The website Best Cities has ranked Amarillo as the 50th Best Small City in America. That ranking of the Best Small American cities is for metro populations under a million people.
The website cites Amarillo as “quintessentially Texan.” Everything you might associate with the Lone Star State – wide open spaces, cacti, cowboys, steak, and oil – is here.
The city is centrally located and a transportation lynchpin for a century, with an economic engine of a growing tourism industry built on increasing access to stunning natural areas.
The allure of the Old West draws thousands of travelers to the ruggedly beautiful Palo Duro Canyon State Park, the second-largest canyon in the country after The Grand Canyon—people describe it as a 100-mile smile across the panhandle—and a popular spot for hiking and biking.
Over the years, the city itself has drawn a number of Fortune 500 companies—Tyson Foods, Wal-Mart and Bell Helicopter Textron among them—that employ thousands of residents and help keep the unemployment rate at around 3%, one of the lowest in Texas. What makes the city’s workforce so successful is diversity. Industries ranging from agriculture, manufacturing, warehousing and cattle provide lots of job opportunities.
“You have multiple avenues, multiple industries that employ a lot of people,” says Marin Rivas, Director at Workforce Development, an organization that helps employers recruit, hire, and retain qualified personnel.
Amarillo lands at #18 in our Prosperity category, led by the fifth-lowest Unemployment rate among U.S. small cities, #28 for Fortune 500 Companies, and #42 for Median Household Income.
Best Cities is a website about travel, tourism and top urban destinations.