Some interstates run for thousands of miles; others are surprisingly short – and don’t even technically run “inter” state! Interstate 27 is one of the latter, it’s a short, 124.1-mile interstate that connects Amarillo and Lubbock, Texas – and nowhere else, and not much in between.
Don’t let that deter you from making a road trip along I-27 if you’re exploring the Great Plains though. This short detour is perfect for showing off what West Texas does best: art, culture, food, and hospitality. This is demonstrated in the roadside attractions along I-27 you’ll discover when driving between the two, too.
If you’re planning a trip to West Texas, know you’ll be driving I-27, or are curious about what’s out in that middle-of-nowhere part of our country, read on to discover some of the quirky sights and spots worth stopping on an I-27 road trip between Amarillo and Lubbock. (They’re organized from north to south, since most people making the trip start and/or start and end in Amarillo.)
In this post, I promote travel to destinations that are the traditional lands of the Ndé Kónitsąąíí Gokíyaa (Lipan Apache), Nʉmʉnʉʉ (Comanche), and [Gáuigú (Kiowa) peoples. With respect, I make a formal land acknowledgment, extending my appreciation and respect to the past and present people of these lands. To learn more about the peoples who call these lands home, I invite you to explore Native Land.
Cadillac Ranch has been one of the most famous roadside attractions along I-27. A public art installation, Cadillac Ranch is a set of 10 graffiti-covered Cadillacs buried nose-first in Amarillo.
The artists behind this installation were The Ant Farm, a group of art hippies from San Francisco. Today, the ten Cadillacs have become a ritual stop for road trippers. Visitors often bring spray paint and decorate the cars with their names or drawings.
Bill’s Backyard Classics
Bill’s Backyard Classics is a classic car museum in Amarillo that sticks with our car theme. It’s a fantastic place to see a TON of classic and custom cars. Most models are from the ’50s and ‘60s, but you can find cars dating back to the 1920s!
The museum is open to everyone and offers private tours with knowledgeable guides that know all about the cars and their history. The entrance fee is $10.00 for adults and children over 12 years old.
Jack Sisemore Traveland RV Museum
Jack Sisemore Traveland RV Museum is a hidden treasure, especially if you like looking at RVs – yes, vehicles are a common theme among roadside attractions along Interstate 27.
Father and son, Jack and Trent, started collecting and restoring unique vintage RVs 25 years ago. They decided to share their discoveries with the world and opened a lovely museum in Amarillo. The museum houses many unique and antique RVs (like the oldest Fleetwood in existence), Motorsports vehicles, and Harley Davidson Motorcycles.
Best of all, the museum is free!
Bell Park Cacti Garden
Bell Park Cacti Garden is one of the top roadside attractions along I-27, especially if you enjoy a prickly walk. Bell Park Cacti Garden is a cacti garden with over 350 specimens of 15 different species. Established in honor of Hershell Bell, the park used to have five cactus specimens and 15 plants. Then Claude Burnett Jr. and his wife Debbie took over the park and started adding new cacti.
The park features a walking path bordering these beautiful plants and a grassy area with two picnic tables for visitors.
The World’s Largest Spur
The World’s Largest Spur is the quirkiest of roadside attractions along Interstate 27. Created by artist Wayland Dobbs, the spur weighs 10,000 pounds and stands at 35-feet high and 20-feet wide. Yep, enough to fit a giant.
It’s an excellent place to stretch your legs and snap a few photos before getting back on the road. The spur is easily accessible, and there’s a parking lot nearby.
Silent Wings Museum
If you have any interest in aviation, gliders, or historical information, Silent Wings Museum is a place you don’t want to miss on your road trip. The museum has curated exhibits to uncover the history of the World War II military glider program. It features”real” memorabilia, like full-size airplanes, jeeps, bulldozers, and more.
There are some touching exhibits, like the collection of actual love letters written from husbands to wives during their long absences. The museum is on the site of World War II South Plains Army Airfield, and general admission costs $10.00.
American Windmill Museum
As the name suggests, the American Windmill Museum is all about windmills – and presented in a fun and engaging way. The museum is an excellent spot to learn how important windmills were to settling the West. It has more than 160 American-style windmills on exhibition plus a model train exhibit. Their guides share interesting facts about windmills, their use, and their relation to trains, travel, farming, and cities and regional growth dynamics.
Buddy Holly’s Grave
Buddy Holly is Lubbock’s great pride. The rock and roll pioneer had a short but meaningful life, impacting thousands of Americans with his music. He died at only 22 years old in a plane crash. Visitors can still see his grave in Lubbock City Cemetery and leave a guitar pick or two. The gravestone is beautiful, featuring a custom guitar design carved on it.
Buddy Holly Museum & Glasses
If you love Buddy Holly or just want to know more about the musician, you can visit the Buddy Holly Museum & Glasses in Lubbock. The museum has curated its exhibits to detail the musician’s life and career.
You can see Buddy’s guitars, stage suits, tour contracts, including his last one, and even the Ariel motorcycle he owned. You can also see Holly’s iconic geeky glasses, which he was wearing when his plane crashed. The front grounds of the museum feature a giant sculpture of Buddy Holly’s glasses giving lots of photo ops.
Have any questions about these roadside attractions along I-27, or other roadside attractions I should add to this list? Let me know in the comments!