Situated in the heart of the Texas Panhandle, Canyon is a place where history comes alive, natural beauty flourishes, and a true sense of community thrives.
Let me give you a glimpse into what makes Canyon truly special. One of the city’s claims to fame is its close proximity to the awe-inspiring Palo Duro Canyon. Known as the “Grand Canyon of Texas,” this magnificent natural wonder spans over 120 miles, offering breathtaking vistas that will leave you utterly mesmerized.
As you hike through its rugged trails or take in the breathtaking views from the rim, you’ll understand why it’s an absolute must-see for visitors and locals alike.
But Canyon has more to offer than just stunning landscapes. This city is also renowned for its rich Western heritage and vibrant arts scene.
So, my fellow adventurer, if you’re seeking a destination that offers both natural wonders and a vibrant community spirit, look no further than Canyon, TX.
Things to Do in Canyon, TX
1. Explore Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Begin your Canyon adventure at Palo Duro Canyon State Park, the second-largest canyon in the United States. This is located in the Texas Panhandle, approximately 25 miles southeast of Amarillo. The park is easily accessible by car via State Highway 217.
Hike or bike the scenic trails, go horseback riding, camp overnight, or simply marvel at the breathtaking views.
2. Visit the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum
Immerse yourself in the history and culture of the Texas Panhandle at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum.
The Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum is the largest history museum in Texas and is dedicated to preserving and showcasing the history and culture of the Texas Panhandle and the Plains region.
The highlight of the museum is Pioneer Town, a recreated historic town that offers a glimpse into life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
3. Learn at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum’s Dig Site
Visit the Dig Site at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum and experience a hands-on excavation activity. Unearth fossils and learn about the region’s paleontological history.
The museum primarily focuses on displaying and preserving artifacts and exhibits related to the history and culture of the Texas Panhandle region.
4. Attend a Performance at the Pioneer Amphitheatre
The TEXAS Outdoor Musical was first performed in 1966 and has since become one of the most beloved cultural attractions in the state. The Pioneer Amphitheatre, nestled in the scenic Palo Duro Canyon, provides a stunning natural backdrop for the performance. This is a spectacular place you should not miss!
Check the schedule and enjoy a performance at the Pioneer Amphitheatre and witness the epic outdoor musical drama “TEXAS” which tells the story of the Texas Panhandle.
5. Explore the West Texas A&M University
Take a campus tour or attend a cultural or sporting event at West Texas A&M University. The university offers beautiful architecture, art galleries, and a vibrant student atmosphere.
6. Play Golf at Palo Duro Creek Golf Course
Nestled in the picturesque Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Palo Duro Creek Golf Course offers a truly breathtaking setting for your golfing adventure. Palo Duro Creek Golf Course features a challenging yet playable 18-hole layout that caters to golfers of all skill levels.
As you make your way through the course, you’ll be surrounded by the stunning beauty of rugged canyon walls, panoramic views, and native vegetation. The captivating landscape creates a serene and tranquil atmosphere that enhances your golfing experience.
7. Discover the First United Bank Center
This place serves as a venue for various events, including sports competitions, concerts, trade shows, and community gatherings. It is home to the West Texas A&M Buffaloes and Lady Buffs basketball teams.
Make sure you check their calendar and attend at least one concert or a sport event during your visit.
8. Visit the Charles Goodnight Historical Center
The Charles Goodnight Historical Center is a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and those curious about the rich heritage of the American West.
Goodnight was a prominent cattle rancher, trailblazer, and pioneer who played a significant role in shaping the ranching industry and frontier life. Through exhibits, artifacts, and interactive displays, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of his life, accomplishments, and contributions to the region.
9. Enjoy Nature at Buffalo Lake National Wildlife Refuge
Explore the Buffalo Lake National Wildlife Refuge, located just outside of Canyon. Engage in birdwatching, nature photography, and hiking, while observing the diverse wildlife in their natural habitat.
10. Stroll Through Downtown Canyon
Downtown Canyon boasts a rich history reflected in its well-preserved historic buildings and architecture.
As you stroll along the streets, you’ll be captivated by the beautiful facades and unique designs of the buildings, which showcase the town’s heritage and cultural significance.
11. Attend Canyon’s Fourth of July Celebration
If you’re visiting during the Independence Day holiday, don’t miss Canyon’s Fourth of July Celebration. This is a fantastic event that embodies the spirit of patriotism and community.
The town comes alive with a sense of excitement and camaraderie as residents and visitors gather to celebrate Independence Day. Expect to see people dressed in patriotic colors, waving flags, and sporting smiles that reflect the joy of the occasion.
12. Explore the Hiking Trails at Buffalo Springs Lake
Picture yourself walking along rocky paths, feeling the earth beneath your feet and marveling at the ever-changing terrain. As you traverse the slopes and navigate the occasional challenging inclines, you’ll be rewarded with stunning vistas that will take your breath away.
One of the joys of hiking at Buffalo Springs Lake is the chance to encounter the local wildlife.
13. Discover the Texas Musical Drama Hall of Fame
Visit the Texas Musical Drama Hall of Fame, located at Pioneer Amphitheatre. Learn about the performers, musicians, and contributors who have played a significant role in the history of the “TEXAS” musical.
14. Experience the Canyon Aqua Park
Cool off and have fun at the Canyon Aqua Park! When you visit Canyon Aqua Park, get ready for an amazing time with your kids! The park is perfect for families and offers a ton of fun water attractions that everyone can enjoy.
At the park, you’ll find a variety of exciting slides and rides that cater to all age groups. From thrilling high-speed slides for older kids and adults to gentler slides designed for the little ones, there’s something for everyone to have a blast.
15. Taste Local Cuisine
As a Texan city, Canyon offers Tex-Mex cuisine, which combines elements of Mexican and Texan flavors. You can enjoy dishes like enchiladas, tacos, fajitas, and chile con carne, often served with salsa, guacamole, and queso dip.
Given the Texas Panhandle’s ranching heritage, you’ll find excellent steaks and grilled meats in Canyon. Local restaurants often serve high-quality cuts of beef cooked to perfection, accompanied by delicious sides like grilled vegetables and loaded baked potatoes.