Abilene, Texas has garnered a reputation as a reliable base for military troops, both waiting to ship out and in limbo between combat and home. Utilized by both the United States Army and the United States Air Force, this town is proud of their veterans and active military members.
Citizens show this American pride with festivals, days of appreciation, town-wide discounts, parades, and museum exhibits of Army histories. But that’s not all that Abilene is known for.
This Texas town is a fun, family-friendly place to go for zoos, an awesome arts scene, and a handful of well-kept, lush-green parks.
Abilene was a frontier town for settlers new to Texas
They brought their covered wagons, opened saloons, built log cabins in the valleys, and lived simple lives with their cattle and farmsteads. However, the towns were a bit rowdy, which is where the Old West or “Wild West” history of Texas comes in.
After laws were enforced, the town was peaceful, and the settlers made families of their own. Now, many of the modern locals are descendants of the first-ever settlers to Abilene. And some of the older residents are chock-full of their family’s western lore, legends, and stories. It’s all a part of the city’s rich histories.
As aforementioned, Abilene is one of the family-friendliest cities to venture in Texas. Kids love the Abilene Zoological Gardens, which houses over 1,000 animals on 16 acres of well-kept grounds and natural wildlife habitats. Opened in 1966, the zoo is popular for being both super-fun and very affordable.
Guests are welcome to feed the giraffes, pet and play with the baby goats, ride the safari train through a line-up of exotic animal habitats, and attend informative, live animal classes to learn more about their favorite species. Holidays are a big deal at the zoo, with breakfasts with Santa Claus taking place near Christmas, and spooky trick-or-treat events for costumed kiddies during Halloween.
Abilene is known as being an 'Old West' town
The locals pay tribute to that heritage with the Buffalo Gap Historic Village and Museum. You can walk through the western towns’ dirt paths, with restored saloons, shops, and homes on either side. Some of the buildings are as old as the late 1800s, while others are as young as the early 1900s.
Every year, the community holds western reenactments, dubbed Pillage the Village. Volunteers are costumed in characters as frontier settlers, and they tell stories with their actions. Most of the legends they tell are from the 1880s, when the Buffalo Gap village was at its peak.
Check out the small art gallery and museum too, which houses settler artifacts and traditional frontier crafts, like baskets.
While there are hundreds of things you could do in Abilene, Texas, one of the most enjoyable is sitting down to a good meal at a nice restaurant. And, with over 200 restaurants in the city, you have plenty of options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. However, for the best of the best, head to Heff’s Burgers on Ridgemont Drive.
Named the number-one restaurant in Abilene, this diner-style eatery serves up old-fashioned burgers with your choice of fresh, delicious ingredients. Their hand-cut fries are twisted, perfectly seasoned, and crispy, and you can get whatever you want on a hand-pressed burger. For dessert, try an authentic, hand-churned milkshake with the flavors of your choice. Or, mix and match syrup flavors to make the perfect fountain soda.
Are you game to visit Abilene, Texas? If so, here are four top-ranked hotels in Abilene and each one is comfortable and spacious, with homey accommodations, excellent service, and positive reviews.
Stay in one of the best hotels in Abilene!
The TownPlace Suites
Located off of Scottish Road, TownePlace Suites is a mini vacation in and of itself. The hotel offers homey accommodations for all kinds of travelers, but families are their main clientele. Therefore, the hotel caters to families with kiddos of all ages, with a swimming pool, high-speed wireless internet, free daily breakfasts, and close proximity to a plethora of Abilene attractions. The Paramount Theatre, for instance, is a classic, family-friendly place to go. The actors and actresses of the theatre plan out annual schedules of productions, but The Nutcracker is a constant for Christmastime.
The Hilton Garden Inn
The Hilton Garden Inn is seated on Ridgemont Drive, and is exactly the kind of luxury and coziness you would expect from a Hilton brand hotel. The beds are comfortable, the service is friendly, and fluffed towels, clean linens, and new toiletries are delivered via maid service daily. You have every comfort at your disposal.
Features-wise, the hotel boasts an indoor swimming pool and hot tub, a fitness center, on-site restaurant and lounge with a mini bar, and free high-speed internet.
The National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature, less than 4 miles from the Hilton Garden Inn, is a must-see for storybook lovers.
The Courtyard on Scottish Road has earned the Certificate of Excellence as one of Abilene’s best hotels for a number of years now. Their services are friendly and reliable, their beds are nice, clean, and comfortable, and their features are accommodating and cozy. This is the kind of hotel that you hope to find deals for when you plan your visit.
As for features, this Abilene hotel is pet-friendly, with a swimming pool, bar and lounge, on-site restaurant, free parking for guests, and a fitness center. For dinner, there are plenty of restaurants within a short walk of the hotel, but Pizza by Design is a guest favorite.
MCM Elegante Suites
The picture of luxury and elegance, MCM Elegante Suites has a modern interior but an old-world feel.
Customer service is the kind of courtesy you hope for from everywhere, while the beds here are clean, comfortable, and super-plush.
Each room is well-equipped with a separate sitting area and breakfast nook, as well as high-speed internet, basic cable, and a spacious bathroom with toiletries and fluffed towels.
Breakfast is complimentary, and guests often rave about the made-to-order omelets. Looking for fun? Take a dip in the hot tub to unwind your nerves and soothe your muscles. That’s fun on a self-service spa level!
Ready to explore the Old West coupled with all the modern delights of Abilene? Book now. Save now. TravNow.