11 Experiences You Can Have Only in Waco, the Heart of Texas


What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Waco? If your mental checklist includes Baylor University or a certain home renovating TV show couple, that would be understandable. But then you’d be missing the larger picture of what makes Waco a first-rate destination. A thriving arts scene, one-of-a-kind shopping centers, a staggering array of dining options, a wealth of ways to enjoy the outdoors, and attractions like those a big city would be proud of can be found in Waco. Surrounded by all the natural beauty of central Texas and home to two picturesque rivers, Waco is a treat for all senses.

So, what are you waiting for? Read on to discover a few of the remarkable experiences that await in Waco, the Heart of Texas.

Tour Texas Tip: Consider taking the Classic Waco Tour, given by Waco-Tours, when you first get to Waco. Spanning 2.5 hours, the tour takes you to Waco’s top attractions (such as Baylor University, Cameron Park, and through historic neighborhoods) and is a great way to get acquainted with the city.

Magnolia Market

Visit Magnolia Market

Unless you’ve been living under a rock the last few years, you’ve probably heard of famed home remodelers and stars of HGTV’s Fixer Upper Chip and Joanna Gaines. If you’re a fan of the show, a stop by Magnolia Market should be an essential part of your trip to Waco. Nestled at the base of two historic silos, Magnolia Market is a veritable home décor wonderland. Shop for fetching accent pieces and wall decorations, rustic kitchenware, candles, and much more.

While the collection is extensive, you’re not done yet. Check out all the Magnolia-branded apparel, garden supplies, and even jewelry, all with that farmhouse aesthetic the Gainses are known for. When you’re done shopping, hang out on the lawn and enjoy some sunshine and get something tasty from one of the on-site food trucks before following that up with a crave-worthy confection at Silos Baking Co. Go on, you’ve earned it.

Need a Fixer Upper picker upper? Indulge in a delicious latte or a sugary sweet mocha along with a coffee cake muffin at Magnolia Press Coffee Company, located just an easy walk down Webster Avenue. 

Balcones Distilling

Enjoy a Taste of Texas

Whether you’re a craft beer drinker, wine lover, or fan of the hard stuff, you’ll find something local to tickle your taste buds with in Waco. If you prefer beer, the taproom at Bare Arms Brewing is the place to be. Fill your pint glass with one of Bare Arms’ year-round brews like the light-bodied American-style lager Lux or the dark and brooding Java Joule coffee stout, or try one of the seasonal offerings. There are plenty of other places to savor your favorite kind of brew, including Brotherwell BrewingSouthern Roots Brewing Company, and Wale Ale Company.

For wines red and white, settle in to the tasting rooms at Waco’s two wineries: Valley Mills Vineyards and Waco Winery & Vineyards. Not one to leave a style of beverage unrepresented, Waco is also home to Balcones Distilling, makers of award-winning bourbons, rums, and whiskeys. You’ll need to reserve your spot on a tour in advance to visit the distillery. Not only will you get a behind-the-scenes look at the distillery and the distilling process, you’ll sample several spirits and leave with a souvenir tasting glass.

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By James Waterson

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