Sit on a tank, drive a golf ball down a lush fairway, swim in a lake, and explore the stars. You’ll find all of these things to do in Killeen, a thriving Central Texas town known for its massive military base, Fort Hood. There’s much to see, do, and experience in Killeen, and its ideal location just 70 miles from Austin and 60 miles from Waco makes it easy to reach. To help you get the most out of your trip here, we’ve put together a list of some of the top attractions in Killeen Texas.
Explore Fort Hood’s Military History
Killeen sits just south of the more than 217,000-acre Fort Hood, one of the largest military bases in the world. The fort was established in 1942 as a training and testing center for mobile anti-tank guns designed to counter German tanks. Since then, it has housed artillery and cavalry divisions that have played a role in the Vietnam War, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and other conflicts.
If you’re a fan of military history, delve into Fort Hood’s more than 70 years of service at the 1st Cavalry Division Museum and the 3rd Armored Cavalry Museum. Visit either museum and the first thing you’ll see is vintage tanks, helicopters, and other military equipment that you can walk right up to. Inside, you’ll browse a wide range of exhibits retelling the history of either division, including displays of photographs, uniforms, and equipment. In addition to all the displays, the 1st Cavalry Division Museum occasionally hosts living history presentations that have interpreters wearing period attire recounting the daily lives of soldiers within the unit. To visit either museum, you will need to get a visitor’s pass from Fort Hood’s Marvin Leath Visitors Center.
Play a Round of Golf
The gently sloping hills of Central Texas offer the ideal setting for some great golf. Any golfer who visits Killeen will have their pick of three golf courses near Killeen that offer a combined total of more than 60 holes to play. Start at Killeen’s Stonetree Golf Course, an 18-hole public course that includes a double-ended driving range, practice facility, and short game area where you can brush up on your skills. Meanwhile, the Courses of Clear Creek in Fort Hood has three nine-hole courses, a four-hole course designed for children, and a challenging set of sand bunkers and water traps throughout. Your third option is the 18-hole Hills of Cove Golf Course, located just west of Killeen in Copperas Cove. Here you’ll find a set of challenging holes spread among rolling hills, with two large ponds and a creek providing a nice addition to the scenery, along with a playing hazard. With so many golf courses, you could spend your entire time in Killeen hitting the links.
Hang Out at the Lake
It’s the middle of the summer and all you want to do is escape the sweltering heat. If you’re in Killeen, you’re in luck. Killeen is just a few minutes away from Belton Lake and Stillhouse Hollow Lake, two massive reservoirs that are proverbial hotbeds of aquatic recreation. Kick back and relax on a sandy beach, go for a dip in the cool and clear water, hop into a kayak and paddle anywhere you like, or bait your hook and cast a line to catch a bass or a sunfish. These are just some of the things you can do at either lake. To reach Belton Lake, head to the Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area (BLORA) in Fort Hood, or Temples Lake Park on the lake’s eastern shore.
There are a few convenient access points for Stillhouse Hollow Lake, as well. The closest park to Killeen, Dana Peak Park, offers plenty of scenic views, a four-lane boat ramp, mountain biking trails, and numerous campgrounds. Stillhouse Park in Belton affords access to the lake, along with basketball courts, a swim area, and kayak and canoe rentals nearby. Looking for some fun in the sun? Belton Lake and Stillhouse Hollow Lake have everything you need to have a great time.
Tour the Stars at the Mayborn Science Theater
Explore the deepest reaches of space, and more, at the Mayborn Science Theater, a state-of-the-art planetarium situated on the campus of Central Texas College. Stunning 30 to 45-minute films are shown in the Mayborn planetarium’s 60-foot dome, providing a truly immersive 360-degree viewing experience. An expansive catalog of films is show, in the Killeen planetarium that focus on more than the stars. Some films cover the Earth’s geology, the mechanics of earthquakes, and tropical reefs, all of which are presented in such a way that viewers of any age will enjoy. The venue, one of only 16 planetariums in Texas, also offers star tours conducted by its own staff astronomer on the last Saturday of every month. A unique viewing experience in a truly modern theater makes the Mayborn Science Theater a must-visit during your visit to Killeen.