Abilene Shines Once Again in USA TODAY’s Best Historic Small-Town Contest

In an unprecedented sixth consecutive year, Abilene proudly claims its position as a finalist in the esteemed USA Today’s Readers’ Choice Best Historic Small-Town contest.

Julie Roller Weeks, Abilene Convention and Visitors Bureau Director, shares, “This honor is truly remarkable! Achieving this recognition once is a significant accomplishment, and securing it for six consecutive years in a nationwide contest against other exceptional small towns is beyond imagination!”

Abilene has consistently clinched positions in the top ten, notably achieving a second-place finish in 2022 and 2023. These impressive rankings are a testament to the town’s enduring charm, rich history, and tourist popularity.

“Embracing Abilene as one of the nation’s best historic small towns also embraces the impact tourism plays: a positive ripple effect, boosting our local economy and enriching the lives of our residents,” said Jessica Goodale, Dickinson County Economic Development Corporation Director.

Visitors to Abilene can enjoy stops at the Seelye Mansion, Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum, and Boyhood Home, Abilene & Smoky Valley Railroad, Old Abilene Town, Dickinson County Heritage Center, and 1901 C.W. Parker Carousel, Greyhound Hall of Fame Museum, Great Plains Theatre and the town’s newest attraction, the World’s Largest Belt Buckle.

According to Roller Weeks, this contest stands out from others due to its selection process, which involves a panel of relevant experts, including editors from USA TODAY, 10Best.com, and various accomplished contributors who have visited Abilene. Moreover, the top selection is based on votes from real people.

Online voting begins on Monday, March 4, at 11:00 a.m. CST and concludes on Monday, April 1, at 10:59 a.m. CST.

“Thank you to the tourism attractions, businesses, residents, employees, volunteers, and community leaders who help make Abilene the best historic small town. And a special thank you to the voters who continue to support Ike’s five-star hometown in the heart of America,” Roller Weeks said.

Abilene continues to garner accolades, adding to its impressive list of recent awards, including being named the Top 10 True Western Town of the Year by True West Magazine (2024), Best Small Town to Visit in the U.S. by TravelAwaits and a slew of honors in the Travel Industry Association of Kansas’s (TIAK) Marketing Awards in 2023. These recognitions underscore the Abilene Convention and Visitors Bureau’s exceptional efforts to market Abilene to visitors.

For more information and to cast your vote, visit AbileneKansas.org/votenow or 10Best.com

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