collection of Southwestern Art.
Don Harrington Petroleum Wing, opened in 1986, incorporates latest in exhibit design and museum interpretation. Geology, underground tool and oil field displays give viewer feeling of "being there". Open Mon. - Sat. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (6 p.m. June - August). Sunday and holidays (except Thanksgiving, Christmas and the day before, and New Year's Day) 1 to 6 p.m.


PIONEER AMPHITHEATER - Setting for "TEXAS' spectacular outdoor drama by Paul Green, presented nightly except Sundays from late June through late August. Located in Palo Duro Canyon State Park, backdropped by 600 foot cliff. Cowboys, Indians, and settlers move over huge stage; riders spotlighted on cliffside trails, stereo music echoes through the canon. Nationally acclaimed show. Separate admission for the park and show, but free; park admission after 5:30 p.m. for those attending the show. All seats reserved; advance reservations advisable. Canyon nights are cool even in midsummer, and a wrap is recommended. Tickets available a theater, also at "TEXAS" Information Office, 2010 4th Avenue (Texas 217) in Canyon. 806-655-2181.



CHILDRESS

Population 4,984
Altitude 1,877

General

Seat of Childress County named for George Campbell Childress, author of Texas Declaration of Independence. An agricultural center for cotton, grains and livestock, town is on the Burlington Northern Railroad, has small, diversified industries.

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Attractions

CHILDRESS CITY PARK - In addition to the lake, the park has historical marker for Goodnight Trail, extension of famed Goodnight Loving Trail over which herds of cattle trekked to market.

CHILDRESS COUNTY HERITAGE MUSEUM - Housed in an old post office, displays include industry (cattle, cotton, railroad) exhibits, local Indian artifacts and furnished period rooms. Open Mon. to Fri. from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sat., 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Third and C Streets Northwest.



CLARENDON

Population 2,043
Altitude 2,727

General

Established by Methodist minister, L.H. Carhart, in 1878 as a "sobriety settlement" in contrast to typical boom towns of that era. It earned the sobriquet "Saints Roost" by local cowboys. Seat of Donley County, Clarendon is the oldest thriving town in the Texas Panhandle. Many museums have fossilized specimens found near here from the Clarendonian Age, dating back 11 million years to the Early Pilocene Age. Locals call Clarendon home of "trailblazers, cattle barons, cowboys, preachers, teachers, sodbusters, merchants, craftsmen, artists, old bones, and old fossils... and maybe a few saints!" Today farming and ranching still remain the primary economy of the county.

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Attractions

BAR H DUDE RANCH - From a hearty chuckwagon breakfast to mesquite grilled steaks at dinner, activities are tailored to suit your interests.
Depending on the season, guests can watch cowboys work cattle, mend fences and other ranch chores. Ranch is also a game preserve licensed by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. For information/reservations, call 806-874-2634. U.S. 287 west three miles to F>M. 3257, north two miles to the ranch.

SAINTS ROOST MUSEUM - Housed in former Adair Hospital founded by Cornelia Adair in 1910 for local cowboys, the museum features heirlooms from area ranches, farms, and businesses. Open during summer Sat., - Sun. 1 to 5 p.m. On Texas 70 south.



CLAUDE

Population 1,199
Altitude 3,397

General

Like many Texas towns, a railroad genesis; established as stop on Fort Worth and Denver City Railroad in 1887. Today the seat of Armstrong County. Grain elevators and stockyards indicate major agricultural production. Shoppers attracted by several antique shops.

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Attractions

ARMSTRONG COUNTY MUSEUM - In three adjoining downtown buildings; museum tells history of Armstrong County. Features display on Boy Scouts, since Claude has one of oldest Scout Troops west of the Mississippi. Restored Gem Theater next door used for education and entertainment programs. Open Tues. - Sat 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Sun. 1 to 5 p.m. One-half block north of U.S 287.

SCENIC DRIVE - One of the most impressive drives in state is Texas 207 south toward Silverton. For miles agricultural riches spread from horizon to horizon; then the highway plunges into scenic grandeur at Palo Duro Canyon. Descend at a moderate speed, both for safety and to absorb beauty that unfolds in a riot of colors. In the nine-mile-wide canyon (which extends a hundred miles from northwest to southeast) is the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River, a seemingly insignificant stream to have carved such an immense gash in the Plains.

Farther south the highway drops into another beautiful gorge, Tule Canyon. More varieties of rock strata are visible, and some magnificent sheer-faced, knife-edged buttes.



