Experience the best our city has to offer, whether you have two hours or 24 hours.
Choose at least one stop from the following sections to design a custom tour around town. Whether you are just visiting or planning on making the city your home, we hope you’ll find this guide helpful in putting together the perfect Waco day trip.
Waco at a Glance
Located in the Heart of Texas, the City of Waco, established in 1849, sits along the Brazos River and is conveniently located in between Dallas, Austin and Houston. Birthplace of Dr Pepper and home to Baylor University and Chip and Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia empire, Waco is home to world-class attractions. Local restaurants from casual dining to coffee shops generate national buzz.
Areas of Town
Waco is a vibrant city filled with distinct districts, each home to shops and restaurants with unique characteristics.
- Downtown – Park street-side on Austin Avenue and explore Waco’s picturesque urban hub, characterized by small shops and eateries, including the popular shops at River Square Center.
- Elm Avenue – Restaurants, festivals, and pop-up vendors such as Eastside Market characterize this corridor bounding the Brazos River across from downtown.
- La Salle Corridor – Historically a hub for Hispanic businesses, this district offers a bit of everything with local shops, iconic restaurants, including Health Camp and Magnolia Table, and home to the Waco Flea Market - a must-see for deals and unique finds.
- River District – Bounding the Brazos River, Waco’s Iconic Suspension Bridge, Indian Springs Park and Branding the Brazos Sculptures call this pedestrian-friendly district home.
- Silo District – Home to Magnolia’s iconic Silos property, including a bakery and gardens, as well as their nearby coffee shop, Magnolia press, this district is home to many nationally-famous Fixer Upper ventures.
- Uptown – Starting at Austin and 15th Street, this well-established district enjoyed a mid-century heyday as a business district, and is currently home to trendy boutiques.
Home to a variety of local and chain restaurants to suit any taste, you can’t go wrong dining in Waco! Try visiting one of our Go Gold! Dining Partners.
- Go Gold Partner Restaurants – from farm to table cafes to upscale dining, Waco has it all.
Be sure to bring along a Baylor friend to unlock special deals!
Waco’s urban parks and museums provide engaging activities and events in the heart of the city.
- Brazos River & Riverwalk – The Brazos River winds through the heart of Waco, providing opportunities for outdoor recreation, whether renting a paddle board or embarking on a river cruise. Take in the beauty of the water and Waco’s chalk bluffs as the Riverwalk heads through scenic Cameron Park, creating a looping path on both sides of the river.
- Cameron Park – One of Texas’s largest urban parks, Cameron Park is home to gardens, playgrounds, splash pads, as well as plenty of hike and bike trails.
- Cameron Park Zoo – Home to over 300 species of animals, this natural-habitat zoo is located near the entrance of Cameron Park.
- Dr Pepper Museum – Dr Pepper, the nation’s oldest soft drink, was invented in Waco in 1885. Discover the history of the soft drink industry through exhibits located in the old Artesian Manufacturing and Bottling Company building, and enjoy a Dr Pepper float from the old fashioned soda fountain.
- Texas Ranger Museum – This museum, located on the banks of the Brazos River across from McLane Stadium, shares history of the Texas Rangers and the American West.
- Texas Sports Hall of Fame – A must-see for fans of Texas sports, the Hall of Fame recognizes athletes, coaches and administrators who have left a lasting legacy.
- Waco Mammoth National Monument – Waco’s only national park explores the history of Columbian mammoths, inhabitants of the land during the Ice Age, serving as a hub for scientific research and education.
Landmarks & Public Art
Looking for that perfect photo-op? Visit Waco’s historical landmarks or public art installations.
- Cottonland Castle – This historic home located on Austin Avenue not far from downtown lent its name to popular residential neighborhood, Castle Heights. Constructed to resemble a German castle on the Rhine River, the house served many purposes before falling into disrepair. Today, the property is owned by Chip and Joanna Gaines and is currently undergoing restoration.
- Doris Miller Memorial – Located at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and Washington Avenue, this sculpture honors Waco’s World War II hero, Doris Miller. Doris Miller was born and raised in Waco and was the first African-American to be awarded the Navy Cross for his bravery during Pearl Harbor.
- Indian Spring Park and the “Branding of the Brazos” Sculptures -- Paying tribute to the cattle drives spurring industry and growth within the city, the Branding of the Brazos Sculptures decorate Indian Springs park and the entrance to the Waco Suspension Bridge.
- Murals & Art – Waco has an abundance of murals, sculptures and public art. View a full list here.
- Suspension Bridge – Connecting Indian Spring Park with Doris D. Miller Park, the historic Waco Suspension Bridge, constructed in 1870 served as a crucial point of connection along the Chisholm Trail, supporting economic expansion in town due to the influx of goods.
Travelling to Waco on I-35? Whether approaching the city from the north or south, we’ve got some special mentions from our nearest neighbors.
- Czech Stop – If travelling to Waco via Dallas, be sure to make a pit stop in West, Texas for authentic kolaches – fruit-filled, sweet pastries! This stop is a popular road trip for Baylor students at any hour – the Czech Stop is open 24/7
- BUC-EES – If travelling to Waco via Austin, don’t miss out on stopping in BUC-EES Temple, an iconic Texas roadside experience. Get your snacks and home goods all in one stop.
Looking for a curated experience that is fun for the whole family? View our virtual guides.
Visit Waco TX App
Download the Visit Waco TX app by the Waco Convention and Visitors Bureau to map your Waco excursion and learn more about the attractions listed above.
Learn about special events, track downtown public transportation, and more while planning your itinerary!The app is available for both Apple and Android devices