Waco seems to be the premier travel destination lately, thanks to Chip and Jo. While Magnolia is a must for many, there are a lot of other must do’s in the city. The first time I paid a visit to Waco was around 1989. My aunt and uncle had moved to the area and a visit was in order. All I remember of it is things that happened at their house. I remember nothing of Waco. About a year and a half ago, my mother-in-law and I made the trip up from San Antonio to visit Magnolia. That trip, along with one a few weeks ago, showed us there is so much more to the area.
Mammoth National Monument
This is one of the neatest places I have ever been. Sometime in the 70’s a couple boys found a giant bone in a field. It was a mammoth bone and they soon found 19 more. Once the moved out of the riverbed and up to higher ground, they kept digging and found more mammoths, as well as other animals. These bones were left in the ground and a building constructed around them. The tour takes you inside and shows you what they know about the animals from the bones they’ve found. It is so interesting, adults and kids alone will enjoy it.
Dr. Pepper Museum
Did you know Dr. Pepper was originally made in Waco? Tour the museum, see the well that was originally used for the soda’s water base, check out packaging and advertising from over the years, and then hit up the soda fountain. They make it the old fashioned way and it really is good soda.
Waco Suspension Bridge
The bridge, built in 1870, was the first bridge crossing the Brazos River. It was used for stagecoaches, people, and cattle and ran as a toll bridge until 1889. Now, there are parks on each side of the bridge. Indian Spring Park is the most well known, as it includes the larger than life size sculptures of a cattle drive with three men on horseback and twenty-five cows.
Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum
This is the state designated official historical center for the Texas Rangers. The site holds all archives and memorabilia. For visitors, there is the Hall of Fame, the museum, and the research center. The museum contains more than 14,00o artifacts and rotating displays of firearms and accessories. The research center is used for anyone wanting information on ancestors, or for books and movies.
Texas Sports Hall of Fame
For any sport lover, or any Texas lover for that matter, the hall of fame holds more than 300 legends, ranging from college to professional athletes. Coaches and administrators are also included, as is anyone who had “lasting fame and honor to Texas sports”. Between this and the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame, you’ll make your husband happy. Then take him to Magnolia.
Lake Waco Wetlands
The 180 acre wetlands are open to the public. They were created when the lake’s water level was raised to provide more drinking water. The Lake Waco Wetlands and the Research and Education Center is used by Baylor students and provides educational opportunities for school children as well.
Mayborn Museum Complex
Located on the Baylor campus, the Mayborn offers things for kids and adults alike. The museum features the natural history of Central Texas with walk-in dioramas and exploration stations. There is also a village onsite that offers a glimpse into what pioneer life was like in the area. Traveling exhibits are brought through as well.
If you are in town in the spring or early summer, drive out to Tonkawa Falls. It’s the best time to see the falls, as it’s dependent on the spring rain. Get your feet wet, swim, or just enjoy the scenery.
There are plenty of fun places to check out in Waco. Spice Village is made up of over 80 little boutiques, downtown holds a few antique stores, and there is also a farmer’s market downtown on Saturday mornings.