If you are looking for a short getaway with your friends or family members, then Abilene is a great choice. From exploring the unique museums to observing wildlife at a zoo, there are many amazing things to do in Abilene.
This modern city in Texas offers lots of fun and relaxing activities to visitors.
Stroll through the gardens, visit the historical Abilene attractions, learn the history through museums, enjoy a delicious meal in a restaurant, and more here.
That’s not all. This city is also a perfect vacation spot for adventure junkies and one of the top things to do in Texas.
So, if you are looking for a memorable vacation with your loved ones, then do plan a visit to Abilene.
Check out these 14 best things to do in Abilene to make the trip more interesting for you and your companions!
14 Best Things To Do In Abilene TX You Shouldn’t Miss
The Grace Museum
The Grace Museum is one of the top Abilene attractions to visit to learn about various topics. This museum has changed its location several times over the years and now is housed in a historical hotel.
Founded in 1937, the museum features five art galleries with rotating exhibits and permanent artifacts. You will also find artifacts from Abilene, West Texas, and Taylor County in the history gallery here.
One of the best places to visit in Abilene, The Grace Museum has an art library, a children’s museum, and an education center for you to explore. Your children are going to love the cartoons and caricatures in the children’s museum along with fun, interactive exhibits.
If you love arts and aesthetics, then visiting this museum is one of the top things to do in Abilene.
One of the best things to do in Abilene with kids is to spend a day at Abilene Zoo which is home to over 1,000 animals from diverse species.
At this zoo, you have a chance to interact closely with the animals. Feed the giraffes or visit different animals in the zoo such as jaguars, sloths, zebras, lions, and more. You will find over 70 types of reptiles in the reptile house including pythons and cobra.
In the Caribbean Cove, watch the species from warm tropical jungles while Elm Creek Backyard is perfect for viewing native Texas animals. There are many other fun things to do here as well.
You can enjoy a ride on a carousel, boat in the lake, feed fish, or experience the epic safari here.
Abilene State Park
Are you looking for fun things to do in Abilene with kids? Then, check out Abilene State Park on the shores of Elm Creek.
Located 16 miles from the city, this state park offers fun activities for people of all ages. You will find a fishing pond, a lake, and a swimming pool to enjoy different water activities.
Apart from that, there are many great trails and camping grounds available here as well for outdoor enthusiasts. You can enjoy a relaxing stroll or watch birds on a 1-mile-long trail here.
Trust me, this state park is great for spending some quality time with your loved ones. You can wade in the pool, enjoy a quiet walk, play games, or go on a picnic here.
Historic Fort Phantom Hill
Constructed in the 1850s, Historic Fort Phantom Hill is a historical Abilene attraction that you cannot miss out on. It is one of the top historical sites in the city that was earlier used as a fort to protect the settlements here.
This fort was originally known as the ‘Post on the Clear Fork of the Brazos’. It was occupied by the U.S. Army between 1851 and 1854 and a fire destroyed most of the log walls in 1854.
Currently, there is still a significant part of the fort left for exploring. Visitors can take a tour of this fort that features a guardhouse, a commissary, chimney remnants, a stone powder magazine, and more.
For history buffs, one of the best things to do in Abilene is to explore the historic Fort Phantom Hill.
Lake Fort Phantom Hill
Located on Elm Creek in Jones Country, Lake Fort Phantom Hill is one of the top Abilene tourist attractions to visit.
It was impounded in 1938 and is a popular spot for fishing different species. A few varieties of fishes that you can find here are blue catfish, white bass, largemouth bass, crappie, and more.
This lake is also great for enjoying different activities such as windsurfing, sail boating, water skiing, and more. There are many parks surrounding the lake where you can play games, hike, or enjoy a picnic.
If you wish to spend the night here, then you will find a few primitive camping spots in the surrounding parks as well. Spending a day on this lake is definitely one of the best things to do in Abilene, Texas.
Morgan Jones Planetarium
One of the most fun things to do in Abilene with kids is visiting Morgan Jones Planetarium which is a half-hour drive from Abilene State Park.
It is one of the few planetariums in Texas that you can visit and schools often take students for an educational tour here. There are many programs and shows to enjoy here, for both kids and adults.
Watch the magnificent laser show and screenings, learn about astronomy, check out the exhibition with astronomical artifacts, and more at this planetarium.
If you love looking at stars, planets, and constellations, then this is one of the most fun places to go in Abilene.
Pappy Slokum Brewery
If you are planning a vacation with your friends, then one of the best things to do in Abilene with adults is to try beers and ales at Pappy Slokum Brewery.
This small brewery in Abilene was founded in 2011 and serves award-winning craft beers, artisan ales, and more to visitors. It is the sole craft brewery in the city and its taproom is always filled with customers who just don’t want to leave.
