Are you stationed at Fort Riley and looking for something to do for a few hours? Consider heading 30 minutes west to check out the nostalgic town of Abilene.
Abilene was the home of five-star general and President, Dwight D. Eisenhower. History buffs will enjoy this small town because of the striking architecture and peculiar museums. Here you’ll find the ornate Seelye and Lebold Mansions, the Greyhound Hall of Fame and more.
The Dickinson County Heritage Center houses the Museum of Independent Telepathy. This interesting exhibit tells the story of telephones, from Alexander Graham Bell’s first communication to communications today.
Visit Old Abilene Town
The fittingly named Old Abilene Town is located just behind the Heritage Center. Old Abilene makes you feel like you’ve been transported back in time to Abilene’s cattle drive days. It specifically replicates the time when the famous Wild Bill Hickok was the town’s marshal in 1871.
Be sure to see the good ol’ fashioned gun fight at high noon if you visit during the summer. You’ll also find Can Can girls in the Alamo Saloon and an operational first-generation carousel.
See Why Everyone Likes Ike
President Eisenhower’s boyhood home and museum has daily tours that trace his upbringing. They cover the time from his birth to departure for West Point. They also catalog his service to the nation as the first Commander of Allied Forces in Europe during WWI, through his becoming the 34th President of the United States.
Another great place to check out is his Presidential Library. Although there’s not much to tour, the library houses hundreds of thousands of pieces of correspondence, pictures and transcripts from his presidency. The library receives hundreds of requests daily from researchers and scholars worldwide.
Right and Up Tip: Entrance is free for military!
Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner
You must have lunch at the Brookville Hotel, located just off I-85 West’s Exit 275. This place has the best fried chicken dinners in Kansas. The Brookville Hotel was once a stop on the Chisholm Trail for ranchers coming up from Texas, as well as Soldiers passing through during WWII. In 2000, the hotel was relocated from the town of Brookville to its current location, which is still not far from hungry Soldiers. The decor replicates the way the hotel looked in the late 1800s, making you feel like you’ve gone back in time.
Dinners are family style with no menu. They serve hefty portions of fried chicken, biscuits, mashed potatoes with gravy, creamed corn, cottage cheese, homemade coleslaw, relishes, candied apples and ice cream.
Right and Up tip: Make reservations at the Brookville Hotel by calling ahead at (785) 263-2244. The restaurant is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
About the Author
Derrick is the Founder of Guy Meets World and a former US Army Soldier who has been stationed all over the world, from the Netherlands to Iraq, and everywhere in between. During his journeys he’s always taken the roads less traveled. Going off the beaten path to find the small towns, and pubs, where the tourists dare to travel. Connect with him on Facebook!