Situated in Potter County and stretching out partly into Randall County up in the Texas Panhandle, Amarillo is the 14th biggest city in the Lone Star State. Home to nearly 200,000 people, with over 300,000 in the full metropolitan area, Amarillo stretches out to cover around 90 square miles of land. Founded in the late 1800s, this city was originally known under the name of Oneida and was initially a small agricultural town, gradually growing into a cattle marketing hub for the state of Texas and later becoming one of the main produces of helium in the United States. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
2.Big Texan RV Ranch
3.Fort Amarillo RV Park
4.Route 66 RV Ranch
3 Best RV Parks in Amarillo, Texas
- Overview, Photo: Tomasz Zajda/stock.adobe.com
- Big Texan RV Ranch, Photo: FotoKachna/stock.adobe.com
- Fort Amarillo RV Park, Photo: karrastock/stock.adobe.com
- Route 66 RV Ranch, Photo: OceanProd/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: Aleksey Stemmer/stock.adobe.com
Attraction Spotlight: Amarillo Museum of Art
The Amarillo Museum of Art is located in Amarillo, Texas. Visitors to the art museum will enjoy the variety of art that the museum has to offer. The Amarillo Art Center had been established in 1967 by a group of residents the Texas Panhandle. The group wanted to build a graphic arts center to serve not only Amarillo but the entire Panhandle.
The center was finally built in 1972. Edward Durrell Stone, a once famous architect, designed the building. The Center was renamed the Amarillo Museum of Art in 1994.
Today the Museum provides almost five hundred thousand residents in the Panhandle with a place to explore visual arts. The museum has a significant role in minimizing the cultural and intellectual isolation that is frequently experienced within the Texas Panhandle. It holds around 25 exhibitions every year and provides visitors with the chance to experience and explore original artwork spanning the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries of Southeast Asian, Asian, European art, and Contemporary American art masters.
The Amarillo Museum of Art offers several exhibitions and collections for visitors to explore.
Collections- The Amarillo Museum of Art collections are as diverse as it comes. The first collections the Museum acquired consisted of early American Modernist paintings. The collection is represented best by four watercolors created by Georgia O’Keefe and numerous works created by John Marin. The works of these two artists serve as the context for other members of their movement like Edward Steichen, Paul Strand, Edward Weston, and Alfred Stieglitz. Modernists of the mid-century are best represented through the works of Franz Kline and significant art pieces created by Helen Frankenthaler and Louise Nevelson.
The collection of the museum contains a small set of paintings from Europe from the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. They are represented best by two brilliant pieces from the mid-1700s that were created by Francesco Guardi, an Italian painter.
The Amarillo Museum of Art also contains a photography collection that consists of photos taken by Russel Lee, an FSA photographer. It also contains brilliant photographic works by Dorothea Lange, Marion Post Wolcott, Jack Delano, and Arthur Rothstein.
The Asian collection of art held by the Museum has grown exponentially through Dr. and Mrs. Price’s generosity. It contains textiles that reflect all the main weaving areas in the Middle East. Examples include eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth century works. The collection also includes an extensive selection of Japanese prints made from wood blocks from the Edo period. This selection includes numerous important artists and is added to every year by the Prices. Particularly interesting, are the sculpture pieces from Southeast and South Asia, which grows continuously. As of now, the collection as Hindu and Buddhist works that span the second century B.C. pieces by Gandharan through the ninth century pieces by Java. It also includes Khmer sculpture from the fourteenth century.
The Amarillo Museum of Art offers several educational opportunities to the community.
Outreach Programs for Students- The Museum offers field trips for students and ARTifact Case Programs that teach students about art through time and history. These programs include the following:
· The Art of Ancient Egypt: The Myths and Magic of the Land of Pyramids
· The Art of India and Southeast Asia: The Dynamic and Divine
· The Art of Japan: The Legends and the Land
· The Art of Mexico: Mavan to Modern
· The Art of Mexico: Mayan to Modern
Museum School/Camps- The Amarillo Museum of Art offers art experience to community youth through in-depth workshops and summer art camps. These workshops and camps include instructors teach students how to talk about, create, and look at art. They are then allowed to explore various mediums for creating art such as drawing, sculpture, design, and mixed media.
