Is Waco really that great of a city?
Yes, yes it is. Not only is it already a wonderful town with plenty to fill a weekend (or longer!), but it's only getting better and better. Everywhere you look around town there's construction to meet the ever growing economy in Waco. If you're planning to visit Waco, Texas, you won't be disappointed!*This blogpost is dedicated all things to do in the city of Waco. For our complete guide to Magnolia visit THIS BLOGPOST .
Food and Drink
Waco is home to an ever growing number of places to grab a great cup of coffee. Topping the list for us is Pinewood Roasters. Don't be fooled by the name though, this shop also serves beer in the evenings making it a great place to hang no matter the time of day.
Common Grounds Coffee is one of the local's favorite places in town. Located right next to Baylor University's campus, this place is a popular study and hangout spot for students. The shop isn't just a cafe though, they frequently host concerts in the space, too!
Looking for a laidback place to grab a drink in the evening? This place has the perfect Texas environment for hanging out complete with a huge outdoor space to enjoy a drink with friends on a warm summer night.
It's Texas so there's got to be at least one BBQ place on this list, right? Guess Family BBQ is the place to go if you're looking for your Texas brisket fix.
This food hall is one of the newcomers on the food scene in Waco and it's definitely one of our favorite things in town. At the time of this blog the food hall is only partially open but when it's filled up it's going to be SO COOL! When finished the food hall will have 27 different local food vendors making it a great spot for groups with pick eaters-- everyone can get what they want all under one roof.
A restaurant dedicated to mac n cheese. Need I say more? I think not.
Southern comfort food is one of the greatest gifts to mankind-- I truly believe that. Milo All Day is serving up beautiful, unique takes on some of the deep south's favorite culinary gems in a beautiful restaurant located in the heart of Waco.
Who doesn't love good, homemade ice cream? Heritage Creamery is THE place to get a sweet treat in town. With unique flavors and fresh waffle cones it's a must visit.
When asking locals what we should see and do in Waco, 9 times out of 10 their first suggestion was Cameron Park. After checking out the park for ourselves it's easy to see why the locals love it! Located in town, this 400 acre park is full of hiking and running trails, playgrounds for the kiddos, beautiful cliffs, and plenty of quiet spaces to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
In my opinion the Waco Riverwalk goes hand-in-hand with Cameron Park. The park and the riverwalk do connect along the river but they are still separate attractions. Like the name implies, the riverwalk does run along the Brazos River through downtown Waco. If you find yourself enjoying this path, be sure to stroll across the iconic suspension bridge connecting the north side riverwalk to the south side section.
While I haven't tried this personally, I saw it advertised online and thought it would be a fun option for you families out there. After all, cowboys and horseback riding seem like the quintessential Texas experience, right? If any of you give a try be sure to let me know what you think of the experience in the comments below!
All the locals know that Lake Waco is where it's at, especially during those blazing hot days of summer. While it's a favorite hang for the true Waco natives, the lake is large so there's plenty of room for everyone to find a spot to enjoy some time on (or in) the water. We'd recommend Woodway Park for public lake access.
Museums and Attractions
Did you know that Dr. Pepper is from Waco? Neither did I until someone suggested we visit the Dr. Pepper Museum! You can take a tour and learn about the history of making and bottling this American favorite. And yes, you do get a Dr. Pepper at the end of the tour.
For those of you who love a good dose of history and education in your vacations (like us), the Waco Mammoth National Monument is for you! Just a short drive from downtown you can see the fossils of what the National Park Service says is "the nation's first and only recorded evidence of a nursery herd of ice age Columbian mammoths". How cool is that!?
A good farmers market is one of the best ways to support local businesses and farmers. So, if you happen to be visiting Waco during farmers market day (check the website for hours) then be sure to head over with an empty stomach because you'll be sure to find all sorts of fresh fruits, veggies, and other goodies that you'll want to take home with you.
Love unique, beautiful, handcrafted jewelry? Stop by Summer Ellis Bijouterie for some of the most elegant and stunning pieces of locally made jewelry that I've ever seen.
Not to worry, this list is definitely not just for the ladies. A newcomer to the Waco scene is Brazos River Supply Co. which stocks unique products for the outdoorsy man.
Call me old fashioned, but I love to send snail mail cards to friends, so when I stumble into a beautiful stationary store like January Letterpress I get extra excited. Not only are their cards and stationary beautiful, but the store itself is gorgeous.
Last (but most certainly not least) we have Fabled Bookshop and Cafe. A town isn't complete without a good bookstore and this one is not only at the top of my "must see in Waco" list but also my "favorite local shops in America" list-- it's that good! The selection of books is diverse including a large children's section that has regular story time, and there's a beautiful cafe with lots of seating in the center of the store. Definitely one of Waco's best stops so GO and be sure to buy a book!
Waco is truly a great little town with lots going for it. When you visit you'll be greeted with top notch southern hospitality, delicious food, and small town charm aplenty. If you have more Waco suggestions, I'd love to hear them! Be sure to drop your suggestions in the comments below.