Waco Suspension Bridge And Riverwalk
Wacos historic Suspension Bridge has served as an icon for the city since 1836 when the bridge was completed, then the longest single-span suspension bridge west of the Mississippi. On the east and west side of the bridge are Martin Luther King and Indian Spring Parks, respectively, and accessible on either side is the Riverwalk which begins at Ft. Fisher Park, extends past the suspension bridge, and ends at the Herring Ave. Bridge.
The historic Suspension Bridge was built in 1870 and has become a legendary symbol of downtown Waco. The cable used for the bridge was supplied by the John Roebling Co., which also built the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City. It is worth a look!
Why Your Family Should Go
At the Cameron Park Zoo, you can explore various exhibits such as the Brazos River Country, featuring wild animals such as cougars and jaguars, and water reptiles, including alligators.
This zoo is great if youre traveling with a baby as they offer stroller rentals to make your visit more convenient.
Waco Winery Tasting Room
Class it up a bit with a trip to the Waco Winery Tasting Room.
Theyve combined live music and local wine tasting to make for a memorable experience in Downtown Waco.
The tasting room even has a rooftop patio overlooking Austin Avenue, so you can enjoy the breeze or the fresh evening air while youre up there.
This is an amazing place to unwind with a group of friends or celebrate a birthday or special occasion.
Some local food outlets will deliver if youre hungry for some food to go with your drinks, and youll also find Cocoamonda Chocolates at the Tasting Room.
Wine + chocolate + live music + Waco?
Its no wonder this place is a huge success.
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Start Planning Your Trip To Waco
Waco is packed with all sorts of exciting sights and spots, ranging from the artistic to the historic and from the sporty to the unusual.
There are HGTV famous locations, museums packed with specific historic facets, natural areas for relaxation and exploration, and lots of opportunities for shopping and dining.
Youll have no shortage of things to enjoy and discover here, so buckle up.
With any luck, this list has helped you determine which of the top things to do in Waco, Texas youll be adding to your itinerary for your next vacation!
Go Back In Time At The Mayborn Museum Complex At Baylor
After you take your Junior Ranger pledge at the Texas Ranger museum, walk along the river just a few blocks to the Mayborn Museum Complex at Baylor. Our favorite section here is the Natural History exhibit. From the humpback whale skull to the giant sea turtle skeleton, there is a lot to see here for your roadschooling adventure. You can also catch a view of Mammoth casts here, if you dont get a chance to visit the National Monument.
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Lesson Learned From My Trip To Waco Texas
One trend continued between several of the activities on my trip.. Stories
Stories can be so inspiring.
At our air B& B, I learned how they renovated a beat down house and made it into a beautifully detailed home full of comfort. They had hidden details through out the house that had stories attached to those details. The house was restored by a son and mom duo inspired by the grandfather.
Learning why Chip & Joanna choose to invest in a location that had nothing going for it. They had a vision & decided to take a big leap of faith that their decision would grow the city of Waco. So I was excited to see downtown Waco and the Silos in a beginning phase where it was still abandoned. Now I will have the opportunity to go back in a few years and see the drastic transformation from the initial seed they planted in their community.
On the way home, I began to read The Magnolia Story and learned about the trials and obstacles Chip and Jo went through to get to the place they are at now. The tribulations of not having things handed to them, but having faith and taking risks to accomplish big things!
These powerful stories inspired me and reminded me that there is a road everyone must take. My road is different than yours, but what we do with that route is what really matters. We must learn from our challenges and speed bumps instead of trying to always avoid them.
Stories are powerful, if you are willing to LISTEN!
Amazing Things To Do In Waco Texas
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Waco, located in Central Texas, is a charming Texan small town with plenty of attractions.
Because of its location, it is famously known as the Heart of Texas!
The small town shot to fame because of the HGTV show Fixer Upper.
Magnolia Market at the Silos, founded by the shows star couple, is located in downtown Waco.
But the towns many attractions are spread far beyond Magnolia Market.
Here you will find prehistoric fossils, museums, amazing murals, panoramic views, hiking trails, and kayaking!
Because of its many kid-friendly attractions, Waco makes an excellent family vacation destination in Texas.
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See The Mammoth Skeletons At Waco Mammoth National Monument
Waco Mammoth National Monument is one of our favorite things to do in Texas with kids.
Its one of the few national monuments preserving paleontology sites in the U.S.
Admission to this monument is free, but access to the dig shelter requires an entry fee.
Waco Mammoth National Monument features extremely well-preserved skeletons of giant Columbian mammoths.
These are the remains of Columbian mammoths that once roamed this area!
Seeing the gigantic fossils in person at the Waco Mammoth National Monument is a pretty incredible experience.
