Quality of Life

Low costs of living and high-quality communities, great educational opportunities and rewarding recreation, plus a calendar packed with special events: The High Ground goes big in all the important essentials. For residents, that means freedom to live a life of deeper rewards.

The scenic and history-rich Route 66 rolls across the High Ground, framed by pastoral scenes of grasslands and windmills and featuring more than a few great attractions. Highlights include: The Route 66 Historic District in Amarillo; the Cadillac Ranch, where a lineup of half-buried, vividly spray-painted Cadillacs make an eye-popping desert sculpture; the VW Slug Bug Ranch, a Volkswagen Bug homage to the Cadillac Ranch; and the landmark U-Drop Inn Café at the Conoco Tower Station. An art deco delight listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Café served as inspiration for Ramone’s House of Body Art in the movie Cars.

While long dry summers and loamy soil create the perfect conditions for grape growing in the High Ground, it’s the passion for wine and wine-making that has transformed this region into a vibrant viticulture hub. Share that passion at places like the Bar Z Winery, located at the edge of the Palo Duro Canyon, where visitors sip superb vintages as they soak up spectacular prairie and canyon views. Truly a life to toast.

The music scene in the High Ground is exciting and diverse. The region where Buddy Holly, Mac Davis and Natalie Maines got their start is also home to five different symphony orchestras, as well as up and coming artists in every genre. From blues to blue grass, it’s easy to discover great musical artists playing live every night at clubs across the region, and at music festivals scheduled all year long, like the West Texas Book and Music Festival, Viva Aztlan Festival, and the Yellow House Canyon Brew Works Music Festival.

In San Angelo, take a mural tour or a stroll down Paintbrush Alley. Or explore the offerings at San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts. In Abilene, multiple museums range in focus from fine art at the Grace Museum to the stirring exhibits at Frontier, Texas!, the 14,000 square-foot museum of the American West, the gateway to the Texas Forts Trail. In Amarillo, a dozen museums include Texas’ largest history museum, the Texas Air & Space Museum and the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum. In Lubbock, a life size statue of Buddy Holly greets visitors at the Buddy Holly Center, a performance and visual arts center. Lubbock’s rich inventory of museums also includes the Museum of Texas Tech University, which spreads across 76 acres; here, wide-ranging collections focus on natural sciences, anthropology and paleontology as well as art collections featuring the works of N.C. Wyeth, American West artists, Native American pottery and textiles and more. In Canyon, the Palo Duro Canyon Interpretive and Visitor Center offers an opportunity to learn more about the spectacular work of nature’s art that is the Palo Duro Canyon.

While it is the nation’s second largest canyon system, Palo Duro is second to none in the wonderful, wonder-filled immersive experience it offers. The Canyon’s scale is tremendous, stretching 120 miles long, 20 miles wide and up to 800 feet deep. Brilliantly colored rock formations, carved out over 90 million years, set the scene for recreation of all kinds, with 30 miles of trails great for hiking and biking, with horseback riding on 1,500 acres set aside for equestrians. Camping, from primitive to glamping, is a great way to explore a night under the stars here. Palo Duro is also the site for the annual blockbuster TEXAS Outdoor Musical.

In addition to Palo Duro Canyon State Park, the High Ground is home to a half dozen other state parks spread throughout the region, all scenic places to hike, camp, birdwatch, enjoy fishing and boating, and much more.

A source for Amarillo’s and Lubbock’s drinking water, Lake Meredith is also a designated National Recreation Area, where meandering coves attract boaters, skiers and wakeboarders, and a bountiful fishing stock draws in anglers. Camping is also popular here.

Mammoth hunters came here 13,000 years ago, seeking flint for tools. Today, visitors come to hike the panoramic setting, explore museum exhibits at the Visitors Center, and to check out the ancient petroglyphs, stone carvings that intrigue and delight.

This rodeo is real Texas rodeo, an exciting and muscular display of what real cowboys do in traditional ranch work, like team pinning, stray gathering and team branding, plus ranch-style bronc riding. Ranked as one of the Top 5 Texas rodeos, this event hosts only top competitors who have qualified at sanctioned rodeo events.

