Amarillo, Texas

Long an unavoidable stop, roughly halfway between Chicago and LA on old Route 66, Amarillo continues to figure in travel plans, simply by being the brightest light on the 543-mile stretch of I-40 between Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and Albuquerque, New Mexico.
And though the town may seem as featureless as the surrounding landscape, there’s plenty here to sate even the most attention-challenged during a road respite. Beef, the big local industry, is at the heart of Amarillo and it features in many of its attractions, including a starring role at the Big Texan Steak Ranch.