What is there to do in Abilene, Texas? Nothing, Perhaps that is what you are thinking right now. Maybe because Abilene is known to be located in one of the least populated areas in West Texas. But what does a city with three universities offer? This is a question not only asked by the thousands of college students, but everyone who lives in or near Abilene.
I have lived in Abilene a few times, but I did not grow up here. This is my first time back with the freedom of a college student. So, like myself, there are tons of college students wondering what to do in this West Texas town on a weekend. I have previously covered some of the new attractions, mostly restaurants, that have already peaked the interest of most “Abilineans.” But these are not the only attractions, or even all the restaurants, that deserve to be written about.
Nearly every college student probably has a local coffee shop on the list of their favorite Abilene places. While some coffee shops are popular and well known even among the non-coffee-drinking community, there are some shops which many students do not know about. I am sure that some students may have heard of a coffee shop called Starbucks, but there are other local places that students spend more time at such as Monks Coffee Shop, Fox Coffee, Mezamiz Coffee House, Beltway Coffee Co., Front Porch Coffee Co. and Bakery, The Hallows, Grain Theory and Big Country Coffee. I am sure I may have missed one or two, but these are some coffee shops that I have been to and enjoyed.
If you are looking for something to do outside, you do not have to look very far. In Abilene there are 27 parks to run, walk, fish and play a number of sports. There are a few parks within a two-mile vicinity of the university as well. You may have seen people walking around the sidewalks or playing on one of the many Frisbee golf courses that inhabit the parks around town. One of my personal favorites as a kid was the infamous Red Bud Park that has a fenced-in Prairie Dog habitat where you can go feed the multiple Prairie Dogs that you may see pop up. Not only are there Prairie Dogs at Red Bud, but also an extensive sidewalk path that wraps around two large open fields. If you are lucky enough to be around during the fall when the weather permits, Red Bud holds a large air balloon festival once a year with multiple vendors to get great food from.
There are multiple events that go on in Abilene all year long even during the pandemic. One example is the Abilene West Texas Fair and Rodeo. There are also probably a few events that go on that I am not covering but, always remember, our own University holds awesome events each semester that are always fun to attend. From sporting events to events planned by HSU Life, Sabers, Student Government Association and other clubs and organizations on campus, there is always something in the works
I have not even mentioned all of the mom-and-pop businesses around Abilene. There are honestly too many to cover. This is my challenge to everyone who reads this, go out and try a place that I have mentioned, or try and find a new place you have not gone to yet. Better yet go and find a small business that you have not been to if possible. There are countless things to do in one of the last strongholds of civilization in West Texas. Especially during times like COVID, all of the businesses and events that take place in Abilene need our support to stay afloat right now. If we forget these local businesses that make this town great then they may disappear. So head out this coming weekend and find one of the many places that make Abilene great and enjoy the day.