Amarillo is situated mainly in Potter County, with part of the city straddling Randall County. Home to around 190,695 people, Amarillo is the 14th most populated city in Texas. Amarillo means yellow in Spanish, and the city was so named for the yellow wildflowers that grew along the nearby Amarillo Lake and Amarillo Creek.
The city, which was originally named Oneida, once called itself the Helium Capital of the World, due to having one of the most powerful helium fields in the country. Other nicknames include The Yellow Rose of Texas for the origins of its name, and Rotor City, for its hybrid aircraft assembly plant. The City of Amarillo is home to both modern and historic attractions, as well as plenty of outdoor recreation.
The Palo Duro Canyon State Park outside Amarillo is the second largest canyon system in the U.S., after Grand Canyon, and well worth a visit for its magnificent views. Visitors may explore the land by foot, mountain bike, horse or car; with more than 30 miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails, the park offers more than ample opportunity for the adventurous.
For those who enjoy more refined recreation, visit the Globe-News Center for the Performing Arts. This new venue from 2006 houses the Amarillo Opera, Amarillo Symphony and the Lone Star Ballet Concert. Situated across from the Amarillo Civic Center, this exquisite venue features a 1,300-seat auditorium that will impress even the most sophisticated arts enthusiast. For a little bit of southern culture, check out the Pioneer Amphitheater, where during summer months a musical drama called Texas Legacies is performed outdoors. The musical depicts a story about the early Texas Panhandle settlers, and provides a great opportunity to enjoy a bit of American history in action.
If you have kids, take them to the Wonderland Amusement Park in northern Amarillo. Aside from fun rides and cotton candy, the park also houses the city zoo and features picnic areas; perfect for a family outing. For shopping and dining, head to downtown Amarillo, where you'll find antiques, craft and specialty shops and excellent dining. When you've discovered all the quaint little stores, refuel at the Village Bakery Caf, known for their amazing gourmet salads, Panini's and pastries.