We love a good day trip. And Waco is one of the best spots to day trip to.
Most of you may instantly think of Chip and Joanna Gaines when you hear “Waco.” While the dynamic duo has done so much for the area over the years, Waco has a lot more to offer outside of Magnolia. Waco is so many things and you’ll quickly learn that most of their establishments are more than meets the eye. Of course, if you DO want to visit Magnolia while you’re there, check out this post to help you plan your trip!
Here’s your guide to the Best of Waco!
Eat & Drink
Calling all you coffee lovers out there. Dichotomy Coffee & Spirits is Waco’s premiere third-wave coffee shop. They feature a traditional espresso menu using local beans from Apex Coffee Roasters. The menu also features unique items such as the “1885” – espresso and Waco’s own Dr Pepper, over ice. Dichotomy doesn’t just serve coffee, they also serve spirits, specialty cocktails, and whiskey flights!
No matter what kind of food you love or your dietary restrictions, Waco has something for everyone. Like Union Hall, which is the perfect spot for when you want ramen but the person you’re with wants tacos. It’s almost like a sophisticated food court. With over twenty food vendors you’ll have plenty to choose from. The eatery also offers community style dining. If you’re looking for something more trendy and healthy we suggest Harvest on 25th! Their menu offers plenty of delicious gluten-free and vegan options. Plus almost everything is instagramable. If you’re looking for southern style comfort food then you must try Butter My Biscuit. This brunch restaurant serves up sweet to savory biscuits which are handmade daily. They don’t even use machinery, it’s all literally handmade. We recommend the biscuit French toast, its mouthwateringly good!
Photos Courtesy of Union Hall, Harvest on 25th, and Butter My Biscuits’ Instagram accounts
Like most Austinites, we love local beers. Waco has a handful of great local breweries that are a must try for any beer lover. Our top three favorites are, Waco Ale Company, Bare Arms Brewing, Southern Roots Brewing. All born, raised, and brewed in Waco. If you’re looking for more beverage options try Hemmingway’s Watering Hole. You can find a fridge full of specialty beers along with classic cocktails of your choice!
Photos courtesy of Waco Ale Company, Bare Arms Brewing, and Southern Roots Brewing’s Instagram accounts
Spice Village is 60 boutiques under one roof! So it’s literally a one stop shop. Within its 30,000 square feet you’ll find everything from; home decor, men’s accessories, jewelry, souvenirs, bath & body, candles, clothing, and more. Located in downtown Waco for the last 20 years, it’s a Waco staple you can’t miss. For something more low key try Gather. Which offers a traditional Southern hospitality meets a modern aesthetic with everything from pottery, glassware, and bareware. What’s a trip to Waco without a stop to The Findery? We never walk out empty handed here, there’s plenty of unique find and statement pieces for you, your home, and closet. For more of a boutique style shopping experience, check out Roots. Their new arrivals page is a must-see!
Photo courtesy of Spice Village and Gather’s Instagram accounts
Waco is definitely not lacking in any department, especially the activities. There’s so much to see and do in this big small town! Clearly one of the biggest draws to Waco is Baylor University. The Baylor campus is so architecturally stunning you can spend hours exploring the campus.
Photos courtesy of Baylor University’s Instagram account
We love unique experiences and Waco provides in that department. In the city we suggest hitting up Fabled Bookshop and Cafe. We absolutely love independent bookstores and this one is no exception. Located in the heart of downtown Waco, Fabled Bookshop & Cafe offers new books, a cafe serving coffee, food, beer and wine, unique toys and gifts, as well as a private event space. Books, wine, and a whimsical atmosphere? This sounds like like a book lovers dream come true, or at least for us grownups.
Yet another all-in-one establishment, the Hippodrome is a movie theater, a dinner, and a bar. All three aspects of the Hippodrome are housed in a three story landmark that has been around since 1914. The Raleigh Diner is on the ground floor, it’s a casual diner with a movie themed menu! Then there’s the Hightop Bar on the third floor with cozy vibes and scenic downtown views. It’s everything you need in one spot, much like the city of Waco itself.
Only twenty minutes outside of downtown Waco you’ll find Homestead Heritage. Which is an agrarian- and craft-based intentional Christian community. Its literature stresses simplicity, sustainability, self-sufficiency, cooperation, service and quality craftsmanship. It also strives to live in peaceful coexistence with the land, other people and other faiths. In the village you can grab some food, shop, and take workshops. They have everything from beekeeping, blacksmithing, cheesemaking, pottery, soapmaking, woodworking and more. We had an amazing time exploring Homestead Heritage, we highly recommend a trip out there.
Photo Courtesy of ATX Gossip
Photos Courtesy of ATX Gossip
Photos Courtesy of ATX Gossip
With so much to see, you’re going to need more than one day in Waco! So why not make where you sleep just as unique as the city you’re staying in? With the creation of Airbnb finding unique places to stay has become a big trend. Tiny homes and shipping containers are the new fad and Waco delivers. We recommend, The Strazza House, The German Schmear Cottage, The Helm, or the Historic Cottage in Cameron Park.
Want even more Waco? Check out this post on everything Magnolia related that you can experience.
Featured photo courtesy of @wacohippodrome.