Menu

Texas Plains Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program

State Fair Virtual Destination Days


Thank you all so much for being there to help out in the THTP State Fair of Texas booth for the last 20+ years. We could not share all the information about our great state to the visitors without your help. We appreciate you sending brochures, volunteering to work the booth and to our Destination Days participants for sharing your communities with the visitors to our booth.

We will be back in 2021 with a bigger booth and new displays to help share your communities with all the fair visitors. We hope that you will continue to support us by sending your brochures, volunteering in the booth and by signing up for Destination Days again.

In the meantime, discover the #statefairfromyourchair, and explore our communities participating in virtual Destination Days! 

 

Amarillo

The color of the local creek bank soil and the saffron hue of area wildflowers were the most likely inspirations for naming this 1887 townsite for the Spanish word meaning yellow. Amarillo’s first residents followed suit by painting their houses the color as well. A cattle boom followed, quickly elevating this Potter County seat to industrial holding ground for livestock driven across the Panhandle, the Plains, and eastern New Mexico on their way to market via the railroad. Shortly before the turn of the century, Amarillo’s status as cattle shipping point outranked all others worldwide and the resulting prosperity enabled the city to thrive over the next three decades. Despite a setback during the Dust Bowl era, the city continued to grow, constructing a new courthouse and other buildings in the Art Deco style of the period. Amarillo’s Potter County courthouse has since been renovated courtesy of the county and the Texas Historical Commission Courthouse Preservation Program. Today the Amarillo Museum of Art, the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame and Museum, Cadillac Ranch, and Amarillo’s Historic Route 66 district are among the cultural institutions representing the city’s dynamic and historic legacy.

Get the Amarillo Panhandle Pass so you can wear out your boots and not your wallet while you’re here. The pass works as a digital coupon book that gives you discounts on entry to attractions, free apps and perks at bars and restaurants, along with access to discounted rates at hotels. Once redeemed, you can easily access your pass via text, email, or “app”. The pass will guide you through the Panhandle based on your location, so you never have to worry about your next stop or wasting time. Download your Amarillo Panhandle Pass, grab your boots, and start your mosey through the Panhandle! 

 

Claude - Armstrong County Museum

Quilt Exhibit  “Mystery of the 56 Names”
Red Hearts -- Red Flowers.  Fifty-six names  embroidered in black thread on a quilt top  long forgotten.  Who were these ladies from the Texas Panhandle and New Mexico? The only clue to the makers was  the date “1935 “on one block and the town name of “Claude, Texas.”  The answer to the mystery quilters and their stories will probably not be told, unless visitors to the Armstrong County Museum identify relatives whose names are remembered.  This quilt is the featured quilt in the Exhibit, “Art of the Quilt.”The top was found folded in a New Mexico thrift shop by a quilter.  She recognized the importance of saving the vintage textile and of sending it to Armstrong County Museum where it might be  valuable to find families whose names were remembered.  When receiving the top,  ACM  contacted a master long-arm quilter who completed what had been left undone more than 85 years ago.  Now hanging in the Art Gallery, it is in a prominent place along with other quilts made by Armstrong County quilt groups.  Only a few names on “The Red Hearts--Red Flowers Quilt “are recognized and known in  Armstrong County.  Other quilts in the current exhibit were made by ladies in Home Demonstration Clubs beginning in 1929.  The Art of The Quilt exhibit also features samples of fabrics, patterns, and tools used by quilter in the 1930s.  Many of the patterns were published in newspapers and magazines of the time, but complicated to make with the limited tools and fabrics available at the time.  Also, on exhibit are quilts recently made  using  quilting tools and fabrics that have been designed and invented since the resurgence of quilting from the 1976 American Bicentennial Celebration. 

 

 

 

Big Spring

We are the Crossroads of West Texas. We offer a variety of shops and restaurants as well things to see. We are know for the Historic Spring in Comanche Trail Park and the Historic Hotel Settles which celebrates 90 years this October.  There are many family friendly events that take place through out the year like the Big Spring Cowboy Reunion and Rodeo, Funtastic Fourth, Pops in the Park, and The Comanche Trail Festival of Lights.  The Heritage Museum of Big Spring tell the history of Big Spring.  Through out the year there are numerous exhibits and events that are held in the museum.  Hangar 25 Air Museum is housed in a fully restored WWII era hangar. The mission of Hangar 25 Air Museum is to promote education through the collection, preservation and exhibition of the history of the Big Spring Army Air Force Bombardier School and Webb Air Force Base while honoring all veterans, past and present.  You can enjoy the great outdoors at Comanche Trail Park or the Big Spring State Park.   

 

 

 

Caprock Canyons State Park

Caprock Canyons State Park & Trailway is a scenic land of canyons and prairie where the official bison herd of Texas roams.  The rugged and raw beauty of nature can be easily seen with prairie wildlife such as southern plains bison, black-tailed prairie dog, and burrowing owl dotting the landscape.  Travel further down into the park and you'll discover the majestic views offered by dramatic canyons and erosion.  The park also offers a wealth of recreational opportunities including fishing and other lake activities and hiking, biking, or horseback riding on approximately 90 miles of trail.  History comes to life while hiking, biking, or horseback riding on the Caprock Canyons Trailway, a rails to trails conversion of the Fort Worth and Denver South Plains Railway.  While out on the Trailway, view one of the last remaining railroad tunnels in Texas where half a million Mexican free-tailed bats reside in the summer months.

