I partnered with Ozarka Brand Natural Spring water to discuss my favorite things about the best things to do in Waco, Texas, and show off some tasty local Texas flavors. All thoughts and opinions are my own. #FromHereForHere
For the past 7 years, Waco, Texas has been my home. I uprooted from Corpus Christi, Texas while I was in college to move closer to Mathew, and I’ve called Waco “home” ever since. In the past 7 years, a lot has changed about Waco, Texas. It used to be a town without nightlife, hardly any decent restaurants, and not much to do on the weekends. But in these past 7 years, Waco has grown. Grown into a town that I’m proud to say I live in. There is so much to see and do in Waco now, that we strive to get out on the weekends to do as much as we can before the week hits. I’ve compiled a list of the best things to do in Waco, Texas and I hope you’ll come to visit sometime. It’s truly amazing to see how quickly Waco is becoming a second Austin!
There’s honestly so much to do in Waco, Texas now. I chose our top 3 favorites because we could practically live at these places. They’re so fun, perfectly and uniquely Waco, and great for all types of families. If you’re looking for some of the best things to in Waco, these are them!
Magnolia Market: This charming market center is owned by Chip & Joanna Gaines of the HGTV show, Fixer Upper, and is definitely a tourist hot spot. I won’t lie though, I love being a local because I can go any time I want! There’s shopping for adorable farmhouse inspired housewares and decor, delicious food trucks that serve everything from crepes to Korean bbq, a gorgeous garden with a supply shop, and a huge area for families to come and play outdoors. Not only that, but they just opened up their newest addition, Magnolia Flour! Visit Magnolia Market (and perhaps catch a glimpse of Chip and Joanna) at 601 Webster Ave.
BSR Cable Park: BSR Cable Park is a state of the art water sports facility where riders and skiers are pulled around a 12 acre lake with a cable! Not only that, it’s home to the world’s longest lazy river, and 3 massive water slides. It’s such a blast and perfect for those that love the outdoors. Make sure you pack accordingly (you’ll want to take plenty Ozarka Brand Natural Spring Water) and sign the waivers ahead of time to ensure a extra fun day! You can find BSR Cable Park at 5347 Mexia Road.
Downtown Farmers Market: The Waco Downtown Farmers Market is one place our family loves to go to as much as possible. It’s open on Saturdays from 9-1 and has lots of different tents with delicious food, beautiful plants, homemade soaps, and more. Sometimes you’ll even be lucky enough to have some live entertainment! Pets are welcome and it’s totally kid friendly too- there’s lots of area to run around. Make sure you grab yourself some tasty coffee and a hot artesian pizza while you’re there! It’s located at 401 University Parks Drive.
Places to Shop:
Shopping in Waco has gotten so much better in the past few years. I think everyone is trying to compete with the amazingness that is Magnolia Market, and I’m thankful for that! There are so many more options for families to choose from. Here are just a few of my favorites.
The Findery: Located catty corner to Magnolia Market, The Findery is a unique place to shop! Also with a farmhouse touch, this shop has home decor, boutique-type clothing for women and babies, and more. It’s a tall and skinny building, so be prepared to feel a little like a sardine on a weekend when everyone is downtown, but this place is so fun, you’ll want to come back again. There’s so much to see! If you have a knack for decorating your home or just want some gorgeous clothing items, you’ll want to check out this place. You can find The Findery at 501 S. 8th St.
Hey Sugar: Fan of sweets? You won’t want to skip Hey Sugar Candy Shop. With a retro theme and so many types of candy, you’ll be transported back to the old days when you were a kid. Hey Sugar has bright and colorful candies with hundreds of varieties purchased from suppliers, but the shop’s real treasures? Their in-house made chocolates! Pick up some candy and stay cool in that a/c at 808 Austin Ave.
Spice Village: Looking for something unique to wear? Want to grab a gift for a friend? Spice Village is where it’s at. It’s one huge building with lots of boutiques inside, making it a storefront that’s worth spending a lot of time at. There’s something for everyone at Spice, and it seems like anytime I have a friend come into town, we’ve got to go shopping, and always end up there! Plus, there’s a huge map so you can mark where you’re from and see just how many people love Waco as much as you do! Get your shopping on at 213 Mary Ave.
Eats and Sweets:
Mathew and I definitely consider ourselves foodies, and we live in such a wonderful city that has tons of local restaurant options! I love trying out all the local hotspots and honestly, I’d rather eat there than the chain restaurants because the local places are where it’s at!
