What To Do In Waco, Texas

Updated on August 1, 2013
The Dr. Pepper Museum celebrates the soft drink that was invented and first bottled in Waco, Texas.  There is also an exhibit about the infamous Waco tornado.
The Dr. Pepper Museum celebrates the soft drink that was invented and first bottled in Waco, Texas. There is also an exhibit about the infamous Waco tornado. | Source
This site was recently discovered and it features a dig of Columbian Mammoth bones and a camel.  More on this below.
This site was recently discovered and it features a dig of Columbian Mammoth bones and a camel. More on this below. | Source

Are you wondering what there is to do in Waco? If you are looking for something interesting or fun to do, there are many opportunities in and around the city. There are museums, lots of park space, bowling alleys, sporting events, tourist attractions, Baylor University, a range of restaurant types and there is lots of water - Lake Waco and the Brazos and Bosque Rivers. With all of these features, this small city has something for everyone.

Below, I give an overview of highlights on what to do and where to go, mentioning each of the features or places above. Knowledgeable Wacoans may note that I have omitted one or more places in or near Waco. Regarding two specific locations that I recommend, there are dedicated articles on the Homestead Heritage Village and the Texas Rangers Museum.

A map is included below to help you find the parks mentioned in the article. You will note that some of the places mentioned are found outside of the city limits of Waco, like in Midway and along Lake Waco, but they are all within a 10-15 minute drive from most points. Addresses are also provided for most locations that aren't on the map.

Bones of a female mammoth uncovered in one of several flood layers that have been excavated.
Bones of a female mammoth uncovered in one of several flood layers that have been excavated. | Source

The Waco Mammoth Site

On Steinbeck Bend Road, between the Brazos and Bosque Rivers, and near the Waco Airport, bones of the Columbian Mammoth were discovered recently. This site is unique, as it represents an area that has flooded several times over the last 50,000 years and there is a type of slippery, expansive clay (bentonite) that led to the animals being trapped at the site during a flood event. This creek bed mud has trapped other types of animals as well.

The exposed remains of several mammoths can be seen, as well as one calf, a saber tooth kitten and a camel. The largest male mammoth is believed to have been twice the size of an Indian Elephant. The site is not fully excavated, and it is believed many more remains will be found entrapped within the clay. Both the City of Waco and Baylor University are involved in the management of the site, and they have erected a building to enclose the dig site to protect the bones from deterioration. The modest entrance fee helps staff and maintain this important historical site.

Artist's depiction of what may have transpired at the Waco Mammoth site.
Artist's depiction of what may have transpired at the Waco Mammoth site. | Source
Disc golf courses can be found in several locations in the Waco area park system.
Disc golf courses can be found in several locations in the Waco area park system. | Source

Waco Area Parks

There are several parks in the Waco Area, some of which are on Lake Waco, and there is William Cameron Park on the Brazos River. Cameron Park is a 416-acre park that has limestone bluffs in its northern portion and an expansive overlook called Lover's Leap. There are bike and hiking trails, disc golf and several picnic areas. Because it is densely forested, it is a great place to go birding. There is also a kayak trail that extends to the Bosque River.

Cameron East park lies along the eastern shore of the Brazos River, and it also has a disc golf course. You can also find a disc golf course in Midway Park, located in the Woodway suburb to the west of Waco. This course is situated on a hill along the south shore of Lake Waco.

If you are interested in camping, Midway Park and Airport Park have spaces for RV and tents. Airport Park is located on the northern shore of Lake Waco, where there is a marina and lots of picnic areas. Hunters can hunt deer, ducks and geese on the land nearby along Lake Waco, as well.

Riverbend Ballpark is a great place to play or watch baseball or softball games. Weekends are the best time to go to the park to see games and tournaments for adults, youth and girl's fast pitch softball. There is also the nearby Hawaiian Falls Water Park on the other side of Lake Shore Drive to entertain the kids.


The view from Lover's Leap in Cameron Park looking north.  In the distance is the Riverbend Ball Park.
The view from Lover's Leap in Cameron Park looking north. In the distance is the Riverbend Ball Park. | Source
Walk along the Brazos River and enjoy the fresh air.
Walk along the Brazos River and enjoy the fresh air. | Source

Location of Parks And The Waco Mammoth Site

A
Waco Mammoth Site:
Waco Mammoth Site, 6220 Steinbeck Bend Dr, Waco, TX 76708, USA

get directions

B
William Cameron Park:
Cameron Park, 2601 Sturgis Rd, Waco, TX 76708, USA

get directions

C
Midway Park:
Midway Park, Woodway, TX 76712, USA

get directions

D
Airport Park:
Airport Park, Waco, TX 76708, USA

get directions

An old-timey Dr. Pepper delivery truck.
An old-timey Dr. Pepper delivery truck. | Source

The Dr. Pepper Museum

This downtown museum features history and memorabilia from the soft drink that was invented in Waco. This turn-of-the-centrury bottling plant is on the National Register of Historic Places. The front entrance of the building is shown in the photo above, but guests enter on the side where you can see an old delivery truck shown in the photo to the right. While you are enjoying the history and artwork, stop by the soda fountain and have a Dr. Pepper float.

