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Killeen, Texas, is a place of many possibilities. This Central Texas town is perhaps best known for its northern neighbor that just so happens to be one of the largest military installations in the world: Fort Hood.
Although there are several museums and other interesting things to see and do within Fort Hood, that’s not the sum of all that Killeen has to offer.
For starters, there are two enormous lakes that afford great fishing and all the recreation you can handle. Killeen is also home to one of the few planetariums in Texas, as well as a performing arts theater that produces plays and musicals year-round. It’s easy to experience all that Killeen has to offer; simply drive 70 miles north of Austin and you’ll be “Where Freedom Grows.”
The town began as a small farming community along the tracks of the Gulf, Colorado, and Santa Fe Railway. Killeen didn’t see much growth until Fort Hood was established in 1942 as a training and testing ground for mobile anti-tank vehicles. These vehicles were designed to counter the threat presented by German tanks during World War II. Fort Hood remained in service after the war, and the divisions that call the base home would go on to play an active role in various military conflicts over the next 70 years, including Vietnam and Operation Iraqi Freedom. The venerable history of two of the base’s divisions are recounted in the 1st Cavalry Division Museum and the 3rd Armored Cavalry Museum, both of which are located within Fort Hood.
Do you enjoy spending time outdoors? If so, you’ll find something in Killeen that will make you smile. Killeen’s rolling landscape and dense forests provide the ideal backdrop for golf, and the three public courses near town fully utilize the scenic beauty. Stonetree Golf Course in Killeen, the Courses at Clear Creek in Fort Hood, and the Hills of Cove Golf Course in Copperas Cove combine to offer 63 holes of top-shelf golf, all within a 15-mile radius. For some water-based fun, head to either Belton Lake or Stillhouse Hollow Lake, both of which offer fantastic venues for swimming, fishing, boating, and camping.
Back in Killeen, catch a play or musical at the Vive Les Arts Theatre, which produces shows throughout the year. For a more intergalactic experience, explore the stars at the Mayborn Science Theater, a planetarium with a 60-foot dome located on the campus of Central Texas College. Throughout the year, you’ll find numerous fun and exciting events, such as Rodeo Killeen, which attracts some of the finest cowboys, cowgirls, and bullfighters around.
Compelling military history, plenty of fantastic golf, and ample amount of outdoor recreation are only part of what makes Killeen a great vacation destination.