Amarillo, Texas

Helium Hollow

The BUZZ

What's it like to live in Amarillo

What’s the best thing about living in Amarillo, TX?

Let’s see…. I think first of all, you really have to be born into the panhandle to appreciate the beauty. As I say that, there are people not born here that can see it and appreciate it, and there are people born here that can’t see it or appreciate it, that’s why they leave. Amarillo is a big city with a small town attitude, and it’s constantly growing. I don’t think it will ever be Dallas or Houston.

The people of Amarillo and the panhandle of Texas are unique in the sense that as one of my former bosses described. In Dallas and Houston, businesses hire professionals for a certain job, and when the job is finished they are terminated, both employer and and employee understand that and expect it. The people in the panhandle like to remain employed for long periods of time and usually are multitalented, and can do jobs in many fields, almost out of necessity because you don’t have the population that would support the big city attitude of business.

Now onto the beauty I mentioned as you get out of the city you are surrounded by fields and plains with nary a tree to be found. You can see for miles, horizon to horizon almost.

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.

What’s the best thing about living in Amarillo, TX?

There's plenty good about living in Amarillo. Its a small large city with the best attributes of both. I've never been there but my mother attended a PTA conference there. She ate at a steakhouse where the steak was free if you could finish the huge thing in an hour. Amarillo appeals to my imagination. I like the idea of not being so crowded. Amarillo seems like a place where the country side is never far away. That's appealing to me. A place too with less traffic problems.Its a place I'd like to visit. And Palo Duro Canyon is not far away. Not sure if I could handle the winters though.

What do you like and what do you dislike about Amarillo?

We have a pretty good diversity of food. You'll be able to find any type of food here. There's a lot of outdoor activities, especially at Palo Duro Canyon. There are also a lot of lakes within a 2 hour drive, more if you don't mind a 4 hour drive.

One of the best things about Amarillo is that we have an absolute zero ax murdering crime rate here, so we got that going for us, which is nice!

Schools are good, depending on which school. There are a few private schools that are pretty good as well.

If you're looking for places to live, the general rule of thumb is south of I-40 and west of I-27. The further south and west of that intersection, the better the neighborhoods. You might also consider moving to Canyon. It's a small town about 10 minutes south of Amarillo. They have a really great school system from what I hear and cost of living will be a little cheaper.

Pros and Cons of Living in Amarillo, Texas | Sabre Cofer