Introduction to Amarillo, Texas
The Texas city of Amarillo, located near the middle of the Texas Panhandle in the northern part of the state, is the county seat of Potter County. The city is almost equidistant from Albuquerque, New Mexico (285 miles to the west) and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (245 miles to the east), both of which are accessible via Interstate I-40. Interstate I-27 also services the city, as do U.S. Routes 60, 66, 87, and 287. Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport, named after the NASA astronaut and Amarillo native who commanded the Space Shuttle Columbia, provides air transportation by several major air carriers.
First settled in 1887, the settlement originally called Oneida would later change its name to Amarillo, the Spanish language translation of "yellow." The name was based on the color of the sub-soil in the channel of the Amarillo Creek and in the town's early days many of its houses were painted yellow to commemorate the name. Industry in Amarillo prospered in its early years largely due to railroading, cattle and merchandising. By the turn of the 20th century, Amarillo had established itself as one of the world's busiest cattle shipping centers. In more recent years, Amarillo has become a major world force in the development of natural gas, providing pipelines to many large cities and towns throughout the U.S. Amarillo today boasts a diversified economy which includes heavy manufacturing, petrochemicals, farming, modern ranching, and a burgeoning tourism industry.
Attractions in Amarillo
Amarillo has a wide variety of attractions in and around the city. The English Field Air & Space Museum offers visitors a unique perspective on our aerospace past and features the only Mars Lander on Earth (the other two are on the surface of Mars). The American Quarter Horse Association Hall of Fame & Museum showcases the history of the world’s most popular breed of horse. The Don Harrington Discovery Center & Space Theater features interactive exhibits, educational programs, and the only planetarium in the Texas Panhandle. The Harrington House Historic Home, built in 1914, was acquired in 1940 by Don and Sybil Harrington, local philanthropists who were leaders in the oil and gas industry. One of Amarillo's newest attractions is the Kwahadi Kiva Indian Museum & Performance Center, a large facility designed in the style of an Indian Pueblo and housing an expansive museum and a dance performance theater. One of the city's most unique attractions is Cadillac Ranch, where ten Cadillacs are buried nose down in a field at the same formation as the Cheops Pyramid. Other attractions in and around the city include the Amarillo Zoo, the Palo Duro Canyon State Park, and the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum. Annual events in Amarillo include the Tri-State Fair & Rodeo, held every September, and November's World Championship Ranch Rodeo.
Amarillo is home to a small number of professional sports teams. The Amarillo Dillas are a minor league baseball team playing in the independent United League Baseball (ULB). Fans of Arena Football can cheer for the Amarillo Dusters, a professional team belonging to the Af2 (arenafootball2) League. The Amarillo Gorillas are a minor league hockey team playing in the Central Hockey League (CHL).