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Waco

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Waco [14] is a city in the Blackland Prairie region of north central Texas, in the United States of America. Waco is best known in Texas for being the home of Baylor University, the largest Baptist university in the world, chartered under the Republic of Texas.

Understand[edit]

History[edit]

Founded in 1849 near the site of an abandoned agricultural village of Waco Indians, Waco rose to prominence in the 1870's as a major junction for the transport of cattle; by 1871 between 600,000 and 700,000 head of cattle had passed through the city. As time progressed, Waco's location at the crossroads of major railroads and its location on the Brazos River helped the city grow and thrive. It is now home to approximately 125,000 residents, with 260,000 in the greater Waco MSA area. Waco has a number of worthwhile attractions.

Waco came to the world's attention, and is still remembered by many people, for the February 28, 1993 stand-off between federal agents (FBI, ATF) and the Branch Davidians, a Seventh Day Adventist offshoot religious group, led by David Koresh, the sect's leader. It resulted in the deaths of 86 people. The incident took place 15 miles outside of Waco, though - not in the city itself. When asked about the incident, most residents will answer; just realize that generally Wacoans are tired of the subject and would rather talk about something else.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Passenger service into Waco goes through Waco Regional Airport (ACT). American Airlines is the only airline that flies into and out of Waco. [15]

Alternate airport options are Killeen (GRK), Dallas (DFW), Dallas Love (DAL) and Austin (AUS).

By car[edit]

Waco is on I-35, thus allowing easy access by car from Dallas and Austin. On I-35, it is a 90 minute drive south of Dallas, and a 90 minute drive north of Austin. State Highway 6 is the preferred route to reach Waco from Houston, a three-hour drive.

By bus[edit]

Waco has a Greyhound [16] bus terminal located in the center of downtown. In addition Turimex Internacional [17] has a bus route that runs from Waco into Mexico, primarily catering to the Mexican population. Recently, Shofur [18], a luxury bus service, began providing service from Dallas, Austin, San Antonio and Houston to Waco with amenities like wifi and power outlets.

By train[edit]

The closest train terminal is an Amtrak Station [19] in McGregor, a small community 15 miles west of Waco on highway 84.

By boat[edit]

The Brazos River flows through downtown Waco and empties into the Gulf of Mexico. Reaching Waco by boat will be a challenge due to the shallowness of this river, along with frequent dams and falls.

A more practical (and entertaining) way of reaching Waco by boat would be to launch a kayak or canoe at the Lake Whitney dam, (approximately 40 miles upstream) and float downstream to Waco.

Get around[edit]

The easiest way to travel around Waco is by car. The city of Waco does run a public transportation system, however, it has a limited number of stops and only runs during the daytime. Waco Transit [20]

See[edit][add listing]

Cameron Park[edit]

One of the largest city parks in Texas, Cameron Park consists of over 400 acres of trees, trails, and nature that sit in the heart of Waco [21]. Upstream from downtown Waco, the park is lined by the Brazos and Bosque rivers and the trails weave deep into the forest which are perfect for running, walking, biking, and horseback riding. Stationed throughout the park are pavilions, water fountains, fire pits, and public restrooms, making the park a haven for Waco families and visitors alike.

Cameron Park offers a 23-hole Disc Golf course with baskets and concrete tees spread throughout the park. Also, there are fishing holes scattered along the bank of the surrounding rivers. Boat ramps are available for public use. 20 miles of trails span the park; they are clearly marked for rigorous biking/hiking as well as leisure walking. Horseback riding is permitted. Located at the center of the park is the Spray Park, automatic water fountains and playgrounds are free to the public.

