Planning A Long Weekend in the Texas Panhandle

Back in May of 2021, I spent a long weekend in the panhandle of Texas. My friend and I flew from PA to Amarillo, TX. We stayed in a cabin near the entrance to Palo Duro Canyon State Park and spent a day and a half exploring Palo Duro and another exploring Caprock Canyons, a state park nearby. While only two full days in Texas can seem short, it was both relaxing and an adventure. Below are a few suggestions on where to stay, what to do, and where to eat.

Where to Stay:

  • Doves Rest Cabins – This is where I stayed and would stay in a heartbeat. The views, location, and accommodations are incredible.
  • Glamping – There’s also Palo Duro glamping options which I’d consider if I didn’t want full accommodations and wanted something a little more outdoorsy.
  • River Falls Lodge – If you’re traveling with a larger group you can check out the options at River Falls Lodge which has 1, 2, and 3 bedroom options.
  • Starlight Canyon – A bed and breakfast option closer to the Canyon.
  • Airbnb – There’s a few different Airbnb options including the Doves Rest Cabins on here. There’s also a few tiny cabins located only a few minutes from the entrance to the park.
  • Camping – There’s also camping options in the area as well both inside and outside the park.
  • Amarillo – If you’re more comfortable in a chain hotel, about an hour from the park is Amarillo which is a much bigger city with more options.

What to Do:

  • Cadillac Ranch – This is in Amarillo but a great stop on your way from or to the airport. You can see old Cadillacs buried halfway in the ground and take your part in spray painting.
  • Shops in Downtown Canyon – On your way toward Palo Duro, stop in the shops like Palo Duro Canyon Outfitters, Burrowing Owl Bookstore and the Thompson Giftstore.
  • Spend a morning hiking in Palo Duro. The most popular and my favorite is the Lighthouse Trail. Other frequented options include the Rock Garden or CCC trail.
  • Enjoy lunch in the park at the Palo Duro Trading Post inside the park. They have wonderful burgers.
  • There are a few places to book a horseback riding in the area that takes you around or into the Canyon.
  • Go for a hike in Caprocks Canyon along the popular North Prong Trail Loop, the Lower Prong Trail, or the Caprock Canyon Rim Trail
  • Go for a scenic drive in Caprocks and see the bison.
  • After visiting Caprock Canyons, stop in Quitaque at the Coffee Mill & Mercantile for lunch and browse their antiques.

Where to Eat / Drink:

Places We Ate:

  • Journey Coffee – Excellent coffee and an opportunity to sit outside on the patio.
  • Joe Taco – It was busy the evening we went here but the tacos and salads were awesome. We had enough to picnic the next day with the leftovers.
  • Palace Coffee Company – This place was closed when we went through town but had it been open we would have stopped in.
  • Back 40 Grill – A great casual place to have dinner. We got in late Thursday night and this was the only place open. I highly recommend the ranch rattlers as an appetizer.

Additional Places With Good Reviews:

  • Texas Rose Canyon – We didn’t have a chance to go here, but it had great reviews.
  • Feldman’s Wrong Way Diner – Diner
  • Buff’s – American, Burgers
  • The King and I – Sushi and Thai

If you enjoy the outdoors, especially the more desert type climate and red rocks, this trip in Texas is the place for you. This is one of my favorite places I’ve been able to travel to, and while we only had two full days Texas, we were able to explore two state parks, explore the canyon, travel through small towns, go on a hike, enjoy views from the cabin and explored downtown shopping. I hope if you take this trip you have as great a time as we did.

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