HEREFORD

Population 14,623
Altitude 3,806

General

Named for early herds of Hereford cattle; seat of Deaf Smith County. (Deaf Smith commanded Sam Houston's scouts at the Battle of San Jacinto.) Called "town without a toothache" due to low incidence of dental decay attributed to natural fluorides in municipal water supply. Agribusiness economy with immense production of grain sorghum, wheat, corn, grapes, and sugar beets. Local plant refines sugar from beets grown in four-county area. Three million cattle annually move through area feedlots.

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Attractions

DEAF SMITH COUNTY HISTORICAL MUSEUM - Collections from pioneer era, farm and ranch implements, guns, Indian artifacts, photographs, painting. 400 Sampson Street

NATIONAL COWGIRL HALL OF FAME, WESTERN HERITAGE CENTER - Honors pioneer spirit of Western women and women who have excelled in rodeos. Cowgirl memorabilia in 6,000 square feet of museum space - saddles, tack, trophies, historical and modern photos, paintings, sculpture. Honorees include names such as Texas Rose and Enid Justin. Center sponsors nation's largest all-girl rodeo in late summer. 515 Avenue B in north part of city. Admission.



McLEAN

Population 859
Altitude 2,812

General

Established 1901, grew from water well and switch on Choctaw, Oklahoma, and Texas Railroad. Once known as the "uplift city" because of a ladies undergarment factory; former site of World War II German prisoner of war camp. Now trade center for surrounding farms and ranches. Murals along Main St. depict history of city.

A restored 1930s Phillips 66 station lies on old westbound U.S. 66 road and is considered one of best re-created sites by Old Route 66 Association.

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Attractions

ALANREED-MCLEAN AREA MUSEUM-Mementos of early settlers of Texas Panhandle; original record book recording births in McLean from 1901 to 1920. Several rooms furnished in pioneer style; community history; history and records of the German Prisoner of War camp of World War II. Open Wed. - Sat. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Sun. 1-4 p.m. 117 N. Main St. Tel. 806/779-2731.

DEVIL'S ROPE MUSEUM-Large collection of barbed wire artifacts. Also collection of old U.S. 66 memorabilia including maps, old "66" cafe, and tourist court re-creations. Handicapped accessible. Open Apr. - Oct. Tues. - Sat. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Sun. 1 - 4 p.m. Corner of Kingsley St. and old U.S. 66. 806/779-2225.



MIAMI

Population 661
Altitude 2,744

General
Seat of Roberts County, name is an Indian word for sweetheart. Originated as construction camp on Santa Fe Railroad in 1887. Now commercial, shipping and banking center for county. Hunting and fishing available in surrounding areas.

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Attractions

ROBERTS COUNTY MUSEUM-Housed in restored Santa Fe Railroad depot; extensive collections include kitchen, household antiques, pioneer documents, frontier firearms, Indian relics, farm and ranch antiques, including chuck wagon, buggies and implements, half-dugout, blacksmith, tinsmith, cobbler and print shop displays, and portion of Meade collection of prehistoric archaeological artifacts and fossils. Open Tues. - Fri. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. ; Sun. 2- 5 p.m. U.S. 60 midtown.



PAMPA

Population 19,964
Altitude 3,234

General

Seat of Gray County, founded 1888 on the Santa Fe Railroad, named from Spanish word "pampas" meaning plains. Today a city of beautiful churches, large parks and fine homes. Fourteen municipal parks on tree shaded draws give a spacious air to the plains city. An oil field supply point with allied industries, a marketing center for agricultural and livestock raising area and an industrial center provide a diversified economy.

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Attractions

WHITE DEER LAND MUSEUM-Period rooms, chapel, carriage house, office. records and documents of White Deer Land Company, established 1882. Exhibits recall early ranching days. Open Tues.-Sun. 1:30-4 p.m. Closed Holidays. 116 S. Cuyler St.



PANHANDLE

Population 2,357
Altitude 3,451

General

Named for its location in Texas Panhandle, became county seat upon organization of Carson County in 1888. Wheat, cattle and petroleum products are among commodities from this marketing shipping center. Restored Santa Fe depot serves as city hall.

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Attractions

SCENIC DRIVE-F.M. 293 west to Texas 136 north provides views of modern High Plains agriculture contrasted with traditional ranch lands unchanged for centuries. precise row crops are left behind as route enters rolling grasslands of broad Canadian river Valley. Fascinating historical marker beside Texas 136, some 10 miles north of F.M. 293, marks portion of trail that wound from Fort Smith, AR, to Santa Fe, NM. Though now covered by grass, wagon ruts are still visible. Texas 136 leads north to Lake Meredith and popular federal recreational areas around it.