The park also contains the Cameron Park Zoo The zoo is next to the Brazos River and has 52 acres of vegetation. The walkways of Cameron Park Zoo meander through lush landscapes and natural habitat displays featuring animals from Africa, Asia, South America, North America, and Madagascar. It was built in 1993 and has expanded several times. An 1880s Texas ranch house serves as an education facility, complete with whitetail deer, turkey, and peccary display. A state of the art Herpetarium opened in 1997. Grammy Nell's Play Area opened in 1998 with a focus on nature-based play and a zero-depth splash fountain. The following year a $600,000 African lion display was built thanks to the family and friends of Sam "Jack" McGlasson. Most recently, Lemur Island opened June 28, 2002. It is home to three species of Lemurs including the Sclater's black lemur, a critically endangered species that is held in only 14 institutions worlwide. The zoo is open 9-5 Monday through Sat; 11-5 on Sunday/year round (Adults $7, Children $5, Seniors $6, Children under 3 free). Contact the Cameron Park Zoo at 1701 N 4th St. Phone:(254) 750-8400, [22]

Museums[edit]

Delivery truck at the Dr Pepper Museum
  • Dr Pepper Museum, 300 South 5th Street, Phone: (254) 757-1025, [23]. Dr Pepper was invented in Waco in 1885 and the museum houses the original bottling plant. The first floor of the museum explains the history of Dr Pepper, complete with the original machines, an artesain well, and an animatronic to introduce visitors to the history of Dr Pepper. The second floor displays the commercial history of Dr Pepper and other independent soft drinks, such as 7-Up and RC Cola. The third floor houses a conference center, the "Soft Drink Executive Hall of Fame", and a conference center dedicated to free enterprise as an economic system.The real highlight, though, is the vintage soda fountain on the first floor - no price of admission necessary for purchase of Dr Pepper, mixed and served straight from the tap. It's leagues better than what you can get in a can. It's worth noting that, despite common misconception, there is no period after the 'r' in Dr Pepper.
  • Mayborn Museum Complex, 1300 S. University Parks Drive, Phone: (254) 710-1110, [24]. The Mayborn Museum is located across from Baylor University and walking through, you will walk through the natural history of central Texas. Spend hours in 16 discovery rooms for hands-on learning with themes from transportation to TV news and pioneers. Explore the natural history of central Texas through walk-in dioramas of a limestone cave, a Texas forest, and the Waco mammoth dig. On the grounds of the complex is the Governor Bill & Vara Daniel Historic Village-- an 1890's village moved from Liberty, Texas with a livery, church, general store, plantation home, and other authentic historic buildings. The Mayborn Museum is open Monday-Wednesday, Friday, Saturday-- 10:00-5:00, Thursday-- 10:00-8:00, Sunday-- 1:00-5:00 (Adults: $6.00, Children (18 months to 12 years of age): $4.00, Seniors (65 years and older): $5.00)
  • Red Men Museum and Library, 4521 Speight Ave., Phone (254) 756-1221, [25]. The Red Men Museum and Library is a historical reference museum and research library pertaining to the Improved Order of the Red Men, an organization tracing its founding to 1765. The museum exhibits artifacts of historical significance such as a writing desk that belonged to Aaron Burr, a bugle recovered from the battlefield at Gettysburg, and a peace blanket that belonged to the Apache warrior Geronimo. Questions? E-mail The Red Men at info@redmen.org.
  • Texas Ranger Hall of Fame, 100 Texas Ranger Trail I-35 and University Parks Dr., Phone: 254-750-8631, [26].The official museum of the Texas Rangers, this Hall of Fame contains a large amount of memorabilia from the long history of the Texas Rangers. The museum is open Monday through Sunday from 9am to 4:30pm.
  • Texas Sports Hall of Fame, 1108 S University Parks Dr., Phone: (254) 756-1633, [27]. The museum features Texas athletes in many sports, including football, tennis, golf, baseball, basketball, horse racing, and others. The museum also houses the Southwest Conference's 75 year collection of memorabilia.The museum is open Monday through Saturday 9-5, Sunday 12-5 and Closed-Easter, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas, New Year's Day. Admission prices for Adults are $6, Seniors (60+) $5, Students $3, Active Military and Kids under 6 are free.
  • Baylor’s Martin Museum of Art 60 Baylor Avenue, Phone: (254) 710-6390, [28]. The Martin Museum of Art is located on the Baylor campus in the Hooper-Schaefer Fine Arts Center. The art museum periodically features different artists from around the country. Outside of the actual museum, student paintings, drawings, sculptures, and more can be found displayed on the walls and in cases throughout the building. For specific exhibit information, see their website or contact them. Martin Museum of Art is open 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Tuesday – Friday, 12:00 - 5:00 p.m., Saturday

