Visit Killeen

Month: February 2016

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What cities are within a few hours from Killeen? Can I get there in a day?

Killeen is in Central Texas. Naturally, it has close proximity to all major cities across the state. The nearest is of course Austin but Dallas and Houston or San Antonio and San Marcos aren’t far either. In fact, all major cities and metropolitan areas in Texas are within a driving distance from Killeen.

Let us first check the distances from Killeen to the major cities.

  • Dallas is 152 miles from Killeen to the north and it takes up to three hours to drive. If the traffic is scarce then the ride would take around two and a half hours.
  • Houston is around 190 miles from Killeen or 200 miles depending on the route you take. It would take you a little more than three hours to drive from Killeen, westward to Houston along US-290 W and on TX-36 N.
  • Austin is around 70 miles from Killeen to the south. You could have a slightly shorter or longer drive depending on the route you take. You can reach Austin in around an hour. If the traffic is substantial, you may be on the road for about an hour and a half.
  • San Antonio is around 160 miles from Killeen, further south from Austin along the same route. It would take around two and a half hours. The intersecting traffic when you are reaching San Antonio can prolong the ride for some ten or fifteen minutes.
  • San Marcos is closed to Killeen than San Antonio. It is around 100 miles from Killeen along the same route. San Marcos is almost midway between Austin and San Antonio. A drive from Killeen to San Marcos would take around an hour and a half.

As you can see, you can reach Austin, San Antonio and obviously San Marcos in a day. You can also return the same day if you don’t have to spend twelve hours or so. Dallas and Houston are relatively far when you consider the proximal cities but the drives are possible if you just have a day. Up to three hours drives for a one way trip or even six hours for a round trip can be embarked upon in a day.

The drives to and from Killeen are convenient as well since you don’t have to deal through many city roads. Although they are arterial roads, most are highways or freeways and you can have a quick and smooth drive to these places from Killeen and back.

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What Parks are in Killeen?

There is no dearth of outdoor fun and recreation in Killeen. There are several parks in Killeen and many state parks within short driving distances that would certainly keep you satiated throughout the year. From golf courses to convention centers, venues for parties to parks and recreation centers for the public, Killeen offers enough infrastructure for any and sundry.

Here is a concise list of the parks in Killeen.

  • Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area, also known as BLORA, is a haven for water sports, fishing, camping, boating, swimming, horseback riding, scuba diving and you can also just laze for a few hours. It is one of the most popular attractions among tourists and a favorite of the residents in and around Killeen. BLORA is also known for bird watching and the scenic setting courtesy Chalk Ridge Falls and Miller Springs Nature Center.
  • Temple Lake Park is another very popular site. Just next to Belton Lake, sitting on the southern shore, Temple Lake Park offers more than sixty sites for picnic and outdoor events. You can indulge in boating, fishing, there is a swim beach, a playground and you can even cook the prized white bass, largemouth bass or striped bass that you catch. The site also has basketball and volleyball courts. Drinking water or flush toilets and showers are all attended to at the site.
  • Stillhouse Park sits on the shore of Stillhouse Hollow Lake. It is another favorite picnic spot. The site offers fishing, swimming and basketball. Large green and grass tracts of the park and the fishing expedition to catch some largemouth or smallmouth bass in the clear deep waters of the lake are some of the highlights of the place. You can also engage in a ride on kayaks, canoes and motor boats if you want. The site is a haven for birdwatchers as you can spot some great blue herons, hawks and bobwhite quail among others. Birding is a perennial attraction here.
  • Killeen is also home to two bike and hike trails. In and around Killeen, you would find several state parks. There is Mother Neff State Park at about twenty one miles north east of Killeen. Longhorn Cavern State Park is about sixty miles from Killeen to the south. Inks Lake State Park is to the southwest, at a distance of about sixty miles. Colorado Bend State Park is again about sixty miles to the west. Buescher State Park is around eight miles to the southeast.
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Why you should check out the Planetarium in Killeen?

If you live in Killeen or somewhere in Bell County, then you must have heard of the Mayborn Science Theater, aka the Planetarium in Killeen. You should check it out and once you are satiated, it could become a monthly or occasional ritual. If you are a tourist, then you should drive down to the Central Texas College and indulge in a few shows or tours.

The Planetarium in Killeen is not just for kids. Sure, if you have kids aged three or younger and if you are in the military, then you can save a lot of money on the tickets but even adults have a great deal of fun at the Mayborn Science Theater.

Let us check out some of the reasons why you should visit the Planetarium in Killeen, TX.

• The Planetarium has daily, weekly, monthly and annual shows. There is never a dull day here. You can sign up for the laser shows, the trivia karaoke, experience the hurricane machine or just be a star gazer. Holiday seasons obviously have jam-packed schedules but you would find something interesting almost every day of the year. For instance, there are the matinees which are daily shows through the afternoon. If you want to experience more than one show, then there are tickets offering three at the price of one, there are membership programs and specials to make the entire association affordable and rewarding for you.

• The matinees are great for a baby’s day out. The matinees are held on weekdays. These are afternoon shows so they are ideal for stay at home moms and the little kids. It can be an excursion in the middle of the day, with less traffic around. The lazing afternoon hours can become thrillingly satiating.

• There are weekend shows, usually on Friday evenings and from the morning on Saturdays. The schedule for weekend shows keep changing throughout the year. You can check the schedule and choose something that entices you.

• Laser Friday is one of the most popular attractions in Killeen. It is a monthly event, on a chosen Friday when you can take your entire family for an outing and enjoy a spectacular assortment of laser shows.

• The Night Sky Tour with Warren Hart who is the resident astronomer so to speak is an amazing adventure. You get to marvel at the night sky, learn about constellations and individual stars, you get a prediction of what the night sky would look like the next month and you obviously get some lessons on astronomy.