Since 1850, Waco, a city in north-central Texas, has been McLennan County’s administrative center. Waco is located along the Brazos River, 100 miles south of Dallas.
Waco has plenty to keep tourists occupied for days. Explore downtown where you will discover Magnolia Market, antique shops, and amazing local shops and restaurants. Mountain bike or walk in Cameron Park. Explore this historic and cultural district.
The best things to do in Waco TX, are included in this article.
Best Things to do in Waco Tx
- Cameron Park Zoo
The 52-acre Cameron Park Zoo in Waco, Texas, is situated close to the Brazos River. Splashing waterfalls, a lovely lake, and ponds are surrounded by lush local flora. With over a half million people annually, the zoo is the second-largest tourist destination in Waco.
The animal care crew puts a lot of time and effort into giving the finest care possible, which includes training, healthy feeding, medical treatment, and life enrichment. More than 1,731 animals, representing 300 species, are housed at the Cameron Park Zoo’s animal collection, which features natural habitats and up-close experiences.
The Cameron Park Zoological & Botanical Society, the City of Waco, and McLennan County share a special working partnership that has made the Zoo’s history and national leadership over the past three decades possible.
- Waco Mammoth National Monument
The 100+ acres of parks along the Bosque River are covered with trees and are home to the five-acre Waco Mammoth National Monument. The location, which is surrounded by oak, mesquite, and cedar trees, offers a getaway from the contemporary world and offers a look into Columbian mammoths’ daily existence.
In 1978, Paul Barron and Eddie Bufkin were looking for fossils and arrowheads while trekking along a seasonal stream bed between the Brazos and Bosque rivers when they stumbled onto the location. Since 1978, when fossils were discovered, new discoveries have been made. The remains are still stored so that the public can examine them and do scientific research on them.
Waco gained recognition in the world’s scientific community as a result of the mammoths’ attention, and the city also saw a rise in tourism and business.
The paleontological site welcomes visitors, and there is a Welcome Center with displays that examine the information made available by the discovery of the fossil remains. Then, visitors can take one of the regularly scheduled guided visits to the Dig Shelter to see the fossil remains.
- Texas Ranger Hall of Fame
This museum may be found along the banks of Brazos River.
The Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum‘s goals are to educate the public about the Texas Rangers’ history, contributions to society, and principles as well as to serve as the state’s official repository for items and records about the Texas Rangers.
Along with the hall and museum, the premises also house the Armstrong Research Center, exhibitions, educational activities, relics, and works of art. The Armstrong Research Center is home to a sizable collection of Ranger materials, including court records, pictures, letters, and other records.
- Texas Sports Hall of Fame
Texas was the first state in the US to establish a sports hall of honor when baseball player Tris Speaker was inducted in 1951.
In the Tom Landry Theater, you may see short videos of significant sports milestones in Texas history, sing along to school anthems from Texas institutions, and compare your hand and shoe measurements to those of NBA legends using life-size reproductions. View the development of tennis rackets.
- Lake Waco
The city of Waco uses Lake Waco, an artificial lake and reservoir, for a number of purposes. The dam was constructed in 1929 to stop the Bosque River from flooding and to give the city a dependable water supply. The first dam was rebuilt in 1961 with a more contemporary earthen one, which significantly increased the lake’s surface area from around 2,700 acres to over 19,400 acres.
Additionally, it has always been a hub for leisure activities. It offered more than simply a picturesque scene but also a location for social events. Over the years, boating on the lake developed become a very well-liked activity. By the 1950s, it was common to see boats parked on the lake and people swimming and sunbathing along the coast.
The Lake Waco Wetlands, an environmental initiative started in 2001 to mitigate habitat loss when the city raised the reservoir by seven feet, are located at the upper end of Lake Waco. This location, which is jointly administered by the city and Baylor University, acts as a living lab for research, instruction, and enjoyment.
- Magnolia Market
Magnolia Market is a two-block-long shopping center located in downtown Waco, Texas.
The shop sells goods with Joanna’s distinctive aesthetic. Entry is free of charge. Free games and shaded picnic areas are available for visitors to use.