Galleries[edit]

  • Art Ambush 3523 Franklin Avenue, [29]. With eccentric, artsy taste and provocative art hanging on its walls, Art Ambush proves to be one of Waco’s hidden treasures. Excelling in professional body art (tattoos) and piercings, Art Ambush also has occasional art exhibits featuring local artists. “Art Ambush is dedicated to displaying people’s artistic talents. Different works of art by local and national artists can be seen throughout the location.” Art Ambush is open Tues.-Thurs.: 2-10pm, Fri. & Sat.: 2-12am, Sun. & Mon.: call for hours (254-752-1242)
  • Croft Art Gallery 712 Austin Avenue. Croft Art Gallery is a new Waco art gallery that opened in 2009. It features all different kinds of artwork of local artists. The owner, a Waco resident, says, “I got real tired of reading negative comments from people who lived here.” With her favorite quote “Be the change you wish to see in the world” on her mind, she “decided to pursue a dream of opening an art gallery.” Whether the art is for sale or not depends on the current artists’ preferences. The gallery is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays
  • Art Center of Waco 1300 College Drive, Waco, Texas 76708 [30]. The Art Center of Waco is a gallery as well as an interactive studio where the community can indulge in their own artistic endeavors. It is a great place to learn and grow artistically. Ways to get involved with the Art Center include festivals, adult classes (like pottery, calligraphy, fabric dye, hair bows, handmade soaps, photography, holiday cards, etc.), children’s classes, and working in their Artists’ Open Studio. For more information on upcoming exhibits, visit the website listed below.

Other[edit]

  • Armstrong Browning Library, 710 Speight Ave. Phone: (254) 710-3566, [31]. Located on Baylor campus, the library contains the world's largest collection of works related to British poets Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. The building contains 62 stained glass windows depicting themes from the Brownings' poetry.
  • Homestead Heritage, Halbert Lane off FM 933 north of Waco, Phone: (254) 754-9600, [32]. Homestead Heritage celebrates life by sweeping you back to what life was like in the 1800's. Visit the 200-year old restored barn which offers handmade crafts, housewares and furniture; enjoy a relaxing lunch of homegrown and homemade treats at the Homestead Farms Deli; or take a walking tour of an herb farm, 1750s gristmill, pottery barn and blacksmith shop.
  • Lake Waco, Office Phone: (254) 756-5359, [33]. Lake Waco was constructed by the Army Corp of Engineers in 1929. In the last 70 years Lake Waco has grown and become the city’s primary source of water. Lake Waco offers fishing, camping, day-use recreation areas, boating, swimming, hike and bike trails, horseback riding trails, and hunting. Parking is available off Airport Road from 6 am to 10 pm. The hiking trail located next to Lake Waco and opens one hour before sunrise and closes one hour before sunset. More information about how to access the trails near the lake, check here [34]. Sometimes the park holds irregular hours due to weather. Check the Army Corp of Engineers web site [35] for updated park closure information.
  • Waco Suspension Bridge University Parks Dr. between Franklin Ave. and Washington Ave., [36] The Waco Suspension Bridge, built in 1870, was the first bridge across the Brazos River and the longest bridge west of the Mississippi River at that time. Now a walking bridge, the architecture is a token of Waco used by walkers, joggers, and is a popular spot for picture taking and having picnics. Wacoans have made a game of tossing tortillas from the bridge onto a concrete pillar stationed in the Brazos River. Learning the art of tortilla tossing is much more difficult than it seems and keeps players coming back to the bridge.
  • The Alico Building, 425 Austin Ave., Phone: (254) 297-2777, [37]. When completed in 1911, this beautiful 22 story building was the tallest in the Southwest. It is still used for commercial purposes on the inside but the outside is ready for pictures anytime, day or night.

