1. Route 66 is getting ready to celebrate its centennial in 2026! Amarillo along with partners across the Panhandle are coming together to spotlight the Mother Road, starting with the debut of the Texas Route 66 Festival June 1-10, 2023. Enjoy ten days of events all along the Texas route, including classic car shows, music, parades and a grand finale festival in Amarillo’s Route 66 Historic District.
2. Before tussling with the famous 72 oz. Steak Challenge at The Big Texas Steak Ranch, play and relax at the Starlight Ranch next door. A popular family-friendly attraction in Amarillo, the Ranch boasts an 18-hole mini-golf course, maze, and zip line, as well as a lineup of great acts at their music venue.
3. The “Hub City” will not disappoint those looking for a fine meal and drinks. Lubbock native Jon Walter, owner and chef of Chez Sami, recently landed on the Texas semi-finalists list for the 2023 James Beard Award for Best Chef. While specializing in French cuisine, Walter adds his own flair to traditional dishes.
4. In late 2023, Adelphos Cellars is set to open a state-of-the-art tasting room and event center, complete with a vineyard on site. The venue will accommodate up to 600 guests and host a variety of events, from corporate to weddings. Adelphos Cellars’ mission is to make Lubbock a wine destination.
5. Deep in the heart of West Texas, Midland entertains locals and visitors alike with the Museum of the Southwest, home to a planetarium, a children’s museum and a sculpture garden, as well as the Historic Turner Mansion and Lissa Noël Wagner Art Wing. Inspire curiosity and imagination as you explore art, culture, history and science all in one location.
6. Signature Midland event Tall City Blues Fest is September 23 this year. Now in its 11th year (after being cancelled in 2020 and 2021), this original American music festival will be hosted at the Old Lumberyard at The Destination Midland. See a showcase of award-winning musicians at the best blues fest in Texas.
7. Explore Odessa’s growing art scene by hitting the Discover Odessa Mural Trail, which launched this year. Local artists have created eye-popping murals around town, perfect for that Instagram shot! While you’re strolling around downtown, grab a bite to eat at the Curbside Bistro or Doughboy’s Café – two of the businesses “hosting” the public art.
8. For an upscale-yet-casual dining experience, check out Red Oak Kitchen in the Midland-Odessa area. The menu is a delectable mix of Southwestern Fusion and classic American fare. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, plus weekday happy hours and weekend brunches, there’s something for everyone.
9. El Paso is a certified Music Friendly Community by the State of Texas. Not only is there a variety of performance venues in town, El Paso also hosts the Way Out West Country Fest. Party on the outdoor dance floor or kick back and watch local and national country artists perform live. 2023 dates are to be announced.
10. Downtown El Paso’s renaissance continues with new hotels doubling the number of rooms available. Over 1,200 rooms are within walking distance of the El Paso Convention Center. Stanton House, one of the recent additions, prides itself as a driver for engagement and exploration with its blend of hospitality and amenities that reflect the multiple cultural influences of the region.
Sources: Visit Amarillo, Visit Lubbock, Visit Midland, Midland Reporter-Telegram, Discover Odessa, Red Oak Kitchen, Destination El Paso, Tour Texas