Wild Lights At Cameron Park Zoo
For a city of its size, Waco has a fantastic zoo inside the beautiful Cameron Park. As the holidays near, the Cameron Park Zoo gets into the Christmas spirit with Wild Lights, its holiday lights spectacular.
Here, guests can stroll through the beautiful zoo grounds at night and see festive displays of thousands of Christmas lights. Visits with Santa, Christmas carolers, and holiday treats are also a big part of this Christmas celebration.
Be sure to come early to see all the wonderful animals at the zoo during the day!
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Hunt For The Downtown Murals
If you love amazing murals, then Waco is the city for you!
In the citys bustling downtown, you will find several amazing public artworks that are perfect backdrops for Instagram photos.
Some of the famous murals include the Dr. Pepper mural inside the museum Courtyard, the welcome to Magnolia silos mural, the city with the soul mural, and the Greetings from Waco mural outside Twisted Root Burger Co.
Looking for these delightful murals is a treasure hunt in itself and you will never know what you will find!
Cameron Park Playscape & Bbq / Picnic Areas
What in the world would a list of fun things to do in Waco with kids be without including a playscape on it?!
The Cameron Park Playscape is a pretty large playscape located in Cameron Park, right next to the river, and one of the multiple bridges that cross it. Youll find picnic tables, covered pavilions, park grills, a disc golf course and the Riverwalk all right there, with convenient parking located all along the park road, as well as in the parking lots under the bridge, and on the other side of the bridge.
The only time that you may have a challenging time finding parking is on a holiday when everybody is out and about.
Even then, youll find parking, you just may have to walk a little further from where you parked.
Just be careful if there are high winds. One time I was at the park on a very windy day, and one of the branches from one of the mature, towering trees in the park fell off and almost landed right on top of me!
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Waco Downtown Farmers Market
Waco Downtown Farmers Market
Dont miss the Waco Downtown Farmers Market!
Since 2011, this farmers market has been providing locals and tourists alike with fresh produce and plenty of other offerings.
This includes plants, fresh drinks, alcoholic beverages, gourmet treats, artisanal cheeses, handicrafts, and more!
As you browse, youll be treated to live music that serenades you as you shop.
In the area, there are also lots of great stalls to buy lunch or brunch that you can then enjoy at the picnic tables that overlook the McLane Stadium and Brazos River.
With between 35 and 40 vendors setting up shop each Saturday, youll get the full local taste of food trucks, artists, farmers, and other locals providing all sorts of unique wares!
Its undeniable that this downtown farmers market should be on your list of what to do!
Address: 500 Washington Ave, Waco, TX 76701, United States
Branding Of The Brazos
TheBranding of the Brazossculpture depicts the epic journey of cowboys and their cattle along the Chisholm Trail. With larger-than-life depictions of cattle and cowboys, its a favorite among kids.
Located in the Indian Spring Park along University Parks Drive between Washington and Franklin Avenues. Open from dawn to dusk. Free.
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Texas Ranger Hall Of Fame And Museum
The Texas Rangersis the oldest state law enforcement agency in the U.S. Unofficially created by Stephen F. Austin in 1823 to protect the early settlers from Indian raids and they served as surveyors to settle property disputes.
This museum is geared towards adults, especially men of all ages, yet my boys loved it. Learn about the history of the Texas Rangers along with a extensive display of weapons.Its not the best for families with small children due to the subject matter.
Located at 100 Texas Ranger Trail. Adult admission is $8 and kids from 6 to 12 its $4 and kids 5 and under are free. Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
Where To Stay In Waco
Waco has a variety of accommodations available for everyone.
You will find hotels, resorts, motels, RV parks, tent camping sites, and more in the city.
Waco even has several houses on Airbnb and other vacation rentals and some of these have even been featured in the show the Upper Fixer.
We recommend picking a place to stay that is close to downtown and all the major attractions for your stay.
Best Things To Do In Waco Texas
From art galleries and cultural attractions to zoos and state parks, Waco has a variety of attractions for all types of visitors.
Take a cruise along the Waco River, see giant mammoth fossils, and visit the sprawling Baylor university campus.
Here are our favorite things to do in Waco, Texas on your next trip!
Enjoy Hiking At Lake Waco Wetlands
Lake Waco wetlands is an ecological nature preserve located on the North West side of Lake Waco.
The park has a 1 mile boardwalk surrounded by trees, marshes, and wildlife such as deer, blue herons, turtles, and more.
You can also hike around the trails to enjoy the views of wetlands and learn about the ecosystem.
The research and education center has several interesting exhibits for kids.
Best part? The Preserve has free entry all year long!
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Magnolia Market At The Silos
While many people think of the Magnolia Market as a place primarily designed for adults to visit and get an up close and personal experience with the internationally famous Gaines family, the Magnolia Market is designed with the whole family in mind.
This is evident by the massive green space with artificial grass where adults can spend time together in the shade, or sit on huge bean bags while the kids play with the various games and balls that are put outside by the Magnolia team each day.