Do[edit][add listing]

Art[edit]

  • Practically Pikasso 4310 West Waco Drive Waco, TX 76710 [38]. Practically Pikasso is a colorful, fun, family-and-pet-friendly atmosphere that offers a local artistic experience where you can choose your own piece on pottery and paint it however you’d like. Their friendly staff and fair prices are nothing compared to the amusement and enjoyment you’ll find when you’re painting, glass fusing, or building a mosaic with your friends. Practically Pikasso is open Monday-Saturday: Noon - 9pm, Sunday: Noon - 6pm
  • Waco Arts Initiative Kate Ross Apartments, 1115 Cleveland Ave, Phone: (214)695-1338, [39]. Waco Arts Initiative (WAI) is a special program created for under-privileged children. Art is used as an emotional and expressive outlet for children who could otherwise not afford art supplies. WAI believes that “this poverty goes beyond economics and is a problem that every human faces within the context of their own paradigm,” and they hope to “confront the poverty of the soul through the creative arts via a program of empowerment conducted by an inspiring staff.” Program Times: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 3:30-5:00pm

Attractions[edit]

  • Lion's Park, 1716 North 42nd Street, Phone: (254) 772-3541, [40]. Ride on a miniature train, play putt-putt, drive a go-kart, or ride on a bumper boat.
  • Waco Water Park, [41]. The Waco Water Park is the coolest place to be this summer for kids of all ages. Two towering water slides and two pools provide a great escape from the summer heat.

Music[edit]

  • Waco Symphony http://www.wacosymphony.com The Waco Symphony entertains the greater Waco community throughout the year. Their performances are held at Waco Hall on Baylor University campus and the symphony is led by Maestro Stephen Heyde. Sunday Sounds is a concert series by the Waco Symphony held on Sunday afternoons at 3:30 p.m. Thirty minutes prior to each show, attendees can learn about the lives of composers and their music in the adjacent concert hall. After the show attendees can visit with the symphony musicians and enjoy refreshments provided by the Waco Symphony Council. Dress for Waco Symphony performances is casual. Attendees are encouraged to “come as you are” whether that be in formal wear or jeans
  • Baylor Symphony http://www.baylor.edu/music/orchestras Begun in 1944, the Baylor Symphony is a part of the Baylor School of Music. The Baylor Symphony is conducted by Maestro Stephen Heyde and performs in Waco Hall on Baylor campus. Each year, the Baylor Symphony performs at least four concerts, full opera production, and a children’s concert series. Notable performances include the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina, the National Convention of the American String Teachers Association, and “Christmas at Baylor” a PBS Special that aired nationally in over 350 markets with an estimated audience of 6 million viewers. A performance schedule can be found on the Baylor Symphony website. Most performances are free of charge.
  • UpRoar Records [42]. UpRoar Records is a local record label at Baylor University. It is the first student-run record label and entertainment group housed in the United States in a university business school. Each fall, UpRoar Records holds auditions to find artists for the current fall year. Selecting 5 – 10 musicians/ groups, UpRoar Records then works with each artist to write, develop, rehearse, and finally record songs in a professional recording studio. UpRoar Records actively promotes their artists on Baylor campus, around the Waco community as well as in larger markets like Nashville, Tennessee and Los Angeles, California. Current UpRoar Artists include: Jillian Edwards, David Dulcie, Zoo Studio, Drew Greenway, Brin Beaver, and Jacob Hooter.
  • Common Grounds 11123 S 8th Street Waco, Texas 76706 (close to Baylor University). Common Grounds is a local coffee shop and concert venue, primarily featuring local artists and bands on their backyard stage. Past Performers include Local Artists: Jillian Edwards, Trey Duck, Zoo Studio, Brin Beaver, Jacob Hooter, David Dulcie, and Drew Greenway; Christian Artists: Waterdeep, Derek Webb, Phil Wickham, Robbie Seay Band, Shawn McDonald, Seth Philpot; and Rock Artists: Canvas Waiting, Tommy Read, Loxsly, Dave Barnes, Andy Davis, Green River Ordinance, The Afters, and Stephen Speaks. The shop offers free Wi-Fi.