 

 

 

Crosbyton

Four miles east on US 82, mesas and mesquites form a rugged backdrop for historical markers that tell dramatic stories about nearby Blanco Canyon. Formed by the White River it was a battleground in the early 1870s pitting Col. Ranald S. Mackenzie against renegade Comanches. Once the Indians were forced from the area, Texas Rangers set up Camp Roberts in 1879 to maintain law and order. The Two Buckle Ranch soon built headquarters at Silver Falls on the White River. One of the state’s finest roadside parks now sprawls along US 82 at the falls where stonework remains from Depression projects of the 1930s. These stories and more come to life at the Crosby County Pioneer Memorial Museum and its Wayne J. Parker Center for the Study of Native American Studies. The expansive museum incorporates a furnished replica of the 1877 rock house of the county’s first permanent settlers. A 23,000-piece Native American artifact collection features a research library, tepee and photos of Indians who survived the Red River War. There are also a diorama of Blanco Canyon, a mural depicting the history of Crosby County, a replica dugout hous,e and thousands of artifacts on family, farming and business life. Across from the 1914 Crosby County Courthouse, a historic structure houses the Prairie Ladies Multi-Cultural Center, home of the Chamber of Commerce, an old-fashioned soda fountain and exhibits on local women and transportation.

 

 

Lubbock - FiberMax Center for Discovery

Located in downtown Lubbock, the FiberMax Center for Discovery is a non-profit organization that preserves the history of, tells the story of, and instills pride in American Agriculture and values. The Alton Brazell Exhibit Hall takes visitors back to the pioneering years of agriculture. Here you'll find restored tractors, field condition equipment, horse-drawn plows, planters and cultivators, household items, and a farm toy collection with 71 pedal tractors and over 700 toy tractors. The central exhibit hall features exhibits on the major crops grown in the US, the science of cotton production, the history of irrigation and underground pumps, women's contributions to agriculture, along with an interactive cotton harvester, and a fully restored 1958 Ag Cat crop dusting plane. With the help of Redbox Workshop of Chicago, the museum is currently in the process of developing a one-of-a-kind children's wing where the story of agriculture will be told through interactive exhibits and gross motor play. The combination of interactive technology with farming artifacts in a truly unique venue makes for a first-class museum experience. 

 

 

 

Lubbock - National Ranching Heritage Center

How early ranchers and their families adapted to a harsh environment is a story of self-reliance told through 50 authentic ranching structures preserved in the historic park at the National Ranching Heritage Center (NRHC) at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. “Ranching and the westward movement of America share the same chapter in the history books,” explains Executive Director Jim Bret Campbell. “We tell the story of ranch families who moved out of their dugouts and log cabins to build the houses, schools, churches and cities that millions now call ‘home.’”  The museum and historical park were not formally dedicated until 1976, but the concept of a center to preserve and interpret ranching history began in 1966. The result was a unique public-private partnership between Texas Tech and the Ranching Heritage Association, a non-profit member organization that supports the mission and programs of the NRHC.  Although ranches exist in every state of the nation, the NRHC assembled structures chosen primarily to represent the birth, growth and maturity of ranching in the region west of the Mississippi River just as Colonial Williamsburg represents the nation’s history east of the river.   The center includes a 19-acre historical park and a 44,000-square-foot museum with seven galleries emphasizing Western history, art and artifacts. The total complex covers 27 acres with a paved pathway that provides wheelchair and stroller access. The NRHC is free and open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. The NRHC is currently closed because of coronavirus restrictions. Opening announcements will be included on the center's web page and social media.

 

 

Plainview

Located on the Running Water Draw, Plainview Texas not only serves as the county seat for Hale County but with its location in the middle of the South Plains, it is an easy drive for those living “up on the Cap”. Located at the intersection of IH-27, U.S. Highway 87 and 70, State Highway 194, Plainview is located 47 miles north of Lubbock and 76 miles south of Amarillo. Plainview’s central location offers plenty of opportunities for locals and tourists to explore the Texas Panhandles greatest assets including a short drive to visit two state Parks (Caprock Canyon and Palo Duro), Route 66 in Amarillo, Texas Tech University in Lubbock and so much More.  The newly renovated Plainview Point, featuring a Quanah Parker arrow, the Llano Estacado Museum and Jimmy Dean Museum are interesting places to explore the region’s history. Furthermore, great shopping and dining can be found in Plainview’s historic downtown and recreation activities including a mature 18-hole golf course, disc golf course and various cultural activities make Plainview a place that has something for everyone. Mark Marley’s Go Big or Go Home BBQ Bash (known as Go Big), held every May, includes a KCBS barbeque competition bringing competitors as far as North Dakota to Plainview. The three-day event also features live music, a car show, volleyball and horseshoe tournaments, vendor fair and a chance to enjoy good barbecue and Texas hospitality. Other events throughout the year include Red, White & Moo Parade and Festival, Hale on Wheels Cycling Race, Holiday Open House, 12 Days of Christmas Events and downtown Plainview’s monthly 2nd Saturday event. Come for a day or a weekend and discover all that Plainview has to offer.

