Blake Walsh

25 Best Things to Do in Abilene, TX

  • Published 2023/03/22

Are you someone who longs for adventure and a break from the hassles of daily life?

Are you planning on visiting the Lone Star State but having a hard time choosing which out of so many lively cities to visit?

Abilene, Texas is the perfect destination for all your vacation needs.

This magical city is situated in the Midwest of Texas and is home to beautifully interwoven cultures and history, with a pocket full of adventures and entertainment for you and your family.

Whether you’re looking to explore the great outdoors and spot wildlife in their natural habitats, relax amid nature and watch the most breathtaking sunsets, or satisfy your inner art and culture enthusiast and explore the best museums, Abilene got it all for you.

From countless parks bursting with fresh air and lush greens to museums with tons of stunning displays just waiting to be admired, this city has something to offer to every type of traveler.

Are you interested in learning more about what this city has for you to discover?

These are the best things to do in Abilene, Texas:

Tour the Historic Grace Museum

Exterior of Grace Museum in Abilene

Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Grace Museum in Abilene will take you back in time in the most non-boring and fun way possible.

This historical museum offers five different art galleries with various rotating exhibits and artifacts.

How cool does that sound?

Kidsville, a children's museum in Grace Museum

Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

With all kinds of arts and aesthetics, this museum is home to a beautiful and the most unique library in the world.

The library, full of art and culture, is a unique and exotic site.

It is the best place in Abilene to take aesthetic pictures of the exhibits and yourself.

Display of clothes at Grace Museum

Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It is also an excellent place for kids, for it has a special children’s museum with hundreds of displays of various cartoons and caricatures.

The abstract paintings are truly breathtaking, and this place is a must-visit if you’re a fan of arts and aesthetics.

Go on a Safari Ride in the Depths of the Abilene Zoo

Sign board at Abilene zoo

mr_t_77, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Abilene Zoo is home to hundreds of species of flora and fauna, with over 600 different animals from various habitats.

Lioness at Abilene Zoo

RousePhotography /

When visiting this zoo, going on a safari ride is an experience that you can’t miss out on.

The safari ride will take you into the depths of the jungle and give you the firsthand, lifelike experience of wildlife in their natural habitat.

From the smallest of birds like the talking parrot to large animals like elephants and giraffes, this place has an outstanding experience in store for you and your family.

Giraffe at Abilene Zoo

Zach Fredenburg /

You must take your kids here and teach them about the beauty of wildlife.

Beat the Texas Heat at Lake Abilene

This beautiful lake and park is a beautiful spot for picnicking and going fishing.

Lake Abilene is full of fish and has a vast area for casually hanging around with friends, family, or by yourself.

The liveliness in the freshly cut grass moving by the gently blowing breeze by the lake is an experience worth walking a thousand miles.

You can have a barbecue in the day and set up camp at night, all depending upon your choice and company.

It is a great place for relaxing or tubing.

This lake is a highly recommended spot if you want to beat the scorching heat of Texas and relax in some cool lake water.

Spend a Night Under the Stars at Johnson Park

Are you visiting Abilene with a heart longing for adventure?

Johnson Park is one of the most happening places to go for lakefront camping, spending a night full of thrill and excitement, or just drinking your woes away with your friends.

This park has a lake inside, which is a great place to go fishing or just hang around.

It also has disc golf, which is a great experience for young adults.

Watch the Purple Sunset at Lake Kirby

Mesmerizing sunset at Lake Kirby

CoreBurn from Abilene, TX, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This man-made lake in the south of Abilene is one of the most beautiful reservoirs in the city.

Lake Kirby boasts the most breathtaking sunrises and sunsets that fill the skies with hues of purple.

Getting to see such beautiful scenes is an experience worth a lifetime.

The lake is an excellent place to enjoy various activities like fishing, hanging out, picnicking, boating, swimming, simply watching the sunsets, or even doing some stargazing, especially with your partner.

It’s also a great spot for photography and sightseeing.

A trip to Lake Kirby will truly be therapeutic, and you certainly can’t miss out on the opportunity to come here, especially if you’re in need of a soothing breath of fresh air.

Have a Picnic at Arthur Sears Park

If you love relaxing in green spaces in the middle of the busy city, Arthur Sears Park is the place for you.

Boasting lush greens, this park is a nice place to simply sit down and people watch.

You can sit on the provided benches, kick back by the lake, or go on a leisurely stroll along one of the park’s walking paths.

Alternatively, you can also enjoy a slew of activities here or even take your kids along with you.

The medium-sized park features several facilities that include a basketball court, baseball field, volleyball court, picnic area, splash pad, and playground.

Go Wine Tasting at the Winery at Willow Creek

Wine enthusiasts, this just might be the Abilene attraction you’ve been waiting to hear about.

The Winery at Willow Creek has one of the best selections of handmade wine, along with the most mouth-watering snacks.

Each and every wine here is handcrafted in the place itself.

The outside area is very relaxing and is a great place to chill while having delicious food with a glass of wine.

