Living in Waco
A renaissance accelerated by Baylor University and Fixer Upper; a 1950s downtown shattered by one of America's most lethal tornadoes; post-Civil War estates and an annual Cotton Palace Pageant; a rowdy cowtown where cattle drives gathered to cross the Brazos river; a village of Huaco Indians: Waco, Texas has a rich history and a flourishing present.
Facts about Waco
- The City of Waco is home to around 139,000 people. Adding in surrounding suburbs almost doubles that number to an estimated 270,000 (2020 figures).
- The cost of living in Waco, based on an index where the national average is 100, comes in at 78.9, indicating that the cost of living in Waco is cheaper than the national average. The median home value in Waco, according to Zillow is $225,620.
- Located on I-35, from Waco you can drive to either the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex or Austin, the capital of Texas, in under 2 hours.
- Waco is the county seat of McLennan County.
- Waco is home to 3 institutions of higher education:
Would you like living in Waco?
Do you like the outdoors? See Heart of Texas Sports and Recreation information.
Popular with graduate students:
- Cameron Park for biking/walking/hiking trails along the river or climbing hills to clifftop panoramic views
- Heart of Texas Dog Park
- Lake Waco and surrounding parks
- Lake Waco Wetlands
- Waco Suspension Bridge and Riverwalk
Do you like dining? From food trucks to family-owned restaurants, international flavors to farm-grown produce, check out Waco's food scene at Heart of Texas Dining.
- Alpha Omega
- Backyard Stage and Grill
- Bangkok Royal
- Clay Pot
- Common Grounds
- Dichotomy Coffee Shop
- Pinewood Roasters
- Waco Food Trucks
- Waco Farmers Market (Saturdays year round)
See our Waco Coffee Guide
Are you bringing a family? Waco is extremely family-friendly, starring the Mayborn Museum and Cameron Park Zoo, and offering multiple school choices and family activities. See Heart of Texas for Family Entertainment and a ranking of local private schools.
Popular with graduate students with families:
Are you a sports fan? Between Baylor University, Cameron Park, the Heart of Texas Rodeo, and area facilities such as Cottonwood Creek golf course, choose whether to watch or play. See your choices at the Waco Heart of Texas Sports listings and Extraco Events Center.Popular with graduate students:
Looking to get plugged in locally? From churches to charities to clubs, Waco offers multiple ways to connect.
Popular with graduate students :
Do you like the arts? Baylor University offers its own drama, music, and art events, and you can find more choices at McLennan Community College, Waco Civic Theatre, and local music events (see the Waco Tribune Calendar).
- Baylor Music
- Baylor Theatre
- Brazos Nights free summer concert series
- Waco Symphony Orchestra
Do you love history? Baylor has a rich history that can be found in places small and large. See Waco History for a start.
- Armstrong Browning Library
- Doris Miller Memorial
- Historic Waco Foundation Home Tours
- Mayborn Museum Complex
- Texas Ranger Hall of Fame & Museum
- Waco Mammoth National Monument
- Waco Suspension Bridge
Research all your options at the City of Waco website , the Waco Tribune Calendar, and the Waco Heart of Texas visitor guide, expand your search to nearby Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, and the Texas Hill Country, or explore the entire state of Texas.
For Baylor-specific information, you can also find:
- a list of on-campus resources and recreation at our Campus Resources page
- on-campus housing information on our Graduate Student Housing Community page
- helpful information for Moving To Waco