Theatre[edit]

Although Waco is a small city, it has a surprisingly rich theatrical community.

  • The Waco Hippodrome [43]. The Waco Performing Arts Company hosts a wide variety of touring shows at the Historic Waco Hippodrome Theatre each year. Since its creation, the Hippodrome has relied on the support of the Waco community in the form of monetary donations, business sponsorship, and a group of dedicated volunteers called the Hippodrome Ambassadors. In addition to hosting an array of touring Broadway shows, the Hippodrome sponsors a variety of musical events, special activities, and movie nights. Of all the theatres in Waco, the Hippodrome provides the most volume of shows and events to the public, usually offering a different event every week. For a full listing of events, and to purchase tickets, visit their Web site.
  • Baylor University Theatre [44]. The Baylor University Department of Theatre Arts is an elite program combining an excellent liberal arts education with rigorous training in both academic and artistic fields of theatre study. The department is ranked among the top 20 undergraduate theatre programs in the United States and is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre. The department produces five main stage plays and two to three summer graduate plays each year in which students perform and fill a variety of production positions. These plays include at least one musical theatre offering each year and a range of contemporary and period pieces. In alternate years the Baylor Theatre sponsors the Horton Foote American Playwrights Festival, a celebration of American playwriting. At each festival, a different playwright is honored with an award named for our visiting distinguished dramatist, Horton Foote, one of America's foremost playwrights and screenwriters.
  • Waco Civic Theatre [45]. The Mission of the Waco Civic Theatre, a non-profit organization, is to provide the Heart of Texas community with quality live theatre, to create an outlet for community education and participation in all aspects of productions, and to instill in the community a sense of pride and ownership in the theatre. Waco Civic Theatre dates back to the 1920's when the work of many enlightened citizens combined to form the Waco Little Theatre (WLT), which operated from 1925 to 1936. In 1945, then chairman of the Baylor University Drama Department Dr. Paul Baker and a team of WLT participants worked to reform the organization that would take the shape of Waco Civic Theatre (WCT) three years later. Today, WCT produces six Main Stage Productions, ranging from works by Shakespeare to Neil Simon. Additionally, aspiring local artists and youth work in partnership to produce Studio Shows that are scheduled between Main Stage Productions and other events.
  • McLennan Theatre [46]. The goal of the McLennan Community College Department of Theatre is to nurture a student's aesthetic sensitivities toward all aspects of the art of theatre, either for personal enrichment or in preparation for a career in this field. The Department of Theatre is committed to a broad-based training program that provides each student with thorough academic preparation and production experience. Students are expected to maintain an appropriate balance between classroom and experiential learning. The Department of Theatre is also committed to enhancing the cultural life of the McLennan campus, Waco and surrounding communities by providing exposure to a varied program of theatre offerings. Productions: MCC Theatre produces four fully mounted productions annually, including plays, musical theatre and originally conceived dance works; the Music Department mounts a fully staged opera.
  • Waco Children’s Theatre [47]. Serving Waco and the surrounding central Texas area, the mission of Waco Children’s Theatre is to help young people develop confidence, self-awareness and character through the performing arts. Founded in 1992, Waco Children's Theatre is a federally tax-exempt, nonprofit organization. Beginning with a vision and 35 children, Executive Director Linda Haskett, in partnership with other dedicated volunteers, continues to inspire thousands of children to discover and share their artistic gifts and talents. This vision is carried out through drama, music and physical expression. In a nurturing and accepting environment, children explore and share their creativity and uniqueness by serving behind the scenes and performing on the stage. Currently: Waco Children’s theatre allows kids to grow through drama, music and physical expression. In a nurturing and accepting environment, children explore and share their creativity and uniqueness by serving behind the scenes and performing on the stage. This children’s stage in Waco, Texas, prepares children for the stages of life – wherever they may go. Young people gain confidence and experience self-expression through activities such as, workshops, rehearsals, set design and stage performances. They also learn the values of teamwork: trusting oneself and others, setting goals, building bridges and bringing enjoyment to others.

