10 Best Museums In Waco, Texas

museums in waco

Located in central Texas, Waco is a city nestled along Brazos River. Some of the things you can do here include shopping for art pieces or intricately designed furniture at Magnolia Market, marvelling in awe at fossils in Waco Mammoth National Monument, or trying out their local cuisine. Take a walk through the city’s cultural and historical districts to learn more about the place. Of course, do not forget to drop by any of the many museums in Waco that will help you have a more fulfilling visit. Whether you are interested in visual arts, the Texas Rangers, or natural history, there is one that will definitely pique your interest. To know more, read on for the best museums in Waco, Texas.

1. Mayborn Museum Complex

Baylor University June 2016 74 (Mayborn Museum Complex)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Michael Barera used under CC BY-SA 4.0

As a natural science and cultural history museum, Mayborn Museum Complex is filled with learning opportunities for all. Step into Strecker’s Cabinets of Curiosities to explore the skull of a humpback whale or check out the internationally acclaimed Waco Mammoth National Monument exhibit to view the mammoth fossils beneath a glass floor. If you are travelling with children, Jeanes Discovery Center, an exhibit with different themed rooms, will be an absolute delight. It occupies two floors of the museum building and allows children to have a hands-on learning experience. For instance, they can know more about Brazos River by using an interactive water table or walk on piano keys to make music.

Mayborn Museum Complex

Address: 1300 S. University Parks Drive, Waco, TX 76706

Website: Mayborn Museum Complex

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 5pm; Sun: 1pm - 5pm

Price: 5 USD - 7 USD

2. McCulloch House Museum

Mcculloch house waco 2009
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Larry D. Moore used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The history of this building starts from when it was created by Dr. Josiah H. Caldwell in 1866 as a family home. Then, McCulloch House Museum was purchased in 1870 by Mr. and Mrs. Champe Carter McCulloch who transformed the estate into its present Greek-revival style. Learn about local history while walking through the house where the McCullochs played a prominent role in the town’s social life by hosting many parties and social events. Currently owned by the Historic Waco Foundation, there are now many Caldwell and McCulloch family heirlooms on display here. You can also find watercolour paintings by English artist Charles H. Cox, a prominent painter in Waco between 1890 to 1901.

McCulloch House Museum

Address: 407 Columbus Ave. Waco, TX 76706

Website: McCulloch House Museum

Opening hours: Sat: 10am - 4pm; Sun: 1pm - 4pm (closed from Mon to Fri)

Price: From 5 USD

3. Red Men Museum and Library

Red men museum 2012
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Larry D. Moore used under CC BY-SA 3.0

This museum is dedicated to American history and serves as a home to many artifacts that are related to the Improved Order of Red Men and its women’s affiliate, Degree of Pocahontas. The Red Men Museum and Library is maintained by Texas Redmen Foundation Inc. Plan a visit here if you want to view historical and significant items such as an Apache warrior’s blanket and former Vice President Aaron Burr’s writing desk.

Red Men Museum and Library

Address: 4521 Speight Ave., Waco, Texas 76711

Website: Red Men Museum and Library

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 8am - 5pm (weekends by appointment only)

Price: Free

4. Dr Pepper Museum & Free Enterprise Institute

Dr Pepper Museum December 2016 14 (7up bottling exhibit)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Michael Barera used under CC BY-SA 4.0

There won’t be a dull moment during your visit to Dr Pepper Museum and Free Enterprise Institute. You can look forward to learning more about the world of soda through different activities such as Paranormal Tours, making your own soda, and tasting different drinks. Dr Pepper fans can even sign up for an “Extreme Pepper Experience” where they can have access to the museum buildings, have four different Dr Pepper Gear packs with merchandise from the Gift Shop, and make their own drink at the Soda Fountain. Admission here comes with a free drink.

Dr Pepper Museum & Free Enterprise Institute

Address: 300 South 5th Street, Waco, TX 76701

Website: Dr Pepper Museum & Free Enterprise Institute

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 5:30pm; Sun: 12pm - 5:30pm

Price: 6 USD - 10 USD

5. Lee Lockwood Library and Museum

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Lee Lockwood Library and Museum on Thursday, July 26, 2018

This building was built during Robert Lee Lockwood’s term as Sovereign Grand Inspector General (SGIG) of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite in Texas. Lee Lockwood Library and Museum consists of an international collection of items and books that relates to Freemasonry, Texan, and American history. With his very distinguished Masonic career, permanent displays in the main atrium commemorate Lockwood as the museum aims to share the history of Freemasonry in Texas.

