Abilene Texas is located in the west central part of the state, about 150 miles west of Fort Worth and about 223 miles northwest of the capital city of San Antonio.
In 1881, cattlemen from surrounding ranches chose this place as a shipping depot on the Texas and Pacific Railway. Abilene was part of the Chisholm Trail that was a trail used by ranchers to drive their cattle from as far south as El Paso on the Rio Grande River. It passed north through San Antonio, through what would become Abilene, through Oklahoma, and to the terminus in Abilene, Kansas (after which the Texas town was named). Hundreds of secondary trails fed into the main trail, and the station at Abilene cut the arduous journey significantly, as well as helped to save cattle, many of which perished along the way.
Due to its historic history, there are a number of great Abilene TX attractions in the historic downtown area. The Frontier Texas! Museum uses the most advanced technology to place visitors in the midst of settler and pioneer lives—with realistic attacks by wolves and Indians, cattle stampedes, an Old West shootout, and even a dramatic thunderstorm on the prairie.
The prestigious Grace Museum and Cultural Center is an art museum, a history museum, and a children's museum all in the unique setting of the historic Grace Hotel built in 1909. You can also tour or attend film festivals at the beautifully restored Paramount Theatre, built in 1930 and designed in the ornate Spanish/Moorish style of that period.
Abilene Texas also boasts many other attractions and things to do in other parts of the city. Just north of the airport, the Abilene Zoo can provide a full day of fun for everyone in the entire family. Exhibits of exotic animals in natural surroundings include a wetlands area with an alligator lagoon and numerous birds, a giraffe habitat with a bridge allowing visitors to pet the graceful creatures, a herpetarium, tropical aviary, and a Texas creek environment with a wealth of local wildlife. The Buffalo Gap Historic Village features costumed interpreters who present demonstrations of frontier life from the 1880s to 1925 among a number of authentic structures from those periods.
Those looking for outdoor recreation can choose from golf courses within the city limits or head north a few miles to Lake Fort Phantom Hill for fishing, boating, and camping.
You have a wide variety of choices for Abilene Texas accommodations, including luxury hotels, budget hotels and motels, and bed and breakfast inns. Head about 30 miles north of the city for a relaxing stay at the Deep Creek Guest Ranch. Accommodations on this historic ranch are in comfortable rustic cabins, and activities include cycling, horseback riding, hunting, and hiking. In the city, you have many options close to things to do, and in the area around the Mall of Abilene, a great shopping venue, and can be reached by car from the airport on highway 322 to Route 84.