Learn[edit]

  • Baylor University [48] is in Waco.
  • McLennan Community College [49] has an active music and theater program.
  • Texas State Technical College

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Richland Mall, 6001 W Waco Dr (at the intersection of US-84 and TX-6), 254.776.6631. Anchored by two Dillard's stores, JCPenney, Bealls, and Sears.  edit
  • Magnolia Market, 601 Webster Ave (across I-35 from Baylor campus at the Silos), (254)235-6111, [1]. Mon-Sat 9am-6pm. Magnolia Market is the shop of HGTV's Fixer Upper stars, Chip and Joanna Gaines. It contains a variety of home decor and home furnishing products as seen on the show. The nearby area contains food trucks, an eating area, a stage, and a garden. Avoid going on Saturdays (especially during Baylor home games) because the area becomes wildly crowded.  edit


Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Schmaltz's Sandwich Shop, 1412 N Valley Mills Drive, (254)776-3694. Mon-Fri until 7 and Sat until 5. Local sandwich shop since 1970s. The owner wakes up every morning and makes the bread fresh - sandwiches are served warm and delicious! There are two soups served daily, one of which is always Wisconsin cheddar cheese soup  edit
  • Dubl-R Burgers, 1810 Herring Ave, (254) 235-5577. Mon-Sat. Best. Burgers. Ever.  edit
  • Lolita's Tortilleria, 1911 Franklin Ave, (254) 755-8008. Tuesday - Sunday until 2PM. Locally owned Mexican restaurant that serves breakfast and lunch all day, or until 2. Located downtown near many of Waco's attractions so you don't have to travel far to start off your day on a full stomach. Must try: the queso is one of a kind - looks different so don't knock it before you try it! under ten dollars.  edit
  • Kitok's Restaurant, 1815 N 18th St., (254) 754-1801. Kitok Restaurant is a popular “hole in the wall” restaurant in Waco, Texas. The original owners, Bob and Kitok Moore, sold the restaurant but the current owners maintain the look and feel of the original Kitok restaurant. The prices are very reasonable. One of the most popular, the Lip Locker hamburger, is a double-patty cheeseburger that is a favorite among regulars. The oriental fries are also very popular. The Asian food offered at Kitok’s is also very good, but it is the burgers and fries that the restaurant is known for. The staff is friendly and attentive to your needs. The waitresses go out of their way to make your stay enjoyable and even the cooks love chatting with diners.  edit
  • Poppa Rollos Pizza, 703 N Valley Mills Drive, (254) 776-6776, [2]. open late. “The best pizza on earth!” Poppa Rollo’s was founded in 1969 and is still thriving in Waco. They primarily serve Italian food, but also offer sandwiches and a health-lite section on their menu. The health-lite section consists of vegetarian and organic- style pizza. Poppa Rollo’s won the Outstanding Business Award in 1994 and was voted the “Pizza Pace Setter” by the National Association of Pizza Operators Trade magazine. Service tends to be brisk and somewhat rude—very New York style service. Bottom line: great food, but less friendly service.  edit
  • Diamond Back's Texas Bistro, 217 Mary Ave, (254) 757-2871‎. Roughly 10 years old, Diamond Back's is located downtown near the Brazos River in a small historic warehouse district. Interior is tall ceilings with rustic, yet sophisticated, wood ceilings. There is a bar and upstairs seating, which includes outdoor seating. It is the best steak house in Waco, and the most expensive. An 8 oz. filet is roughly $32, and a 12 oz. filet is closer to $40, which includes a salad, but no sides. Mashed potatoes with garlic are delicious, and run $5 additional. The beef is a good cut of Angus, and delicious. It is trying to be like Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, in terms of product delivery, but has the feel of an expensive Texas bistro. Overall, worth it if you are looking to spend a ton of money on a steak. $100+ for two, including drinks and tip. (="",) edit
  • Clay Pot, 920 Interstate 35, (254) 756-2721, [3]. Clay Pot is an interesting change from the other Asian food establishments in Waco. The food is very affordable and there are specials offered throughout the week. The “clay pot,” the meal the restaurant is named after, can be served with several different types of meat and is one of the least expensive and tastiest dishes on the menu. Clay Pot’s decorations make it worth the visit, as Vietnamese symbols and art decorate the main room. There are both standard tables for the traditional diner, and there are lowered tables with pillow cushions available for those wishing to dine authentically. The restaurant is also b.y.o.b. yet the tea they offer with meals is free of charge and quite good.  edit
