Killeen Texas (Thriving City)

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Killeen, Texas, is so much more than just a city that is known for the military base at Fort Hood. The base itself houses the 1st Cavalry Museum on its grounds. Even though there is much history that you can learn from Killeen, there are also plenty of other activities that you can explore.

Killeen is well known for its military base, Fort Hood, which is of significant economic value for Killeen and one of the reasons why it is a thriving and popular city in central Texas. Killeen is also home to the Vive Les Arts Theatre, which produces several yearly theatrical shows.

Copy of Featured Image 6 - Texas View
First Team CG heads up Killeen parade. – Image by Staff Sgt. Leah Kilpatrick

About Killeen Texas

Killeen is a part of Bell County, located in central Texas. You will find that the inhabitants of Killeen are heavily dependent on the Fort Hood Military Base. Still, Killeen offers many non-military activities for the young and adventurous at heart. Killeen is located only 55 miles north of Austin, Texas.

Killeen is a thriving city thanks to Fort Hood Military Base in the heart of Texas. All who live here are thankful that it is a friendly community with abundant activities to energize the people.

Facts About Killeen Texas

  • Location: in central Texas, in the western parts of Bell County. Killeen is the largest of Bell County’s three major cities. It is located north of Austin, southwest of Dallas, and northeast of San Antonio.
  • County: Bell
  • Zip Code: 76540
  • Population: 157 749
  • Coordinates: 3106’20” N, 97043’36” W
  • Crime Rate: There are about 418 violent crimes per 100 000 residents per year.
  • The average temperature in Summer: 89 degrees Fahrenheit
  • The average temperature in Winter: 67 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Universities: Central Texas College (CTC); Texas A&M University, Central Texas
  • Airports: Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport, Skylark Field Airport
  • Best Hotels: Holiday Inn Killeen – Fort Hood; Courtyard by Marriot, Killeen; Best Western Plus Killeen/Fort Hood Hotels and Suites; Sleep Inn & Suites Near Fort Hood
  • Best Restaurants: Taiwan Dragon, Texas Roadhouse, Bobby B’s Soul Food Kitchen, Little Italy, Pluckers Wing Bar
  • Museums And Attractions: 1st Cavalry Division Museum, Bangarang Tattooing Company, 3rd Cavalry Museum, Central Texas Area Museum, Fort Hood
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What Is Killeen Texas Known For

Before Killeen was known for Fort Hood, with residences proudly showcasing the American flag, it was once a small farming community connected by the Gulf, Colorado, and Santa Fe railway systems. Other than that, nothing significant would attract many people to the small town of Killeen. However, all that changed when the military base was established in 1942.

  • The city was named after Frank P. Killeen, a Galveston railway employee
  • Killeen is highly dependent on Fort Hood for economic growth and sustainability
  • There are two lakes in Killeen, namely Stillhouse Hollow Lake and Belton Lake
  • Killeen has several historical museums, with one of them located in the Fort Hood Military Base
  • The town is surrounded by beautiful and exquisite landscapes with lakes and forests
  • It is also known for Stonetree Golf Club, which has the beautiful landscapes of Killeen as a backdrop
  • The Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area (Blora) is perfect for people looking for an adrenaline rush while relaxing
  • If you are lucky, you can see an occasional military aircraft overhead
  • Temple Lake Park is only 20.8 miles away, giving you the opportunity to enjoy the relaxing activities of fishing, picnics, and a swim on the beach

Notable People From Killeen Texas

  • Shane Kimbrough, known as an Astronaut and captain of the NASA / SpaceX Dragon spacecraft
  • Brad Buckley, Politician. He is a Member of the Texas House of Representatives from the 54th District
  • Tommie Harris, a former American football defensive tackle who played eight football seasons for NFL
  • Oveta Culp Hobby, the 1st United States secretary of health, education, and welfare, who was in office from April 1953 to July 1955
  • Royce O’Neale, an American professional basketball player for the Brooklyn Nets of the NBA
  • Cory Jefferson, an American professional basketball player who represented the United States in the 2013 Summer Universiade in Kazan, Russia

Notorious People From Killeen Texas

  • Carl Watts, the American serial killer, nicknamed “The Sunday Morning Slasher.”
  • Nidal Hasan, former United States Army major, known for the Fort Hood mass shooting that occurred on November 5, 2009

Where Is Killeen Texas

Killeen is centrally located in the vast State of Texas, making it one of the best cities to be in. If you wake up in an adventurous mood, you can choose to go North, East, South, or West, and you will have much to see and experience within the vast Texan landscapes.

