Copyright Waco & the Heart of Texas

Find family fun in this central Texas town.

June 18, 2014

You only have to brave the (often trafficked) Highway 35 for an hour and a half to get to Waco, a central Texas destination that’s anchored by Baylor University—soon to be home to a new state of the art football stadium. While it’s much smaller than Dallas or Houston, Waco has held its own as a historic Lone Star State city throughout the years. It greatly benefitted from cotton industry wealth, it built the longest single span steel bridge in the world in 1902, and Dr. Pepper was invented in the city’s Morrison's Old Corner Drug Store. —Stirling Kelso

Vitek's

What is now a popular barbecue restaurant originally opened as a grocery store in meat market in 1915. Grab a plate of sliced brisket and jalapeño sausage and saddle up to an outdoor picnic table under strings of lights.

1700 S. 2nd

These condo-style accommodations are housed in a smart brick building. Interiors are suited up in contemporary finishes (bamboo floors, full kitchens with granite countertops) and rooms have hotel-like amenities such as memory foam-topped beds and 1,000 thread-count sheets.

Brazos Bluff Ranch

It’s hard to believe you’re just 10 minutes from downtown Waco when you’re on this scenic ranch on the banks of the Brazos River. Visitors can canoe and horseback ride on brush- and high bluff-covered acres or head to a campfire cookouts on the banks of the river. Keep an eye out for white tailed deer and wild turkeys.

Waco Mammoth Site

The bones of a Columbian mammoth—which roamed the earth during the Pleistocene Epoch, 2.5 million to 10,000 years ago—were first excavated here in 1978. Since then, evidence of 22 mammoths has been uncovered on this 100-acre stretch along the Bosque River. You can see some of the remains at this state park, which just opened to the public in 2009.

Dr. Pepper Museum

The Always One of a Kind soft drink was founded in Morrison's Old Corner Drug Store in Waco in 1885. Museum exhibits walk you through cola history; travelers can also stop by the soda fountain and gift shop. Be sure to check out the website for coupons on tours and admission.

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