Abilene Kansas is famous for being the first "cow town" in the new western frontier. After being founded in 1857, Abilene quickly grew when the first stockyards were introduced. Delving into Old West history is just part of what makes Abilene Kansas such a neat destination, and there's plenty more to see and do here as well. A presidential library figures among the Abilene Kansas attractions, and if you like the performing arts, the Great Plains Theatre is known for its quality productions. There's something for everyone in and around Abilene Kansas, and this small city makes for an excellent base when visiting the eastern part of the state.
Abilene can be found along Interstate 70 between the larger cities of Salina and Manhattan. It's hardly an hour's drive to either city, which makes them ideal side trip candidates. The eastern part of Kansas is full of great attractions, so finding worthy side trip destinations won't be hard when visiting Abilene. As for the attractions in Abilene, they can fill hours of your time on their own, so you might not want to leave too often. One of the top Abilene Kansas attractions is Old Abilene Town. This most historic part of the city features original nineteenth-century buildings, such as an 1874 schoolhouse and an 1868 cabin. Some of the buildings in Old Abilene Town are replicas, but they have been meticulously crafted to fit in with the original structures. Various live performances are offered at Old Abilene Town in the summertime, and they include things like reenactments of a gun fight. Wild Bill Hickok was once an Abilene Marshall, and his shooting of a gambler in front of the old Alamo Saloon is one of the more famous historical Abilene gun fights. Train rides and stagecoach rides can be enjoyed at Old Abilene Town and are a hit with visitors of all ages.
Visiting Old Abilene Town is definitely one of the top things to do in Abilene, as is visiting the Eisenhower Presidential Center. This center, which is also known as the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum, features a visitors center, Eisenhower's boyhood home, his gravesite, a museum, a presidential library, and a statue of the 34th President of the United States. Other top Abilene Kansas attractions include the Seelye Mansion and Museum and the Greyhound Hall of Fame. The former is a 25-room mansion that dates back to 1905. It features many original furniture pieces and fixtures, such as the Edison light fixtures. As for the Greyhound Hall of Fame, it provides exhibits that revolve around greyhound dogs and the history of greyhound racing. You can find this unique museum near the Eisenhower Presidential Library.
Should you still be interested in visiting some other museums in Abilene Kansas, the Dickinson County Historical Museum is a joy to explore. You can learn all about early pioneer life in the Kansas plains at the Dickinson Historical Museum, among other things, and there are some historic buildings to see here as well. The Museum of Independent Telephony is housed in the same building that the Dickinson Historical Museum is, and its exhibits cover the development of the telephone industry. When you're not visiting museums in Abilene Kansas, you might take some time out to do a little antique shopping. The city is also home to some great specialty shops. Should you get the urge to enjoy some outdoor recreation when in Abilene, Milford Lake, and the Milford State Park are a relatively short drive away.
Of all the lakes in Kansas, Milford Lake is the largest. It covers a territory of 16,000 acres and is understandably one of the top destinations in the land for outdoor recreation. You can go camping at Milford State Park, and the park also has a marina where you can rent various kinds of watercrafts. Fishing is among the favorite activities at Milford Lake, and hiking on the state park trails is treat if you enjoy nature walks. At the Milford Wildlife Area, which covers more than 18,000 acres, you can view a variety of game species, not to mention go hunting. Three modern cabins can be rented at Milford State Park if you prefer a cabin to campsite, and they are equipped with things like a full kitchenette and private bathrooms. These cabins can be a great alternative to the Abilene hotels if you want to stay close to nature and visit Abilene on the side. You might also consider camping or booking a stay in a cabin at Milford State Park if you plan on spending some time in the nearby city of Manhattan.
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