Route 66

The scenic and history-rich Route 66 rolls across the High Ground, framed by pastoral scenes of grasslands and windmills and featuring more than a few great attractions. Highlights include: The Route 66 Historic District in Amarillo; the Cadillac Ranch, where a lineup of half-buried, vividly spray-painted Cadillacs make an eye-popping desert sculpture; the VW Slug Bug Ranch, a Volkswagen Bug homage to the Cadillac Ranch; and the landmark U-Drop Inn Café at the Conoco Tower Station. An art deco delight listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Café served as inspiration for Ramone’s House of Body Art in the movie Cars.


Wine Country

While long dry summers and loamy soil create the perfect conditions for grape growing in the High Ground, it’s the passion for wine and wine-making that has transformed this region into a vibrant viticulture hub. Share that passion at places like the Bar Z Winery, located at the edge of the Palo Duro Canyon, where visitors sip superb vintages as they soak up spectacular prairie and canyon views. Truly a life to toast.


Music

The music scene in the High Ground is exciting and diverse. The region where Buddy Holly, Mac Davis and Natalie Maines got their start is also home to five different symphony orchestras, as well as up and coming artists in every genre. From blues to blue grass, it’s easy to discover great musical artists playing live every night at clubs across the region, and at music festivals scheduled all year long, like the West Texas Book and Music Festival, Viva Aztlan Festival, and the Yellow House Canyon Brew Works Music Festival.


Museums

In San Angelo, take a mural tour or a stroll down Paintbrush Alley. Or explore the offerings at San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts. In Abilene, multiple museums range in focus from fine art at the Grace Museum to the stirring exhibits at Frontier, Texas!, the 14,000 square-foot museum of the American West, the gateway to the Texas Forts Trail. In Amarillo, a dozen museums include Texas’ largest history museum, the Texas Air & Space Museum and the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum. In Lubbock, a life size statue of Buddy Holly greets visitors at the Buddy Holly Center, a performance and visual arts center. Lubbock’s rich inventory of museums also includes the Museum of Texas Tech University, which spreads across 76 acres; here, wide-ranging collections focus on natural sciences, anthropology and paleontology as well as art collections featuring the works of N.C. Wyeth, American West artists, Native American pottery and textiles and more. In Canyon, the Palo Duro Canyon Interpretive and Visitor Center offers an opportunity to learn more about the spectacular work of nature’s art that is the Palo Duro Canyon.


Palo Duro Canyon

While it is the nation’s second largest canyon system, Palo Duro is second to none in the wonderful, wonder-filled immersive experience it offers. The Canyon’s scale is tremendous, stretching 120 miles long, 20 miles wide and up to 800 feet deep. Brilliantly colored rock formations, carved out over 90 million years, set the scene for recreation of all kinds, with 30 miles of trails great for hiking and biking, with horseback riding on 1,500 acres set aside for equestrians. Camping, from primitive to glamping, is a great way to explore a night under the stars here. Palo Duro is also the site for the annual blockbuster TEXAS Outdoor Musical.


State Parks

In addition to Palo Duro Canyon State Park, the High Ground is home to a half dozen other state parks spread throughout the region, all scenic places to hike, camp, birdwatch, enjoy fishing and boating, and much more.


Lake Meredith

A source for Amarillo’s and Lubbock’s drinking water, Lake Meredith is also a designated National Recreation Area, where meandering coves attract boaters, skiers and wakeboarders, and a bountiful fishing stock draws in anglers. Camping is also popular here.


Alibates Flint National Monument

Mammoth hunters came here 13,000 years ago, seeking flint for tools. Today, visitors come to hike the panoramic setting, explore museum exhibits at the Visitors Center, and to check out the ancient petroglyphs, stone carvings that intrigue and delight.


WRCA World Championship Rodeo

This rodeo is real Texas rodeo, an exciting and muscular display of what real cowboys do in traditional ranch work, like team pinning, stray gathering and team branding, plus ranch-style bronc riding. Ranked as one of the Top 5 Texas rodeos, this event hosts only top competitors who have qualified at sanctioned rodeo events.



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