Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Taylor County, TX

  • Published 2022/11/06

Texas’s Taylor County is a thriving community with a rich history, attractions, and things to do.

It’s named after the Taylor brothers, who died at the Battle of the Alamo, and it is the perfect place to visit if you’re interested in knowing a large chunk of Texas history.

This country is known for its many museums and art galleries.

This county has no shortage of showcasing its rich culture.

As the county seat, Abilene features the majority of attractions you’ll see in Taylor County.

However, other cities and towns nearby also promote the arts and give visitors a taste of the local culture.

While it may not be as massive as other Texas counties, Taylor County has enough cities and attractions to keep you on your heels throughout your stay.

And if you’re wondering what spots to go and what things to do, here are the 15 best things to do in Taylor County, Texas.

Go On the Ultimate Outdoor Adventure at Abilene State Park

Historic water tower at Abilene State Park

Wirestock Creators /

The great outdoors awaits at Abilene State Park, where you can do almost any type of activity you can think of!

From camping, fishing, backpacking, and hiking, anything and everything are possible in this massive 529-acre park.

If you plan to camp for a day or two, there are numerous tents and RV sites that you can book in advance.

That way, a spot will be ready to occupy once you arrive.

You can also swim in the lake or take a quick dip in the historic swimming pool to cool off during those hot summer days.

The swimming pool, in particular, is one of the most eye-catching structures within the Abilene State park.

The waters of Abilene State Park

mr_t_77 from WV, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This historic swimming pool was built way back in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps.

But just because it’s old doesn’t mean it isn’t well-maintained.

The pool is regularly cleaned and is open to the public for a small fee.

The Abilene State Park is an outdoor adventurer’s paradise.

With so many things to do, it’s the perfect place to go if you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

Learn Something New at the Taylor County History Center

When you visit Taylor County, you will only leave if you learn something new about the region or Texas as a whole.

There’s no better place to learn about the history of Texas than the Taylor County History Center.

This facility is located in a historic frontier town complex known as the Buffalo Gap Historic Village.

The building that houses the museum was built during the 1880s.

It features an art gallery, an exhibit filled with different artifacts, and a gift shop.

Every exhibit features something interesting about the history of the state or the County.

For example, one of the exhibits is about the Great Depression and how it impacted Taylor County.

With over 10,000 artifacts on display, there’s much to see and learn at the Taylor County History Center.

So if you want to understand Texas history better, this is the place to go.

Take Your Kids to the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature

Speaking of kids, another great place to take them while in Taylor County is the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature.

This center is dedicated to showcasing illustrations in popular children’s literature.

Established in 2000 in Abilene, Texas, the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature is the first museum in the country to feature illustrations from children’s books as its primary focus.

This museum collects, preserves, and promotes original art from well-known children’s literature.

They promote children’s literature through art exhibitions and educational programs.

The museum has a rotating exhibit, so check their website to see what’s on display during your visit.

They even host seasonal exhibitions that showcase a particular writer or illustrator’s works.

For instance, the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature is set to present the works of Matthew Cordell this month.

Matthew Cordell is a popular author and illustrator of children’s books.

He is best known for his works like “Wolf in the Snow,” “Cornbread & Poppy,” and “Bear Island”—all of which are showcased in the exhibition.

So if you want to expose your kids to some of the best children’s literature, check out the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature.

See Different Kinds of Animals at the Abilene Zoo

Large signage of Abilene Zoo

mr_t_77, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Zoos have always been popular tourist attractions, and the Abilene Zoo is no exception.

This zoo houses over a thousand animals that are found all over the world.

You’ll see over 250 different species of animals, such as lions, tigers, giraffes, elephants, and more.

The Abilene Zoo also offers a variety of educational programs for both kids and adults.

These programs are designed to teach people about the importance of conservation and the different ways we can help protect endangered species.

There are also multiple concession stands and picnic areas throughout the zoo, so you can take a break and grab a bite to eat when needed.

The Abilene Zoo is great for spending the day, especially if you’re traveling with kids.

