Destination: Amarillo, Lubbock, Midland and Odessa

1. The famous Route 66 runs right through Amarillo, and those traveling down the iconic road would be remiss not to stop at The Big Texan Steak Ranch and Brewery, home of the 72 oz. steak challenge (as seen on Man vs. Food). At the Big Texan, you can chow down on their steak dinner challenge or any of the other items on their massive menu. And for all you cowboys out there, they even have a stable for horses and a motel where you can spend the night.

2. Get up close and personal with the history of the Texas panhandle in Amarillo’s Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum. From fossils dating back to the Triassic Period to Old West firearms, you’ll take a step back in time to see how the Panhandle became what it is today. The museum, which is located on West Texas A&M’s campus, even lets you explore the Old West in its 26-building Pioneer Town.

3. Second in size only to the Grand Canyon, Amarillo’s Palo Duro Canyon offers 15,000 acres for the adventurous traveler to explore. If you want to learn more about the sights to see in the canyon, you can take a virtual tour, as well as find the best hiking and biking opportunities, on Amarillo’s tourism website.

4. Lubbock is home to the High Plains, which is where 90% of Texan wine grapes are grown, and McPherson Cellars has been producing wine in Texas for over 40 years. Their recently opened winery, which was built in Lubbock’s Coca Cola bottling plant, includes a tasting room where visitors can sample their locally grown wines. Their wine is all sustainably sourced, and both bottles and cases are available on their website.

5. Texas is well known for its ranching industry, and Lubbock honors that heritage by playing host to the National Ranching Heritage Center on Texas Tech University’s campus. Even if you can’t visit the park in person, there are still plenty of opportunities to learn what it has to offer by visiting its YouTube channel for virtual tours and educational videos.

6. If you’re looking for a fine dining experience complete with live music, look no further than Café J in Lubbock. Sample their menu that includes a wide variety of options sure to cater to any taste. There’s even an Art Bar for those visitors who want to enjoy a cocktails while talking with their fellow diners.

7. Though passersby wouldn’t expect it, the Graham Pharmacy on Wall Street in Midland has a restaurant: a retro sandwich shop called The Fountain. Entering into The Fountain is like stepping into a classic, American lunch counter complete with cherry Coke and vanilla cream root beer. Not to mention that they have some of the best milkshakes and malts in town. In fact, their shakes won the Midland Reporter Telegram’s Gold Award in 2017 and 2018.

8. Midland is the geographic center of Texas’ Permian Basin, which is thought to possess over 16% of the United States’ oil reserves, and the Permian Basin Petroleum Museum stands as a monument to this fact. Visitors to the museum can travel back in time 230 million years to learn about the sea that covered the basin and how it created the oil reserves that now exist in the region.

9. For some of the best American food in the Odessa/Midland area, the Cork & Pig Tavern is the ideal eatery. From wood fired pizzas to artisan sandwiches, there is something on this Odessa landmark’s menu for everyone. They even had a special menu for weekend brunch that combines classic American fare with Mexican influences, such as their Breakfast Burrito and Mexican Migas.

10. As it turns out, you don’t have to travel to London to see the Bard’s plays in the Globe Theatre because Odessa College has a reconstruction of the iconic venue right on its campus. The 410-seat theater was the brain child of a local Shakespeare scholar in the 1940s, and in the 1960s, her dream became a reality alongside a writer’s garden and a replica of Shakespeare’s wife’s cottage.

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