November 13, 2017
This is my kind of roadside attraction – something so ‘Only In America’ you can’t help but marvel: ten graffitied cadillacs nose down in red dirt in a vast Texan field.
Set off old Route 66, the Cadillac Ranch was established in 1974 by San Franciscan art hippies and a billionaire from nearby Amarillo. It’s brilliantly surreal catching your first glimpse of a neon-squiggled 1949 Club Sedan after so many nondescript road trip miles. But brace yourself – there’s quite the ‘farm’ smell as you trek over for a closer look and sturdier footwear than flip-flops is advised as the dirt is loose and plentiful! For our family portrait I borrowed Bodie’s Explore Wander Discover blanket but took on something of an Elvis vibe as the wind whisked my hair into a quiff…
I didn’t have the forethought to pack cans of spray paint but a friendly fellow road-tripper donated a can of yellow to the our dog travel cause…
From 9am-6pm The Cadillac Ranch Gift Shop at 2601 Hope Road sells t-shirts, baseball hats and spray paint. I love how there’s layer upon layer of signatures, symbols and messages – guaranteeing a unique experience for every visitor!
CADILLAC RANCH ADDRESS: Frontage Road off I-40, Amarillo, TX 79124
Park your car along the shoulder and enter the field through the unlocked gate.
WHERE TO STAY WHEN VISITING THE CADILLAC RANCH
We stayed in a mediocre chain motel but only because all 54 of the rooms at the Big Texan Motel were booked, so if you want to experience this rather more characterful accommodation with its Texas-shaped pool, do plan ahead.
One of the major lures of the Big Texan lies in its adjacent Steak Ranch restaurant – diners get their 72 oz steak free, if they can eat it all within an hour, along with the accompanying shrimp cocktail, baked potato and bread roll. Can you imagine? I have a feeling Bodie could have a good go at this but sadly dogs are not allowed in the cavernous restaurant, such a shame and it looked to be brimming with cowboy kitsch!
And if you happen to be traveling with your mighty steed as well as your dog, the Big Texan Ranch also offers a Horse Hotel complete with gated runs.
The Big Texan grounds have a small fenced off dog pen which Bodie could’ve two-stepped in, if it wasn’t so darn hot… Instead we turned up the AC and headed for the greener pastures of Elk City, Oklahoma. (Via nearby Dunkin’ Donuts.)
BIG TEXAN RANCH MOTEL
Pet Policy: $10 per dog.
Address: 7701 I-40 East, Amarillo, Texas 79118
Phone: 806 372 6000