You can spend a relaxing evening here with your friends while enjoying a couple of beers together. The brewery features unique beer flavors and has an impressive alcoholic beverages menu.
That’s not all. Visitors can also enjoy special events planned here while munching down on the delicious food from the food trucks parked outside.
One of the best places to visit in Abilene, the Paramount Theatre offers movie screening and live entertainment shows for the visitors.
This 1189-seater theatre opened in May 1930 and has a beautiful domed ceiling decorated with moving clouds and glitter. It was renovated in 1968 and has the latest equipment to accommodate musicals, opera, dance performances, and more.
You can visit this theatre with your friends, family members, or significant others to enjoy an entertaining evening here.
Apart from screening movies and live shows, this theatre also holds special events throughout the week. From parties to dinners, to sci-fi weekends, you can attend all sorts of events here.
So, if you are looking for fun things to do in Abilene at night, then you can always watch a movie or a show here.
Bella’s Chicken Dinner House
Are you looking for fun stuff to do in Abilene? Well, what could be better than trying out the delicious meals at a local restaurant.
Bella’s Chicken Dinner House is the best place to try southern meals with fried chicken in this city. This restaurant is perfect for the entire family and gives off a rusting barn feel to the guests.
With affordable dishes and amazing ambiance, this is one of the best restaurants to try in Abilene. You can visit this place with your friends and family members to enjoy a hearty meal here and can even bring your own booze.
A few dishes that you must try here are chicken fried steak, dumplings, fried chicken rolls, and catfish.
Jacob’s Dream Sculpture
One of the top Abilene attractions to visit, Jacob’s Dream Sculpture is a 40-feet tall sculpture made by Jack Maxwell. This sculpture features four angels that can be seen climbing a ladder towards heaven.
Located at Abilene Christian University, this bronze masterpiece is a must-visit in the city. It is a unique attraction and great for taking photographs. Apart from being a great photo-op, this iconic sculpture is surrounded by a park where you can take a stroll and relax.
The park is filled with sculptures and colorful flowers that are enticing to look at.
If you wish to connect with nature or want to cover historical attractions in the city, then visiting Jacob’s Dream Sculpture is one of the best things to do in Abilene.
Another beautiful lake to visit, Lake Abilene is one of the top fun places to go in Abilene. This gorgeous lake is perfect for fishing and has a huge variety of fish for you to explore.
Apart from that, visitors can also enjoy a picnic here and spend some time with their friends or family members. The lake is surrounded by a green park that is perfect for playing games or simply sitting and enjoying the view.
If you want, you can also barbecue here and camp here for the night. There are many activities to enjoy here such as tubing, skiing, and so on. Honestly, this lake is the best way to avoid the heat in Texas and relax a little.
If you are looking for fun things to do in Abilene at night, then camping in Johnson Park is definitely a great idea.
Johnson Park is located beside Lake Fort Phantom Hill and is one of the best places to go in Abilene. You can enjoy a lot of adventures in the park such as camping, fishing, windsurfing, and more.
Spend a night with your friends or family members as you play games, sit around a bonfire, and watch the sunset at the lake.
Adults can also play disc golf here in the park. Honestly, this park is fun for the entire family. From playing games to camping to hiking, you can do all sorts of amazing things here.
The Mill Wine Bar & Event Center
For wine lovers, one of the best things to do in Abilene is to enjoy wine at Mill Wine Bar & Event Center while being surrounded by beautiful grapevines.
This is a popular attraction in the city that has a rustic yet charming ambiance. It is located next to the historical mill tower and offers an excellent selection of wine, rotating craft beers, appetizers, and desserts.
Couples can visit this wine center for a romantic evening with live music and delicious food to enjoy. There is an outdoor space with a fireplace where you can enjoy a romantic time with your significant other while sitting under the stars and sipping on a glass of wine.
Trust me, enjoying a romantic date at the Mill Wine Bar & Event Center is one of the top experiences in Abilene.
Located in the downtown part of the city, Frontier Texas is another one of the best Abilene tourist attractions that you have to visit. This unique museum in Texas was opened in 2004 and has exhibits showing the American West.
Discover how life was in the Old West by exploring the many galleries and displays at the museum. What’s interesting is that this heritage visitor center uses the latest technology to help you imagine the life in Old West.
Watch the 90-minute long interactive movie which will introduce you to the Wild West days and how people lived during that exciting time. Relive the saloon shootout, a wolf attack, buffalo stampede, and more adventurous things that were normal at that time.
On the other hand, the exhibits feature artifacts from frontier times including guns, cowboys, Native American tribes, and more. If you are interested in learning frontier history, then this is one of the best things to do in Abilene.