Talk/Lectures/Workshops- The Museum offers a variety of talks, lectures, and workshops for adults interested in art and its history.
Docents/Volunteers/Interns- The Museum offers programs for volunteers, docents, and internships to further education in the arts and their history.
2200 S. Van Buren Street, Amarillo TX, 79109, Phone: 806-371-5050
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Attraction Spotlight: Don Harrington Discovery Center
Children who visit the Discovery Center in Amarillo, as well as parents who come with them, will enjoy the fresh, exciting take on learning about science in a fun and interesting way. Plan to spend all day enjoying the hands-on, interactive exhibits. The discovery center is comprised of over 8,000 square feet of exhibition space, most of that interactive and hands-on.
They regularly welcome over 150,000 visitors through their doors every year after opening in 2003. The building is located in Amarillo, Texas hospital district and it is named after local philanthropist, Don Harrington. They are supported by admission fees, gift shop sales, and charitable donations. They are also an official member of the Children’s Museum Association, which allows members of this discovery center to also access others around the country.
The discovery center hosts a wide variety of mostly interactive exhibits, which includes a selection of both national as well as international touring temporary exhibits. However, the center is home to some permanent exhibits as well.
- Critter Row- One of the favorite exhibits at the discovery center is Critter Row, this permanent exhibit lets visitors get up close and personal with a variety of creatures. With bearded dragons, snakes, and tarantulas as well as other cuddlier creatures, the knowledgeable Science Guides will teach guests everything they need to know. Sometimes they will even get them out to say hi and let visitors touch them!
- Kinderstudio- This permanent exhibit is designed for the youngest visitors who are interested in science. Meant for birth through 6 years old, Kinderstudio lets children climb, tumble, perform, and create.
- Space Gallery- Right outside of Space Theater is Space Gallery. This gallery teaches visitors about the weather and atmosphere, both on Earth and even further. With multimedia interactive kiosks providing real time information about current weather conditions, as well as displays that provide guests with information about what is currently going on in space (for instance, solar flares) guests will learn more than they can even imagine about weather all across the galaxy.
- ExploraZone- Children of all ages will enjoy visiting ExploraZone, which teaches them physics through interactive stations that take a look at a variety of topics like optical illusions and catenary arches.
- Imagination Playground- Come enjoy the enormous foam blocks, made out of all shapes and sizes, which are meant to inspire learning that is child led. Work together, build unique structures, and work on motor development, spatial awareness, and hand eye coordination all while having fun!
- Bounce- One of the biggest exhibits, featuring 35 different hands on learning activities/stations that help children discover concepts like sound, geometry, force, inertia, and simple machines.
The discovery center is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 9:30am to 4:30pm and Sundays from noon to 4:30pm. During the summer, the center is open on Mondays as well as school institute holidays. Admission is required at a set price for adults with a discounted admission fee for children, military, students, and seniors. Group rates are also available!
Don Harrington prides itself on its wide range of educational opportunities available to students at the discovery center. The programs offered are meant to be supplemental to in-classroom learning and the staff will work closely with teachers to make sure to provide the right curriculum for the age range/grade of students who will be visiting.
The full catalog of programs is available on the website for teachers to look over prior to contacting the discovery center for reservations, which are required at least three weeks in advance. Admission is also required per person, with a group discounted rate for classes bringing at least 10 students. However, classrooms that focus on students who have special needs will have the minimum student requirement waived. Programs vary from the self-guided to space theater and more hands-on activities led by the knowledgeable staff.
The discovery center also hosts seven different educational “events” on an annual basis, including an engineering egg drop competition, a program focusing on learning about severe weather, and one that is meant to encourage girls to engage more with science.
The discovery center operates a moderately sized gift shop inside the building, with a collection of fun, science related merchandise meant to continue the learning journey even after families have left. Pick up a t-shirt, a coffee mug, or any one of a number of toys, games, and science kits to take home and commemorate a visit to Don Harrington. Every purchase also helps to support to center and their mission of engaging children in learning about science.
