Regarded as the “Heart of Texas” and the original home of the Dr. Pepper soft drink, Waco is just one of Texas’ many metropolitan cities and was founded in 1849, by the Huaco Indians. This area is now the present-day downtown of the city, with many things for tourists to do! And plenty of amazing accommodation options are also available here - from the top RV rentals to the best HomeAway vacation rentals in Waco.
A city filled with historic fun, check out these 15 best things to do in Waco, Texas.
1. Cameron Park Zoo
Did you know that the Cameron Park Zoo is an award-winning natural habitat zoo? Labeled the “Happiest Surprise In Texas,” it is one of the most popular Waco attractions. There are many exhibits to explore here, such as Gibbon Island, the Bald Headed Eagle exhibit, and much, much more! Several species of animals reside within the Cameron Park Zoo, such as giraffes, elephants, meerkats, and don’t forget, the lion!
Cameron Park Zoo
Address: 1701 North 4th Street, Waco, Texas 76707
Website: Cameron Park Zoo
2. Cottonwood Creek Golf Course
Cottonwood Creek Golf Course was rated one of the top 100 fitters in the nation, in Golf Digest and it was voted one of the top 15 public golf courses in Texas, by the Dallas Morning News. Cottonwood Creek Golf Course is every golfer’s dream come true! It features 7,140 yards of championship golf and is a Par 72 course. Operating hours are from 7 am to dark. So you can play golf to your heart’s content!
Cottonwood Creek Golf Course
Address: 5201 Bagby Ave, Waco, Texas, TX 76711
Website: Cottonwood Creek Golf Course
3. Texas Ranger Hall of Fame & Museum
Back in 1976, the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame was added to the museum. Here you’ll find memorabilia in recognition of all the Texas Rangers who served on the team, past and present and there has been between 8,000 to 10,000 Texas Rangers, since 1823! Who knew? They even have a club where kids can join as Junior Texas Rangers. Want to know more! Then, visit the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame & Museum, because Walker, Texas Ranger doesn’t even come close to these everyday heroes of Texas!
Texas Ranger Hall of Fame & Museum
Address: 100 Texas Ranger Trail, Waco, TX 76706
Website: Texas Ranger Hall of Fame & Museum
You might be interested in these Airbnbs!
4. Dr. Pepper Museum
Known as the “One You Crave” and still one of the world’s most favorite soft drinks, Dr. Pepper is the true original! Wade Morrison is the man responsible for this tasty beverage. He was a drug store owner and the first Dr. Pepper was made in Morrison’s Old Corner Drug Store, in 1885. Dr. Pepper was actually named after Dr. Charles Pepper, a Virginian doctor who was the father of the girl Morrison was in love with.
Dr. Pepper Museum is one of the most unusual Waco points of interest. It has exhibits on-site and a couple available online as well! The museum has tours, gallery talks, and more, and they even have a liquid laboratory, where you can witness the mad science behind Dr. Pepper’s flavor. And if you’re thirsty, get ready for happy hour where large fountain drinks are 50 percent off, Monday through Saturday from 11 am to 1 pm and Sunday from 12 pm to 1 pm. There’s no telling what you will discover at the Dr. Pepper Museum!
Dr. Pepper Museum
Address: 300 S 5th St, Waco, Texas, TX 76701
Website: Dr. Pepper Museum
5. Waco Downtown Cultural District
Embrace a culture like none other at the Waco Downtown Cultural District! This area highlights art, culture, and entertainment, within the community. From residents to tourists, anyone can absorb the unique innovation of the Waco Downtown Cultural District! This is an organization with a mission to take an active approach to art and it’s creative purpose in life.
Waco’s Cultural District is scattered with museums, art galleries, public art, performance places, and local food with the beverage of your choice! With numerous stores, you can purchase art, crafts, home furnishings, clothing, and jewelry, which are all locally designed and manufactured. Be sure to look out for cultural attractions, such as the diverse festivals, live music, exhibitions, poetry readings, and events for the entire family!
Waco Downtown Cultural District
Address: 101 S. 3rd St, Waco, TX 76701
Website: Waco Downtown Cultural District
6. Homestead Heritage
What started out as a small chapel back in 1973, evolved into a peaceful community, complete with land. Homestead Heritage is an agricultural, craft-based intentional Christian community. They offer activities such as farming, crafts, and year-round courses in handicrafts and skills like woodworking, blacksmithing, pottery, spinning, and weaving. Homestead Heritage teaches people to coexist with different people of different religions. Want to be one with nature, while learning different skills to add to your repertoire? Then I strongly suggest you make a visit to Homestead Heritage!
Address: 608 Dry Creek Rd., Waco, TX 76705
Website: Homestead Heritage
7. Hawaiian Falls Waterpark
Get ready for a Summer of Awesome! Buy your Waco Hawaiian Falls Season Pass at Walgreens for only $49.99 each! Get the best deal of the season: https://hfalls.com/walgreens-wacoPosted by Hawaiian Falls Waterparks on Wednesday, 12 April 2017
Believe when I say this is one attraction you do not want to miss! The Hawaiian Falls Waterpark is a 10-acre recreational park filled with endless fun! You have so many rides to choose from like Breaker Bay, The Rush, Monsoon and Typhoon, Tsunami, plus other attractions to explore! There’s a cafe; You can grab their famous Hawaiian shaved ice, do a picnic, or host a BBQ on the side!!! Hawaiian Falls Waterpark is where you want to be to have fun and enjoy the sun!
