19 Best Places and Things To Do in Abilene, Texas

Abilene, Texas, is a vibrant city located in the heart of the Lone Star State. It offers a range of attractions and activities that cater to various interests. From historical landmarks to cultural experiences and outdoor adventures, Abilene has something for everyone.

1. The Grace Museum

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Start your exploration of Abilene by visiting The Grace Museum, housed in a beautifully restored 1909 hotel building. The museum features an impressive collection of art, history, and children’s exhibits. You can immerse yourself in the local culture and history while exploring the rotating exhibitions and engaging educational programs.

2. Abilene Zoo

Abilene Zoo, Abilene, Texas, USA -large sign -9June2011.jpg

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Nature lovers will enjoy a visit to the Abilene Zoo, home to over 1,000 animals from around the world. The zoo is known for its conservation efforts and provides an up-close encounter with various species. Explore the African Savannah, the South American Rainforest, and the reptile house, or take a relaxing train ride around the zoo to get a comprehensive view of the exhibits.

3. Abilene State Park

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History buffs will appreciate a visit to this remarkable museum dedicated to preserving the legacy of the 12th Armored Division of World War II. Explore the extensive collection of artifacts, vehicles, and displays that provide insights into the experiences of soldiers during the war. The museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the past and honors the sacrifices made by those who served.

4. Frontier Texas

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Frontier Texas takes storytelling to a whole new level. The exhibits are designed to engage visitors of all ages through captivating narratives and informative presentations. The museum’s state-of-the-art technology combines with skilled storytelling to create a memorable experience that educates and entertains.

5. Jacob’s Dream Sculpture

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The Jacob’s Dream Sculpture is a large-scale bronze artwork created by artist Robert Summers. It depicts the biblical story of Jacob’s dream as described in the Book of Genesis. The sculpture stands at an impressive 30 feet tall and spans over 70 feet in length, making it a striking and visually captivating piece of art.

6. Fort Phantom Hill

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Fort Phantom Hill was established in 1851 by the U.S. Army as a strategic outpost during the Texas frontier era. Its primary purpose was to protect settlers and travelers along the Texas frontier from Native American raids. The fort was named after a nearby hill that was thought to have phantom-like appearances due to mirages.

7. Swenson House Historical Society

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The Swenson House Historical Society is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the Swenson House, a historical landmark located in Abilene, Texas. The society’s primary goal is to educate the public about the history and significance of the Swenson House and its cultural heritage. The Swenson House is an iconic mansion that was built in 1910 for the Swenson family, who were prominent figures in Abilene’s early history.

8. National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature

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The National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature (NCCIL) is a nonprofit organization located in Abilene, Texas. It is dedicated to promoting and celebrating the art of children’s literature through exhibitions, educational programs, and outreach initiatives. The NCCIL was founded in 1997 with the mission of inspiring a love for reading through the visual arts. The center focuses on the illustration aspect of children’s literature and showcases the work of renowned illustrators from around the world.

9. Adamson-Spalding Storybook Garden

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The Adamson-Spalding Storybook Garden is a delightful attraction located in Abilene, Texas. It is a whimsical garden that brings popular children’s storybook characters to life through sculptures and interactive displays. The garden is named in honor of Jay and Jenny Spalding Adamson, who generously donated the land for the creation of the Storybook Garden. It is designed to engage and inspire young readers, fostering a love for literature and imagination.

10. Red Bud Park

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Red Bud Park spans over 250 acres and provides ample space for various activities. It features picnic areas with tables and grills, making it a great spot for family gatherings, picnics, and cookouts. The park also offers restroom facilities and ample parking for visitors. Red Bud Park boasts a large and well-maintained playground area. It includes modern and safe play structures, swings, climbing walls, and other recreational equipment for children. The playground is designed to provide entertainment and promote physical activity for kids.

11. Dyess AFB Memorial Museum and Linear Air Park

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The Dyess AFB Memorial Museum and Linear Air Park is a museum and outdoor display located at Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene, Texas. The museum is dedicated to preserving the history and heritage of Dyess Air Force Base and the aircraft associated with it. The museum showcases a variety of exhibits, artifacts, and memorabilia that tell the story of Dyess Air Force Base and its contributions to military aviation. Visitors can explore the displays to learn about the base’s history, its role in different conflicts, and the brave men and women who have served there.

12. The Discovery Center

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The term “Discovery Center” is used for various educational and interactive institutions around the world. Without further context, it is challenging to provide specific information. However, I can give you a general overview of what a typical Discovery Center entails. Discovery Center is typically a hands-on science center or educational facility that aims to engage visitors, especially children and families, in interactive learning experiences. These centers often focus on science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) subjects, but they can also cover a wide range of other topics, such as history, nature, and culture.

13. Center for Contemporary Arts

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The Center for Contemporary Arts (CCA) is a cultural institution located in Abilene, Texas. It serves as a hub for contemporary visual arts, exhibitions, educational programs, and community engagement. The CCA features a rotating selection of contemporary art exhibitions throughout the year. These exhibitions showcase a diverse range of artistic mediums, including painting, sculpture, photography, mixed media, and digital art. The center strives to present thought-provoking and innovative works by local, regional, and national artists.

14. Everman Park

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Everman Park provides a spacious and well-maintained green area where visitors can relax, have picnics, or simply enjoy the outdoors. The park offers plenty of open space for recreational activities and social gatherings.

15. Cobb Park

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Cobb Park provides a spacious and well-maintained green area, making it a great spot for outdoor activities and relaxation. The park offers plenty of open space for picnics, playing sports, or simply enjoying nature.

16. Grover Nelson Park

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Grover Nelson Park is a public park located in Abilene, Texas. It is a well-known and popular recreational area that offers a range of amenities for visitors to enjoy. The park features walking trails that wind through the scenic surroundings of the lake and the park itself. These trails provide opportunities for leisurely walks, jogging, or biking, allowing visitors to enjoy the natural beauty of the park.

17. Vera Hall Minter Park

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Vera Hall Minter Park is a neighborhood park that offers a peaceful and inviting green space for residents and visitors. It is named after Vera Hall Minter, a community leader who played a significant role in advocating for parks and recreation in Abilene. The park features open grassy areas, shaded picnic tables, and benches where visitors can relax and enjoy the outdoors. It provides a tranquil setting for picnics, social gatherings, or simply unwinding amidst nature.

18. Lake Kirby Park & Nature Play Area

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Lake Kirby Park is a public park located in Abilene, Texas, known for its scenic views and recreational opportunities. One of the highlights of the park is the Nature Play Area, which offers a unique outdoor experience for children. The park is situated around Lake Kirby, a beautiful reservoir known for its fishing opportunities. The lake offers a serene setting for anglers to catch bass, catfish, and other fish species. Fishing piers and shoreline access are available for visitors.

19. Taylor County Courthouse

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The Taylor County Courthouse is an iconic example of Classical Revival architecture. It was designed by architects David S. Castle and James Riely Gordon and was completed in 1915. The building is known for its impressive exterior features, including a grand entrance with large columns, ornate detailing, and a prominent dome.

These are just a few of the highlights of what Abilene, Texas has to offer. Whether you’re interested in history, art, outdoor recreation, or simply exploring the local culture, Abilene provides a diverse range of attractions and activities to suit different interests and ages.