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Road Trip To Waco, Texas

Embark on an adventure through Texas’ hidden wonders
Photo: Waco Surf | Facebook

Road trips to Austin, Houston, or San Antonio are fun, sure, but let’s adventure along the roads less traveled by detouring past the big cities and visiting smaller historic towns. We’ve even supplied some attractions to stop at along the way. We’ve already been to Mineral WellsLake ConroeGrandburyJeffersonDenison, Canton and Athens. Next stop: Waco.

Waco - 2 Hours & 30 Minutes

Waco is one of those places that has it all: small-town charm, nature-based activities, unique history, adorable homes and, like seemingly everywhere in Texas, rapid growth. 

Fun Fact: Waco is home to one of the most important paleontological sites in the world. Excavations of Columbian mammoth fossils began in 1978, and since then, they’ve uncovered around 24 fossils. These giants stood at around 14 feet and weighed roughly 20,000 pounds. You can view some of the findings at the Waco Mammoth National Monument.

Photo: Waco Surf | Facebook

Waco Surf

This water park allows you to float down a lazy river, take it easy at their man-made beach, drop down massive water slides, wakeboard and even surf! That’s right —  you don’t need to fly to California to catch the perfect waves because Texas has one of the largest inland surfing spots in the country. They offer a variety of classes so that all ages and experience levels can acclimate to the water. If family members are into the resort vibes more than the adventure, they can choose to lounge in a beach club cabana.

5347 Old Mexia Road, Waco

Brazos River Cruise

Hop aboard this river cruise for a relaxing view and a deep dive into Wacoan history. The hospitable hosts will tell you all about Waco’s past, including everything from the floods that marred the town to the invention of the classic beverage Dr Pepper. You’ll get a great view of Baylor University’s massive football stadium, as well as the Waco Suspension Bridge. We won’t tell you about the surprise toward the end of the tour, but we’ll just say you should save some room for a treat… 

Milo All Day

Enjoy scratch-made Southern classics cooked with Texas-sourced ingredients at this airy restaurant. The menu changes according to the season (and what local farmers are able to provide), so you know that you’re getting top-tier produce. A few of our favorites include their farro grain bowl, brisket pastrami Reuben, al pastor sopes and blue corn waffles for weekend brunch. Just keep in mind: they are closed on Tuesdays.

1020 Franklin Ave., Waco | (254) 235-1243

Dr Pepper Museum

If you’re a native Texan, then we’re sure you know that Dr Pepper was invented right here in our great state. However, did you know that it is the oldest major soft drink in America? It predates Coca-Cola by one year, as it was crafted by Dr. Charles Alderton in 1885. Visit the Dr Pepper Museum in Waco to learn all about its history and test out some interactive exhibits. You can even make your own soda or opt for an after-hours tour that runs through their paranormal encounters and even leads guests into their typically off-limits basement. Admission includes one Dr Pepper drink, or you can upgrade to a Waco float.

300 S. Fifth St., Waco | (254) 757-1025

Magnolia Market at the Silos

OK, we honestly don’t need to mention this spot because let’s be real: who hasn’t heard of HGTV’s internationally famous show Fixer Upper? However, if you have not yet made the journey, just note that the Silos include more than just shops. They have plenty of food trucks, free outdoor games such as cornhole and baseball, an incredible cafe and plenty of spots to catch some rays. If you are looking to shop, keep in mind that the Gaines family has more stores around the city, and you can find bargains elsewhere! (One that we recommend for deals is Little Shop on Bosque.)

601 Webster Ave., Waco | (254) 235-0603

Spice Village

Some of us have family members who expect a souvenir every time we set foot in a new town. Fortunately, Waco has no shortage of gift options. Check out Spice Village — they’ve got products from over 60 different boutiques, all presented nicely under one (large) roof. They carry jewelry, apparel, home decor, toys, holiday wares, baby products and even imported olive oils, and, yes, spices. This 30,000-square-foot spot is perfect for those who just love window shopping as well.

213 Mary Ave., Waco (Entrance located on Second & Franklin) | (254) 757-0921


Arcade bar meets mini golf. This venue has tons of screens for watching sports, a variety of classic arcade games and the perfect mini-golf setup. They even offer food from neighboring restaurants if you need to take a break from all that gaming and putting.

320 S. Second St., Waco | (254) 340-5198

Photo: Pivovar | Facebook


If you like nabbing two birds with one stone, then Pivovar is the place for you! In fact, make that several birds. … Pivovar has Czech roots and operates as a hotel, spa, restaurant, bar, bakery, beer garden (or biergarten) and events venue. The schnitzel and goulash at the restaurant will take you on a mouthwatering journey, while the “beer bath” spa offers a unique luxury experience. Beer yeast actually contains nutrients and is rich in organic iron, so it is great for healing the skin. Before you ask: this is not a modern take. Beer spas first began over 4,000 years ago in India!

320 S. Eighth St., Waco | (254) 224-6552

The Pink A-Frame

It’s a dollhouse come to life. You have to see the stunning pink and red tones throughout this fully renovated A-frame. The home is situated on 1.5 acres of land for the perfect relaxing weekend away from the city, yet it is still only a short drive from downtown Waco. The home’s highlights include a lip-shaped sofa, a wall full of pink and red cowgirl hats, an outdoor hot tub, pink flooring and even a Texas-shaped waffle maker for a breakfast that you can eat in the yard. Perfect Instagram fodder. 

On the Way

Photo: Roadside America Museum | Facebook

Roadside America Museum

Visit this charming spot for a collection of all-American roadside classics from the 1940s-1950s. They’ve got statues of icons such as Bob’s Big Boy, Planters’ Mr. Peanut, Looney Tunes, an old telephone booth, a jukebox, classic cars and more. We can’t believe how many cartoon stars they’ve managed to pack in there — a must-see for nostalgic Americana.

212 E. Elm St., Hillsboro | (972) 291-2958

Czech Stop

We’re sure you’ll see an enticing billboard or two for Czech Stop when you’re headed toward Waco. This Texan institution serves up classic Czech dishes that have grown in popularity across the state. They craft all of their pastries daily and also create a variety of wraps, subs, breakfast burritos, German chocolate cupcakes and more. Be sure to order enough for the car ride home!

104 S. George Kacir Drive, West | (254) 826-4161