Things You Should Know Before Moving to Amarillo, TX -
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Things You Should Know Before Moving to Amarillo, TX

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Amarillo has taken its name from the Spanish word for "yellow" and is known as "The Yellow Rose of Texas." The city is quite famous for the Palo Duro Canyon and The American Quarter Horse Museum. Amarillo was also once known as "Helium Capital of the World" for having one of the most productive helium fields in the country. Amarillo is located on the Texas Panhandle and mainly grew as a cattle marketing center during the 19th century. Since then, the city has grown to be the economic center of the Texas Panhandle, as well as a key economic location for Eastern New Mexico and the Oklahoma Panhandle.

This guide will provide you with some helpful tips and information on just about everything you need to know if you're going to be making the move to Amarillo. From the city's neighborhoods and school systems to the employment options and recreational activities available within the city, you'll find it all in this guide so that you can go into your move with the knowledge that is needed to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible.

Amarillo Climate

Amarillo's climate is primarily categorized as a semi-arid climate. The city experiences hot, dry summers with relatively low humidity. There is a high diurnal temperature variation present in Amarillo, which means that there is usually a stark contrast between the hot temperatures experienced during the day and the much cooler temperatures that prevail at night.

The city's location on the Texas Panhandle means that it's located in Tornado Alley and is susceptible to strong storms in the spring and summer seasons. Also, the area will experience occasional blizzards during the winter, however snowfall is light for the most part. The city has also been named the third windiest city in the country and often experiences strong winds throughout most of the year.

Amarillo Geography and Neighborhoods

The city of Amarillo has grown substantially over the years and most of the population development and commercial growth has been concentrated in the southern and northwestern portions of the city. The downtown area of Amarillo has experienced some hard times recently and was hit especially hard by the economic downturn of the last decade. However, the city has since begun revitalizing the area and the development of Center City has helped those efforts. The city has several distinct neighborhoods and also contains several historic homes and buildings that are featured on the National Register of Historic Places.

Living Costs in the City

Amarillo is located in the Texas Panhandle and is rather isolated in regards to the closest major cities. The closest major metropolitan area to Amarillo is Oklahoma City which is over 260 miles away. This factor contributes to the low cost of living in the city. The costs of living in Amarillo are relatively low when compared to other large cities throughout the country, and the price of rent is on par with most of the region, as are the various living expenses related to average living costs, such as transportation, food and utilities.

The median family income in Amarillo is $53,861, which is right around the national average for median family income. The median home price for an average home in Amarillo is around $103,750, well below the national average, but on par with similar real estate prices that exist in other cities throughout the region.

Registering Your Car

The first few weeks can be a busy time for anyone who is new to Texas. One must make sure to register their vehicle as soon as they can. In order to do that one can find a local car service provider who will inspect your vehicle. There are also vehicle inspection stations available where one must show detailed proof of adequate insurance and your driver's license.

Upon moving to Texas, one must also apply for a Texas Driver's license. One must go to a driver's license division office of the Texas Department of Public safety. Unless you are a student or a military member you must submit any existing license and apply for a new license here. One has 90 days upon arrival to have a Texas driver's license. You must also make sure to learn about the Texas point system as getting a ticket in Texas can be very expensive.

Amarillo Moving Resources

Moving and storage companies are ready and willing to help you with your move to Amarillo, whether you're moving from out of state or from another county in Texas. Make sure you get estimates from multiple moving services before you commit to hiring any (at least three estimates). Check back to our guides for tips on how to choose your moving service wisely with important questions to ask, differentiating between types of estimates, and mistakes to avoid. Visit the following pages at to get quotes for the following services:

Amarillo Schools

The Amarillo public school system is operated mainly by the Amarillo Independent School District. There are over 29,000 students enrolled in 36 elementary schools, nine middle schools and four high schools throughout the district. In addition, the Canyon Independent School District services a much smaller portion of the city and contains over 8,000 students enrolled in primary and secondary education. The Canyon Independent School District contains four elementary schools, four middle schools and two high schools. Amarillo has a number of public and private colleges and universities with campuses located within the city. Some of the leading institutions include Amarillo College, Wayland Baptist University, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at Amarillo, Texas Tech University at Amarillo and West Texas A&M University.

Amarillo Employment

The city of Amarillo is a major agricultural center in the Texas Panhandle and is the economic center for the region as well. One of the major industries in the city is the meat-packing industry and almost one quarter of all of the beef produced in the United States is produced in Amarillo. Also, there is over 14 million acres of farm land located in and around the city, with corn, wheat and cotton being the primary crops.

The current unemployment rate is right around 4.4 percent as of April 2013, significantly lower than the national unemployment rate, and the job growth rate is currently on the rise at 13.57 percent. Some of the major employers in the city are Tyson Foods, the Amarillo Independent School District, BWXT Pantex, Baptist St. Anthony's Healthcare System, Amarillo College, Bell Helicopter Textron and Owens-Corning.

Public Transportation

The city provides public transportation operated by Amarillo City Transit which handles the bus system and transports nearly 350,000 passengers each year on fixed routes that run throughout the city. The ACT also operates a paratransit system for people with disabilities. Amarillo currently has no passenger rail service and no plans for any in the immediate future.

The closest major airport is the Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport, which is located only 10 miles east of downtown Amarillo. The airport is served by several major commercial airlines which operate daily flights with non-stop service to cities like Dallas, Denver, Houston and Las Vegas.

Culture and Contemporary Life

The Amarillo area is home to several attractions and popular sites to visit for both residents and visitors alike. There are a number of awe-inspiring natural wonders to witness near Amarillo, such as the Palo Duro Canyon State Park, which is the second largest canyon in the United States next to the Grand Canyon. The city also operates over 50 parks. Within the city limits of Amarillo, you'll also find the Amarillo Civic Center, the popular Amarillo Livestock Auction, the Wonderland Amusement Park and the Amarillo Zoo.

Moving to Amarillo

Whatever your reasons for moving to Amarillo, whether it be for a change of scenery or for employment, the city beckons you with its charm. The first step in the process of moving to Amarillo is choosing a moving company after first checking their BBB ratings, insurance and license. The moving rates are charged by the hour if you are moving within the state boundary, while for a long distance move the charges will depend on the total weight or volume in cubic feet of your belongings. In the latter case, you can ask about a flat rate or any special discounts that are available with the mover.

Robert Moreschi  Posted by Robert Moreschi on July 10, 2013

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