A patio extends from Bluff Dale Vineyards's tasting room, presenting an expansive view of the sun-drenched grapevines and sloping foothills that D Magazine called "impressive." This swath of land grows the succulent grapes used to make the winery's fruit-forward selection of silken reds and aromatic whites. In addition to an oak-aged cabernet sauvignon, crisp chardonnay, and sweet muscat, the tasting room features a Texas cream sherry that is blended with the traditional—and time-intensive—solera system instead of with an industrial-sized cocktail shaker.
Owners David and Theresa Hayes also host live bands at their winery from time to time, inviting visitors to attend for free, bring a picnic, and tap their toes to the melodies of such groups as the Double J-R Band or the jazzy Pearl Street 4.
Tangle Oaks Golf Club stretches 6,382 yards from the tips, but its length doesn't characterize the challenges presented. It's the details that make the course stand out, sometimes with a splash. On the par-three 13th, golfers must carry a high-lofted tee shot over a pond in order to land on the signature island green, which leaves little room for error. However, many fairways are sparsely lined with mature trees and are free of sand traps, providing more forgiving landing zones for errant shots or personal helicopter golf carts.
Haunted Abilene revamps its thrills and surprises each Halloween, finding new ways to frighten visitors while honoring the city's past. Each year, the Abilene Preservation League transforms the historic Swenson House into Phantom Manor, coaxing fiendish ghosts and ghouls to terrify visitors and chip in on the Preservation League's historic-site restoration projects.
Abilene Christian's student theater department practices cutting-edge stagecraft, integrating artistic talent, spiritual depth, and intellectual pursuit to produce quality theatrical performances. With this deal, you'll catch the college's melody-gifted thespians perform Gilbert and Sullivan's comic opera masterpiece The Pirates of Penzance, which whimsically brims with colorful characters, including a merry band of sentimental swashbucklers, a squad of blustery policemen, and a rapid-singing major general. Hear timeless operatic standards such as "I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General," "Hail Poetry," "Poor Wand'ring One," and much more.
The 13-acre Abilene Zoo delights visitors with more than 600 animals from more than 200 species. Guests gaze upon bobcats, flamingos, and giraffes before visiting the new bird gardens, where road runners and burrowing owls face off in feather fluffing tournaments. The zoo participates in conservation efforts for African lions, black rhinos, and ring-tailed lemurs, as well as other threatened and endangered creatures, and the Abilene Reporter-News recently profiled their new horticulturist, who has helmed a “green renaissance” at the facility.