It is also a great way to support a locally run business in the city.

It’s definitely a must-visit if you are a foodie or a wine lover.

Have a Splashing Good Time at Adventure Cove

Are you looking for a fun attraction to enjoy with the whole family?

This water park in Abilene, Texas has the most spine-chilling slides and rides.

At the same time, Adventure Cove has loads of lifeguards on duty, making it the safest place for thrill-seekers to satisfy all their daredevil needs.

The lazy river is the prime spot here; with just the right current and water level, it is a great place to take your kids or just enjoy some time by yourself.

It is one of the best locations to chill down, cool off from the heat, and have quality time with your friends and family.

Visit the Jacob’s Dream Sculpture

Jacob’s Dream Sculpture, located in Abilene Christian University, is an attraction instilled with spiritual meaning and positive vibes.

The biblical sculpture of Jacob’s ladder is really descriptive, and the rocks surrounding the statue are well-designed to accompany the focus.

It is one of the most beautiful places to come, sit, and connect with the Holy Spirit.

The campus is well-maintained, clean, and hygienic.

The garden is full of colorful flowers, and sculptures are very alluring both to the eyes and the heart.

This place is the most recommended if you are looking forward to reconnecting with yourself through the beauty of nature, spirituality, positive energy, or something as simple as meditation.

Play a Round of Mini-Golf at Play Faire Park

This beautiful and well-maintained park is truly a must-visit, especially if you are visiting with kids, for it offers two miniature golf spots for children at really pocket-friendly prices.

It also holds concerts and themed movie nights, and weekends here are filled with soothing live music for your delight.

It is an ancient golf course, and just being present here takes you back to simpler times.

This park will truly make you nostalgic, and it is a must-visit when you are in Abilene.

Go Boating at Lake Lytle

This reservoir on Lytle Creek in Abilene was built in the 1980s and stands firm to this day.

It is home to various types of fish, making it a very likable spot for fishing.

You can picnic by the lakeside, go boating in the lake, or just take pictures and relax for a while.

It is a simple yet alluring lake with pretty scenery and friendly people.

Lake Lytle is a must-visit if you are looking for a way to alleviate your mood.

Enjoy the Great Outdoors at Grover Nelson Park

Ducks at Grover Nelson Park

Richard Lewis Moredoc /

Abilene is filled with amazing parks, and Grover Nelson Park in Abilene is one of the biggest in town.

The best part about this park is that it is an all-in-one site with a lot of facilities.

There’s a zoo near the park, gardens filled with flowers, and a small pond to cool down from the Texas heat.

You can pet the animals, feed them food, go fishing, feed the ducks, go brisk walking, and do all sorts of activities you can imagine.

This park is a great place for picnics, lunch dates, or play dates for your kids.

Go Back in Time at the 12th Armoured Division Memorial Museum

Entrance of 12th Armoured Division Memorial

Billy Hathorn, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

One of the most exotic places in Abilene is the 12th Armored Division Memorial Museum, which is known for its World War II exhibits.

This place is one of the city’s hidden gems with an impressive collection of guns, weapons, uniforms, carts, medals, vehicles, and equipment used by American and German forces back in the day.

The best part about this place is that it offers the whole experience at very pocket-friendly prices.

You cannot miss out on this place if you are interested in war history or the history of America.

Stop and Stare at the Displays in Frontier Texas!

Paintings at Frontier Texas

Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Frontier Texas! is A well-organized, well-maintained, neat, and clean museum with a variety of top-notch interactive exhibits.

It is one of the most fascinating museums to visit in order to get acquainted with American history.

The museum has all sorts of exhibits that will get visitors to stop and stare.

It has a display of videos all over the place, allowing museum-goers to read, watch, and listen to interesting facts about the museum.

The holograms are worth watching, and so are the short inspirational movies.

Exterior view of Frontier Texas

Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The art exhibits here are very interesting, and there is no reason for you not to stop by this extraordinary museum in Abilene.

Display of different guns at Frontier Texas

Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Watch a Monster Truck Show at the Expo Center of Taylor County

The Expo Center of Taylor County, formerly known as Taylor County Coliseum, is a spacious multi-purpose indoor arena in Abilene, Texas.

Built in 1973, the Expo Center is the former home of the Abilene Aviators hockey team of the Western Professional Hockey League.

It’s also known for hosting many concerts, tournaments, and other events over the years.

In 2015, it became the home of the new expansion team of American Indoor Football called the Abilene Warriors, who have played their games here since 2016.

When you come to the Expo Center of Taylor County, you can experience the monster truck show, moto extreme circus, and rodeo.

The center has been completely updated, including more dressing rooms for entertainers and concession area TV monitors.

Best of all is the extensive collection of new large and beautifully maintained facilities.

See the Giant Bull Skull

A gigantic, angular pachyderm skull lies on top of a patch of grass situated over an old cattle trail as pioneers once did in the city of Abilene.

It was local artist Joe Barrington who sculpted the giant bull skull.

