Disclaimer: Some of these links are affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission at no cost to you for supporting my blog.
John 3: 16For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Waco, Texas is known for Baylor University and The Magnolia House & Table. But, do you know the history of the town? Or better yet, do you know what to do when you explore and eat in Waco? Well, you have come to the right place. Below, I have listed places to stay, eat, and explore.
The History of Waco, Texas
It was founded in 1849 near a Texas Ranger fort that was situated on the site of a Hueco Indian village. After the Civil War, Waco became a river-bridge crossing for cattle trains. Later, its economy became exclusively cotton with the help of the railroad in 1881. World War Two brought two now-closed massive air force installations and industrialization. To some extent, Waco still operates with crops and livestock. In the 2010s, the city’s tourism notably grew partly to the HGTV show, Fixer Upper, staring city locals, Johanna, and Chip Gaines. Through the five year run of the show, the Gaines’ opened several businesses including a restaurant and a home-furnishing store.
Hilton Waco Downtown Near Baylor University
This hotel is based on the bank of the Brazos River and is close to many local attractions such as the Magnolia Market, Fuzzy’s Tacos, The Spice Market, and Baylor University. The hotel offers many different packages from Guest Rooms, Suites, Executive Suites, Accessible Rooms, and the Explore Magnolia Package. The Explore Magnolia package includes a $25 Magnolia Market gift card, “The Magnolia Story” book, and transportation.
Bed & Breakfast on White Rock Creek
This is a local B&B that is quaint, cute, and hidden in the trees along the banks of the historic White Rock Creek. The smallest room is the Carolina with a queen size bed and a loveseat. The bathroom has an antique cast iron tub, separate shower, pedestal sink, an armoire, and a toilet. The floors are all natural wood. The largest room is the Plantation Suite and is a 400 sq ft room with a 160 sq ft bathroom. The architecture was inspired by traditional southern homes in the 19th century.
Rates range from Sunday-Thursday $115-$175 and Friday-Saturday $135-$195.
Website: http://www.whiterockcreek.comAddress: Bed and Breakfast on White Rock Creek
267 Ruby Dell Lane Waco, Texas 76705
Cafe Homestead is a first-come-first-serve cafe and grill which was founded in 1994 and serves traditional Texan, Mediterranean, and specialty cuisines. It offers healthy food “in a unique setting of a traditional craft village in our sustainable, organic farming community.” They offer grass-fed beef, fresh buns, bread, and rolls, baked daily with whole-grain wheat, cheese produced by the local Brazos Valley Cheese Company, and ice cream. Their fruits and vegetables are always fresh and locally produced.
The Magnolia Table is a breakfast and lunch restaurant that sells fresh, homegrown ingredients and old fashion cooking. It was started by Chip & Johanna Gaines, who known for Fixer Upper and The Magnolia House, to name a few. The original restaurant was the Elite Cafe that 1) offered a diner-style menu and 2) was the first building in Waco to have air-conditioning installed. After an F5 tornado ripped through Waco and the Elite Cafe in 1953, it was forced to close. The building underwent a series of renovation and ownership changes before it closed in 2016. Chip and Johanna purchased the building and renovated the building to its historical design. Breakfast is served all day. They also offer gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options.
Magnolia Market & Silo
Twelve food trucks, games, shopping, and a garden are all there to inspire others to own the space you are in. A large lawn space is centered on the property and holds wooden lawn games, bean bags, and chairs to relax before or after shopping. The Magnolia Seed and Supply is a second store on the property that sells gardening tools, flower-growing kits for kids, unique containers to plant in, and fairy garden necessities.
Dr. Pepper Musuem
This museum is dedicated to the oldest soft drink in the world-Dr. Pepper. There are three floors of exhibits featuring historical memorabilia of soft drinks including Dr. Pepper Green 1940s delivery truck, one of the original signs from the Mockingbird plant in Dallas, and a hand-painted sign from the original store in Waco. You can visit the gift shop and soda fountain anytime without paying admission. It’s two blocks down the street from the Magnolia Market and a half-a-mile from restaurants such as Torchy’s Tacos and In-N-Out.
Waco Mammoth National Monument
This monument was founded in 1978 after two friends discovered Columbian mammoth bones in a creek bed on their friend’s property. After they reported the bones to Baylor University, Baylor partnered with them to excavate the land for the next 12 years. Since the discovery, thousands of students, staff, and volunteers labored for hours to successfully preserve to fossils. Scientists from Baylor conducted experiments to discover the age of the fossils, what plants they ate, and the circumstances which led the animals to their death. In 2015, former President Barack Obama signed an executive order to allow the monument to become a national monument.
Mayborn Museum|Baylor University
The Sue & Frank Mayborn Natural Science and Cultural History Museum Complex opened at Baylor University in 2004. The museum was a combination of hard work, dedication, and 154 years of collecting teaching materials for students studying biology, physics, chemistry, and geology.
During the late 1880s when John Kern Strecker wasn’t gathering snails, birds eggs, and reptiles, he was writing articles and papers for the Popular Science News or the Texas Academy of Science Publications. For 30 years, he served as the University Librarian and the curator of the Baylor University museum. To honor the long-time curator, the university renamed the museum the Strecker Museum in the 1940s and the natural history collection was incorporated into the new Mayborn Museum. The museum continues to honor Strecker and those who followed after him with an exhibit entitled “Strecker’s Cabinets of Curiosities.”