What’s the best thing about living in Amarillo, TX?
For me, it’s comfortably large. I don’t generally feel the need to go elsewhere for shopping (having spent 2002–2014 in towns where I’d need to drive about an hour to somewhere bigger for monthly or twice-monthly shopping trips, that’s a big deal). It’s the center of its own media market, so the local TV news isn’t all about some place an hour or two away. But it’s just below whatever threshold triggers a lot of the downsides in terms of traffic (Lubbock, which is only slightly bigger, has city streets with eight to ten lanes and loads of soaring overpasses and interchanges that I found unpleasant to drive on as a visitor). And you can feasibly visit all the major commercial sections of town in an afternoon if you have a particularly odd shopping list (I lived in Columbus OH for 8 years and almost never entered about a third of the city, it was just too long a drive to be worth it). While Amarillo lacks a four year university of its own (branches of several area schools do exist), Amarillo College is a rather large community college (about 10000 full time students), and fulfills the community needs for culture. (Art museum, small natural science museum, musical programs, etc.)
On the other hand, Texas is a lot more spread out than other places I’ve lived, and if Amarillo weren’t big enough for my needs, it’s an awfully long drive to someplace bigger. Two hours to Lubbock, which as noted is only a little bigger (Texas Tech accounts for pretty much the entire population difference, although Lubbock also has more and bigger nearby towns). Literally nothing big enough for even a Walmart in either direction east or west for over an hour…might as well keep going into New Mexico or Oklahoma. North it’s an hour to Borger, which I’m told used to be worth the drive but has mostly dried up since the oil company moved its HQ to Dallas. And south, there’s Plainview halfway to Lubbock, plus Canyon which is the only “suburb” of note for Amarillo. Canyon is okay, a small college town with a decent museum.