Deep in the heart of Texas, in the middle of I-35, lays a quaint little city full of Texas and Baylor Bear spirit. Waco is home to a small stretch of the Brazos River, Lake Waco, HGTV’s Fixer Upper stars Chip and Johanna Gaines, Baylor University, and so much more. There is definitely more than meets the eye in this fun little Texas city so pack your bags and plan a trip to spend 12 hours in Waco.
Breakfast: Lula Jane’s
406 Elm Ave.
Start your morning off right with breakfast at Lula Jane’s. Try any of their classic scones, breads, or baked oatmeal or break your mom’s ultimate rule and eat a breakfast cookie or pie. Make sure to check out their pie, cake, and other sweets menu and pick up something for a mid-morning snack!
Magnolia Market Silos
601 Webster Ave.
HGTV stars Chip and Johanna Gaines showcase their style and creativity for visitors at Magnolia Market Silos. Visitors can shop home décor, play lawn games, enjoy local food trucks and the property’s new bakery, and explore the garden. Make sure to bring plenty of water to stay hydrated and wear sunscreen!
Lunch: Schmaltz’s Sandwich Shoppe
1412 N. Valley Mills Dr. or 105 S. 5th St.
When you stop in Schmaltz’s Sandwich Shoppe for a Blue Plate Special or The Schmaltz, you’ll find each sandwich is made oven-toasted with artisan bread made by hand every day. The menu features classic sandwiches, low fat sandwiches, and soups and salads. Schmaltz’s is the perfect lunch stop to fuel up for the afternoon ahead.
Waco Mammoth National Monument
6220 Steinbeck Bend Dr.
Representing 67,000 years of history, the Waco Mammoth National Monument became part of the National Park System in 2015. Set along the Bosque River, the national monument is home to the fossils of a herd of Columbian mammoths. Visitors can see the fossils “in situ,” meaning the fossils sit unmoved in their original position. Guided tours are offered every thirty minutes, Tuesday – Saturday.
Dinner: Manny’s On the River
1620 N. MLK Jr. Blvd.
Enjoy a Tex-Mex dinner with a view at Manny’s On the River. The menu features combination plates, dinner specials, and fajita dishes. Make sure to check out the drink menu and try the local’s favorite, the Baylor Margarita. Happy hour drink specials are Monday-Thursday 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm and Friday 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.
Waco Suspension Bridge & Riverwalk Area
Doris Miller Park
Take a walk across Waco’s Historical Suspension Bridge and Riverwalk to enjoy the sunset and scenic views. The bridge includes parks on either side and features “Branding the Brazos” sculptures while the riverwalk includes seven miles of multi-use trails on the banks of the Brazos River. The bridge and riverwalk are a scenic and peaceful way to end the evening.
— By Kristen Schniederjan