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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

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


Grace Museum

Comprised of the Fine Arts Museum, Abilene Historical Museum, and the Children's Museum, all are in the historic Grace Hotel, known as the Grace Cultural Center. Built in 1909, the Grace is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and portions are restored to its 1929

Abilene, TX Museums

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

Shore Art Gallery

Traveling exhibits and works by students and faculty displayed throughout year.

Abilene, TX Arts

Things to do near Abilene, TX

XIT Rodeo & Reunion

Honors old-time XIT ranch hands and celebrates the heritage of the huge ranch. Even features PRCA Rodeo, fiddlers contest, an...

Gaines County Museum

The pioneers' use of iron is evidenced in many artifacts; pots, pans, kettles, stoves, branding irons, and blacksmithing equi...

Big Spring Country Club

Course Access: PrivateHoles: 18Reserve Advance Tee Times: 2 days...

Breckenridge Park

Beautiful tree-shaded grounds with Aquatic Center featuring a swimming pool and slide, covered pavilion, picnic areas, play g...

Georgia Monument

Erected in 1976 to fulfill long-standing promise to honor the Georgia Battalion that volunteered in Texas' war for independen...