This month, we’re continuing the series with a 90-mile trip to Waco for a quick jaunt. From great Gaines-designed getaways to historical sites along the Brazos River, this city offers a little bit of everything — making it the perfect summer vacay.
Before you start packing your bags, here’s everything you need to know about the area + our insider recommendations.
Drive time: ~1.5 hours from downtown
Est. population: 137,780
Avg. high in July: 95°
🎟️ Things to do
Magnolia Market at the Silos
From furniture to paint to accessories, get lost in the seasonal colors and textures curated by design mogul Joanna Gaines.
Dr Pepper Museum
Travel back through the history of the 23 secret flavors at this 1906 bottling plant.
Armstrong Browning Library & Museum
Calling lit buffs — Walk through the world’s largest collection of works from Victorian poets Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
Baylor Bear Habitat
Visit Judge Joy Reynolds (Joy) and Judge Sue Sloan (Lady), the current American black bears at the university’s on-campus habitat.
Take a backstage tour of the award-winning whiskey-making process in this renovated 1923 building in downtown.
The Waco Hippodrome
Catch a live show at the revitalized vaudeville theater.
Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum
Explore this history of the oldest state law enforcement agency in North America.
Peruse 60 shops in the historic McLendon Hardware Co. building in downtown.
🍔 Grub a bite to eat
Breakfast + Brunch
Milo All Day
Start your day with southern comfort food made from scratch.
The Olive Branch
You know you want a chicken pesto melt on homemade garlic rosemary focaccia with a bellini.
Lunch + Dinner
Wear your stretchy pants for an original Gut Pak: Frito’s corn chips, hand-chopped brisket, sausage, beans, pickles, onions, and jalapeños.
Switch things up with a grilled pork vermicelli bowl or beef khoai tay.
Snacks + Dessert
Milk Bottle Cookies
These seasonal sweets are two-handers. Just go ahead and splurge on a cookie sampler.
Swing by the old-fashioned burger joint on the circle for a classic banana split or a chocolate malt.
Kick back with an Oso Coco, a Nesquik based frozen bevvy, at this bar built out of shipping containers.
Listen to live music while you sip a cup of the Baylor Blend at this student-favorite coffee shop. Pro Tip: Can’t make it down I-35? Stop by the Fort Worth location at 3110 Greene Ave.
🏨 Overnight accommodations
If you get a wild hair and decide to turn this quick day trip into an overnighter, here are some spots to stay.
Live Oak Lake, 1445 Spring Lake Rd.
Choose from seven picturesque cabins — that sleep two to four people — for contemporary lodging in a pastoral setting starting at $250 per night.
Magnolia House, 323 S. Madison Ave.
Splurge on this as-seen-on ”Fixer Upper” house for eight guests starting at $795 per night (~20 minutes outside Waco in McGregor).
Midcentury Modern House, Mountain View neighborhood
This four-bedroom, three-bath house is nestled in nature with a large back pergola for about $275 per night.
The Halet House, Brazos neighborhood
This Instagram-worthy house is perfect for design-lovers looking for a three-bedroom, one-bath rental around $300 per night.
Modern Downtown Domicile, Brazos neighborhood
Stay in the hustle and bustle in this chic urban loft with two bedrooms and two baths for $214 per night.
Ready for more of Waco’s weird museums, award-winning restaurants, and green-and-gold Baylor must-dos? Head to the link below for 15 additional activities, restaurants, and accommodations. Plus, stay tuned for the August installment of our Hit the Road series. We’ll be highlighting a road trip for the foodies.