They have a number of bestsellers. Each week, thousands of people go to the Silos to see Chip and Joanna or to locate some of the fantastic decor showcased in the program. In addition to the Magnolia Market, guests may enjoy the Silos Baking Co.’s delectable cupcakes, the lawn activities, coffee shops, the food truck park, a stroll through the garden, and Magnolia Seed & Supply.
- Dr. Pepper Museum
Visit the Original Home of Dr. Pepper to see two buildings filled with exhibits, including the three floors of the former bottling facility. Reserve a spot on one of our well-liked activities, such as the Paranormal Tour, the Extreme Pepper Experience, Make-A-Soda, and Taste-A-Soda.
Watch astonishing demonstrations in The Liquid Laboratory, including cooking-with-Dr-Pepper lessons and experiments using soda. Visit Dr. Pepper on Wheels to see the preserved beverage wagons and delivery vans and discover how transportation contributed to the surge in popularity of soft drinks. At the fictitious 7Up bottling line, you can see the goods being produced and take use of interactive features like a train, play areas, and a kid-sized delivery truck replica.
- Waco Suspension Bridge
After being finished in 1870, the Waco Suspension Bridge is still a renowned landmark in the heart of Waco.
When the bridge was built, it was the longest single-span suspension bridge west of the Mississippi and functioned as a crossing for the Chisholm Trail for many years.
The bridge serves as a fantastic location for gatherings and special occasions and is the focal point of many local festivals and events. At this time, only pedestrians utilize the bridge.
- Brazos Park East
The Brazos River pleasantly meanders through Brazos Park East, a riverfront park. The park has horseshoe pits, a disc golf course, hiking paths, boat ramps, bathrooms, and picturesque views of the limestone cliffs across the river.
A relaxing respite may be had in Brazos Park East. Sit on the grass and close your eyes while having a picnic, exploring the surroundings, or doing nothing at all. You may have a fantastic time in Waco without pulling out your money since entry to Brazos Park East is free.
- Mayborn Museum Complex
The natural science and cultural history museum with an emphasis on Central Texas is housed at the Mayborn Museum Complex, which is a component of the Baylor University campus.
Along with the natural history exhibits, there are two floors of themed discovery rooms that promote interactive learning for all ages.
- Armstrong Browning Library and Museum
This building is located in Waco, Texas, on the Baylor University campus.
The world’s largest collection of Robert and Elizabeth B. Browning material is kept here, together with other outstanding collections of rare books, manuscripts, and works of art, in a building devoted to studying their lives and works.
On your next vacation to Texas, make sure to visit the library.
- Spice Village
In Waco, Texas, Spice Village is the ultimate shopping destination. One might feel as though they are provided with the greatest things to pick from, quantity and variety notwithstanding, with more than 60 different businesses housed under one roof.
It is housed in a 1908 warehouse building in the center of Waco. Home decor, jewelry, trinkets, candles, clothes, and much more are all available here.
- Hiking Trails
Explore the hiking trails of Waco on your next trip to Texas.
- Hale Bopp and Highlander Loop
Visit this 2.7-kilometer circular route close to Waco, Texas. It is classified as a moderately challenging course and normally takes 45 minutes to finish. Even though this is a well-traveled road for hiking, mountain biking, and birding, you could still find some solitude during the quieter hours of the day. The best time to hike this trail is from May through September.
- Woodway Park
Discover this 4.7-kilometer circular route close to Waco, Texas. This route, which is considered to be straightforward, normally takes 59 minutes to complete. The best time to hike this trail is from April through September.
- Carleen Bright Arboretum
Almost half of the 16 acres that make up the Carleen Bright Arboretum have been turned into botanical gardens. The Arboretum is where visitors can find a certified Monarch Way-station, a koi pond, fountains, a rose garden, and a meditation garden, among other things.
Monarch butterflies can find milkweed, nectar supplies, and refuge in the Carleen Bright Arboretum, which is recognized as a waystation on their migration through North America. The habitat for monarch butterflies is created, conserved, and protected as a result of all of this.
The Arboretum Explorers program, which takes place on the grounds of The Carleen Bright Arboretum, aims to inspire and engage young people in the outdoors by introducing them to wildlife.
- Martin Museum of Art
The Martin Museum of Art is located on the campus of Baylor University.