SQUARE HOUSE MUSEUM-One of the most attractive small museums in state. Displays and dioramas interpret the history, natural history, and art of the Texas Panhandle. Thirteen structures include the historic Square House, oldest building in the city; Santa Fe caboose; reconstructed pioneer dugout; Eclipse windmill; community church; two art galleries; wildlife hall; early ranching barn; general store; bank; blacksmith ship; education building with Indian Art and Texas flag exhibits. Self-guiding or tours by arrangement. Open daily. Pioneer Park on Texas 207. Admission free.

THOMAS CREE'S LITTLE TREE-Set behind protective fence at south edge of U.S. 60 about five miles southwest of city is first tree planted throughout entire Texas Panhandle. Immense plains were once a sea of grass from horizon to horizon. In 1888, pioneer settler Thomas Cree hauled a sapling of bois d'arc from beyond the Cap Rock and planted it by his dugout home. Cree is long gone, but the tree thrived until 1969 when accidentally killed by an agricultural chemical. Natural seedling from original tree are growing today. Site is marked by a State Historical Marker and by medallion from National Men's Garden Clubs of America.



PERRYTON

Population 7,519
Altitude 2,942

General

Founded 1919, seat of Ochiltree County, northernmost county seat in Texas (545 miles from State Capitol, Austin). Locally known as "Wheatheart of the Nation," city is shipping point for one of nation's top wheat producing areas.

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Attractions

MUSEUM OF THE PLAINS-General history exhibits of the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandlers; railroad depot, old store, pioneer home from Ochiltree, covered wagon, barbed wire. Open Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Sat-Sun 1:30-5 p.m. (closed weekends Jan.-Mid Apr.) U.S. 83 at north city limit.



SHAMROCK

Population 2,159
Altitude 2,310

General

Established as a post office in 1890 at dugout home of George Nichels, and Irish sheep rancher. Incorporated in 1911: oil discovered in 1926, highly productive natural gas wells in recent decades. Cattle, agriculture, tourism, oil and gas are primary economic factors. During seasons, hunters take quail, mourning dove, wild turkey and deer.

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Attractions

BLARNEY STONE - appropriate to the town's ethnic orientation, a fragment of the genuine Blarney Stone from ruins of Blarney Castle, County Cork, Ireland, is mounted in Elmore Park.

PIONEER WEST MUSEUM - housed in the former Reynolds, Hotel, typical drummers' hotel (a drummer is an old fashioned term for salesman) of 1920's and 30', museum fills some 20 rooms with a fascinating variety of exhibits from Plains Indian culture to NASA moon mission articles. Emphasis is on regional history, cowboys, farm and ranch artifacts, pioneer weapons. Room settings include vintage doctor and dentist offices, general store, schoolroom and a pioneer kitchen. Located at 206 North Madden Street the museum is open Monday thru Friday from 10 a.m to 3 p.m.



SILVERTON

Population 769
Altitude 3,261

General

Established as a county seat when Briscoe County organized in 1892. One of only two towns in the county, a commercial center for immense farming-ranching area that includes some spectacular scenery in Palo Duro Canyon, Tule Canyon and at the edge of Cap Rock.

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Attractions

OLD JAIL MUSEUM - Built in 1892, this old stone jailhouse is the oldest building in the county. Features a old jail office with cells upstairs. Outside is a restored windmill. On the courthouse square. Open Mon - Fri during business hours. Visitors should visit the county attorney's office for entry.

SCENIC DRIVES - Vivid illustrations of High Plains topography along Texas 865 and Texas 207 north. Travelers will see immense proportions of High Plains agriculture where the land is typically flat---then in startling contrast, the effect of erosion where water courses have carved plunging, colorful canyons. Drive between Silverton and Claude crosses both Tule and Palo Duro Canyons.

Texas 256 east reaches the edge of the High Plains, or as local residents say, the edge of the Cap Rock, and spirals down jagged escarpment amid feast of scenic vistas. This dramatic change in scenery marks the eastern edge of Great Plains of the United States.

Texas 86 east offers another scenic route down edge of Cap Rock through the town of Quitaque.



SPEARMAN

Population 3,203
Altitude 3,105

General

Established in the 1920's when the North Texas and Santa Fe Railroad built across Hansford County; named for the railroad executive. Today the country seat; industries include grain storage, shipping, gas, oil , refineries, irrigated farming, and cattle.

