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  • Writer's pictureGathering Oaks Retreat

Top Attractions You MUST Experience in Waco, TX

Updated: Feb 7, 2023

So, you wanna visit Waco? Did you hear the exciting news that Fixer Upper is coming back?! Everyone comes to Waco to visit Magnolia and we are so jazzed to see the expansion of the Silos, but what else is there to do? How long should I stay? Below are some great activities, eateries, and everything in between that'll make your visit to Waco the most memorable! Waco is still a top pick for quick weekend getaways and longer family vacations! Once you read this post, you'll understand why. Don’t just stop by the Silos, STAY a while!


Gathering Oaks Retreat; Crawford, Tx

Boutique Hotel & Vacation Rental

Gathering Oaks Retreat is a place where friends and family can come together to enjoy each other's company in a relaxing, secluded setting, just 15 minutes from downtown Waco. Enjoy the pool, courtyard games, fire pits, nature trails and playground under a canopy of trees. There is a full kitchen available in the 5 Bedroom Gathering House and Two Bedroom Cottage, as well as kitchenettes in our 4 tiny houses. With 19 rooms to choose from, you are sure to find the perfect fit for your stay. If you are looking for something unique, check out Gathering Oaks Retreat!​


Horseback Riding

Brazos Bluffs Ranch; Waco, Tx

This ranch offers multiple rides depending on what type of trail you're looking for. Enjoy a romantic sunset ride that will overlook the Brazos River or enjoy a nature trail ride with authentic cowboys. Perfect for groups or families. The trials they offer are suitable for all skill levels.

Ages 7 & up may participate.

Waco Surf, Waco, Tx

Perfect for groups! This cable park offers a Surf Resort, Cable Park, Royal Flush, and Lazy River. Learn how to surf at the Surf Resort - multiple packages are offered. The Royal Flush is Texas' Super Slide. There are 4 different height slides available for extreme fun!

Waco Mammoth National Monument; Waco, Tx

Tonkawa Falls; Crawford, Tx

Tonkawa Falls City Park is over 35 acres of wooded area located in Crawford, TX. They offer a big swimming hole with multiple falls and cliffs. Old stone steps leading down to the falls, built in the 1930’s by the Texas Civil Works Administration.

Cameron Park Zoo; Waco, Tx

Come enjoy a day trip at the zoo! Family Fun for all ages!

"The happiest surprise in Texas"

Dr. Pepper Museum; Downtown Waco, Tx

"Built in 1906 by architect Milton Scott, the Artesian Manufacturing and Bottling Company was the first building dedicated to the manufacturing of Dr Pepper. Creating a Dr Pepper Museum was the vision of a few devoted enthusiasts of both Dr Pepper and its history. The Artesian Manufacturing and Bottling Company became the Dr Pepper Museum in 1989, then the Dr Pepper Museum and Free Enterprise Institute in 1997. Today it is the Museum’s largest artifact and a tribute to the imagination and talent that fueled Dr Pepper’s success throughout the years." Fun for all ages to enjoy. You can even make your own soda!

Brazos River Paddle Boarding - Pura Vida Paddle; Downtown Waco, Tx

Enjoy water rentals on the Brazos. They offer multiple types of paddle boards that suit your needs for families or groups. They offer a single kayaks and double kayaks. They also offer fun services like Full Moon Paddles, Sunrise Paddles, Dock Yoga, Praise and Worship Yoga, DOGA, Guided River Adventures, and Camps!

Hiking and Jacob's Ladder; Cameron Park, Waco, Tx

With multiple lookouts, hiking trails, views of the Brazos River, and even a play area, Cameron Park is not shy of activities.

Waco Tours; Downtown Waco, Tx

Experience the heart of Waco with Waco Tours. They show you the hidden gems that make Waco unique as well as popular Magnolia houses that really put us on the map. Now offering boat cruises as well!

Mayborn Museum Complex; Waco, Tx

Located on the Baylor University campus, the Mayborn Museum Complex features a natural science and cultural history museum focusing on Central Texas, with walk-in dioramas including one on the Waco Mammoth Site, and exploration stations for geology, paleontology, archaeology, and natural history. In addition to the natural history exhibits, there are two floors of themed discovery rooms that encourage hands-on learning for all ages.

Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum; Waco, Tx

The museum's mission is to disseminate knowledge and inspire appreciation of the Texas Rangers, a legendary symbol of Texas and the American West. As well as collect, preserve, study and exhibit artifacts, artwork and archives relating to the Texas Ranger service; To permanently document and honor the service of Texas Rangers past and present.

Hawaiian Falls Waterpark; Waco, Tx

"Hawaiian Falls Waco covers an expansive 10 acres filled with exciting new rides and aquatic adventures. When it comes to fun in the sun, your Hawaiian Falls Waco waterpark is a can't-miss attraction, one that every member in your family is sure to enjoy. You'll want to come early and often to explore everything that our waterpark has to offer."

Texas Sports Hall of Fame; Waco, Tx

"Home of more than 300 Texas legends, the Texas Sports Hall of Fame was the idea of the sports editor at The Beaumont Enterprise."

Wineries and Breweries:

Valley Mills Vineyard; Valley Mills, Tx

At Valley Mills Vineyards, they make fine wines from 100% Texas-grown grapes. A great love for agriculture underlies all that they do, and they are meticulous in caring for the multiple vineyards they farm.

Red Caboose Winery; Clifton, Tx

"Red Caboose Winery produces award winning Texas wines from estate grown grapes.  We grow sustainable, natural grapes, by hand, yielding superior quality fruit. This enables us to craft "Old World" wines using long established methods. 

Kissing Tree Vineyards; Eddy, Tx

"We serve Italian food and live music every Friday and Saturday night, and brunch on Sundays. We always have cheese trays, and a selection of premium cigars during the week. We at Kissing Tree Vineyards hope to share our passion for food and wine with others, and we hope you and yours find similar romance in both our wine and life."

Brotherwell Brewing; Waco, Tx

"Born in Waco, Brotherwell Brewing exists to serve the Central Texas community with locally crafted beer of the highest quality. We want to bring Central Texans closer to the brewing experience, so everyone can enjoy well-made beer as much as we do."

Bare Arms Brewing; Waco, Tx

"Bare Arms Brewing is Waco’s 1st craft brewery and has been voted #1 by Locals Love Us year over year. We are passionate about craft beer and are always striving for that perfect pint. We honor those that roll up their sleeves, bare arms, work hard, and perfect their craft, thus our name. We offer many flagships that can be found in restaurants, and we feature seasonals, specials, and one-of-a-kinds that can only be found in our taproom. So visit us often to see what’s new."

Southern Roots Brewing Co; Waco, Tx

"Southern Roots Brewery just happens to be lucky enough to be founded in Texas, where we embrace southern hospitality, family, camaraderie, and great craft beer over all else. While officially Founded in Waco, in 2018,  the story of our beers began before that. We began home brewing as a hobby, toying with one of our first recipes, the HOT Blonde. After a few tries, we noticed the neighbors were finding more excuses to swing by and grab a glass of our beer. Then, we brewed beer exclusively for a family members wedding. As we hauled empty kegs home, we figured we had a pretty good recipe. Then we did another family members wedding, and as we hauled more empty beer vessels home, we wondered if we weren't on to something special. After many more brew sessions, and realizing we would soon run out of family weddings to showcase our beers, we decided to go all the way. We began creating, crafting, brewing and sampling the results until we had our debut line-up in place. And finally, in the Fall of 2018, Southern Roots Brewery bloomed into life."

Waco Ale Company; Waco, Tx

"At Waco Ale Company, we use the highest quality ingredients to create award-winning craft beers for every palate. Whether you’re a beginner looking for just a little more flavor, or a connoisseur looking for the rarest of brews, you will find what you’re looking for right here."


Spice Village; Downtown Waco, Tx

Spice village is known for it's spacious, long-running of shopping options featuring over 60 clothing & decor boutiques all under 1 roof. Bonus: pets are allowed!

Austin Ave; Downtown Waco, Tx

Austin Ave is a street downtown that has plentiful shops and restaurants to enjoy.

The Findery; Downtown Waco, Tx

Antique Malls and Stores:

Magnolia Silos; Downtown Waco, Tx


Guess Family BBQ

George's Restaurant Bar & Catering *Waco Favorite*

Milo All Day

Moroso Wood Fire Pizzeria

Di Campli's Italian Ristorante

Helberg BBQ

Slippery Minnow Bar & Grill *Also known as The Minnow*

Ninfa's Mexican Restaurant

Magnolia Table

Jake's Texas Tea House



Clay Pot

Buzzard Billy's

Hecho En Waco Mexican Cuisine

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