Viteks: Listen, barbecue and Texas go together like peanut butter and jelly. It’s a staple and it’s just a fact that if you live in Texas, you must eat barbecue as often as possible. Hey- I don’t make the rules here, people, I just follow them. Viteks is a great, local joint with delicious brisket, and is home to the Gut Pak. Get it if you dare, because you won’t want another meal for a week after eating it! It’s a lot of food! There’s even a covered outdoor patio, so feel free to take your meal outside and enjoy the weather. Get your fix at 1600 Speight Ave.
Katie’s Frozen Custard: If you’ve been around this blog at all before, you’d know our love for Katie’s. Their frozen custard can’t be beat, and is the smoothest we’ve ever had. There are so many combinations of things to order like shakes, Vortex’s, Strawberry Shortcake (with real cake!), and our favorite- the pie cyclones. Depending on the season will determine which pie cyclones are available. We suggest coming in the Fall and getting their Pumpkin Harvest Cyclone. Trust us, it’s pretty much the best thing ever because it’s a real slice of pie blended with vanilla custard. Grab your sweet treat at 602 S. Valley Mills Dr.
Health Camp: In the mood for an old fashioned burger and fries? Make sure you stop at Health Camp. It’s been around since 1948 and there’s a reason it’s still open. The burgers are extra hot and juicy, and the chili cheese hot dogs are downright delicious. I’ll warn you, it’s a tiny place, but it’s definitely worth squeezing into! Get “healthy” at 2601 Circle Rd.
So there you have it- all the best things to do in Waco, Texas that you could want for a fabulous weekend out of town. I’m so proud of Waco and the town it’s become. It’s changed so much from a place that had nothing to do, to a fun, vibrant city. Ozarka knows my strong connection with Waco pride, and their #FromHereForHere campaign has been so fun to help showcase everything that different Texas bloggers love about our home state. When we’re out and about doing all the best things to do in Waco, Texas, you better believe we keep Ozarka Brand Natural Spring Water on hand to beat the heat! Sometimes we want to leave the Waco attractions to the tourists and just have a weekend at home, we pull out the lawn chairs, turn on the BBQ pit, and have a picnic on our covered porch with Addie. I want to share some of our favorite local Texas products for when we stay in and let the tourists do their thing!
When we make fajitas, Yellowbird Serrano sauce by Yellowbird Sauce is my favorite for heating things up. For our family, the spicier, the better, and this sauce is perfectly spicy without overdoing it. It’s made in Austin, Texas which makes me burst with Texas pride when we eat it.
The Jelly Queens is an award-winning Dallas and Austin-based artisan food company and they have the most amazing gourmet jams, jellies, spices, and sauces. Each product is handmade in small batches and they use locally grown, Texas, organic ingredients whenever possible! Their Black Garlic Rosemary BBQ sauce is absolutely delicious (think Worcestershire sauce but in a thick and rich BBQ sauce) to put on ribs or brisket, and so is their Juicy Steak rub.
Cookwell & Company is another favorite of ours because, let’s face it, you can’t have a Texas picnic without some queso. They make a Queso con Salsa Escabeche that is build around a flavorful blend of cheddar and blue cheeses combined with fire-roasted tomatoes, onions, diced jalapenos, and fresh-squeezed lime juice to create the best and most authentic queso you can buy. Made in Austin, Texas, you can’t get jarred queso better than theirs.
Many times when BBQing, we love grilling up sausage (I especially love the kind with cheese in it!) and we love the Taste Elevated Sweet & Spicy Mustard Seeds to dip them into. These little flavor-packed pearls are absolutely addicting! Try it on your sausage, trust us! They’re a little sweet, and a little heat, and are a great way to change up a traditional BBQ.
We are obsessed with Snow’s BBQ Sauce from Snow’s BBQ. Texas Monthly magazine named Snow’s BBQ as the best in Texas, and we can see why. With complex Texas flavor, Snow’s Original BBQ Sauce is excellent on any cut of beef, chicken, or pork (heck, I just douse my ribs and chicken with it!) It’s just as good as a dipping sauce as it is a marinade or brush-on sauce during the last minutes of BBQing.
Lastly, a Texas BBQ picnic at home just isn’t complete without Ozarka® Brand Natural Spring Water. It comes from 3 Texas springs and has a uniquely Texan fresh taste. You can never have too much water when you’re outside in the Texas heat!