Tucked up in the northwestern corner of the state, where New Mexico and Oklahoma corner the Texas borders, Amarillo has a population of 190,695 people according to the 2012 US Census report. This is a stunning area of Texas to live in with cool nights and temperate, arid days almost year round. Amarillo is the 14th most populated city in Texas and was established back in 1887 by J. I. Berry because he wanted to make the town the regions new trading center. It became a hub for the booming cattle market and is still dominant today. The meat packing industry is a major employer in Amarillo today, but that is no longer the only big player. Bell Helicopter Textron opened an assembly plant in 1999 and Texas Tech University has also been a major contributor to the local economy.
The median age for residents in Amarillo is 33, quite young and excellent for the economy. The median house value is $113,700, much less than what you might expect to pay for a home in the central Texas region. The median rent price is also quite low at $730 per month.
Tourist Attractions and Nightlife
Amarillo has a number of attractions for both tourists and locals alike. Palo Duro Canyon State Park is one of the largest canyon systems in the United States, second only to the Grand Canyon! Also, the Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument is located a short 30 mile drive to the north, and if you are feeling adventurous and silly, you can take a quick trip out to the Cadillac Ranch that local millionaire Stanley Marsh funded. Once you have finished hiking around the numerous parks, Amarillo has a number of local bars, restaurants and clubs that are sure to please after a long day romping around the countryside. OHMS Cafe over on S. Tyler street is a local favorite for their tenderloin sliders and friendly atmosphere. Another local favorite is the R&R bar on S. Georgia Street. The beer is cold, the crowd is friendly and the prices are just right! The last must-mention duo, is treating yourself to an amazing steak dinner at The Big Texan and then walking over to Buckles Lounge (located on E. Interstate 40) for a friendly gathering with friends to sip beers and tell tall tales. A perfect ending to any long day!
On the northwestern outskirts of Amarillo is the neighborhood of Bishop Hills. This area is best for people who are looking for a remote, country setting where they can actually see the Milky Way once the sun drops below the horizon. The remoteness of the neighborhood is part of the reason the average rent is jaw-droppingly low at $146 per month. The price for such low rental prices is made up for by the long commute, albeit a beautiful drive, to and from work each day. This commute can be as much as an hour, depending on how far out you decide you'd like to be. On the northwest side of the city's center is the neighborhood of N Soncy Rd / Fm 1061 which features the Tascosa Country Club for getting to know your neighbors and playing a round or two of golf. The average rent in this area is $628 per month and it has a relatively low vacancy rate at 8.6%. This is thought of as a quiet, suburban neighborhood most favored by those seeking to start a family or by those who are just looking for an upscale, safe neighborhood that is close to the center of the city without the feeling of living in a densely urban area. Most own and drive their own cars to and from work and commute less than 15 minutes a day, making this an excellent location for those wanting to be close to work in the downtown area, but not in the middle of it. One of the more sought after neighborhoods in Amarillo is the Georgia St & W Farmers Ave area. The average rent in this neighborhood is quite a bit more than the others previously mentioned. Residents here pay an average of $1,340 per month for the luxury and prestige of calling this area home. Having said that, the average vacancy rate for this area is up at 10.8%, so if you are looking to rent or to buy property, this might be just the time to get serious. Close to I-27, the residents of this neighborhood usually have a 15-30 minute commute to work each day and for the most part, they drive themselves. On the southeastern side of Amarillo, close to the Palo Duro Canyon State Park, is the Lake Tanglewood / Palisades neighborhood. This area is further out from the city center, so the commute in to work will be slightly longer at 20-30 minutes, but far shorter than what most americans are accustomed to. Another bonus to living in this neighborhood is the average price of rent, $490 per month as well as the size of homes (think lots of room) is one of the reasons this is such a popular neighborhood. A group of ethnically diverse, well educated, young families, retired professionals and middle age executives all call this neighborhood home. This area is considered more rural than suburban, but don't let that trick you into thinking you are in the middle of nowhere, just understand that you will be able to see the stars at night, not something all American's get to enjoy!