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Attractions

ROLLING PLAINS MULE TRAIN ASSOCIATION - A group of area residents who for many years maintained mule teams and covered wagons for old-fashioned rides across the plains, even up to week long trips. The present activity is limited largely to parades.

STATIONMASTER'S HOUSE MUSEUM - Two building complex includes restored depot agent's home; exhibits feature home life, general history of Hansford County. Outdoor exhibit of farm machinery and an Indian sculpture. Open intermittently. Located at 30 South Townsend Street.



STINNETT

Population 2,168
Altitude 3,173

General

Established in 1901, a trade center and livestock shipping point at the north edge of Canadian River Valley that cuts a broad swath through High Plains of the Texas Panhandle.

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Attractions

BATTLE of ADOBE WALLS - Site where two famous Indian battles were fought. Col. Kit Carson (in his last fight ) and his U.S. troops in 1864 narrowly escaped defeat by Kiowa and Comanche Indians who had been molesting wagon trains and settlers. Ten years later, in 1874, Indians under Quanah Parker and Lone Wolf attacked buffalo hunters camp at second battle of Adobe Walls near the first site. A fierce dawn attack opened the siege, and though the Indians were repulsed, the party of 28 men and one woman was surrounded, and it seemed only a matter of time before the superior number of Indians would prevail. On the second day a group of Cheyenne appeared on a high mesa overlooking the camp, setting the stage for William (Billy) Dixon's famous shot. From within the stockade he shot an Indian from his horse at a distance approaching seven-eighths of a mile! The Indians were so shocked at the white man's shooting ability that they mounted only desultory attacks thereafter and soon withdrew. The site is some 18 miles northeast of Stinnett on private ranch lands off highways; not readily accessible. Local directions available. There are historical markers on the site.

ISAAC McCORMIC PIONEER COTTAGE - A restored home of area's first settler, built in 1899. Furnished in the pioneer style displaying artifacts from 1890's. Inquire locally for hours of operation. Located on the town square.

SCENIC DRIVE - A 25 mile loop south and east to Borger crosses rough, canyon-cut landscapes of Canadian River breaks and leads across a dam impounding Lake Meredith. South on F.M. 687, F.M. 1319, and east on Texas 136.



STRATFORD

Population 1,741
Altitude 3,695.

General

The city was established during the middle of the night in May, 1901, when Sherman County records were moved from former county seat at Coldwater to land owned by Walter Colton along the new Rock Island Railroad route. Texas Rangers were called to settle the dispute over the location of the county seat. Coldwater has disappeared. There is dispute, too, over the origin of the city name; Colton, an Englishman, named it for Stratford-on-Avon, or for Virginia plantation, birthplace of Robert E. Lee, whom he admired. Local economy is based on wheat, corn and feed grains that re used in large feedlot operations.

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Attractions

SHERMAN COUNTY DEPOT MUSEUM - Local history museum displays farm and ranch memorabilia, Indian artifacts, prehistoric fossils, all designed as a tribute to, and interpretation of the Panhandle area. open Mon - Fri 2 - 4 p.m. Located at U.S. 54 at Main Street.



TULIA

Population 4,629
Altitude 3,501

General

Designated county seat when Swisher County was organized in 1890. today it is a commercial center for abundant agricultural production of the plains featuring milo, wheat, cotton, and several large livestock feedlot operations.

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Attractions

SWISHER COUNTY MUSEUM - Excellent collection of pioneer ranch and farm artifacts includes home furnishings, tools, firearms, photos of early life on the plains, Indian artifacts. Also replica of blacksmith shop, including tools and products made by farmers. Restored first log cabin of the area, and typical homes from 1890 to 1930 era. Open from Mon to Fri 9:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Located at 127 S.W. Second Street.



TURKEY

Population 516
Altitude 2,348.

General

Wild turkeys discovered along a small creek gave this town the name of Turkey Creek, and the settlement that grew up there was known as Turkey Roost. But the Post Office shortened it to Turkey. Several businesses and a $50,000 hotel were built with the coming of the railroad. The town was a shipping point for cattle, grain, and cotton. An annual event, on the last Saturday in April, is the Bob Wills Reunion. The musician is recognized with a monument at the west end of Main Street. Although the city's population is small, crowd's range to 10 to 15,000 during the festival.

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Attractions

BOB WILLS MUSEUM - Honors the man known as the King of Western Swing, who was reared on a farm just north of the town. Memorabilia of Texas Playboys and of Wills' career and its influence on American music is displayed; fiddles, boots, hats, recordings, music, and photos. Open Mon thru Tues from 9 - 5 p.m. Located on Sixth and Lyle streets.



