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Amarillo's Route 66 Urban Decay Art

Updated: Dec 3, 2021

Cadillac and VW Slug Bug Ranch

There must be something in the water, or perhaps an over-abundance of artists yearning to create their next masterpiece. Whatever the case, Amarillo, Texas, features two unique urban decay art displays on Route 66 that are worth visiting and snapping a few pictures.

Cadillac Ranch is the first of these odd roadside attractions. According to RoadsideAmerica.com, a group of art-hippies from San Francisco came to Amarillo when Amarillo billionaire Stanley Marsh commissioned them to create "a piece of public art that baffled the locals, and the hippies came up with the tribute to the evolution of the Cadillac tail fin." The art display consists of 10 Cadillacs from many different years buried nose down and tails high in the air to showcase their tail fins. Shortly after completion of the exhibition in 1974, passersby would stop and take a picture, or tear-off a portion as a souvenir, or spray paint the Cadillacs. Today this roadside attraction draws thousands of visitors per year to view the unique art display. To find Cadillac Ranch, take I-40 west of Amarillo and get off at exit 60. The exhibition is south of the interstate, so make your way over to the frontage road on the south side. There's no need to unhook your rig, as there's usually plenty of room on the shoulder to park. We've seen tractor-trailers, 5th-wheel campers and large motorhomes parked on the shoulder to view Cadillac Ranch. Don't forget to bring your camera and a quality can of spray paint.

The next unique urban art display on Route 66 is the VW Slug Bug Ranch. You can find this by traveling east of Amarillo on I-40 and get off at exit 96 in Conway, Texas. If you exit on the east side of the interstate, the display is off the road's shoulder. This VW Bug display has five bugs buried nose down similar to Cadillac Ranch. According to RoadsideAmerica.com, "This is an obvious parody on the Cadillac Ranch." Regardless of the parody or not, the VW Bugs are buried next to an old Route 66 gas station. I found myself utterly fascinated by the abandoned gas pumps, buildings and graffiti. If you’re into urban photography, the VW Slug Bug Ranch will not disappoint you and is worth stopping if you’re in the area.

Both ranches are easy to get on and off the exit with your rig to grab a few pictures. While both are fascinating, I wouldn’t recommend going out of your way to visit them. However, if you find yourself traveling on I-40 near Amarillo, Texas its worth stopping and taking a couple pictures to impress your friends and family.

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