From 6th Field Trip: Canyon Texas ·

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Most of you know about Canyon and the West Texas A&M campus, but when’s the last time you took a little afternoon detour to experience the cowboy culture, quaint shops, and tasty treats located on their historic courthouse square? It had been too long for us too so we decided to make that our first stop for our From 6th Field Trip this year.

Panhandle Plains Historical Society and Museum located in Canyon, Texas. Exhibitions of quinceanera traditions, Georgia O'keeffe, and paleontology collection.
Panhandle Plains Historical Museum located in Canyon, Texas. Visit them online here.

Canyon is just a quick drive 15 miles south of Amarillo which meant we pulled into town a little before all of the local shops opened. On the bright side, that gave us the perfect window for a quick visit to one of the area’s best hidden gems, the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum. Not only do they boast an impressive and well curated permanent collection, but their special exhibitions rarely disappoint. Our favorites this trip included the rotating textiles exhibit along with the temporary exhibits Quinceanera Traditions and Georgia O’keeffe’s Cabinet of Curiosity. Got kids tagging along? No worries. Sit back and watch their eyes light up when they see the PPHM’s massive paleontology collection! We’ve seen parts of their astounding collection on loan at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas on more than one occasion. Before you head to our next stop, make sure to explore the grounds to take in the museum’s beautiful architecture and a few of the old frontier structures as well.

Explore the architecture and grounds of the Panhandle Plains Historical Society and Museum.

After visiting the museum, hop back in the car or get your steps in by heading a few blocks over to the historic Courthouse square. Surrounding the old Randall County Courthouse you’ll find the friendliest folks and a dozen or so locally owned shops, award winning restaurants, and coffee shops. While we can’t cover them all, we had to pay a special visit to the brick + mortar locations of our very own Collective retailers, The Rack & Burrowing Owl Books.

The Rack Boutique located is the place to find on trend clothing, gift items, and home decor just off the Town Square.
The Rack Boutique located in Canyon, Texas. You can find them on our Retailers Page here.

Located just adjacent to the square you will find one, The Rack Boutique. The Rack is a locally-owned apparel and gift shop where you will find a cleverly curated collection of trendy fashion staples, home decor, and gift items. One line customers regularly stop in for is Tyler Candle Co. Try that Diva Wash once and you’ll never go back to boring detergent again!

The Rack storefront, showing the  WTAMU water tower and a shop full of home decor and furniture, clothing apparel and accessories.
Burrowing Owl Bookstore on the town square located in the original First National Bank Building.  Beautiful architecture and charming bookstore interiors.
Burrowing Owl Bookstore located on the Square in Canyon, Texas. You can find them on our retailers page here.

Walk on over to the other corner of the square and you’ll find Burrowing Owl Books. We were particularly excited about this visit because we had yet to see them in this new location. The independent bookstore is housed in the original First National Bank Building built in 1909. Inside this beautifully restored bank-turned-bookstore you will find books new and old, an abundant collection from local authors, and the coolest reading nooks for the kids. Make sure to ask about their upcoming events like book clubs, book singings, and story times!

Burrowing Owl Bookstore located on the town square in Canyon. Best-seller books, local authors, book signings, book clubs.

By now all this walking had worked up our appetites and lucky for us, Canyon has a plethora of local restaurants to choose from right there on the Square. It didn’t take us long to decide on Mickey’s Place, a redefined Italian restaurant that opened just a couple of years ago. The interior isn’t what you’d expect for a rural country town. Featuring a refined wood wine vault, a vibrant bar area, and two outdoor dining areas, this place is hard to beat. If you are planning a work event or a large gathering, Mickey’s also has a large private dining area to fit larger parties. The menu features classic Italian staples like pizza and pasta, but don’t miss out on their yummy rotating soups and salads. Time your visit right for daily happy hour specials & brunch selections too.

Mickey's Place Italian American cuisine and food located on the Square.. Pizza, pasta, soup and salad, local eatery.
Mickey’s Place is located on the Square in Canyon, Texas. You can find them online here.

A trip to any Texas Town Square wouldn’t be complete without a visit to an an old fashioned soda shop. Almost every one of them has one. Canyon’s is called Rockin’ Zebra. Upon entering you are immediately transported back in time. The front waiting area is stocked with old fashioned favorites like candy cigarettes, abba-zaba bars, and moon pies. I’ll definitely be paying them a visit next year for some throwback stocking stuffers! Take a seat in the 1950s style diner where you can order just about every soda flavor your heart desires along with your old time ice cream staples like malts, shakes, and banana splits.
Rockin' Zebra Soda Shoppe vintage 1950s theme diner town square
Rockin’ Zebra Soda Shoppe is located on the Square in Canyon, Texas. You can find them online here.

Last, but certainly not least, no visit to Canyon, Texas is complete without a pit stop by the larger-than-life Tex Randall statue. Standing at 47 feet tall, this legendary Texas icon has been a roadside staple in the Texas Panhandle since 1959. The statue was created by builder Harry Wheeler to welcome travelers. Canyon’s very own Concrete Cowboy is a western fashion icon with his Stetson-style hat, Levi Strauss hand-stitched jeans, and pearl-snap shirt adorned with vinyl-wrapped aluminum buttons. Tex is located just off the highway 60 towards New Mexico, which is only a 2 minute drive from the square. You can easily hop back on to Interstate 27 after your photo op.

Tex Randall statue roadside destination located on Highway 60, I-27
Tex Randall, a historic landmark, in Texas. Levi-Strauss, western culture, cowboy, art Canyon Texas

I know a few of you familiar with Canyon will ask how we wrote about the town and didn’t mention the C A N Y O N. For outsiders, the town of Canyon is located in a small valley that eventually turns into the Palo Duro Canyon (the second largest canyon in the nation). While we just couldn’t squeeze it in this time, we’ll make sure to cover it and our favorite activities out that way next time. For now, we’ll direct you to our new friends at Sad Monkey Mercantile. They’ll have the 411 on all the fun things to do out that way.
We had a ton of fun on this short trek from The Collective to visit our friends in Canyon. Next time you are headed South, take a detour into Canyon – we promise you won’t regret it!


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