Go Fishing at Lake Abilene

Catch some sun and some fish at Lake Abilene.

You can access this lake through the Abilene State Park, a great place to go for a day trip.

Whether you’re an experienced angler or just starting, Lake Abilene is a great place to fish.

The lake is stocked with bass, catfish, and crappies, so you can guarantee that you’ll get some regardless of your fishing skill level.

If you’re just a novice, the staff at Abilene State Park will be more than happy to give you some tips and help you get started.

You can also go boating and relax on a beautiful day in the middle of the lake.

Just bring sunscreen and plenty of water, as it can get pretty hot in Texas.

Have the Best of Fun at PrimeTime Family Entertainment Center

“Creating fun times and great memories” is the motto of PrimeTime Family Entertainment Center.

And they live up to it!

PrimeTime is a family-friendly entertainment center that has something for everyone.

The kids have an arcade room filled with all the latest games, a laser tag arena, go-karts, and a climbing wall.

As for the adults, they have a full-service bar and restaurant, a casino, ax throwing range, and a golf simulator.

So whether you want to relax or have fun, PrimeTime got you covered.

There’s also a bowling alley where all the family members or friends can get together and have some fun.

There are also concessions and a full bar to refuel in between games.

Take a Walk Through the Historic Downtown Abilene

Buildings along the Historic Downtown Abilene

Real Window Creative /

The Historic Downtown Abilene is filled with historic buildings, quaint shops, and delicious restaurants.

Even better, you can walk to all of them!

Start your day by grabbing coffee at one of the downtown cafes. Then, explore the different shops and boutiques. You’ll find everything from clothes and jewelry to books and art.

You can also walk through the Grace Museum in a beautiful historic building.

The museum has three floors of exhibits that focus on art, history, and culture.

Aerial view of the Historic Downtown Abilene

Flofor15, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Best of all, admission is free!

After exploring the museum, grab lunch at one of the many downtown restaurants.

There’s something for everyone, whether you’re in the mood for a burger or something a little more upscale.

Finally, end your day with a walk through Heritage Plaza.

This park is located in the heart of downtown and is a great place to relax and people-watch.

Spend Some Time at Redbud Park

The best place to learn about Abilene and Taylor Country is Redbud Park.

As the county seat of Taylor County, Abilene showcases everything there is to know about this region.

From its humble beginnings as a small frontier town to its present-day status as a bustling city, Abilene has something for everyone.

It’s your typical city park with all the bells and whistles—a playground for the kids, a walking trail for the adults, and a pond for everyone to enjoy.

But what makes this place special is the opportunity to meet and socialize with the Abilene locals.

On a typical day, Redbud Park is filled with people going for a jog, walking their dogs, or just enjoying a day out.

You can also use some of the amenities this park has to offer.

It has a baseball field, multiple benches, a picnic area with tables, a playground, a prairie dog town, well-maintained restrooms, a walking path, and a splash pad for the kids.

Enjoy Nature and Wine at the Winery at Willow Creek

Wine and nature are two unexpected things that match well with each other.

Nothing is more relaxing and refreshing than enjoying a glass of wine surrounded by beautiful scenery.

And that’s exactly what you’ll get at the Winery at Willow Creek.

Located south of downtown Abilene, this family-owned winery is the only craft winery specializing in sweet and dry wines.

If you’re a wine connoisseur, this place is worth checking out.

But even if you’re not a wine drinker, the Winery at Willow Creek is still a great place to visit.

The property is right beside a large creek that features all of the beautiful sceneries of nature.

You can experience all of its beauty and bounty in its outdoor seating.

From large willow trees to wildflowers, there’s something for everyone to see and enjoy.

The best time to visit the Winery at Willow Creek is during the spring and fall.

But you’re bound to have a great time, regardless of the time of year.

Enjoy the Sceneries at Kirby Lake

Sunset reflecting on Kirby Lake

August Zett /

Kirby Lake is another great fishing spot that you can check out.

But unlike Lake Abilene, this artificial reservoir has some fantastic scenery.

