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Texas, the halfway point of Route 66, crosses the panhandle and is a relatively short stretch of the road. This windswept area of plains are lined with ranches and small towns along with a some great landmarks and sites.
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The city of Shamrock is home to one of the largest St. Patrick's Day celebrations in Texas – it uses the four-leaf clover in its city symbol, has a tradition where all the men in Shamrock dye their beards green on the Saturday closest to St. Patrick's Day, and features a piece of the Blarney Stone in Elmore Park, too. Shamrock embraces its connection to the Mother Road with the annual Miss Texas Route 66 Pageant, hosted since 2011.
Enter Amarillo, the largest city in the Texas Panhandle region, and the most sizeable city between Oklahoma City and Albuquerque.
Are you ready for a Texas sized meal? Try the Big Texan Steak House, which formerly sat right on Route 66 and now abuts Interstate 40. Their big claim to fame is the "Texas King", a challenge consisting of a 72-ounce steak, a buttered roll, baked potato, ranch beans, shrimp cocktail, and salad. Eat it all in one sitting within an hour and it's free. The steak house sits along I-40, just a short detour off the traditional Route 66.
Route 66 angles up and comes into Amarillo from the northeast, past the Amarillo International Airport, and then heads into downtown via Taylor Street. Once downtown, Route 66 turns west on 6th Street, goes right past the Chase Tower, and heads into the Historic 6th Street Neighborhood District on the city's west side. This is where you'll find some good diners, cafés, and specialty shops to check out.
From the Historic 6th Street neighborhood, Route 66 angles southwest, heads past the sprawling regional medical center, and begins the push west out of Amarillo into the vast plains of the Texas Panhandle.
On the western edge of Amarillo, you’ll find Cadillac Ranch, one of the most famed attractions in all of Texas. Home to a series of brightly painted Cadillac cars buried nose-first in the prairie soil, Cadillac Ranch lets visitors do more than look, too – they are encouraged to bring spray paint and spray messages on cars if they want. How can one resist?
Read more about this historic road as it passes through the following states