Have you visited the second largest natural Canyon in the United States? Have you seen the largest history museum in Texas or marveled at the Official Play of the State of Texas? Summer is the ideal time to travel to Canyon to fill your days with family fun. The City of Canyon is home to a historic square featuring local shops and restaurants, the Canyon Aqua Park, and the Canyon Trails at Buffalo Hill biking trails. History buffs will dig deep into the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum and TEXAS the Musical, families can spend an afternoon at the Canyon Aqua Park, and golf pros can go a few rounds at the Palo Duro Creek Golf Course. Keep reading to make Canyon, conveniently located 15 minutes from Amarillo, your summer spot to soak up memories and the Texas sun.
Readily accessible by car or motorhome and 14 miles from the Main Street town of Canyon, Palo Duro Canyon (PDC as the locals call it) is the most spectacular scenic landscape feature in the Texas Panhandle. It was formed by millions of years of water erosion by the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River and the West Texas wind. With a descent of some 800 feet to the canyon floor and more than 16 miles of paved road, Palo Duro Canyon State Park offers fantastic scenic views, historical sites and markers, picnic tables, public restrooms and showers, miles and miles of hiking and biking trails, horseback riding, a souvenir shop with grill, and a variety of camping and parking areas suitable for day trips, overnight tent camping, or extended stays in the largest of campers and motorhomes.
TEXAS Outdoor Musical calls PDC home and can boast it is the Official Play of the State of Texas. Set against an authentic tapestry of history, the show and its fictional characters bring to life the stories, struggles, and triumphs of the settlers of the Texas Panhandle in the 1800’s. Song and dance abound—and a generous helping of good ol’ Texas humor too—with spellbinding lighting, special effects, and fireworks. The beautiful Pioneer Amphitheater carved out of and nestled into the natural basin in the majestic Palo Duro Canyon comes alive every summer. Join the cast and crew as they “Invite you to come to TEXAS” May 29 – Aug 14, 2021!
Want to get some time in on the green? Palo Duro Creek Golf Course is an 18-hole regulation course located in Canyon designed to fit the needs of beginners to pros. The course is a par-72 with a variety of tees to play ranging from 5,800 yards to 6,900 yards. The course is a fun, challenging course, with water from the Palo Duro Creek coming into play on 14 of the 18 holes. The Palo Duro Creek golf course is recognized as one of the most playable, yet challenging courses in the Texas panhandle.
Located on the campus of West Texas A&M University, the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum (PPHM) is the largest history museum in Texas, with more than two million artifacts dedicated to preserving the region’s past. In PPHM’s tremendous holdings, visitors can unlock the hidden world of the ancient past while learning about the rich history of the Panhandle-Plains region and seeing some of the finest examples of history. At PPHM, visitors find the heart of Texas art, the free spirit of the Taos and Santa Fe schools of art, and unsurpassed Southwest American Indian art. A life-size Pioneer Town and interactive Petroleum exhibition delight and excite visitors to learn more history while engaging with the story. In addition, PPHM has five rotating galleries that are changed yearly with themes, and an extensive list of summer fun programs for 2021: Night at PPHM, Raptor Run and Dino Fun Day, Movie on the Lawn, and more.
You are going to want to stay more than one night in Canyon. For day two of family fun, spend your time splashing at the Canyon Aqua Park (CAP). This family-focused water park is where the staff strives to provide a safe and fun experience for every guest. The CAP is a great place to swim, eat, and laugh with your friends and family. Since its opening in 2017, the CAP has been known as the “go to” waterpark in the Texas Panhandle.
You are sure to make great family memories, eat in wonderful local restaurants, and take away a renewed sense of the beauty and artistry of Texas history with a visit to Canyon.