Wednesday, October 19, 2016

What's Hap-pinning Wednesday: My Guide to Waco

Having grown up going to Waco during football season {back before Baylor was even remotely good and winning was a rarity}, and then attending Baylor for undergrad, I have spent a lot of time in Waco, Texas. I have always loved that little town and would gladly move back there in a heartbeat! To us, Waco was always "Waco" -- that stop halfway between Dallas/Fort Worth and it makes us giggle a bit to see that people from all over the world are migrating to Waco these days, thanks mostly in part to the fab duo of Chip and Joanna Gaines! {Chip and JoJo truly are a great couple and the things they've done for both the Waco and Texas economies are outstanding!}

So with the recent flocking to my old stomping grounds, I've had a few people ask me, "So what should we do in Waco {besides the Silos}?" I'm so glad you asked! Here are our favorites:


+ Magnolia Market at the Silos 
601 Webster, Waco, Texas 
Of course, you can't come to Waco without stopping off at the city's newest, biggest attraction! Visit the Market, play on the lawn, get a bite from one of the food trucks on location, or grab a cupcake from the newly-opened bakery. It gets really crowded on the weekends {especially during Baylor's Homecoming Weekend}, so if you can go on a week day, it will be much less crazy. 

+ Baylor University
Having gone to college here, I personally think it's one of the most beautiful campuses in the South! It was chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas and is the oldest continually-operating university in the state. It's so gorgeous to just walk around and see the beauty that is Baylor; some campus highlights include Fountain Mall, Pat Neff Hall, the Bear Habitat {with real-live bears, our mascot}, the new McLean Stadium and Riverwalk, the Armstrong Browning Library, and the beautiful Baylor Sciences Building. If you have prospective students with you, contact Baylor about setting up a campus tour; click here for more information.  

If you're in the area on a Saturday during football season, a home game at McLean is not to be missed. Sailgating...need I say more?! And of course, we always enjoyed a beautiful spring day at Baylor Ballpark taking in a Baylor baseball game. During basketball season, try to get tickets to a Baylor basketball game at the Ferrell Center. 

+ Cameron Park Zoo
1701 N. 4th Street, Waco 
I've always thought that Cameron Park Zoo was such an unassuming little zoo! It's the perfect small size for kids {and adults} to not get overwhelmed, and if you go in the summer {or basically anytime it's hot in Texas, which is often!}, they even have a little splash area -- so bring a change of clothes!

+ Cameron Park 
2601 Sturgis Road, Waco 
A 416-acre park, Cameron Park will make you forget you're in the middle of a city! Its winding roads, views of the Brazos from tall limestone cliffs and myriad of things to do is a highlight of Waco. Pack a picnic, play disc golf, hike up to Lovers Leap, take the kids to the Cameron Park Splash Pad, or walk or bike along the tree-lined trails. 

+ Spice Village
213 Mary Avenue, Waco 
I spent many an hour {and dollars} in Spice when I was in college! A collection of shops located in a converted warehouse in downtown Waco, Spice has practically everything you're looking for from designer clothing to furniture to Baylor gear to accessories to baby garb. You won't want to miss this fun little gem! 

+ Museums 
Waco has a ton of museums, which always surprised me for the size of the city! Whether the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame & Museum {100 Texas Ranger Trail, Waco}, the Mayborn Museum Complex and its awesome children's area {1300 S. University Parks Drive}, Texas Sports Hall of Fame {1108 S. University Parks Drive} or the Dr Pepper Museum {300 S. 5th Street, Waco}, there's a museum for everyone.

+ Waco Suspension Bridge 
Doris Miller Park, Waco 
This bridge, opened in 1870, is a Waco institution! Many a photo has been snapped here before a fraternity or sorority dance function, and you have to do what the locals {and college students} do: throw tortillas down to feed the birds and the fish. Don't ask me why; it's just what you do! ;)  

+ Balcones Distilling 
225 S. 11th Street, Waco  
According to my husband, this is the best single-malt whiskey around! Stop in for a taste in their new facility.

+ Waco Downtown Farmers Market
400 S. University Parks Drive, Waco 
Open every Saturday from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. and Tuesdays from 3-7 p.m. from April-July and September-November, this place and its locally grown produce doesn't disappoint. Put the kids in the stroller, the dog on a leash and wander the market! There is lots of food for sale and some cute little activities for the kiddos. 

No chain restaurants on this list; Waco has some of the best local food to offer in my opinion!

+ Vitek's  
1600 Speight Avenue, Waco 
Two words: Gut Pak. Trust me. I promise you, it's worth whatever wait in line there is. Vitek's and the Gut Pak are a Waco must-have. 

+ George's 
1925 Speight Avenue, Waco 
Another Waco institution so famous Pat Green wrote a song about it. My favorites are their chicken fried steak, fried pickles, Bear Bites and of course, the famous Big O. You're welcome. 