 

 

Post

Ranchland became a Utopian town just below the Caprock Escarpment in 1907. That’s when Post Cereal founder and philanthropist, C.W. Post, established his namesake city as a model farming community. In the process he introduced agricultural innovations to the high Texas plains and paid the Santa Fe Railroad to ensure that a depot would be finished by 1910 (the restored building now serves as the city’s Visitors Center and Chamber of Commerce). A five-block refurbished historic district looks much as it did in the cereal magnate’s day. His 1911 office is now the OS Ranch Museum, a gallery of world-class art collected by rancher and oilman Giles C. McCrary and family. Downtown also offers B&B lodging in the 1915 Hotel Garza, plus family movies at the classic Tower Theater. A sanitarium opened by C.W. Post in 1912 houses the Garza County Historical Museum. Its 26 rooms retell the story of the county’s colorful ranching, farming and Native American heritage. One exhibit details the life and experiments of C.W. Post, including his dynamite-blasting efforts to make it rain. Next door, a two-story Arts-and-Crafts bungalow, built in 1913 for sanitarium nurses, now houses the Caprock Cultural Association and hosts special events. A statue of C.W. Post sits outside the 1923 Prairie School-style Garza County Courthouse. Not far from town, the Terrace Cemetery welcomes visitors with an unusual gateway built in 1908 using round rocks from C.W. Post’s ranch.

 

 

Shamrock

You won’t miss Shamrock on Interstate 40. Just look for the water tower. Built in 1915 and rising 176 feet high, it’s the tallest water tank of its type in Texas. Follow I-40 business along historic Route 66 and drop in at the Tower Conoco Station and U-Drop Inn Café, featured in the Disney Pixar movie CARS as Ramones body shop. The 1930s Art Deco service station and restaurant house a visitors center and historical displays. In summers the site hosts live music shows. Just off Route 66 check out the historic Reynolds Hotel which accommodated travelers and peddlers beginning in the Roaring Twenties. Now the Pioneer West Museum, the former hotel offers 25 rooms of historical memorabilia. Next door is a restored 1930s Magnolia Oil gas station and a 1920s law office. Across the street find an antique tractor and buggy collection. A few blocks away, catch a current movie or live music in the refurbished 1930 Texas Theater. Immigrant Irish sheep rancher George Nichel named this town Shamrock in the 1890s for good luck and courage. Every year since 1938 (except for a few war years), the town has honored that heritage with its St. Patrick’s Day Celebration, featuring a parade, live music, classic car show and Donegal beard contest.

 

 

Wheeler - Wheeler County Historical Museum

Our museum board is passionate about Wheeler County Texas and dedicated to preserving its rich history. Captain Alan L. Bean, the fourth man to walk on the moon, was born in Wheeler Texas on March 15, 1932. The Alan Bean exhibit has several of his personal artifacts on display. Come see the 9' bronze statue of Captain Bean in his space suit!We are a Commemorative Partner for the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War as well as the 100th Anniversary of World War I. Stop by and learn about the brave hardworking pioneers that ventured to the frontier for a better life. They faced many challenges including Indian raids, harsh weather, The Dust Bowl and The Great Depression.

 

 

Allsup's - A roadtrip through our region would not be complete without it!

The Allsup’s story is truly one of achieving the American Dream of success through nothing more than hard work and vision. Lonnie and Barbara Allsup grew up in the small town of Morton, Texas. High school sweethearts, they were married in 1950. After a few years in college, and a commitment to the Air Force, Lonnie was discharged and ready to begin a career in the grocery business. He acted on an opportunity to buy a small “drive-in” grocery in Roswell, New Mexico in 1956. As the predecessor of the modern day convenience store, a drive-in was open later hours and seven days a week. It was fully stocked and well lit and served a neighborhood. In addition to staple convenience store goods such as bread, milk and cigarettes, there was a large display of fresh fruit in season and a large display of soft drinks. Customers could even pick up cold watermelons on ice from a horse-watering tank in the parking lot! Lonnie and Barbara both worked in the store from opening to closing each day. Lonnie’s Drive-in, as it was named, had an open front, meaning the glass front of the building slid open like a garage and merchandise was even displayed on the porch! Once inside, shoppers discovered that the store was exceptionally clean and efficiently laid out so that you could get in and out of the store quickly.  We are honored that Barbara and Mark Allsup selected us to be the future custodian of their brand promise and legacy, which Lonnie and Barbara Allsup started over 63 years ago with the opening of their first store in Roswell, NM. We take this responsibility very seriously and pledge to all of Allsup’s loyal customers that what makes Allsup’s so unique and special will not change. We look forward to getting to know you, to continuing to offer the amazing products and services you
crave,including, of course, the world-famous Allsup’s burrito, and to building on Allsup’s legendary heritage by adding new and exciting customer benefits in the months and years to come.