My wife tends to enjoy visiting all of the various shops in peace, so whenever were visiting The Silos in Waco, I usually bring the kids to the green space and let them frolic around while she does her thing.
The Kids Experience At The Fabled Bookshop & Caf
My seven-year-old was reading her latest book that we purchased from the Fabled Bookshop & Café last night, and when shes done with it, well go back and let her get another one. They definitely enjoy spending some time there in the kids room exploring hundreds of childrens books. They especially like the furniture specifically designed to accommodate smaller humans. The three-year-old liked the rocking chair in particular.
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Local Parks And Trails In Waco
The city is home to some 60 parks, but weve narrowed it down to two that you wont want to miss. Located conveniently near the bustling downtown, popular Cameron Park is one of the states largest with about 400 acres. A National Recreation Trail system, three playgrounds, and stunning river and cliff views from the Lovers Leap Overlook make this a beloved destination for visitors and locals alike. From Indian Spring Park, on the Brazos Rivers west side, sightseers can view the historic Waco Suspension Bridge, a city landmark completed in 1870, as well as the Branding the Brazos statue series featuring the Chisholm Trail Cattle Drive via huge bronze sculptures of three saddle-sitting cowboys and their herd of 25 longhorns.
Explore The Waco Downtown Cultural District
Browse art galleries, admire massive colorful murals, shop at boutique clothing and home furnishings stores, and savor a taste of locally sourced cuisine at a one-of-a-kind restaurant. These and many more experiences await in the Waco Downtown Cultural District, a hip and happening hotspot that spans both sides of the Brazos River. Stroll along quaint two-lane streets and avenues as you take in the beautifully restored 19th-century architecture, or explore the area on the bike trails and lanes. Admire all the magnificent works at Cultivate 7Twelve, an art gallery and event space thats home to Creative Waco. The gallerys monthly exhibitions showcase the talents of Wacos artists. See something you like? All the art on display is on sale, so you can leave with a new conversation starter for your home.
If youre in the downtown area on any given Saturday, head over to the McLennan County Courthouse for the Waco Downtown Farmers Market. Browse the selection of locally grown produce and art while enjoying a thirst-quenching drink and something tasty to munch on. The downtown area also hosts many of Wacos finest annual events. Admire the works of more than 50 sidewalk chalk muralists at the Wacotown Chalk + Walk, and experience the cultural districts shops after hours during First Friday Waco. Food, shopping, and more all await in the Waco Downtown Cultural District, an essential place to explore when you visit Waco.
Boating at Lake Waco
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Dichotomy Coffee & Spirits
Dichotomy Coffee & Spirits
Whether youre into coffee, alcoholic beverages, or both, Dichotomy Coffee & Spirits is one of the best places to visit for artisanal and gourmet offerings of the sort in Waco.
The unique company is popular among locals and tourists alike and offers a selection of artisan cocktails and delicious rare coffees!
The coffee menu at Dichotomy Coffee & Spirits is packed with iced and hot drinks alike, each made with American-roasted coffee beans.
The bar, on the other hand, provides handcrafted cocktails and delicious spirits in impressive variety.
Often, special events, live music, and other activities are hosted here, too!
Address: 508 Austin Ave, Waco, TX 76701, United States
Cruise Down The Brazos River
One of the popular Waco attractions is the relaxing cruise down the Brazos and Bosque rivers.
The cruise is a little over 2 hours and is a great way to learn about the citys history, wildlife, and iconic buildings downtown.
The tours are offered by Waco Tours River Cruise.
Other companies such as Waco River Safari and tours also offer Scenic Wildlife tours.
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Things To Do In Waco With Kids
You’ll find lots of fun things to do in Waco with the young ones. Create new memories together with these family friendly experiences:
Looking for sports, concerts, or theater events in Waco? Search event tickets to see what’s happening today, or to plan what to do this weekend!
Take a campus tour or just explore the area of Baylor University, during your travels in Waco. You can attend a sporting event while in the area.
Waco Convention Center
Learn about the events happening at Waco Convention Center during your trip to Waco. Amble around the area’s college campus or attend a sporting event.
Waco Mammoth National Monument
Explore the great outdoors at Waco Mammoth National Monument, a lovely green space in Waco. Amble around the area’s college campus or attend a sporting event.
Dr. Pepper Museum
You can spend time studying the exhibits at Dr. Pepper Museum in Waco. Amble around the area’s college campus or attend a sporting event.
Cameron Park Zoo
Why not visit the native and exotic animals who live at Cameron Park Zoo during your trip to Waco? Amble around the area’s college campus or attend a sporting event.
Brazos Park East
Explore the great outdoors at Brazos Park East, a lovely green space in Waco. Amble around the area’s college campus or attend a sporting event.