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Abilene - Storybook Capital

Known for its cowboy charm, Abilene has an endless list of fun things to do with friends and family. Hand feed a giraffe, explore the ruins of a frontier army fort, play on one of the best golf courses in Texas, and go on a scavenger hunt for eccentric characters from classic children’s tales.

These adventures are just a few of the many amazing things to do in Abilene, where the pioneering spirits of West Texas dances on the sprawling plains.

Located just two hours west of Fort Worth, Abilene is a mid-sized community boasting a bit of something for everyone. One-of-a-kind museums, fantastic public golf courses, and other attractions give you plenty to see and do while you’re here. The city was recently christened the “Official Storybook Capital of America” thanks to its charming public sculpture collection.

Explore the Official Storybook Capital of America

Abilene’s downtown area has art galleries, museums, restaurants, and one of the most unique scavenger hunts you’ll find anywhere in Texas.

Explore downtown Abilene and you just might find statues of the marvelous mustachioed Lorax, the Cat in the Hat with his gigantic red bowtie, and many more eccentric characters of classic children’s literature. These statues are part of why Abilene is known as the “Official Storybook Capital of America,” and trekking to find them is one of the most unique things you can do with your kids while you’re in town.

Nurture a love for reading with a stop at the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature, where the gallery curates and exhibits shows of the original artwork from award-winning artists. You’ll find free art activities there every Saturday afternoon, along with a selection of popular children’s books.

If you’re in Abilene in June, don’t miss the Children’s Art and Literacy Festival, which features a parade, hands-on activities for you and your little ones, and art exhibits. The event and the sculptures of timeless characters created by legendary writers such as Dr. Seuss, David Shannon, and Walter Wick, help make downtown Abilene a place that will enchant and entertain folks of all ages.

Discover the History of Abilene and West Texas

The Lone Star State that we know and love today is a modern melting pot of peoples and cultures from around the world. But it wasn’t that long ago that much of it was an unsettled wilderness where hardy immigrants worked hard to create new lives for themselves and their families. Experience the tales of the Old West at Frontier Texas!, a world-class museum featuring state-of-the-art holographic exhibits, beautiful panoramic paintings, weapons, military outfits, and artifacts.

There’s more about the Old West to be seen at the Taylor County History Center, a mini-town made up of more than 20 buildings, a gallery with historic maps, and a vast collection of firearms and Native American artifacts.

Fort Phantom Hill, with its ghostly chimneys that tower over a flat expanse, was a prominent U.S. Army base when travelers and settlers were pushing farther west into the Texas frontier. Walk the ruins of the old fort and check out the three only remaining stone buildings: the powder magazine, guardhouse, and commissary. The serenity of the grounds, combined with the unusual site of rows of solitary chimneys, makes the fort one of the most unique places to visit in Texas.

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