Things to Do

A Short Guide to Planning a Big Country Weekend: Visiting Abilene

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A frontier town, back in the day, Abilene has some modern-day charms that make it a great family road trip destination. Known as the Key City (as in the gateway to the West, or key to the West), it’s located due west of Fort Worth by 150 miles, and if you haven’t made a trip out there, it’s long overdue. It’s quite easy to spend a few days shopping, sightseeing, eating, and drinking here, with no shortage of things to see and do. But just in case, here’s a short guide to give you a handle on planning a Big Country weekend.

A Short Guide to Planning a Big Country Weekend: Visiting Abilene

Photo: Facebook/Frontier Texas!

First off, take a gander at Frontier Texas! – a 14,000-square-foot interactive museum full of multimedia displays and exhibits outlining life in the wild west (West Texas, that is). Dating as far back as prehistoric times right on up through to the first lots in Abilene being put up for auction, the museum does a fantastic job of bringing history to life!

A Short Guide to Planning a Big Country Weekend: Visiting Abilene

Photo: Facebook/Abilene State Park – Texas Parks & Wildlife

After touring the museum, including the Experience Theater, where you get to see and be a part of simulations such as a prairie thunderstorm, you might want to take a drive to Abilene State Park, where you and your family can really be a part of nature, and stay in yurts outfitted with a few modern-day conveniences! Relax in the air conditioning, or watch the wind blow through the elms, oaks, and pecan trees before planning a hike or bike ride, some fishing, or a picnic along Elm Creek.

A Short Guide to Planning a Big Country Weekend: Visiting Abilene

Photo: Facebook/Candies by Vletas

While you’re in town, shop around for some souvenirs or rare finds at the Antique Station – a multi-vendor complex stocked with fine antiques and collectibles. If you prefer more modern souvenirs, try the Texas Star Trading Co., where you can get Lone Star State-shaped bric-a-brac, or visit Candies by Vletas where you can not only buy fantastic confections that will always remind you of your trip to Abilene, but also pick up some free samples of their founding family’s recipes.

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