Palo Duro Canyon
First settled in 1887 as a stop on the Santa Fe Railroad and then a prominent stop along the famous Route 66 Amarillo today serves as the economic center of the Texas Panhandle region. The Amarillo Livestock Auction here is where cattle is bought and sold. 185 thousand people now live in Amarillo. Amarillo is a routine tourist stop along Interstate 40 coast to coast travel and a vacation spot on its own due to Palo Duro Canyon State Park, the second largest canyon in the United States. There are a lot of things for people traveling with dogs to do here.
Amarillo doesn't boast the large fancy resort hotels but has a lot of quiet comfortable and pet-friendly lodging. There are pet-friendly La Quinta hotels in town,Best Western, Quality Inns and hotels from most of the major chains. An interesting choice for lodging is the pet-friendly Big Texan Inn which collocates with the famous Big Texan Steakhouse. The hotel allows pets and has an enclosed dog run in front of the hotel. There are also outdoor picnic tables where you can eat the 72 oz steak or other takeout food from the Big Texan Steakhouse next door.
If you are here with a Motor home or Travel Trailer then there is the Fort Amarillo RV Resort or the Amarillo KOA. Fort Amarillo RV Resort is the most central location. If you prefer tent camping then dog-friendly camping can be had at Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Caprock Canyons State Park or Lake Meridith National Rec Area. One of the true highlights of a trip to Amarillo is a visit to Palo Duro Canyon so if you are dry camping you might consider staying there. It is about a half hour out of town.
Attractions in Amarillo are in the West Texas style. There's the unique monument on private land to the city's famous Route 66 days - Cadillac Ranch. These Cadillacs, planted nose first into the ground and painted and written on by visitors is something that you and your dog shouldn't miss. It is located about 3 miles west of town on the Interstate. Elkins Ranch Cowboy Morning will take you, dog included, on spectacular tours of Palo Duro Canyon. The Amarillo Botanical Garden in town and the 175 acre Buffalo Lake National Wildlife Refuge allow well-behaved, leashed dogs. Dog-friendly dining is available at a number of takeout restaurants. You can take food out from the Big Texas Steakhouse and eat it at the picnic tables at the Big Texas Inn next door or at a park nearby.
Palo Duro Canyon is the second largest canyon in the U.S. behind the Grand Canyon. Unlike the Grand Canyon you can drive your car into and around this canyon, hike up and down it with a leashed dog and camp throughout the park. There are steep as well as level trails. There is an outdoor Amphitheater in the canyon with major acts, often country singers. Dogs are allowed in the Amphitheater except during June, July and part of August. But there are big name concerts well into the Fall and in the Spring. There are horse back rides (sorry, no dogs on these) and dry camping for RVs or tents at a number of campgrounds in the park. The scenery in this park is fabulous and is well worth the stopover on a cross country I-40 trip.
Nearby places to visit with your dog are, to the west on I-40, Albuquerque New Mexico, to the east is Oklahoma City. Lubbock Texas is a short drive to the south.