3 Days in Abilene

Where Elm Creek meanders, and you should, too.
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Where Elm Creek meanders, and you should, too.
Credit: Frontier Texas! Frontier Texas! museum exhibit.

Credit: Frontier Texas! Frontier Texas! museum exhibit.

Day 1: The Frontier Texas! Museum has life-sized holographic figures that engage the interests of all ages. The museum is also the location of the annual Miss Texas Frontier Pageant. Another real beauty is Candies by Vletas, where chocolates have been handmade since the Vletas brothers emigrated from Greece in 1912. The Grace Museum, in the historic 1909 Grace Hotel building, is home to the works of Texas artists as well as a children’s museum to help burn off the recently-acquired sugar high. For a real meal, don’t miss the Beehive Restaurant, acclaimed by Texas Monthly to be the “best country steakhouse in the state.” For dessert, treat yourself to entertainment at the Paramount Theatre, where the Flying J Wranglers will be performing on Dec. 8.

Day 2: James Leddy Custom Boots offers the chance to design your own beauties, as well as take a tour of the shop. For your custom headpiece, 5-D Custom Hats & Leather should be your next stop. Also in the area is Cavender’s Boot City where you can surely find that missing piece. Revamp with a coffee or lunch overlooking Elm Creek from the patio at Mezamiz Coffee House. Then, spend the afternoon taking advantage of Abilene’s extensive antiquing offerings. The Antique Gallery and the Crafter’s Gallery are good places to start. For dinner, tap into the friendly energy and heaping portions at Belle’s Chicken Dinner House—you’ll be calling it a day with a smile on your face, guaranteed. 

Day 3:Take a step back in time by visiting the Buffalo Gap Historical Village, 14 miles southwest of Abilene. There are 15 historical buildings and an art gallery that tells the wild tales of trying to settle the area. Seven hours of audio are available for touring the grounds, so your visit can be easily tailored to your needs. If you can make it by December, be sure to catch the Chautauqua Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum event, planned for December 13.. Just down the road from the Village, Abilene State Park can satisfy your recreational needs with birding, fishing, and hiking opportunities. If the road is instead taking you in the direction of Fort Worth, grab a Windshield History Tour Driving CD to accompany your Interstate 20 travels. The CDs are available along the interstate as well as at the Abilene Convention and Visitors Bureau, museums, and the Buffalo Gap Historical Village.

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Originally built in 1889, the newly restored Sayles Landmark is now one of Abilene’s most luxuriously unique accommodations, offering guests six bedrooms and six-and-a-half baths designed with history, as well as modern amenities in mind. 325-669-6856, sayleslandmark.com