About 1,500 pieces of art, generously contributed by artists, collectors, and businesses, or acquired using museum acquisition money, make up the Martin Museum of Art’s Permanent Collection. The Martin Museum acquires works of art to promote community appreciation and knowledge of art as well as the academic and creative research of its teachers and students.
The Museum is a crucial resource for learning and research across a range of subjects, including but not limited to studio art, art history, and art appreciation.
- Bill and Eva Williams Bear Habitat
The Bear Habitat is situated in the center of the Baylor campus, close to the intersection of M.P. Daniel Esplanade and 5th Street.
The Baylor University Bear Program is dedicated to giving Baylor’s bears the best possible care and to assisting the general public by offering special educational opportunities on American Black Bears.
In 1917, a bear made its way to the university. The Baylor Chamber of Commerce was given responsibility for the environment, future bears, and the Bear Program in 1940. Today, the live bear mascots are taken care of in great detail by the Bear Program, which is made up of student leaders from the Chamber.
- Earle Napier Kinnard House
Earle constructed a two-room brick home and he and his wife Emma moved in.
H. S. Morgan began construction on the two-story extension to the existing structure in 1866 after purchasing the land. Dr. John Smith Napier and his wife Mary bought the home for $5,000 in May 1868, making them the new owners. The Napiers took up the construction task and expanded the home to its current size.
The house’s white, pillared porticos serve as visual cues that it is designed in the Greek Revival architectural style. On both the top and lower galleries of the porch, there is an elaborate wooden railing that looks like ironwork. Shutters made of cypress beautifully accent the windows.
Since it is now a public museum administered by the Historic Waco Foundation, the Earle-Napier-Kinnard House occupies a special position as a testimony to Waco’s history and a watcher of the city’s ongoing growth.
- Homestead Craft Village
5 miles northwest of Waco, in Homestead Craft Village, you may shop, eat, and take self-guided tours. The 200-year-old barn, the Potter’s House, a woodworking shop, a restored gristmill from 1760, textile arts, a herb garden, and more are all part of the 18-acre complex. By appointment, guided tours are offered. One of the best eateries in the Waco region is Café Homestead, which offers natural meat and freshly baked products.
This old-fashioned crafts hamlet gives demonstrations in a variety of skills, including carpentry, pottery making, fabric crafts, cheese making, constructing barns, weaving baskets, and ironwork. Make sure to visit the Gift Barn for handcrafted gifts and Cafe Homestead for lunch or a scrumptious dessert.
Both on the tee line and in the distinctive outdoor space designed to seem like a backyard, visitors of all ages may choose from a range of entertainment and socializing alternatives. This creative area has picnic-style dining tables, lounging sections with fire pits, and yard activities like giant Jenga and bean bag toss.
Everyone will find something to enjoy at Topgolf Waco, which features a 13-foot programmable video wall, VIP party patios, wall murals and pop art that is regionally inspired, more than 50 big-screen TVs, and a live music stage.
It is a location where you can go for special occasions like birthdays, bachelor or bachelorette parties, business gatherings, dating evenings, or simply a night out with friends and everyone will have a fantastic time.
- McLane Stadium
Baylor University owns and operates McLane Stadium, an American football stadium in Waco, Texas.
In addition to athletic events, Baylor and the city of Waco intend to use the location to hold musical performances and other neighborhood gatherings like The Gathering (a local gathering of churches on Palm Sunday).
Near the stadium, there is a dining and function area called the Baylor Club. Floor-to-ceiling windows in the Baylor Club ballroom provide a field vista as well as expansive views of Waco and the Brazos River.
- Waco Hippodrome Theatre
Since 1914, the Waco Hippodrome Theatre has established a reputation for presenting a wide range of top-notch Broadway-style performances and entertainment, including silent movies, vaudeville, and visiting entertainers.
The Hippodrome is the only place to look in Waco for sizable live music venues. It encompasses a variety of musical styles. Its goal is to produce a remarkable experience for people from all walks of life and musical preferences.
The Hippodrome can hold business gatherings including seminars, training sessions, meetings, and other educational events in addition to being a popular food and entertainment destination. It features A/V technology, which makes it one of the greatest business venues in the city for successfully relaying information.
Waco has many exciting things to offer. Do visit the above-mentioned places on your next trip to Waco Texas.
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