While Fort Hood has played a major role in the city's growth, Killeen has also benefited from its location. Both Austin and Waco are within an hour's drive, and Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston are less than two hours away.
Fort Hood encompasses nearly 340 square miles and is surrounded by rolling hills, lakes, and an abundance of wildlife. The Fort Hood area consists of a cluster of small towns that take great pride in the community spirit. The post is approximately 60 miles north of the capital city of Austin and 50 miles south of Waco. The city of Killeen borders Fort Hood to the east and Copperas Cove borders Fort Hood to the west. Killeen is the largest city along the base's border.
Whether you want to wet your whistle or please your palate, Killeen has it covered. The city has almost as many great places to eat as it does things to do. For those yearning for a taste of international cuisine, Korean, Chinese, German, Italian, Greek, Vietnamese and Thai restaurants are located within the city.
The Killeen Mall makes shopping a pleasure with everything you need, right where you want it. The mall features more than 100 shops and restaurants including Dillard's, JC Penney, Sears, Bealls and more.
Special events in the area include the annual rodeo and an annual festival held at Nolan Creek. Texas Thunder Speedway Killeen is a 1/4-mile semi-banked oval dirt track that features races every Saturday night with five classes of cars to entertain the entire family. The Vive Les Arts Theatre is also a popular weekend destination for area residents.
There are numerous area golf courses including Crystal Fall which features several acres of lush terrain and spectacular views of the rolling central Texas countryside.
With crystal clear aquamarine water, nearby Lake Stillhouse and Belton Lake offers a boundless array of water-oriented activities and is a place to fish, view wildlife, hike and relax. Lake Travis maintains marina facilities, public parks, boat ramp access, and is the destination summer resort for outdoor enthusiasts from around the state and the country.
The Killeen Independent School District is the largest school district between Dallas and Austin. It serves nearly 39,000 students in 30 elementary schools, eleven middle schools, four high schools, and several specialized campuses. It is the school district for Killeen, Harker Heights, Fort Hood and Nolanville as well as a large rural area. With a staff of 5,800, KISD is the second largest employer in the area as well as the largest school district between Dallas and Austin.
The modern equipment that travels the railroad, now known as the Burlington Northern Santa Fe line, is reminiscent of the development of Killeen from a sleepy agricultural village into the hub city in a metropolitan statistical area that is one of the leading centers in the state. As the westbound locomotives move into the area, they pass through the historic village of Nolanville, 36-year old Harker Heights and past the attractive and growing Killeen Business Park. The trains zip just north of Killeen's busy municipal airport and follow the pristine Nolan Creek.
After passing through the revitalized downtown area of Killeen, the train moves past the western city limits and onto Fort Hood. It was after Fort Hood's establishment in 1942 that Killeen experienced a growth spree that has continued for more than 50 years. That growth has produced a sophisticated city that is continually expanding its economic base, but it is a city that still prides itself as being a model community for its military friends and neighbors.
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