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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

Abilene Zoo

One of five largest in state; animals displayed in modern areas simulating natural habitat. Discovery Center is a "zoo within a zoo," housing comparative habitat displays of invertebrates, fish, reptiles, birds, and small mammals from the Southwestern U.S. and Africa.

Abilene, TX Zoos

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

Abilene State Park

621-acre park near Lake Abilene; camping, trailer facilities, picnicking, shelters, swimming pool, rest rooms and showers, hiking and fishing. Large grove of some 4,000

Abilene, TX State Parks


Things to do near Abilene, TX

Muleshoe Country Club

Course Access: Semi-PrivateHoles: 9Reserve Advance Tee Times: Yes...

Hardeman County Museum

In county jail built 1891 of native stone, upper floor cells left intact. General history museum occupies lower floor and fea...

XIT Ranch

Famed XIT was world's largest ranch under fence in 1880s, three million acres! The State of Texas, far richer in land than ca...

Fort Chadbourne Cemetery

Located near the historic site of Fort Chadbourne, cemetery contains interesting, poignant old markers. Many pioneers and ear...

City Park and Lake

10-acre park on Elm Creek features camping facilities, playground and picnic areas, swimming pool, and miniature golf course....