In 1974, three friends- 2 architects and an art student- created a public art installation in a wheat field in Amarillo, and it is such a fun stop if you’re traveling on Route 66 or Interstate 40 through Texas. The front half of 10 Cadillacs were buried in the dirt (reportedly at the same angle as the Great Pyramid of Giza) and the installation became known as Cadillac Ranch.
In 1997, Cadillac Ranch was moved two miles to the west, away from the growing city of Amarillo, and into a cow pasture off of Interstate 40. We drove by two years in a row and didn’t stop because it was pouring rain, but finally, we were passing by on a beautiful day and had the chance to experience this roadside treasure.
It’s located on private land and accessible by a frontage road running parallel to the interstate. Just walk through the unlocked gate and down the dirt path to the cars. Be forewarned, it can get VERY muddy after it rains or snows, but that doesn’t stop many of the visitors.
Public interaction is totally encouraged and you cannot visit without leaving your mark.
We didn’t bring any spray paint with us but found plenty of cans with enough paint left to do some serious decorating. The kids got a kick out of being able to paint whatever and wherever they wanted!
Even Ellie got in on the fun- there’s nothing better than teaching a three-year-old (at the time!) how to use spray paint!
She only sprayed herself in the face once and she had an absolute blast decorating the cars! Cadillac Ranch is definitely fun with kids, just make sure to keep an eye on them while they’re spray painting if you want to minimize how much they end up wearing!
Things to Remember At Cadillac Ranch
- Though it’s on private land, visitors are encouraged to check out the cars and have fun with spray paint so don’t hesitate to go through the gate.
- Wear close-toed shoes (or be extra careful) since the ground is littered with spray paint cans and bottles.
- We found plenty of spray paint in discarded cans but if you want specific colors, make sure to bring them with you.
- Take LOTS of pictures! Because so many people visit every day, your artwork won’t last for long!
- HAVE FUN!!