Step Into The Real Texas
TO SET THE MOOD PLAY THE SONG
George Strait – Amarillo By Morning (Live From The Astrodome)
Howdy! glad you stopped by to visit Amarillo, Texas. We’re the place where you can “Step into the Real Texas.” From canyons to cowboys, big steaks to big spaces, everything Texas is famous for is right here. We’re easy to find and once you’re here, you’ll want to stay an extra day or two.Amarillo is in the center of the Texas Panhandle, a 26-county area that is bordered by New Mexico and Oklahoma. Here, the southern plains meet the desert. Founded in 1887 at the intersection of two railroads, today the city is the intersection of Interstates 40 and 27.
The Amarillo area is a major destination for Old West enthusiasts from all over the globe. The lure of the Old West also draws thousands every year to attractions like the internationally-famous outdoor musical “TEXAS.“
Think Amarillo and you think steak. No place sums up Texas, Amarillo and steak better than the Big Texan Steak Ranch, home of the 72 oz. steak. Eat it and all the trimmings (salad, bread, potato and shrimp cocktail) in an hour and its free! 35,000 have tried; 5,500 have succeeded.
This is the legendary 32oz steak -if you can eat it all you get it for free
The area’s most famous bumper crop, located south of Interstate 40 just a few miles west of town, the Cadillac Ranch attracts visitors from around the world. The 10 Cadillacs buried nose down celebrate America’s love affair with the automobile.
Cadillac Ranch Amarillo, Texas
Several myths have been perpetuated about the origin of the Cadillac Ranch, the most popular of which is the one I heard growing up in the Texas Panhandle. As the story went, an eccentric Amarillo, Texas millionaire would buy one Cadillac after another and when it was time to buy a new one, he would have the old one buried nose first on his land. However, the truth is, the Cadillac Ranch was a planned artistic endeavor.
Yes, Texas millionaire Stanley Marsh, 3 was an eccentric. He was also said to be very down to earth, quickly disregarding the “III” as too pretentious and using “3” instead. In 1973, Marsh invited a San Francisco artists’ collective called the Ant Farm to help him in the creation of a unique work of art for his sprawling ranch just west of Amarillo.
At first, the cars displayed their original paint jobs – turquoise, banana yellow, gold, and sky blue, but barely was the monument complete, when people were scratching or painting their names in the cars. Over time, vandals and souvenir hounds smashed the windows, made off with all the chrome, radios, speakers and even some of the doors. The wheels have since been welded to the axles to prevent more theft. However, Marsh still says “We think it looks better every year.”
In 1997, the Cadillac Ranch was exhumed and replanted about two miles to the west, in order to escape the encroaching city of Amarillo. Under Marsh’s orders, even the old site’s trash and clutter was gathered from the old location and spread around the new location. Otherwise the monument remains the same (and, ever changing) since it was erected.
Marsh encouraged visitors to visit the Cadillac Ranch and seemingly didn’t mind the constant graffiti added to the cars.
However, Marsh had many other “artistic endeavors” in the Amarillo, one of which is the placement of eccentric and odd “road signs” all over the city. As to these colorful signs, he did mind if they are mutilated or stolen. (You can read more about Marsh’s Road Signs by clicking HERE!)
Throughout the years, the Cadillac Ranch has been repainted many times. In May, 2002, the cars were restored to their original colors. In June, 2003 the cars were again painted, this time in flat black, in response to the passing of the founding member of the Ant Farm.
Some people today may think the burial of these now much sought after collector’s items is a sacrilege. But in 1974, these cars were not popular and most of them were bought from junk yards at an average price of just $200.00. Had they not been used for the ranch “sculpture,” they would have wound up in the metal crusher.
This monument was built as a public sculpture and visitors are encouraged to participate in it. So, it’s ok if you take your can of Krylon with you, leaving your name or an inspiring message, which will, no doubt, be erased by another message soon. Photographs may be taken at the site, however, any commercial exploitation in advertising or product promotion is expressly prohibited without written permission from the artists. The Cadillac Ranch has appeared on numerous TV shows, magazines, and newspaper accounts.
Stanley March, 3 died in June of 2014 at the age of 76.
Amarillo is the largest Texas city on Route 66. Now, a stretch of the old highway, along Sixth Ave. between Georgia and Western Sts., has been revived into a stretch of antique shops, restaurants and cafes.
It’s hard to describe the grandeur and variety of the Amarillo landscape. From 1000-foot deep Palo Duro Canyonand the wide-open spaces of the Texas Panhandle to the whimsy of the world-famous Cadillac Ranch and those magnificent Amarillo sunsets, it’s all here.