Barrington was taught to work with raw materials by his father, who worked in a welding shop.

It’s not enormous when compared to the other carved skull nearby that the sculptor created.

However, it remains a proud reminder that many hardy people settled here at Abilene in the past and helped shape its culture into what it is today.

You’ll be able to freely find this sculpture south, on Palm Street and 1st Street, just north of Business US-20.

Wander around Adamson-Spalding Storybook Garden

The Adamson-Spalding Storybook Garden is one of Abilene’s hidden gems.

You’ll find this place near the city’s convention center.

The Abilene Chamber of Commerce division, known as the Abilene Cultural Affairs Council. raised funds to create the garden.

The Adamson-Spalding Storybook Garden is open to the public and has very unique sculptures brought to life from children’s illustrated books.

As you walk through the garden, you can take in all of these interesting and unique pieces of art.

It’s also illuminated by colorful lights at night and free for everyone to explore.

Among the sculptures are: three pigs and a big bad wolf, Wilbur from Charlotte’s Web, three kittens, Mr. Tiger, the three bears, Otis the Tractor (Toy Story), and a dinosaur from How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night?

There are tons of wonderful pieces of artwork accompanied by helpful guides and signs.

Explore the Exhibits About Creation at Discovery Center Creation Museum

A different kind of museum experience is waiting for you at Discovery Center Creation Museum.

Established in 1980, this museum details how the Creation story of the Bible came to be.

Its exhibits, tours, and seminars offer scientific and historical proof of the Bible’s teachings.

Walk around replicas of Noah’s Ark, the Garden of Eden, and different dinosaur fossils believed to have graced the earth several years ago.

Learn more about the Search for Titanic and how the voyage ignored different spiritual warnings before taking off.

This museum also houses The Truth Bookstore, which has a large stock of Christian books and reading materials.

Discovery Center Creation Museum is on Butternut Street.

Marvel at the Architecture and Interior of Swenson House

Exterior of Swenson House

MLL, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Swenson House is one of the most memorable historic buildings in Abilene.

Completed in 1910, this brick home was the residence of William Gray and Shirley Swenson.

Swenson House Historical Society manages and preserves this home and has been doing it since 2018.

Sign up for tours around the place and marvel at the period-style interior of the building.

Some of the events you can attend at Swenson House include the Swenson Boo Bash and Haunted Abilene.

You can find this home on Swenson Street.

Let Your Kids Have Fun at Abilene’s Imagination City LLC

Cultivate your child’s creativity and imagination with a drop by Abilene’s Imagination City LLC.

This indoor amusement park serves as a miniature town with play structures and real-world opportunities.

The facility spans about 2,200 square feet.

Let your child explore Gothic castles, pretend to be firemen in the miniature fire station, and enjoy sliding down each structure.

Abilene’s Imagination City LLC is on South Danville Drive.

View Animated and Children’s Art at the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature

On Cedar Street, the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature makes itself known as a worthy stop for curious young learners.

Opened in 1993, this museum also serves as an art gallery.

Some of its well-known programs include art workshops and family-friendly art activities.

View masterpieces from world-class illustrators, like Matthew Cordell and Robert Sabuda.

And learn a thing or two about art while you’re in there, too.

The National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature also hosts a free Saturday fine art project.

Spot All the Storybook Sculptures within Downtown Abilene

Places like Adamson-Spalding Storybook Garden and the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature have solidified Abilene’s reputation for being a storybook wonderland for kids.

But did you know that you can also feel the spirit of children’s literature come to life while in the streets of Abilene?

The Storybook Sculptures are a set of sculptures scattered all over the downtown area—free to admire and take photos of.

One of the sculptures is of the Lorax, installed in 2013, in Everman Park.

Standing great and firm is the E. Aster Bunnymund statue at the corner of Cedar and North 1st Streets.

The charming Jack Frost statue has captured the hearts of many just outside Abilene Public Library on Cedar Street.

And there’s more—just waiting for you to discover them!

Feel nostalgic as you pass by these Storybook Sculptures while on a walk along Abilene’s streets.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Go on a Side Trip to the Taylor County History Center

This historic center near Abilene represents early Taylor County history, making it a great place to learn about Texan history.

It’s located in the neighboring town of Buffalo Gap, which sits a 20-minute drive away from Abilene.

You can explore the buildings, play on the merry-go-round, and read fun facts.

The guided audio tours are the best part about the center.

One of the most interesting facts about this place is that it is used as a venue for beautiful weddings, and you must definitely check them out if you are lucky enough to experience one while visiting.

The Buffalo Gap Historic Village is a great tourist attraction by the creek, and you must definitely check it out while you are at it.

Final Thoughts

A trip to Texas is the perfect excuse for a vacation.

There are lots of museums, zoos, gardens, art galleries, and other attractions in Abilene that will make you feel refreshed and excited.

Plan an itinerary based on fun activities you can do in each location.

You can take in the culture, learn new things, and have a blast while doing it!

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