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Abilene, Texas
Abilene, Texas
1101 North 1st
Abilene, TX 79601

Attractions in Abilene

One-of-a-kind historic sites, world-class museums, art galleries, and a zoo are among the many attractions in Abilene that make it an appealing destination for just about any kind of traveler. Explore the history of the West Texas frontier at Frontier Texas!, where history comes to life thanks to life-sized holographic displays. Then walk between stunning rows of solitary stone chimneys at Fort Phantom Hill, a mid-19th century U.S. Army base that protected folks as they traveled west. Looking for something to do in Abilene with your kids? Hunt for the statues of characters from classic children’s literature, part of why Abilene is known as the “Official Storybook Capital of America.” Are you a music fan? Attend a performance by the Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra.

Although Abilene has plenty of West Texan charm, there’s much more here than cowboys and history. Check out the list of Abilene’s attractions below and create your own adventure in “The Friendly Frontier.”

1910 Swenson House
Step back in time at this magnificent early 20th-century house that once belonged to William Gray Swenson, an early Abilene banker and entrepreneur. Guided tours led by museum docents dressed in period costumes take you through rooms furnished with authentic Swenson family pieces. Call one day in advance of your visit to arrange a tour.
1726 Swenson Street
Abilene, TX 78603
(325) 232-8454

12th Armored Division Memorial Museum
Discover the heroism and sacrifices of the men and women who served in the 12th Armored Division during World War II at this historical museum in Abilene. Their story is told through exhibits of artifacts, photographs, weapons, vehicles, and dioramas. A Holocaust memorial marks the division’s status as the liberating unit of the Landsberg concentration camps in 1945. 
1289 North 2nd Street
Abilene, TX 79601
(325) 677-6515

Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra
Soaring melodies and heart-warming orchestral masterpieces are just part of the show for the Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra. The professional orchestra, a mainstay in town for nearly 60 years, performs at the Abilene Civic Center from September to April.
401 Cypress Street, Suite 520
Abilene, TX 79601
(325) 677-6710

Abilene Zoo
Embark on a tour of the world’s wildlife at the Abilene Zoo, home to more than 1,000 animals representing 250 species. Lions, camels, giraffes, and black rhinoceros are among the large mammals that reside in the zoo. Stop by the Reptile House to see a king cobra and 70 other reptiles, check out animals from the tropics in the Caribbean Cove, and get up-close to critters native to Texas in Elm Creek Backyard. The zoo is open year-round except for Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.
2070 Zoo Lane
Abilene, TX 79602
(325) 676-6085

Cockerell Galleries
Abilene’s most promising artists and photographers are showcased in the Cockerell Galleries, located in the downtown area. A small gallery exhibits a rotating selection of art, and there are 12 working artist studios on-site. The gallery is open in the afternoon Wednesday through Saturday.
1133 North 2nd Street
Abilene, TX 79601
(325) 829-7975

Fort Phantom Hill
Explore the ghostly remains of historic Fort Phantom Hill, a military site established in the early 1850’s to protect settlers during the western settlement of Texas. At its peak, the fort housed nearly 250 soldiers. Today, all that remains are three stone buildings, more than a dozen chimneys, and the foundations from the original fort.
10818 FM 600
Abilene, TX 79601
(325) 677-1309

Frontier Texas!
Feel the terror of a wolf attack, get caught up in a buffalo stampede, and experience other tales of the Wild West at Frontier Texas! The museum’s life-sized holographic figures bring history to life in a way you won’t see anywhere else. In addition to the holograph shows, you’ll browse a collection of historic firearms from the Fort Phantom Hill Foundation collection.
625 North 1st Street
Abilene, TX 79601
(325) 437-2800

National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature
The original works of celebrated children’s book authors and illustrators are exhibited at this one-of-a-kind museum located in historic downtown Abilene. In addition to the 150-work-strong permanent collection, the museum hosts touring exhibitions throughout the year.
102 Cedar Street
Abilene, TX 79601
(325) 673-4586

Paramount Theatre
Concerts, screenings of classic films, stand-up comedy performances, and more can be seen at Abilene’s historic Paramount Theatre. Built in the 1930’s, and restored in the late 80’s, the three-story theater features the flair of the Spanish Colonial Revival style of architecture, hand-blown glass chandeliers, and two grand staircases. A full calendar of upcoming shows is available on the venue’s website.
352 Cypress Street
Abilene, TX 79601
(325) 676-9620

Primetime Family Entertainment
You name it, you can probably do it at Primetime Family Entertainment in Abilene. A 16-lane bowling alley, 36-hole miniature golf course, pool tables, and electric go-karts are just a few of the features here, and that’s just getting started. An indoor soccer field, laser and archery tag arenas, bumper cars, and an escape room are a few of the other attractions here. No matter your age or interest, you’ll find something to do at this all-in-one attraction.
4541 Loop 322
Abilene, TX 79602
(325) 690-5555

Storybook Capital of America
Abilene is known as the “Official Storybook Capital of America” because it has the largest public collection of sculptural storybook characters in the state. Visit downtown Abilene and snap a selfie with six sculptures of Dr. Seuss characters, which are among over 40 statues in the area.
Downtown Area
Abilene, TX 79601

Buffalo Gap Historic Village
The Buffalo Gap Historic Village provides a glimpse into life on the West Texas frontier in the late 19th- and early 20th-centuries. Explore more than 20 buildings from different eras of Buffalo Gap’s history, such as the original Taylor County Courthouse (1880’s) or the Clyde Railroad Depot (1920’s). All the while, you’ll see a rich collection of Native American artifacts and frontier firearms and a gallery with historic maps and works by local artists.
133 William Street
Buffalo Gap, TX 79508
(325) 572-3365

The Center for Contemporary Arts
Indulge in your inner arts enthusiast with a visit to Abilene’s The Center for Contemporary Arts. Browse the center’s four galleries that showcase works by local and guest artists that range from ceramics and paintings to photographs mixed media. 
220 Cypress Street
Abilene, TX 79601
(325) 677-8389

The Grace Museum
The best of Texas art and the history of Abilene and West Texas lives within The Grace Museum. Browse a collection of Texas-inspired art by the likes of Ansel Adams and Andy Warhol, then explore a compendium of 12,000 historical artifacts, including textiles, photographs, and furniture. A vast set of photographs by Texas artists resides within the museum as well. In addition to its galleries, the museum hosts events and art classes for children and adults.
102 Cypress Street
Abilene, TX 79601
(325) 673-4587

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Contact Information

Abilene, Texas
Abilene, Texas
1101 North 1st
Abilene, TX 79601

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