At Frontier Texas!, interactive exhibits explore the century (1780-1880) when the Rolling Plains transformed from wide-open prairie where buffalo roamed into the community that would become modern Abilene. The frontier-fort-style facility tells stories through the voices and images of “spirit guides,” including a Native American, a soldier, a buffalo hunter, a cattle driver, a former slave, and a frontier woman, as well as Cynthia Ann Parker, the mother of the last Comanche chief, Quanah Parker. You’ll see 360-degree movies and life-size replicas of buffalo, tipis, soldiers, and Longhorns; listen in on period music and conversations; and witness dramatic frontier battles. Visitors can climb into a chuckwagon or stagecoach, see where trail drives went and forts were located, and watch fireflies blink overhead. Outside, kids can run on the wide-open parade ground, climb into an enormous buffalo skull sculpture, and let their inspired imaginations go wild.

The June 2024 cover of Texas Highways: Treasures from the Coast

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