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Abilene, Texas

Abilene was established by cattlemen as stock shipping point on Texas and Pacific Railroad in 1881, named for Abilene, Kansas. The city later became major cattle producing area with diversified farming. In recent years, oil has added great impetus to city’s economy. When the city celebrated its centennial in 1981, the city set up a demonstration oil-drilling rig on the county fairgrounds just to illustrate the techniques of “making hole.” By pure accident, it struck oil, not much, but enough for modest, profitable production. Cultural aspects influenced by Abilene Christian Univ., Hardin-Simmons Univ., and McMurry Univ., branches of Cisco Junior College and Texas State Technical College; community theater and a philharmonic association and fine arts museum. Abilene is home to the Forts Trail Regional Office at 1025 N 10th, and the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature at North 1st and Cedar sts. This one of a kind children’s museum offers the best works of today’s premier children’s authors and illustrators, and it is home to the permanent collection of works by William Joyce.

The West Texas Fair, 10 days in mid-Sept., features exhibits and amusements reflecting early days of Abilene, plus modern attractions of West Texas.

The Western Heritage Classic in early May features ranch rodeo, campfire cook-off, sheep dog trials, farrier competition, Cowboy Poet’s Society, Western art show, and many other activities recalling early Western heritage.

The second weekend in April features Celebrate Abilene, an outdoor festival held in the historic downtown area bringing the arts, history, railroad, and family entertainment into one fun-filled festival for the entire community.

Abilene lies on U.S. 84, a segment of the Ports to Plains Highway connecting the state’s heartland to coastal ports, as well as on U.S. 83, 277 and I-20.

Attractions and Upcoming Events


Frontier Texas!

Friendly travel counselors and travel information kiosks are ready to assist in your discovery of Abilene, the TexasForts Trail, and the 63-county "TexasFrontier" region. In addition, see the big picture of the frontier of Texas between 1780 and 1880

Abilene, TX Learning Centers


Annual Armored Division Memorial Museum

Museum dedicated to honoring the Annual Armored Division, which trained in Camp Barkeley, near Abilene, and served during World War II. The "Hellcats"

Abilene, TX Museums

Fort Phantom Hill

Established 1851 to protect frontier from Indians, the post suffered a series of hardships; was abandoned in 1854. Historians say desertions were frequent due to monotony and loneliness. The fort burned shortly after abandonment;

Abilene, TX Forts

Things to do near Abilene, TX

Route 66 (Old San Jacinto)

Get your kicks on Route 66! Amarillo was the largest Texas city on Route 66, and many Route 66 fan clubs have sprung up all o...

Texas Air Museum, Caprock Chapter

The museum exists to pre serve, restore, and present a balanced view of historic aircraft and artifacts that represen...

City-County Park

Small lake for fishing; swimming pool, walking trail and picnic areas. At south edge of city on U.S. 84....

Wolf Creek Heritage Museum

Organized in 1982, the museum serves to preserve the history of the county and, as custodian of this history, it conducts edu...

Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge

Founded 1935, oldest national wildlife refuge in Texas. Established principally for migratory waterfowl, also home of native ...