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Nearby Locations

  • Harker Heights; 5.4 miles
  • Copperas Cove; 10.5 miles
  • Belton; 18.4 miles
  • Temple; 22.81 miles
  • Gatesville; 36.1 miles
  • Georgetown; 41.2 miles
  • Round Rock; 49.4 miles
  • Leander; 45.4 miles
  • Hewitt; 50.6 miles
  • Woodway; 57.8 miles
Nearby LocationBy CarBy FootBy Bicycle
Harker Heights10 min1 Hour 45 min26 min
Copperas Cove14 min4 Hours 23 min1 Hour 13 min
Belton24 min5 Hours 50 min1 Hour 23 min
Temple37 min8 Hours 50 min2 Hours 16 min
Gatesville35 min9 Hours 28 min2 Hours 30 min
Georgetown41 min12 Hours 53 min3 Hours 14 min
Round Rock46 min16 Hours 1 min4 Hours 29 min
Leander47 min14 Hours 39 min3 Hours 44 min
Hewitt57 min16 Hours 29 min4 Hours 5 min
Woodway1 Hour 3 min17 Hours 34 min4 Hours 26 min
Nearby Locations to Kileen.

With Killeen being so centrally located in Texas, you can go south to Austin, north to Dallas, or southeast to Houston.

Larger Cities TexasBy AirplaneBy CarBy Foot
Austin – 55 milesN/A1 Hour 2 min22 Hours 11 min
Dallas – 125 miles1 Hour2 Hour 21 min51 Hours
Houston – 211 miles2 Hour 57 min3 Hours 25 min63 Hours
San Antonio – 125 miles45 min2 Hours 45 min49 Hours
Getting to Kileen from Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio.

What To Do In Killeen Texas

The residents of Killeen are always looking for ways to have fun and explore new adventures. Most of them love to keep themselves busy outdoors. Of course, you can visit all the historical sites and many other recreational activities within the city or drive out to Temple Lake Park for a fun day with family and friends.

  1. Central Texas Theatre, previously known as Vive Les Arts Theatre
  2. Fort Hood Military Base offers several Military Museums
  3. Mayborn Science Museum
  4. Temple Lake Park
  5. Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area
  6. Stonetree Golf Club
  7. and many more

1. Central Texas Theatre

The Central Texas Theatre offers unbelievable value to the community through cultural art. They have performances throughout the year, hosting community shows that community members perform through the workshops they teach.

2. 1st Cavalry Division Museum

This is an informative visit that you should not pass by. Though it is a small museum, there is much you can learn about military history at the 1st Cavalry Division Museum. Also, while you are at Fort Hood, you may just as well walk around the base and experience the other museums and public places of interest on the base.

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3. Mayborn Science Museum

Mayborn Science Museum is located on the Central Texas College Campus, where you can experience space and science through immersive 3D shows. Learning science has never been this much fun.

Where To Eat

  • Taiwan Dragon – Chinese, Asian Cuisine
  • Texas Roadhouse – American Cuisine, Steakhouse
  • Bobby B’s Soul Food Kitchen – Texas Barbeque
  • Little Italy – Italian
  • Pluckers Wing Bar – American Cuisine
  • and many more

Where To Stay

  • Holiday Inn Killeen – Fort Hood
  • Courtyard by Marriot, Killeen
  • Best Western Plus Killeen – Fort Hood Hotels And Suites
  • Sleep Inn & Suites Near Fort Hood
  • and many more

Killeen FAQs

Is Killeen Texas A Good Place To Live?

Killeen has much going for it and was listed as the 5th best city in Texas by the US News and World Report study. Violent crime statistics are relatively high, though, but Killeen has some great parts to live in.

Is Killeen Texas Safe?

Killeen’s crime statistics are low, but high in terms of violent crime and property crime. The city’s general safety leads to low police presence, so “small” crimes like reckless driving often goes unchecked.

Is Killeen Texas Worth Visiting?

Killeen doesn’t have the world’s greatest selection of tourist attractions. Apart from the military museums on the base there isn’t much to fascinate travelers. Having said that, it’s a great place to visit for a day or two to see what the area has to offer.

Killeen Texas (Drive Around With Me)
Author Profile

Christian Linden is a seasoned writer and contributor at Texas View, specializing in topics that resonate with the Texan community. With over a decade of experience in journalism, Christian brings a wealth of knowledge in local politics, culture, and lifestyle. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Texas. When he's not writing, Christian enjoys spending weekends traveling across Texas with his family, exploring everything from bustling cities to serene landscapes.

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