Kirby Lake is located south of Abilene and is a great place to spend time with the family.

In addition, you can go fishing or boating in this massive 740-acre lake.

Scenic view of Kirby Lake

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

There’s plenty of wiggle room for multiple boats, so you don’t have to worry about getting cramped up.

If fishing or boating doesn’t interest you, you can have a picnic or take a nature hike instead.

Either way, you’re bound to enjoy the views that Kirby Lake has to offer.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Even at just 919 square miles, Taylor County is still pretty massive and has a lot of attractions nearby and wide.

To get the full scope of this region, here are some other things you can do nearby:

Explore Frontier Texas! Museum

A wild land exhibit in the Frontier Texas! Museum

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

Learn about the rich history and culture of frontier life at Frontier Texas! Museum.

This museum is dedicated to telling the stories of the settlers who bravely moved west during the 1800s.

Frontier Texas! Museum is a state-of-the-art facility that uses high-tech exhibits and displays to bring the past to life.

Comanche empire exhibit in the Frontier Texas! Museum

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

You’ll get to see what life was like back then and what conditions settlers had to endure.

This museum is perfect for both adults and children. The exhibits are interactive and engaging, so even the little ones can learn and have fun at the same time.

Animal exhibit in the Frontier Texas! Museum

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

Visit the Center for Contemporary Arts

The Center for Contemporary Arts in Cypress Street, Abilene, is a great place to witness beautiful art pieces.

In addition, it has a wide variety of exhibits throughout the year that is worth checking out.

The Center for Contemporary Arts also offers a variety of art classes and workshops for children and adults.

Since it showcases contemporary art, you can expect to find a lot of modern and abstract pieces.

Local and international artists make some of these art pieces, so you can get a glimpse of multiple talents coming together to create a beautiful display.

Whatever your taste in art, you’re bound to find something you’ll appreciate.

Admission is free for all visitors, so take advantage of that and drop by today.

Visit the Grace Museum

Exterior of the Grace Museum

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

The Grace Museum in the historic downtown area is a must-see for anyone visiting Taylor County.

This museum is composed of three different museums under one roof.

The first is the Historical Art Museum, which features a vast collection of art pieces from different periods.

The second is the Children’s Museum, which is perfect for the little ones.

Children's museum in the Grace Museum

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

It has a variety of interactive exhibits that will teach them about the world around them in a fun and engaging way.

And finally, the third museum is the Frontier Village, a recreation of a frontier town that will take you back in time.

You can explore the different buildings and see what life was like back in the day.

Admission is free, but they do accept donations.

Historical room in the Grace Museum

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

Witness Jacob’s Dream Sculpture

The Jacob’s Dream Sculpture is a massive bronze statue that stands 40 feet tall.

It is located inside the campus of Abilene Christian University, depicting the biblical story of Jacob’s dream.

The sculpture shows Jacob lying on the ground with angels flying overhead.

Jack Maxwell, an art professor at the University, created Jacob’s Dream.

It’s one of the most popular tourist attractions in Taylor County and is undoubtedly something you would want to check out while in Abilene.

Check Out the 12th Armored Division Memorial

Exterior of the 12th Armored Division Memorial

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

The 12th Armored Division Memorial is located inside a three-story building in Abilene, Texas, and it is packed with artifacts and exhibits that tell the story of the division.

The 12th Armored Division in World War II was nicknamed the “Hellcats.”

This was because of their fierce fighting abilities and tendency to always come out on top.

This memorial museum was established to recognize their bravery.

The museum also has a library where you can research the division and its role in the war.

If you’re interested in World War II history, this is your place.

Admission only requires a small fee.

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it, 15 of the best things to do in Taylor County, Texas.

This list only scratches the surface of all the great things this County offers, but it’s the best of the best for tourist attractions.

From historic museums to beautiful outdoor sceneries and breathtaking sculptures, there’s something for everyone in Taylor County.

So, what are you waiting for?

Start planning your trip today, starting with the 15 best things to do in Taylor County, Texas.

© All rights reserved.