We recently went on a road trip to Colorado. On our trip, we stayed in Wichita Falls, Amarillo, Colorado Springs, and Boulder. This was the first time Gavin experienced long car rides and he did great. We tried to stop every couple of hours for a break. Some days we spent more time traveling than others, but we managed to see and do everything we wanted while on the trip.
Days Inn & Suites
We stayed one night on the way to Colorado and one night on the way home. Days Inn & Suites in Wichita Falls is located right off US 82, so it’s a convenient location when passing through town. We booked a king bed room on the way to Colorado and a king suite on the way home. Since it was a good place to stay while passing through town, we ended up staying at this same hotel on the way home.
Location: Good. On Kell Boulevard, off US 82 and near restaurants.
Our Room: On the way to Colorado, we stayed in a king bed room (room 315) on the third floor. It was a clean, good size room and we had space for the pack ‘n play and our luggage. The room had a king bed and four pillows, nightstands with lamps on either side of the bed, sofa, coffee table, a desk with a lamp and chair, closet with hangers and luggage rack, TV with remote, floor lamp, mini fridge, coffee maker, dresser, phone, clock radio, iron & ironing board, trash can, and a safe. The drip coffee maker had 4-cup pot and coffee packets were provided, along with disposable cups and cream and sugar packets. The outlets were in good locations. The bathroom had a tub/shower combo, sink, toilet, hair dryer, two body towels, one hand towel, two washcloths, one bath mat, three paper cups, ice bucket, and toiletries (soap, shampoo, and conditioner). The room air conditioner worked well and kept the room cool. On the way home, we stayed in a king suite (room 217) on the second floor. It was a little more roomy, and had one more chair than the other room. It was in a noisier location though – it seemed to be located above the swimming pool, so we could hear lots of activity going on under us.
Amenities: Free Wi-Fi, indoor pool, fitness room, and free breakfast. The Wi-Fi was good – didn’t have any problems connecting and it worked fine for us. We didn’t use the pool or fitness room, so not sure about those. We ate breakfast at the hotel the first time we stayed. It was a basic continental breakfast – bagels, muffins, waffles, cereal, coffee, and juice.
Service: Check-in was quick and the staff was friendly. Shortly after we got to the room, they called to make sure everything was okay.
Food & Drink
Backporch Drafthouse – We ate dinner here both nights we were in town. It was located near the hotel. The food was good and they had a great craft beer selection. The first night we ate here, we both had burgers. The second time Michael had a chicken sandwich and I had nachos. The food, drinks, location, and service were all good. I would eat here again.
The Mane Event – We didn’t really sightsee while in Wichita Falls, but we did drive around and see a few of the painted fiberglass horses.
We stayed one night on the way to Colorado and one night on the way home. Sleep Inn in Amarillo is located right off I-40, so it’s a convenient location when passing through town. We booked a king suite both times we stayed here. Like in Wichita Falls, this was a good place to stay while passing through town, so we ended up staying at this same hotel on the way home.
Location: Good. On I-40 West and near restaurants.
Our Room: On the way to Colorado, we stayed in a king suite (room 103) on the first floor. It was a clean, good size room and we had space for the pack ‘n play and our luggage. The room had a king bed with four pillows, nightstands with lamps on either side of the bed, sofa, coffee table, a desk with a lamp and chair, closet with hangers and luggage rack, TV with remote, floor lamp, mini fridge, microwave, coffee maker, ice bucket, dresser, phone, clock radio, iron & ironing board, and trash can. The coffee maker was single serve and coffee pods were provided, along with disposable cups and cream and sugar packets. The outlets were in good locations and the nightstand lamps each had an outlet on them. The bathroom had a walk-in shower, sink, toilet, hair dryer, four body towels, four hand towels, four washcloths, one bath mat, and toiletries (soap, lotion, shampoo, and conditioner). The room air conditioner worked well and kept the room cool. On the way home, we stayed in another king suite (room 203), but on the second floor. The rooms were exactly the same, down to the same artwork on the walls.
Amenities: Free Wi-Fi, indoor pool, fitness room, and free breakfast. The Wi-Fi was good – didn’t have any problems connecting and it worked fine for us. We didn’t use the pool or fitness room, so not sure about those. We didn’t eat breakfast at the hotel, but I walked down the second time we stayed there to get some juice. It looked like a standard hotel breakfast.
Service: Check-in was quick and the staff was friendly.
Food & Drink
Big Texan – We ate dinner here on a Saturday night. This is a popular restaurant on old Route 66 known for the “free” 72 oz steak – if you can eat it under an hour, then it’s free. While we were there, someone did complete the challenge. We ordered steaks, but weren’t up for trying the challenge. This place brews their own beer, so we were able to try some news beers we wouldn’t be able to get elsewhere. This was a fun place to try, but I don’t think I’d eat here again. It’s a big tourist spot, with lots of advertisement in and around Amarillo. Even our hotel room key card was an ad for this restaurant. It was busy when we were there, but the food was just okay, though some of the beers were good.
Hofbrau Steaks – We ate dinner here on a Thursday night. This restaurant was located near the hotel, so we went here because it was convenient. We both ordered steaks. It was fairly busy when we arrived, but the food wasn’t impressive. This restaurant chain has several locations around Texas, but none in the area where we live.
Cadillac Ranch – We stopped here on the way to Colorado. We walked out to see the cars, but we weren’t there long. It was a Sunday morning, and there were lots of people around. A few people had brought spray paint and were decorating the cars. Unfortunately, this place was littered with trash. We were there on July 5, and there were lots of fireworks on the ground, plus spray paint cans all around the cars. There was a dumpster by the gates where people come and go to get to the cars, but it was overflowing. Not sure if it’s always like that, or if it was because it was a Sunday morning after a holiday. Also, be aware of snakes – they were in and around the cars. This is an iconic old Route 66 sight, and it’s free, so it’s probably always got a crowd of people.
Palo Duro Canyon – We went here on our way home from Colorado. It’s located near Amarillo, and we figured we had time to drive down and see it. The canyon was beautiful, and we enjoyed driving around and seeing it. The daily entrance fee was $5 for adults and kids are free – it was well worth the $10 to see some beautiful sights. First, we stopped at the Visitor Center to learn more about the canyon. We then drove down in the canyon and rode around, stopping occasionally, to take in the beautiful scenery. We bought burgers at The Trading Post in the base of the canyon and found a picnic table in the shade to sit and enjoy lunch. We were there on a Friday and it was fairly busy. The trails were closed due to rain that had passed through earlier in the week, but lots of people were driving around and we saw some people set up in the camp areas.
Our time in Wichita Falls and Amarillo was short because our focus was on getting to Colorado, and then on returning home. I’ll write a separate post about our time in Colorado.