  • George's Restaurant and Bar, 1925 Speight Ave., (254) 753-1421, [4]. 6:30 AM-12 AM. George’s, “where everybody knows your Name beer,” has been around since the 1930’s. George’s is well-known for their chicken fried steak and their extremely large serving of beer, fondly known as the “Big O,” George’s is both a great place to go before a football game for some good food or to relax at the bar with some friends after a long day. George’s has recently been named the “Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year.” In 2003, Maxim Magazine named them “Bar of the Month.”  edit
  • Elite Circle Grille, 2132 S Valley Mills Drive, (254)754.4941, [5]. *The Menu: The atmosphere at Elite ranges from casual to formal. You can stop by the Elite for a couple of beverages and appetizers before a Baylor game, or for a formal event. People often stop by on their lunch breaks from the office or go to Elite for their weekly date night. Elite offers a variety of meals and desserts. -Appetizers include Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Shiner Bock Onion Rings, Fried Calamari, and more. -They also offer soups and salads, sandwiches, and an assortment of entrees: seafood, steaks, pastas, and chicken. -The dessert favorites are the “towering chocolate cake,” “pecan float pie,” the “chocolate bomb,” and the “three layer carrot cake.” Yum! Elite has easy access on and off I-35 so they are the perfect spot to stop. Testimonials: Because Elite has been around for so long, some customer’s love of Elite is as old as the restaurant itself. One couple eating at Elite fondly remembers, “Our first date, back in the sixties, was here at Elite. This place has changed so much since then, but somehow still has that magic that we remember as we fell in love in a booth over there. And we come back here at least every year to celebrate.” Another couple reports on having their first date, rehearsal dinner, and wedding reception at Elite Circle Grille. “This place is just magical for us. And the food’s great too!” Don’t forget to ask your waiter about the famous guest who dined at elite back in to 50’s! Elvis Presley, the King, is a huge part of Elite’s rich history.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Dancing Bear Pub, 1117 Speight Avenue (Located on Speight Ave. close to 12th St., right across the street from the HEB and next door to Food For Thought.), [6]. M-R: 4-12; F-Su: Noon-12. Locally owned, small pub. Not much to look at, but the selection is nice. Next door is a sandwich shop, Food for Thought.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • America's Best Inn & Suites, 3829 Franklin Ave., +1 254 754-0363, Fax: +1 254 752-1318, [50].
  • Clarion Hotel,801 S. 4th St, +1 254 757-2000, [51].
  • Hampton Inn Waco South, 2501 Market Place (I-35 and Hwy 6), 254-662-9500, [7]. Located right next to shopping and restaurants in Central Texas Marketplace.  edit
  • Hilton Waco, 113 S University Parks, +1 254 754-8484, [52].
  • Ramada Waco, 1001 S Martin Luther King, +1 254 753-0261, [53].
  • Residence Inn Waco, 501 University Parks Drive, +1 254 714-1386, Fax: +1 254 714-1386, [54].
  • Comfort Suites, 2700 La Salle Ave (IH 35 & LaSalle Ave. Exit 333A.), 254-537-0413, [8]. 100% nonsmoking all-suite hotel with free hot breakfast & outdoor swimming pool, located near Baylor and downtown Waco; 5 restaurants in walking distance to the hotel. Opened in 2006.  edit
  • Econo Lodge Inn & Suites, 1430 IH 35 South (IH35 & 14th St. Exit 334), 254 752 1991, [9]. Close to Baylor. Renovated in 2008. Free Breakfast & internet. $59-149.  edit
  • Hampton Inn Waco North, 4259 North I-35 (exit 339), 254-412-1999, [10]. The closest hotel to the Waco Regional Airport.  edit
  • La Quinta Inn & Suites, 6003 Woodway Drive, Woodway, 1-254-772-0200, [11]. checkin: 01:00 PM; checkout: 12:00 PM. Pet friendly. $106.00 - $146.00.  edit
  • Fairfield Inn & Suites Waco North, 4257 North I-35 (exit 339), 254-412-2535, [12]. Just a few minutes away Waco Regional Airport, Baylor University, and Downtown Waco.  edit
  • Holiday Inn Express, 6808 Woodway Drive, 2547722227. checkin: 3pm; checkout: 11am. Indoor pool, free wifi, free hot breakfast, close to shopping and hospitals. 110-190.  edit
  • Courtyard Waco, 101 Washington Ave., 1-254-752-8686, [13]. This hotel is across the street from the Waco Convention Center and 1 mile from Baylor University.  edit

