Abilene is a city of about 120,000 located in west central Texas. The railroad divided Abilene right down the middle. There are three lakes in the city. Abilene has a very hot and humid summer, but the winters are quite mild. Abilene is a city that is very proud of its Wild West heritage. Its downtown area has undergone revitalization recently, with many places to eat and shop as well as a rich nightlife. The city has 26 city parks and there are many great things to do there. If you are considering moving to Abilene, you will find a city that is very family friendly, relaxed and enjoyable.
Abilene's median income is slightly lower than the state average. The cost of living is quite a bit lower than the national average. The unemployment rate is quite low. Abilene has done a great deal to attract new companies and to keep the ones it already has. CNN voted the city as one of its top 100 cities to launch a new business, citing its many business incentives, the number of colleges and universities in the area and the close location of the world's largest wind farm, making it a great place for green technology.
Before the railroad built across Texas, the area where Abilene is today was only sporadically inhabited by Military personnel and buffalo hunters. When the railroad began, several businessmen arranged to have it run through the area, and that a community be built where Abilene is today. C.W. Merchant, one of those businessmen, suggested the name Abilene as a tribute to Abilene Kansas. When the railroad arrived in 1881, the city was laid out and settlers and businesses began to arrive. The city was incorporated in 1885. Over time, the city diversified from an agricultural society into one that had commerce, light manufacturing and oil. World War II changed Abilene forever, when the government built an army base there. The soldiers infused the economy, and after the war ended, wanting to keep that financial base alive, Abilene was successful in getting Dyess Air Force Base built there in 1952.
Abilene has a large zoo, featuring over 200 animals and a very large herpetarium. The Buffalo Gap Historic Village has exhibits ranging from the 1870s to the 1920s. Fort Phantom Hill is the ‘ghostly ruins' of an 1851 army post. The Center for Contemporary Arts features galleries and an Art Walk on the 2nd Thursday of every month. The National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature celebrates children's book authors and illustrators. Frontier Texas! Is one of the only museums in the world to have full-size holographic figures. Grace Museum has three museums, one for art, one for history and a children's museum. Abilene State Park has camping, hiking and swimming. There are several theatres and golf courses. There are walking tours of historic downtown. The West Texas Book and Music Festival takes place in September. Also in September is the annual hot air balloon festival.