The cowboy mystique runs deep in Amarillo, but there's much more to the city than the Old West label implies.
Of course, Amarillo knows a thing or two about quarter horses and cutting horses, thanks to its place as home to the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum. The spacious building reopened in 2007 after extensive renovations, and one of the most prominent new additions is the Champions Gallery, which delivers video of both current and past champions. The Hall of Fame was originally founded in 1975 as a way to honor individual Quarter Horses who furthered the development of the breed as well as people who have helped along the way. Inside the museum lies an educational gallery for those not familiar with the breed, a theater and club room that hosts parties and special viewings, and the impressive Grand Hall where guests can find the names of all the inductees.
In February 2008, Amarillo served as the host city for the National Cutting Horse Association World Finals.
Also in Amarillo is the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, the largest history museum in Texas. It sits on the West Texas A&M campus and holds more than two million artifacts. The museum, which opened in 1933, began as an idea by history teacher Hattie Anderson to preserve the stories of some of the original pioneers in the region. Built on both monetary and artifact contributions from the community, the museum has grown in size and stature over the years. Featured items include an original Georgia O'Keeffe oil painting, the oldest known assembly line car in the world and the most comprehensive collection of historic Texas art in the world.
Amarillo's Cadillac Ranch makes quite a scene. The Cadillac Ranch is a quirky sculpture on the south side of Interstate 40, about 10 miles west of Amarillo. In 1974, helium millionaire Stanley marsh and a San Francisco art collective called The Ant Farm assembled the sculpture that consists of 10 “dead” Cadillacs from 1949-63.