More Things to Do in Waco, Texas

Shopping. Richland Mall is located at the intersection of Highways 6 and 84. This mall has the major department stores Bealls, J. C. Penney, Dillards and Sears, as well as many other specialty stores that have kitchen ware, sports wear, shoes and home decoration items. People also go there for a little walking exercise because of the air conditioning. Another major shopping area is located at the intersection of Highway 6 and Interstate 35. There you will find a Best Buy and a Bed and Beyond. Both of these shopping areas have some excellent restaurants to choose from

Bowling. There are two AMF bowling lanes, one located on Bosque Boulevard and another on Waco Drive. You may have conflicts with league bowling on weekday nights. On Saturday nights, they turn off the lane lights and have black lights on after 10 PM, to challenge and confuse the bowlers.

Golfing. Here are your choices:

  • James Connally Golf Course - a 72 par pasture golf course, located at 7900 Concord Rd.
  • Twin Rivers Golf Club - designed by a PGA professional, found at 1000 Bear Ridge Dr.
  • Cottonwood Creek Golf Course - managed by the City of Waco, this public course is on 5201 Bagby.
  • Ridgewood Country Club - this private club has its clubhouse on 7300 Fish Pond Rd.
  • Lake Waco Golf and Country Club - located near the airport, this course allows guests with members and has daily fees.

Sporting Events - Besides softball and baseball at the Riverbend Ball Park, you can go to Baylor University to see men's and women's basketball and football. The women's basketball team won the national championship in 2011.

Water Recreation - With the Brazos and Bosque Rivers, and Lake Waco, there are ample boating and fishing opportunities. As mentioned above, a new kayak trail has been implemented in Cameron Park.

What to Do, What to Do

Obviously, there are many recreational, sporting events, museum and shopping opportunities that can keep one occupied in and around Waco. The city is large enough to have most of the modern conveniences and space for recreation for those who want to get outdoors. The abundance of parks, and the rivers and lakes, make for an abundance of opportunities for those with active lifestyles.

See a College Football Game - Baylor Bears

Questions & Answers

    Comments

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      • profile image

        Arianna 

        8 months ago

        I live in Waco and we always have plans every weekend

      • Randy M. profile imageAUTHOR

        Randy McLaughlin 

        5 years ago from Liberia, Costa Rica

        Thanks for stopping by Prasetio. If you come, I'm sure you will enjoy your trip!

      • prasetio30 profile image

        prasetio30 

        5 years ago from malang-indonesia

        Texas.....I am coming. Nice review and I hope I can go to Waco one day. From this hub I found many interesting places in Waco. Thanks for writing and share with us. Voted up!

        Prasetio

      • miscellanea profile image

        Tarik Aarbaoui 

        5 years ago from Morocco

        Such a geat hub :) I wrote a review of a place just inspired by this wish u could have a look

      • Randy M. profile imageAUTHOR

        Randy McLaughlin 

        5 years ago from Liberia, Costa Rica

        Thanks SimonL - I will correct that error!

      • SimonL profile image

        SimonL 

        5 years ago from Dallas, Texas

        Great hub. One thing, the Baylor women's basketball team won the national championship in 2012 (and also in 2005) not 2011. Texas A&M won in 2011.

        http://www.ncaa.com/history/basketball-women/d1

      • miscellanea profile image

        Tarik Aarbaoui 

        5 years ago from Morocco

        Wow, so informative! Based on those details, i'd probably try to visit someday!

        Thank you

      • Randy M. profile imageAUTHOR

        Randy McLaughlin 

        5 years ago from Liberia, Costa Rica

        This was a surprise! Thanks for the accolades and comments, everyone. I will add more things on this list of things to do in Waco as I see and do more there.

      • Annette R. Smith profile image

        Annette R. Smith 

        5 years ago from Grand Island, Florida

        Hi, Randy. Congratulations on making Hub of the Day!

        Reading this reminded me of my visits to the Dr. Pepper Museum and the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame. As a member of the Texas Association of Museums (TAM), I got to see some of the back rooms and artifact storage.

        When we lived in Bell County, my family visited the historic suspension bridge, riverwalk and the Cameron Park Zoo. I'll have to keep the mammoth site in mind for a future visit!

      • Night Magic profile image

        Night Magic 

        5 years ago from Canada

        Congrats on Hug of the Day. If I ever get to Waco, I sure wouldn't mind seeing the Dr. Pepper Museum & the Mammoth Site. I was glad to hear they erected a building to protect the bones from deteriorating.

      • Cyndi10 profile image

        Cynthia B Turner 

        5 years ago from Georgia

        Congrats on Hub of the Day. Interesting hub on Waco TX. It's different than what I imagined. It's seems much larger with many things to explore. I enjoyed reading about it. Take care.

      • The Dirt Farmer profile image

        Jill Spencer 

        5 years ago from United States

        Awesome hub, Randy, and congrats on HOTD! I have actually been to Waco and remember seeing lots of the places you spotlight (although I spent most of my time on the Baylor campus).

      • pstraubie48 profile image

        Patricia Scott 

        5 years ago from sunny Florida

        I will be visiting Texas in a few weeks as my sister lives in Austin. She has already lined up many places for us to visit. The last time I went, a few years back, we visited Galveston as one of our tourist points of interest. Not sure if Waco is on the list this time but will bookmark this so we have these places at hand.

        The mammoth site would be so interesting to me as I have always wished I had become an archaeologist. That would be my first place to visit.

        Congratulations on hub of the day. Sending Angels your way. :) ps

      • CZCZCZ profile image

        CZCZCZ 

        5 years ago from Oregon

        I love these kinds of travel hubs. Always great suggestions on fun places to check out and learn about a local area. The map of things to do in Waco Texas is an excellent resource. Congrats on getting hub of the day honors.

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