Kinda the coolest thing ever! Cadillac Ranch, the quirky roadside attraction on Route 66 in Amarillo, Texas has been on my bucket list since I first heard about it years and years ago on a documentary.
I was so thrilled to see it in person and more importantly, let my kiddos go nuts here! This was definitely one of the highlights for my girls on our 12 day road-trip in the Southwest! Top three experiences they said!
Cadillac Ranch is a public art installation constructed in 1974 along Route 66 in Amarillo. It consists of 10 junk Cadillacs from 1949 to 1963 which have been half-buried, nose-first in the ground on the side of the infamous highway. They have been buried at an angle which is said to correspond to that of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt.
This project was devised by a somewhat counter-culture, alternative architectural group, Ant Farm, who hailed from San Francisco. The inspiration was to challenge corporate ways of doing architecture.
The group contacted eccentric millionaire, Stanley Marsh also of San Fran to fund their experiment. He did indeed agree and the cars were placed, rather planted on Marsh’s property, a wheat field off Route 40 aka Route 66. The group eventually moved the installation just before Marsh’s death a mere 3 miles away to its current location, a cow pasture, also along Route 40.
Many recording artists have made references to this awesome classic roadside attraction, but those with kids or a child-like spirit may remember it from its depiction in Disney’s Cars which takes place along Route 66. Although in the film it appears as a mountain, not the straight line of cars that it actually is.
*I definitely recommend rewatching Cars before venturing out here!
The Google Maps directions will lead you to a little turn-off of Route 40. Of you’re heading west, it will be on your left, and visa verse!
Parking was simple and ample. There’s only one small entrance gate in the middle of a barbed-wire fence. You must walk about a half a mile to the cars. But when you see those cars so strategically lined up, it is just so very cool!
Although you will find some half-used cans, it’s best to stop and bring your own. It doesn’t really matter what color, even the light colors show! Don’t get too upset if your message or design gets sprayed over, it probably will. Within minutes actually. Oh, and if you empty your can, please take it with you and recycle it! I felt it was ok to leave cans with paint still left in them for the next visitors to enjoy, however!
I brought along $1 bandanas to cover my little girl’s mouths and nose so they didn’t inhale fumes. I also made them wear sunglasses to protect their eyes in case it was windy. I think both were a great idea.
They wore outfits we didn’t care too much about, although really just their hands got messy. A few drops on the shoes. No biggie.
The ground gets super muddy so wear shoes you don’t mind getting yucky!
The kiddos just LOVED it here. We spent way more time than I anticipated which was totally fine by me. They just couldn’t get enough! I say definitely bring the kids, but take safety measures. I personally didn’t love seeing people bring along their dogs, however.
This was such a fun, interesting stop, one I would highly recommend for any true fan of the “Mother Road” and all of the quirks and history that make it up!
We came right before sunset and it was just the perfect time to do so! I was able to get some pretty great shots at “golden hour” and just thereafter, plus that Texas he’s was bearable at that time.
Keep it rad!