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Abilene Attractions

The only way to truly experience Abilene is to visit yourself. No photo can replace the sun glinting off the golden wheat fields, the enchanting sight and scents of flowers decorating the Eisenhower Center, or the beauty of the mansions and attractions that our city has to offer.

While staying at Abilene's Victorian Inn, which is walking distance from downtown Abilene, Kansas, you can enjoy many attractions in this historic getaway. Exquisite mansions, historic museums, and charming antique shops. Choose the historic Kirby House Restaurant or the famous Brookville Hotel family chicken restaurant for an evening of delicious food! Discover beautiful Eisenhower Park with its fountains and flowers, bandshell, lighted tennis courts and swimming pool--adjacent to Abilene's Victorian Inn!

Abilene Kansas: the Community

As of 1990, Abilene's population was 6,242. It's a delightful family-centric town in central Kansas, on the Smoky Hill River. Abilene is a shipping point for wheat and cattle region, and was at one time a railhead for a large cattle-raising region extending southwest into Texas.

According to Jesse Chisholm and Joseph McCoy, millions of cattle followed the Chisholm Trail into Abilene's stockyards prior to shipment. In the five years from 1867 to 1872, more than three million head of cattle were driven up the Chisholm Trail from Texas to Abilene. By 1870 thousands of Texas longhorn cattle were being driven over the Chisholm Trail to the Union Pacific (later the Kansas Pacific) Railroad shipping center at Abilene. By 1871 as many as 5,000 cowboys were often paid off during a single day. Abilene became known as a rough town in the Old West.

Abilene once had “Wild Bill” Hickok as its marshal. But soon the village's streets were swarming with cow pokes and cattle dealers -- and with gamblers who were ready and willing to relieve them of their hard-earned cash, says James C. Krause. Within four years Abilene had reached its peak of prosperity, notoriety, and infamy. And in walked U.S. Marshal Wild Bill Hickok. "At first," says Krause, "Wild Bill tended to routine business," but he took a "parent-like" attitude toward John Wesley Hardin and even helped Hardin's friends out of trouble. Not for long. Hardin and some friends got into trouble, and Hickok saw to it that they got out of Abilene. Some time later, the town fired Hickock, whose colorful antics did little to enhance the community.

Abilene was the boyhood home of former President Dwight D. Eisenhower; the Eisenhower Center includes his old family homestead, a lovely park, a museum, the Eisenhower Library, and his grave.

Today's Abilene offers so many community activities that it would take pages to describe them fully. Instead, we'll give you some of the best community links.

Nearby cities: Manhattan, Salina, Junction City, Topeka, Wichita