• 7 things to see and do in Waco (that you probably haven’t seen/done yet)

    Maybe you’re looking for a nice day trip from your home in DFW, Houston, Austin or San Antonio. Maybe it’s a stop on a longer summer vacation drive across Texas. Maybe it’s your (or your child’s) Orientation or Line Camp that brings you this way.

    Whatever your reason for visiting Waco this summer, there’s plenty to see and do. A quick Google search reveals the classic favorites — the Baylor campus, Cameron Park (and Cameron Park Zoo), the Dr Pepper Museum, the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame & Museum, etc. — so we’re going to do a little bit deeper dive.

    In no particular order, here are seven things to see and do in Waco that you probably haven’t seen/done yet:

    * Union Hall Since its opening in 2020, this upscale food court has filled out, bringing 15+ different local offerings together under one roof. From Whizzbang’s Hamburgers and the Blasian Asian to Zuke’s Tea Bar and Honest Juicery, this downtown food hall offers something for everyone.

    A table inside Union Hall

    * Topgolf Waco You know Topgolf from its presence in other cities, but you won’t find another location in the nation that has partnered with its home city’s university the way Topgolf Waco and Baylor are working together.

    Inside Topgolf Waco

    * Magnolia Market at the Silos Yes, you already know about Magnolia. But chances are good you haven’t seen Magnolia’s latest round of expansions and improvements — the historic 1894 church relocated/rebuilt from across Waco; the Wiffle ball park that pays homage to Waco’s minor league baseball history; the rows of new retail shops; and more.

    Katy Ballpark, inside Magnolia Market at the Silos

    * Doris Miller Memorial Dedicated in 2018, this display honors a native Wacoan who was awarded the Navy Cross for his bravery at Pearl Harbor and became a cause célèbre in the fight against segregation in U.S. military. [Bonus: If you want to know more about Miller, Baylor history professor T. Michael Parrish has literally written the book.]

    Doris Miller Memorial

    * Waco Downtown Farmers Market Open every Saturday, the Waco Downtown Farmers Market features the best local agricultural producers and artisan vendors within 150 miles of Waco — everything from fresh meats, cheeses, fruits and vegetables to artisan pastries, jams, soaps and more (plus food trucks!).

    Waco Downtown Farmer's Market

    * Fabled Downtown Waco’s newest independent bookstore and cafe boasts 6,500 square feet of new books in a wide variety of categories, selected with purpose by Fabled staff. Adults may appreciate a quiet hour or two sipping on a Muggle Mocha or Hunny Pot Latte; kids (and kids-at-heart) will love the Narnia-inspired secret wardrobe entrance to the children’s section.

    Inside Fabled

    * Waco Mammoth National Monument This one might technically be the oldest site on the list, but the site where 70,000-year-old mammoth bones were found only became a national monument in 2015, so we’ll count it. Today, the park (launched in partnership with Baylor) welcomes more than 100,000 visitors a year to see the partially uncovered bones of Columbian mammoths, a saber-toothed cat, and other animals.

    Inside the Waco Mammoth National Monument dig shelter

    Sic ’em, Waco visitors!

    [updated July 2023]