Bed & Breakfasts[edit]

  • Colcord House Bed & Breakfast, 2211 Colcord Ave, 254-753-6856, [55].
  • Colonial House Bed & Breakfast, 2301 Colonial Ave, 254-756-1968.
  • The Cotton Palace, 1910 Austin Ave, 254-753-7294, [56].
  • Creekside Garden, 115 N. 25th St., 254-744-8114.
  • Judge Baylor House, 908 Speight Ave, 254-756-0273.

Stay Safe[edit]

Waco has a reputation for a higher-than-normal crime rate for a small to medium size city. Visitors should exercise normal caution. That said, most violent crime occurs in residential areas, away from most areas visitors may visit. If you do find yourself in such an area (usually for dining), use normal caution. Drive with the doors locked, do not draw attention to yourself, and do not make prolonged eye contact (i.e. stare at other drivers).

It is strongly advised not to be at Cameron Park at night unless you are with a large group. Also the area surrounding Baylor University is pretty dangerous at night, so it's advisable to not go near the area around Baylor unless you are in a group.

Waco, and Texas in general, is not frequented by pedestrians as much as a lot of other places. If you decide to walk, be careful, as the drivers are not used to pedestrians and may not see you.

Tornadoes are not a frequent occurrence in Waco, but when they do hit, they tend to be very strong. Do not panic if a tornado warning is issued. If such a warning is issued, turn on the local news and keep updated. The weatherperson will explain what cautions need to be taken, and who should take them. If the weatherperson, any hotel staff, or public officials give you directions, follow them. It should go without saying that you should not go outside during a tornado. See the Tornado Safety section for more information.

Get out[edit]

  • Clifton - 20 minutes west on Route 6 is this small town which is very proud of its Norwegian heritage.
  • La Grange (Texas) - a unique small town Texas experience filled with history, culture, trendy shops and delicious cuisine.


Routes through Waco
Dallas/Fort WorthHillsboro  N noframe S  TempleAustin
AbileneColeman  W noframe E  FairfieldMansfield




This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!



Wikipedia:Waco, Texas