Lee Lockwood Library and Museum

Address: 2801 W Waco Dr, Waco, TX 76707

Website: Lee Lockwood Library and Museum

Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 8am - 5pm; Fri: 8am - 4pm (Other times and days are available by appointment)

Price: Free

6. East Terrace Museum

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Savour and experience another slice of history with a visit to East Terrace Museum. It was originally built by John Wesley Mann, a prominent businessman, as an Italianate villa for his wife and sons in 1874. Since he was also a successful industrialist, John Wesley Mann expanded his grand family residence over the years to be a perfect place for business and leisure. While he conducted business on the estate, he also built an entertainment wing and hosted lavish balls that saw the attendance of prominent society members. After a decline in fortune, the estate saw different tenants, and even became the Lemly Chiropractic Psychopathic Sanatorium at one point, before being deeded to the Heritage Society in 1960.

East Terrace Museum

Address: 100 Mill St. Waco, TX 76706

Website: East Terrace Museum

Opening hours: Wed - Sat: 10am - 4pm; Sun: 1pm - 4pm (closed on Mon & Tue)

Price: From 5 USD

7. Helen Marie Taylor Museum

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Come Rediscover America's Founding Documents in our "We the People...." Exhibit ! For Information or to arrange a tour, email HelenMarieTaylor@aol.com or call Bonnie at 540-672-5588

Posted by Helen Marie Taylor Museum on Tuesday, January 22, 2019

The former Barron Springs Elementary School was given a new lease of life in the form of Helen Marie Taylor Museum. One of its classrooms now serves as an art room and its 200-seat capacity auditorium now receives visitors interested in the history of Waco. Look forward to viewing artefacts of significance in American history such as the Rising Sun armchair used by George Washington himself during the 1787 Constitutional Convention and writings of the United States Constitution.

Helen Marie Taylor Museum

Address: 701 Jefferson, Waco, TX, US

Website: Helen Marie Taylor Museum

8. Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum

Texas Rangers Museum
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Pi3.124 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

With the mission to “disseminate knowledge and inspire appreciation of the Texas Rangers”, the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum is a must-visit for those who want to learn more about the Texas Rangers’ service in the past and present. The Texas Rangers serve as a symbol of the Texas state as their ideals of upholding justice, duty, and humility endures to this day and continues to inspire. Drop by this museum to understand their mission and legacy by looking at exhibits and even watching a movie

Texas Ranger Hall of Fame & Museum

Address: 100 Texas Ranger Trail, Waco, TX 76706

Website: Texas Ranger Hall of Fame & Museum

Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)

Price: 4 USD - 8 USD

9. Earle-Napier-Kinnard House

Earle napier kinnard house 2009
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Larry D. Moore used under CC BY-SA 3.0

This historic home was named its respective owners throughout the years. Earle-Napier-Kinnard House was one of the first few brick houses to be built in Waco back in 1858. John Baylis Earle, who had just moved from Alabama, built the original one-storey house with only two rooms. Later, it was the Napier Family who rejuvenated it into its two-storey Greek-Revival form today. Then, Napier’s daughter married Reverend David C. Kinnard, Jr. and inherited the home. During your visit, make sure to spot certain elements of the house that have stayed the same despite several owners and reconstructions, such as the ceiling lamp in the entrance hall.

Earle-Napier-Kinnard House

Address: 814 S. 4th St. Waco, TX 76706

Website: Earle-Napier-Kinnard House

Price: From 5 USD

10. Martin Museum of Art

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

As the Baylor University art museum, Martin Museum of Art showcases a diverse and wide collection of permanent and travelling exhibits that aim to educate and make people throughout the university and the Waco population appreciate art. The Permanent Collection alone has around 1,500 art pieces, including works by American photographer Imogen Cunningham and preserved manuscripts from the 13th century. If you are a fan of watercolours, you must check out the McMullen-Connally Family Collection. It is home to 227 watercolours created by more than 60 artists. This portion of the museum reflects the California School of Watercolor movement that thrived from 1930 to 1940.

Martin Museum of Art

Address: 60 Baylor Avenue Waco, TX 76706

Website: Martin Museum of Art

Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 10am - 5pm, Sun: 1pm - 5pm (closed on Mon)

Price: Free

Embark on a learning journey today

A visit to a new city would not be complete without learning a bit about its history and unique character, and there’s no better way to do that than by visiting its local museums. Remember to pencil down some time for a visit to any of these interesting museums during your trip to this side of Texas. For better convenience, book a cozy cabin rental in the city.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

Get Trip101 in your inbox

Unsubscribe in one click. See our privacy policy for more information on how we use your data

Rachel enjoys kicking back with a good cup of tea and reading a good book to unwind. If you see her with her eyes closed, that's because she is learning how to meditate, and not sleeping. Her...Read more

 Want to contribute as a Local Expert?
Explore Waco
Looking for accommodation?
Good things are meant to be shared!