was founded by cattlemen as a cattle shipping spot on the Texas and Pacific
Railroad. Eventually Abilene became a major cattle growing area.
And then in 1981, during Abilene's centennial celebration a demonstration rig
was set up at the county fairgrounds to demonstrate how an oil well is drilled.
Purely by accident the demonstration struck oil.Not a lot of oil, but
sufficient to add some funds to the city's coffers.
The West Texas Fair takes place for 10 days in mid-September, featuring exhibits
and fun stuff from Abilene's early days, in addition to exhibits featuring
modern attractions of West Texas.
The Western Heritage Classic takes place in early May with rodeo, cowboy
cook-offs, a Western art show and many other Western heritage themed events.
The Celebrate Abilene Festival takes place the second weekend in April in
Abilene Zoo is one of the 5 biggest in Texas. The zoo is in
Abilene State Park is 621 acres big, near Lake Abilene with camping,
picnicking, a swimming pool, hiking and fishing.
At Fort Phantom Hill & Lake you can visit the ruins of an 1850s frontier
fort built to protect Miner 49ers on their way to California during the Gold
The Grace Museum is in the former Grace Hotel, built in 1909. Inside are the
Fine Arts Museum, Abilene Historical Museum and the Children's Museum.
Frontier Texas! is a multi-million dollar attraction housing the Welcome
Theater with a holographic introduction to Spirit Guide historical figures,
like Indians, buffalo hunters, frontier women and children, soldiers and
settlers. The Spirit Gallery contains multiple exhibits that experience
various frontier lives. The Frontier Experience Theater is a visual thrill
ride through Texas frontier history.