Hawaiian Falls Waterpark
Address: 900 Lake Shore Dr., Waco, Texas, TX 76708
Website: Hawaiian Falls Waterpark
8. Waco Paddle Company
Only founded last year, Waco Paddle Company offers canoes, kayaks, and other rentals. Whether you’re a solo paddler, double, or a whole group, you will treasure an up-close look at the famous Brazos River, from the dock under the historic suspension bridge! Waco Paddle Company is more than equipped to accommodate you and your family, as you paddle up and down the river!
Waco Paddle Company
Address: 200 S. University Parks Dr, Waco, Texas, TX 76701
Website: Waco Paddle Company
9. Waco Mammoth National Monument
On July 10th, 2015, President Obama made a proclamation, adding the Waco Mammoth National Monument to the United States National Park System. It is one of the most interesting things to see in Waco. With its own paleontological site, the Waco Mammoth National Monument is the only recorded find of Columbian Mammoths. Here, you can check out the bones of a female and male mammoth, from 67,000 years ago! Read the history and learn about the mammoth remains that can be found throughout the United States!
Waco Mammoth National Monument
Address: 6220 Steinbeck Bend Dr., Waco, Texas, TX 76708
Website: Waco Mammoth National Monument
10. Waco River Safari & Tours
Hey guys, well we got the boat wrapped!! Website is coming along nicely! Robert M. Brown. we will be announcing the grand opening soon. Cheers! Captain RyanPosted by Waco River Safari on Tuesday, 16 May 2017
One of the most fun things to do in Waco, TX is to go on a river cruise. Waco River Safari & Tours presents more than one tour to pick from! First, there’s the scenic history tour, that lasts about 2.5 hours and includes a history tour of the Brazos River. Or, you have the sunset cruise: a 2-hour dinner cruise which will be sure to induce relaxation. Two very different cruises, for twice the fun! Schedule both tours to take in a full picture of downtown Waco and indulge in the evening, with the catered food and quiet time!
Waco River Safari & Tours
Address: 1001 S M.L.K. Jr Blvd, Waco, TX 76704 (Boarding Location)
Website: Waco River Safari & Tours
11. Mayborn Museum Complex
Located in Baylor University, Mayborn Museum Complex is a sprawling facility that focuses on the cultural and natural science aspects of Central Texas. The museum houses a variety of permanent exhibits like Discovery Rooms, Crossroads of Texas, Historic Village, Natural and Cultural History exhibits as well as many special exhibits. In the vast collections of the museum, you can see palaeontological specimens, minerals, rocks, various animals, birds, reptiles, and other specimens, and ethnic and historical objects of significance.
Mayborn Museum Complex
Address: 1300 S University Parks Dr, Waco, TX 76706, United States
Website: Mayborn Museum Complex
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 5pm; Sun: 1pm - 5pm (closed on Thu & Fri)
Price: 9 USD
12. Waco Suspension Bridge
A landmark in the city, Waco Suspension Bridge is hard to miss. This iconic bridge connects Doris D. Miller Park to Indian Spring Park on either sides of Brazo River. Its downtown location makes it a popular attraction for both locals and visitors. Take pictures with the lifesize statues of longhorns at one end of the bridge before taking a leisurely stroll across it. There is a grassy play area for kids and benches to sit and enjoy the lovely views near the bridge.
Waco Suspension Bridge
Address: 101 N University Parks Dr, Waco, TX 76701, United States
13. Hawaiian Falls Waco
Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account
Mahalo for an amazing 2020 Season! Thanks for trusting us to provide clean, safe fun for your family. 2021 Season Passes are on sale now at hfalls.com. Aloha, ya’ll!Posted by Hawaiian Falls Waco on Monday, September 21, 2020
For a fun day out with your family, pay a visit to Hawaiian Falls Waco. This waterpark has plenty of rides and attractions to entertain visitors of all ages. For the thrill-seekers, there are rides like Kona Bay, The Rush, Tempest Tower, Monsoon & Typhoon, and more. For those who just wish to laze around in the water, there is Breaker Bay and Kona Kooler. The little ones can enjoy splashing about in Keiki Kove and Waikiki Waterworks.
Hawaiian Falls Waco
Address: 900 Lake Shore Dr, Waco, TX 76708, United States
Website: Hawaiian Falls Waco
Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 10:30am - 6pm; Fri - Sat: 10:30am - 7pm
Price: 23.99 USD onwards
14. Kiddieland Waco
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
If you’re wondering where to take your kids in Waco, then Kiddieland Waco might interest you. This children’s amusement center is a great place to hang out with your kids. It has a Ferris wheel, a carousel, a train ride, and other such kid-friendly attractions. The park is mainly aimed at providing entertainment for little kids and is a nice place to spend an hour or two.
Address: 1716 N 42nd St, Waco, Texas 76710, United States
Website: Kiddieland Waco
Opening hours: Fri: 6pm - 10pm; Sat: 11am - 10pm; Sun: 1pm - 9pm (closed on Mon, Tue, Wed & Thu)
15. Magnolia Market at the Silos
Indulge in some retail therapy at Magnolia Market at the Silos. This unique shopping area stands against the backdrop of an old oil company silos. Besides apparel, home decor, jewelry, books, garden supplies, and other stores, this shopping center also has food trucks and a bakery. Those looking to shop, eat and relax in an outdoor environment in Waco should definitely head over to Magnolia Market at the Silos.
Magnolia Market at the Silos
Address: 601 Webster Ave, Waco, TX 76706, United States
Website: Magnolia Market at the Silos
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 5pm (closed on Sun)
Make room for fun!
Drive on down to Waco, Texas! This city is not only filled with historic fun, you’re guaranteed to experience art, agriculture, and all the other adventures it brings to your table!
Get Trip101 in your inbox