Are you looking for the ultimate list of things to do in Waco, Texas? Keep reading for my top picks.
130,000 Texans call Waco home, but if you’re not a Waco local, you might not know where to start in terms of finding things to do in Waco. Don’t fret, though, I’ve found some of the best things to do in Waco, Texas, and I’ve put them all in a handy list here so you can make like a local, and know what’s cooking!
Waco might not be one of the most famous tourist destinations in the USA, but it’s got loads going on and there’s plenty to get stuck into during your time in this amazing city! So stay tuned for my list of the best things to do in Waco.
First on my list of the best things to do in Waco, it’s (of course) something food related. Texas is all about the amazing food – so make sure you have time to try the best of it. This is the best barbecue in town, and you will 100% not regret getting a full plate here! It’s been named one of Texas’ best barbecues, which is some SERIOUSLY high praise.
Family run since it opened in 1946, Tony DeMarias has been a Waco institution ever since, serving hestyle barbecue like you’ve never had it before. Bear in mind, though, that Tony’s shuts down when it runs out of meat, so get in early so you don’t miss out!
Dr. Pepper Museum
The Dr Pepper Museum is next on my list of the best things to do in Waco. Home to the famous Dr Pepper, and inside the old bottling plant, this museum is definitely worth the trip. The building is over a hundred years old, and the exhibits celebrate America’s oldest fizzy pop. Originally Dr Pepper was called Waco, Cos you couldn’t get it anywhere else! At the end of the tour though, you can order an original old style Dr Pepper float – definitely not to be missed, and for sure, one of the best things to do in Waco, Texas!
Next up on this list of things to do in Waco is spice village, a restored warehouse home to a variety of vendors selling home decor, clothing, jewellery and vintage/antique items. With over 60 shops under one roof it’s like a very Texan Bazaar!
Waco Suspension Bridge
The Waco suspension Bridge is one of the oldest and (in my opinion) prettiest bridges in the areas. It’s a lovely place to take photos, and I love capturing photos of the bridge at night (like the photo below). The beautiful bridge was built in 1870 and it is located in Indian Spring Park on the Brazos River. I love this bridge, and it’s always on my list of things to do in Waco.
Next up on my list of the best things to do in Waco, it’s Lula Jane’s! Definitely a spot to head to for lunch, going to this bakery is one of our favourite things to do in Waco. You’ll find it brimming with locals, as it’s an essential gathering point for the community, but all the food is locally sourced and they do some killer sandwiches.
There’s nothing nicer than strolling around Cameron Park in Waco, which is why it makes my list of the best things to do in Waco, Texas. It’s only the second largest city park in the whole country! With two rivers, okay friends, splash parks, winding cycle paths, and verdant greenery you probably can’t get more beautiful than Cameron Park. For the best views and the prettiest setting head to lovers leap.
High above the bisque river on a limestone bluff you’ll get pristine views of the local countryside. Legend has it that two star crossed lovers who’d been forbidden to be together leapt to their death from here! Romantic. There’s also a Zoo in the park which is pretty rad. It’s got nice giraffes.
Magnolia Market at the Silos
This is perhaps one of the most famous things to do in Waco, so it’s definitely one you won’t want to miss! More than just a concept retail store, magnolia market is an insta-ready compound of home improvement, with games, gardens, food trucks, and much else besides. Bring ur camera and a thick wallet, cause you’re gonna wanna redo your whole house once you’ve been here!
Waco Mammoth National Monument
Whether you’re a budding archaeologist, a fan of mammoths, or just someone who’s interested in seeing something a little different, the mammoth national monument is one of the coolest things to do In Waco. It’s where the USAs only find of a Pleistocene mammoth exists, and it is some super cool palaeontology if ever there was any. If you love history and culture, then this is one of the top things to do in Waco for you!
