From Dallas and Fort Worth: Take I-30 West towards Weatherford. Between Fort Worth and Weatherford, I-30 ends. Continue West on I-20 towards Abilene. Time: 2½-hr, depending on traffic and where you start.
From San Angelo: Take US-277 North to Abilene. Time: about 1½ hr.
From Lubbock: Take US-84 to Sweetwater, there US-84 mirdges with I-20. Continue on I-20 East until US-84 brakes off of I-20 and continue on US-84. Time: about 3 hr.
From San Antonio: Take I-10 West to Comfort. At Comfort, use exit 523 and take US-87 North to Brady. In Brady, take US-283 North to Coleman. In Coleman take US-84 to Abilene. Time: 4 hr depending on traffic.
T&P Depot, 1101 N. 1st St, ☎ +1 325 676-2556. This historic depot was built by the Texas & Pacific Railroad in 1910. In 1967 the last passenger train left the depot with a total of 39 passengers on board. In 1994 the exterior of the depot was restored to its exact appearance during the 1920s. The depot is the home of the Abilene Convention and Visitors Bureau and Cultural Affairs Council. Admission is free.
Western Heritage Classic, 1700 Highway 36 (At the Expo Center of Taylor County), ☎ +1 325 677-4376. A unique 4-day event held in early May to preserve western heritage. Includes a ranch rodeo, a chuckwagon cookoff, a bit and spur show, cowboy poetry, western art show, and a western parade.
Abilene Christian University, 1600 Campus Ct (Take Judge Ely Blvd north from Business 20. ACU will be on your left just north of EN 16th street.), ☎ +1 325 674-2000. Expansive and well-maintained campus. Unique and beautiful architecture mixes with a large number of artworks. A 1.86 mile walking trail encircles the campus. Various theatrical, musical and athletic events occur throughout the year.
Hardin-Simmons University, 2200 Hickory St, ☎ +1 325 670-1000. Founded in 1891, HSU is a private Baptist liberal arts university. With a small, beautiful campus, HSU is worth a peek.
McMurry University, 1401 Sayles Blvd, ☎ +1 325 793-3800. Founded in 1923, McMurry is a small, tightly knit community of students and educators in Abilene's bustling south side.
32.286111-99.8266671Buffalo Gap Historic Village, 133 N Willams St. (Take Buffalo Gap Road (FM-89) south for 9 miles and follow the signs), ☎ +1 325 572-3365. M-Sa 10AM-5PM, Sunday noon-5PM. Adult $5, senior/military $4, students (K-12) $3, children under 5 years free.
Century 12 by Cinemark, 3818 John Knox Dr, ☎ +1 325 793-9292. Abilene's newest and largest theater. All stadium seating.
Premier Cinema 10, 4310 Buffalo Gap Rd, ☎ +1 325 695-2122. 10-screen theater in the Mall of Abilene. Renovated, with all stadium seating. There is a great bar/restaurant next door for easy post-movie lounging.
Carmike Park Central 6, 3234 S Clack St, ☎ +1 325 698-3540. 6-screen theater. All stadium seating.
Grace Cultural Center, 102 Cypress St, ☎ +1 325 673-4587. 3 museums under one roof: an art museum, a history museum and an interactive children's museum spread out over the three floors of the beautiful former Grace Hotel built in 1909.
Historic Paramount Theater, 352 Cypress St, ☎ +1 325 676-9620. Beautiful art-deco theater built in 1930 by H.O. Wooten whose namesake skyscraper looms overhead. The Paramount plays host to a slew of theatrical and musical productions, and to screenings of classic and contemporary films. The 2,000-seat auditorium is built to look like an outdoor Spanish courtyard, complete with twinkling stars and drifting clouds on the ceiling.
National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature, 102 Cedar St, ☎ +1 325 673-4586. Tu-Sa 10-4. A small but wonderful museum showcasing the works of children's authors and illustrators. The NCCIL ("nickel") has played host to everyone from the Bernstein Bears to the works of Eric Carle. Exhibits are rotational and admission is free. One block from the Grace Museum. Free.
Frontier Texas!, 625 N 1st St, ☎ +1 325 437-2800. M-Sa 9-6, Sun 1-5. Expansive new historical museum in eastern downtown Abilene, focusing on west central Texas' frontier days. Headquarters of the Texas Forts Trail. Not to be missed. $8 adults, $6 seniors & military, $5 students & teachers.
Mall of Abilene, 4310 Buffalo Gap Rd. Anchored by JCPenney, Sears, Dillard's, Best Buy and Books-A-Million. Home to dozens of smaller specialty clothing and gift stores and restaurants.
The Shops at Abilene, 3417 Catclaw Dr. Anchored by Bed Bath & Beyond, Ross, Old Navy, Petsmart, Michael's and Beall's. Also home to The Children's Place, James Avery, Shoe Carnival, Rue21, Catherine's, Lane Bryant, Payless Shoes, Oreck, AT&T, Red Robin, Coldstone Creamery, Gamestop, SportClips, Smoothie King and several others. Wal-Mart is at the same intersection and Kohl's is just down the street.
32.271626-99.844041Perini Ranch Steakhouse, 3002 FM 89 (South of Abilene), ☎ +1 325-572-3339. Famously good steaks. Voted best burger in America by the Today show in 2009. Catered several of President Bush's events.
32.453564-99.7355012The Beehive, 442 Cedar St, ☎ +1 325-675-0600. Wonderful and well-priced casual fine dining in the heart of downtown.
Copper Creek, 4401 Loop 322, ☎ +1 325 692-4424. closed Sundays. Fine Texas dining: unsurpassed atmosphere and wonderful waitstaff coupled with delicious food and potent drinks.
Sharky's Burrito Inc, 1095 North Judge Ely Blvd, ☎ +1 325 676-7330. 11AM-9PM. The college-town burrito joint inside United Supermarkets. Try the local improvement on Chipotle. Go for the seasoned chips and Spicy Ranch. Ask for the Kid's Burrito, its plenty big. 6.00.
Remington's Lounge, 4250 Ridgemont Dr, ☎ +1 325 698-1234. Inside the impressive MCM Elegante Suites, Remington's is a popular local hotspot.
Seafood Tavern, 1882 South Clack St, ☎ +1 325 695-1770. The small, dimly-lit bar in Seafood Tavern feels more like a British pub than a west Texas saloon. With live music regularly and a large and comfortable outdoor area, The Tavern is a great place to unwind.
Jack Rabbit Slim's, 833 East Hwy 80. Cheap beer, shot specials and a slew of massive projector screens and TVs playing sports and music all night, Slim's is a great hangout.
Linda's Lounge, 840 Us Highway 80 E. With a hole-in-the-wall feel, Linda's has 2 pool tables, loud music and cheap drinks. Regularly standing-room only on weekends. Very popular with the local college crowd.
Buffalo Wild Wings, 4401 Ridgemont Dr, ☎ +1 325 695-9464. Very popular sports bar. Full menu at all hours.
Chelsea Street Pub, 4310 Buffalo Gap Rd (in the Mall of Abilene next to Premier Cinema). Live music most weekends.
Cabo's, 1874 S Clack St. Expansive sports bar with pool tables, darts and numerous TVs.
MCM Elegante Suites, 4250 Ridgemont Dr (across from the Mall of Abilene), ☎ +1 325 698-1234. Built as an Embassy Suites, MCM Elegante remains Abilene's premiere hotel. Lovely 2-room suites, a full-service restaurant and amble meeting space.