Don Harrington Discovery Center, 1200 Streit Drive, Amarillo, TX, 79106, Phone: 806-355-9547
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Attraction Spotlight: Amarillo Railroad Museum
The Amarillo Railroad Museum is located in Amarillo, Texas. Visitors to the museum will enjoy exploring the museum’s unique rail cars on display outside the museum, the indoor display of the Santa Fe Railroad, and the museum’s garden.
The Amarillo Railroad Museum was constructed to preserve the heritage of the railroad in the Texas Panhandle. It accomplishes this goal by taking care of and maintaining the railroad cars on display and the railroading models in the museum.
The Amarillo Railroad Museum began has a group of men with a desire to have a railroad model club. The idea then expanded into conserving the railroad history of the Texas Panhandle. The museum strives to recreate specific scenes from the Santa Fe railroad from Clovis to Canadian. Some of the scenes the museum wishes to recreate include Canadian, Pampa, and Canyon lines.
The museum’s attention to detail includes life-sized trains. The museum is able to offer something for all train lovers. The museum contains both real and model train cars and equipment.
The Amarillo Railroad Museum offers several exhibits for visitors to enjoy.
The Phillip Pratt Memorial Garden Railway- This exhibit is located outside the museum and is a G-scale Garden Railway. The garden was named to honor Phillip Pratt and is about thirty feet by fifty feet. It is raised two feet over the ground level and boasts a retaining wall made of joining rock castings. The wall will be surrounded by stepping stones commemorating various railroad events and important people. The garden layout was constructed on soil that was compacted and a foundation made of stone that makes a series of valleys and hills. There is a flat area at the north end that contains a train yard and village. The Garden still needs to have several projects to be complete. These projects include: installing a drip irrigation system throughout the garden and around it’s trees, installing a six-foot fence around the layout, adding a variety of landscaping and plants, and installing a roadbed, train control system and track.
Pantex Alco S-2 Switcher- Pantex is the main nuclear weapon assembly and disassembly factory. Before the nuclear weapons the plant manufactured and developed high powered ammunitions. It contained its own private internal rail service. The Department of Energy and the BWXT Pantex donated its existing nuclear weapon transportation train. Its donation included the Alco S-2 switcher and its sister engine.
The “White Train”- Eleven cars from the “White Train” which is retired, are in the possession of the Amarillo Railroad Museum. Nine of these cars are located on the southside of the museum, and the other two are located up near the museum building. The cars of the “White Train” are no longer white, due the Department of Energy’s decision to paint them other colors so they would be more discrete.
HO Scale Layout- This layout is still under construction and is located inside the museum. Once completed it will be a large-scale model that shows the two-hundred-mile route of the Santa Fe Railway through the Texas Panhandle. It will include the Canadian, Texas thru Texaco in New Mexico, railroads. The Denver, Rock Island, and Fort Worth railroads that went through Amarillo will also be featured.
The layout was designed by Byron Henderson to operate model trains the same way regular railroads operate. He used real track charts and maps to design the layout. The blueprint was completed in 2007. Construction began shortly afterwards.
The layout fills a room in the museum that is about forty-eight feet wide by seventy-five fee long. It will boast two levels. The lower level will begin at a thirty-six-inch elevation over the floor in the staging yard that feeds the Canadian and climbs up more than forty-inches at Amarillo which is at the core of the layout. After going through Amarillo, the track doubles back and climbs to the upper level and another staging yard. The track then passes through a model of the town of Texaco, New Mexico. One of the most unique features of the model design is that it gives visitors a view from Highway 60 of the Santa Fe Railroad with the goal of giving visitors the opportunity to recognize specific scenes that might have been observed on the drive through the region.
The time period of the layout is from 1952 to the 1970s. This shows visitors the railroad as it would have appeared during the steam-to-diesel transition in the 1950s. It also includes some of the specialized industries that were found in the Panhandle during these times.
The Amarillo Railroad Museum offers a gift shop that includes model train kits, and museum logo merchandise.
3160 I Avenue, Amarillo, Texas 79111, Phone: 806-335-3333
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