+ Health Camp 
2601 Circle Road, Waco
Located on Waco's famous traffic circle, Health Camp is absolutely delicious. They've been in their same tiny little joint since 1949 and is worth the wait! My favorites include the Health Burger, onion rings and chocolate malt. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! 

+ Dubl-R Burgers
1810 Herring Avenue, Waco 
Many a lazy afternoon was spent at Dubl-R! It's a bit hard to find and not in the best area of town, but it's worth getting lost for. I adore their greasy cheeseburger and fries, and the folks who work there are second to none. 

+ Kitok
1815 N. 8th Street, Waco 
For an uncommon stop, visit Kitok, a Korean-American restaurant that's popular with locals and Baylor students alike. Try the oriental fries and the Pho and I promise you won't leave disappointed. 

+ Baris 
904 N. Valley Mills Drive, Waco
Not a fancy Italian place by any means, but cheap, delicious and good. Ask for their famous "pink sauce" on anything and your tummy will be pleased. 

+ Poppa Rollo's Pizza
703 N. Valley Mills Drive, Waco 
This place has been making pizza since 1969, and you can tell. A quirky interior, I personally love to dive into their Rollo's Special. 

+ Schmaltz's Sandwich Shoppe
105 S. 5th Street, Waco 
One of my favorite sandwich shops, hands down! It's a tie between their basic cheese sandwich {I know, I know, but trust me on this one} and their Schmaltz's Special. Yum!  

+ DiamondBack's 
217 Mary Avenue, Waco 
For a fancy evening out, this Texas-style steakhouse is perfect. It's expensive, but when you taste the food, you'll know why. I love their onion ring tower, bleu cheese-crusted filet and basically every single one of their side dishes. 

+ Heritage Creamery 
1125 S. 8th Street, Waco   
I haven't personally been here {yet}, but my family has and I've heard great things! They're an independently owned and locally operated ice cream shop and I've heard their ice cream is absolutely delicious! 

+ Lolita's Restaurante 
1911 Franklin Avenue, Waco
This authentic taqueria, where they speak mostly Spanish and sell delicious pasteles, is not to be missed. Their breakfast tacos -- which are served all day long -- cured many a hangover in college. {Not that I'm speaking from experience or anything...} My favorite is their potato, egg and cheese on a corn tortilla with their delicious homemade salsa. They're closed on Mondays, but open at 6 a.m. Tuesday-Friday, 7 a.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. Sunday; they close at 2 p.m. each day. This isn't a fancy establishment, but the charm {and breakfast tacos} always kept me coming back for more.

+ Common Grounds
1123 S. 8th Street, Waco 
Stop off at this Baylor favorite on your way out of town. It's so quirky and fun, and we even took some of our engagement photos there! Our favorites include the always-trusty Cowboy Coffee and Frozen Snickers.

(C) DHP Studio

Brandon and I met in Waco and it's a city near and dear to my heart. I hope you enjoy the city when you visit, and eat all of the yummy food for me! 

Linking up with Jessi and Jenn


  1. What a fun guide! I had no idea Waco had so much to offer! Love that last photo of you two!!

  2. Super fun! This makes me want to come to Waco! I also love Chip and Joanna!
    Happy Wednesday!

  3. Love this - such a good guide! We thought it was the cutest and definitely want to go back for a longer visit next time so I'll definitely be going back to this!

  4. Ok I'm next weekend! Ha! Have the wine ready for when I crash yalls place afterwards!

  5. Thanks for sharing!! We're headed to Texas next month and are stopping in Waco to visit the Magnolia Market so if we have time we may check some of these other things out too!

  6. Very cool! My MIL and I are hopefully taking a road trip to Waco soon...guess where our first stop will be? Ha! Seriously though, I am so glad you shared other things to do besides just Magnolia. I will have to refer back to this.
    Thanks for sharing girl!

  7. Great Waco guide!! If we ever make our way over there I'll definitely be referencing this post - and letting you know I'm close by ;)

  8. One of my hometown friends lives in Dallas now so we are always thinking about making a long weekend trip to TX! I'm dying to go to Magnolia Market!

  9. What a great guide! I live in Texas, but have never visited Waco, but definitely on our list. You won me over when you mentioned the Dr. Pepper Museum...I am addicted to Dr. Pepper! LOL
    xo, Lily
    Beauty With Lily

  10. Aw I love that photo of you guys! Such a great guide for what to do in Waco. It's definitely on my list of places to visit!

  11. Such a great snapshot of Waco. Love that you included my favorites like the Dr. Pepper Museum (the jelly beans are the best!) and the Health Camp! I admit that Waco is still the city that marks the halfway point between Dallas and Austin, that I try to speed through to get to my destination sooner, but I've always enjoyed any stop I've made there! And I've been to George's, had no idea it was an institution!!


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