AMARILLO

Population 160,288
Altitude 3,676

General

Commercial, cultural, and recreational center for vast plains of Texas Panhandle. World's leading helium producer; superb climate with air rated the cleanest in the nation for a city of its size. Fifty-six parks cover 2,300 acres and includes tennis courts, swimming pools, fishing lakes, playgrounds, and a 36 hold municipal golf course.

First settlement in 1887 was buffalo-hide tent camp of railroad construction workers. Today, excellent accommodations, spacious convention/civic center, symphony, ballet, little theater, opera, and home of Amarillo College and Texas State Technical College.

Inquire locally about Big Texan Steak Ranch and Emporium. Known nationwide for 72 ounce steak dinner offered free to anyone who can eat the entire meal in one hour. 7700 I-40 East; open daily

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Attractions

AMARILLO LIVESTOCK AUCTION - Amarillo is headquarters for an immense ranch and cattle feedlot area and Texas'' largest livestock auction. By scientific feed formulas, livestock are brought to precise weight and grade requirements of meat packers. More than 600,000 cattle move through the auction ring at stockyards each year, bringing over $130 million. Auctions are held Tues. at 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Located at 100 South manhattan. 806-373-7464.

AMARILLO MUSEUM OF ART - Magnificent complex of three buildings designed by Edward Stone (Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C.) devoted to the fine arts, music and drama, combining both exhibition space and teaching areas. Excellent permanent collection of paintings and sculpture, plus regular performing arts. 2200 Van Buren Street on the campus of Amarillo College. Open Tues. to Fri. from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sat. and Sun. from 1 to 5 p.m.; and Thurs. from 7 to 9 p.m. 806-371-5050.

AMARILLO ZOO - Playground and zoo with theme from children's stories. Zoo's animals are those that appeal to youngsters. Open daily in Thompson PARK, N.E. 24th Street at U.S. 287. 806-383-6141.


AMERICAN QUARTER HORSE HERITAGE CENTER AND MUSEUM - Headquarters for the world's largest equine registry, more than 2.6 million horses registered in 53 countries. Quarter Horse was the first American horse breed; still is a favorite mount of cowboys. Showcases history and activities of breed with exhibits, videos, hands-on displays, and gift store. Open daily May - Aug. 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sept. April. Mon. to Sat. from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sun noon to 5 p.m. Located at I-40 at Nelson Street exit. 806-376-5181.

CADILLAC RANCH - "Bumper crop" of ten Cadillacs buried nose down in a field at the same angle as Cheops' pyramids. Represent the gold Age from 1949 through 1963. Located just west of city on I-40 Historic Route 66.


COWBOY MORNING/EVENING - From April 15 to October 15 join groups for Old West-style chuck wagon breakfast on the open range at the rim of Palo Duro Canyon - scrambled eggs, ranch sausage, sourdough biscuits, brown gravy, and campfire coffee. Dinner features steak with all the trimmings; enjoy a wagon ride, watch real cowboys roping, and receive a souvenir brand. Breakfast at 8:30 a.m.; dinner usually at 6:30 p.m. For reservations call 806-944-5562 or 1-800-658-2613.

CREEKWOOD RANCH OLD WEST SHOW AND CHUCK WAGON SUPPER - Wagons take visitors to "campsite" where entertainment features cowboys, Indians, singing, and rope tricks. Authentic chuck wagon supper served. Dinner and performances Thurs. - Sun. at 6 p.m. Reservations required. Creekwood Ranch, 8 miles south on Washington St. F.M. 1541. 1-800-658-6673, or 806-356-9256.

DON HARRINGTON DISCOVERY CENTER - In the center of a 51 acre park with lake and picnic area, this museum offers a variety of attractions. All exhibits encourage hands-on activities. "Aquariums of the World" features fish from exotic waters. There's the Black Hole, giant kaleidoscope and more. The planetarium has star shows, a night sky program, and specially produced 360 degree films with spectacular visual effects. Center open Memorial Day - Labor Day, Tues., - sat. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sun 1 to 5 p.m. Planetarium shows Sept. May, Sat., 1, 2, and 3 p.m. Sun 2 and 3 p.m. ; 1200 Streit Drive Planetarium fee. 806-355-9548

GARDEN CENTER - Lavish floral displays edge immaculate lawns, walkways and picnic areas in 51 acre park adjacent to the Amarillo Medical Center on west side of the city. Includes touch and smell garden for the blind. 1400 Streit Street.

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This page was last updated August 16, 2000.