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What Every Texan Should Know About . . .

No. 8 Touring Like a Texan

How to visit Cadillac Ranch.

Illustration by Abi Daniel

Road trips are a quintessential American pastime for vacationing families who want to cram in as much sightseeing as possible. For years, Route 66, now Interstate 40, served as “the Mother Road” for these journeys, and destinations flourished along the way. One such landmark juts out of the flat Panhandle Plains, just west of Amarillo, an art installation that is one of the most famous roadside attractions in America: Cadillac Ranch. Visitors graffiti the cars (it’s legal), and you too should make your mark.

Spray It to Say It

BYOP, or bring your own paint. If you’re heading west from Amarillo, there’s a Home Depot on the way.

“Turn Right at the Cadillacs”

The cars are on private land, but visitation is encouraged. Park along the south side of I-40, and enter the pasture by walking through the unlocked gate. The cars are roughly 150 yards from the road, but you can’t miss ’em: they’re the ten Cadillacs buried in a field.

Grit and Bear It

Be prepared for some grime and grit. This isn’t a state-funded or oft-tended site. There will likely be litter and trash. (If you really want to earn some karmic brownie points or be a Good Samaritan, you can bring a Hefty bag and be a steward of the land.)

It’s Always Sunny

If you plan to spend some time on your art, remember that you’re going to be working in an open Texas prairie. Wear a hat and some sunscreen.

Beware of Gully Washers

The sun isn’t the only natural element that could be your enemy. Try to avoid going after a heavy rain; the field gets muddy, which is a problem compounded by heavy foot traffic from other tourists.


Second only to paint in importance is a camera. The whole point of making the trek is for the photo op.

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