The
U.S. Route 83
Travel Page

North Texas — The Panhandle To Abilene

As a highway that runs from its northern most border to the southern tip of Texas, it’s no surprise that Highway 83 at 897 miles is the longest highway in any state. (Interstate 10 in Texas is longer but Interstates are not highways.) It has been designated the Texas Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway. The northern stretch takes travelers through the historic ranches, several scenic river valleys to the one of the largest cities on the highway, Abilene.
Museum of the Plains — Perryton, Texas
There are many fine regional history museums along Highway 83. One of the best and largest is the Museum of the Plains just north of Perryton. A highlight is the leopard skin barber chair. Now there’s something you don’t see every day.
Museum Of The Plains - 1200 N. Main, Perryton, Texas 79070.
MO
N - FRI: 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. SAT: 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. SUN: 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. Phone: (806) 435-6400.
From the north, the first town on Highway 83 in Texas is Perryton. The “Wheatheart of the Nation” is surrounded by fields of grain and oil and gas fields.

                                


Canadian, Texas
The Canadian River valley and the town of the same name is a beautiful area. The town has some nice antique stores and wonderful views of the valley.
Just north of town, pull off in the city park and take a walk over the bridge which once took traffic over the Canadian. Unlike the rivers of Southern Kansas and the Oklahoma Panhandle, this one actually has water in it.   
                               

Routes 66 & 83

Sham
rock, Texas, is where historic Routes 66 and 83 meet. The old Conoco Station at the corner of these two great highways is now a Chamber of Commerce tourist information stop and gift shop.

Much of old Route 66 has been replaced by Interstates, a fate that
happily has not befallen 83.

For those who want to sample some Route 83 history, the building south of the intersection where Cicero’s Green Frog Pizza now does business has been serving travelers meals in one iteration or another since the two roads came into existence in the 1920s. Stop in for a pie.


               




                














The Red River Plunge of Bonnie and Clyde
 

This is the bridge south of Shamrock and north of Wellington that was under construction when the notorious Clyde Barrow, B
onnie Parker and their lackey W.D. Jones missed a detour sign and flew into the Salt Fork of the Red River ravine. A nearby family came out to pull them from the wreckage and for their efforts were briefly held hostage by the Barrow Gang. The family was released when they nabbed two police officers and fled north with them as hostages to Oklahoma.  Sadly, this old truss bridge was demolished by the state.


                   

Anson, Texas

Highway 83 circles the town square in Anson. The Opera House, a Texas Historical Landmark, was built in 1907. The weekend before Christmas every year, the town hosts the legendary Cowboy's Christmas Ball, where 1880s dress, dance steps and traditions are relived. Read more about the history of the ball HERE.
  
       


Abilene, Texas
Just a few blocks to the east of Business 83 is historic downtown Abilene. The highlights are the Paramount Theater. Built in an art deco style, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It still shows classic films. The Grace Cultural Center, located in the former Hotel Grace at 102 Cypress Street, has a small history museum on the top floor, but is better known for its art exhibitions and children’s museum.
Tuesday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The museum is open free to the public every Thursday 5 to 8 p.m.

            

Travel Tip
Highway 83 splits east or west as a beltway around the city. To stick with the legacy road, take Business 83, which is called Treadaway Street as it passes through town.

There is some fine road dining here. Larry Olney has owned Larry’s Better Burger since 1968, and one some days you can still find him there serving up takeaway food. The stand dates back to the 1950s, though. They don’t make burger joints like this anymore.


            


Learn more about the history and sites to see along U.S. 83 in The Last American Highway: A Journey Through Time Down U.S. Route 83: The Dakotas and the second edition, Nebraska-Kansas-Oklahoma. CLICK HERE TO ORDER



Click on the state to check out the other U.S. Route 83 Travel Pages.
North Dakota.
South Dakota.
Nebraska.
Kansas.
Oklahoma.
Central Texas
Rio Grande Valley