How could we write an article about the best things to do in Waco and not include Lake Waco itself? The lake it a beautiful focal point of the city, and it’s a peaceful, beautiful place to enjoy your time. Renting a boat is probably the most popular activity you can do on Lake Waco, but people also do water sports, swimming and fishing too. There are also plenty of hiking trails around the lake, such as Koehne Park, Airport Park, and Midway Park. In the summertime, you’ll definitely want to put this on your list of things to do in Waco.
Lake Waco Wetlands
The Lake Waco wetlands are the next item on my list of things to do in Waco. This place is a natural habitat for many insects, marine life and birds. It’s nice to go and walk around, but mainly it’s pull is for bird watching.
Dichotomy Coffee & Spirits
If you’re looking for a slice of local life, then head down to Dichotomy Coffee & Spirits and enjoy a cup (or two) of coffee. This a place that is loved amongst locals and visitors, and it’s the vibe and atmosphere that really makes it special. There’s also a bar inside, which turns this coffee shop into a bit of a nightlife venue in the evening. They even have live music!
Waco Farmers Market
Waco Farmers Market is the next suggestion on my list for things to do in Waco. Everyone loves a farmer’s market, and the Waco farmers market is full of local produce, friendly market sellers and plenty of delicious food to try out. It’s a foodie’s idea of heaven! The market takes place every Saturday morning between 9am and 1pm.
Texas Sports Hall of Fame and Museum
How could we right a list of things to do in Waco, and not mention the Texas Sports hall of fame?
Texas Rangers are iconic. This museum is dedicated to the oldest state le enforcement in the USA and you will genuinely be astounded by all the cool stuff you can learn about them, and all the cool crimes they solved and criminals they tracked down and brought in. They’ve a huge place in American popular culture, too, so this museum has been a big hit for quite a while!
Next on my list of things to do in Waco, it’s this local Creamery. This place in Waco makes my list of things to do in Waco – because (let’s face it) who doesn’t love ice-cream? This place is know for it’s delicious flavour, inventive combinations and the amazing handmade frozen treats they serve up all day long. The shop is open every day (so you can always get your fix of ice-cream or milkshakes) between noon and 11pm. It’s a must-do in Waco, and we guarantee you’ll end up going back for seconds at some point too.
Armstrong Browning Library
Next on my list of things to do in Waco, it’s the Armstrong Browning Library. This gorgeous research centre and library is dedicated to the lives of Robert and Elizabeth Barret Browning, both of whom were Victorian Romantic Poets. It makes the list of things to do in Waco because it’s a literary gem with exhibits on the Barret Brownings works and lives. The building is exquisite too!
Carleen Bright Arboretum
The Carleen Bright Arboretum is next on my list of things to do in Waco. This is one of the most naturally beautiful areas in the city and it’s a space dedicated to nature. There are 8 acres of botanical gardens here (yes 8!) so it’s well worth taking time out to explore all the beautiful scenery. The property itself is made up of 4 different ‘zones’ – there is the western and eastern gardens, the pavilion and wedding lawn, each one unique and beautiful in it’s own way.
East Terrace Museum
This interesting museum is situated overlooking the Brazos River, and it’s famous for being the former home of industrialist John Wesley Mann. What makes it worth visiting? The style of house itself is really interesting to look around, and the style of architecture isn’t often seen in this part of the USA. The museum / house is open to the public every Sunday between 1pm and 4pm and it’s well worth a visit, especially if you enjoy local history and seeing original features and antique furniture.
Schmaltz’s Sandwich Shop
Last on my list of things to do in Waco, it’s this incredible sandwich shop in Waco. Schmaltz’s Sandwich Shop is just unmissable and trust me, you’ll want to add it to your schedule of things to do in Waco. If you’re a foodie, you’ll absolutely love it here, and if you’re not, then everyone loves a sandwich right? The sandwiches served up here are FRESH, and they bake all their bread fresh daily, with popular fillings such as ham, cheese, pastrami, and even roast beef. Delicious!