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10 Things To Do In Waco Besides Visiting Magnolia Market

Cameron Park Zoo | © Dedra Davis
Cameron Park Zoo | © Dedra Davis
Now that you have traveled across Texas, Instagrammed pictures with the Silos and shopped at Magnolia Market, what else is there to do in Waco? Whether you still have shopping to do, or you want to see some sites or perhaps relax and enjoy some good food and drink, there is still more fun to be had in Wacotown. Here are ten things that might interest the out-of-town Fixer Upper fan.

The Findery

The Findery sells items of home decor, both vintage and classic, as well as clothing and accessories. On the corner of 8th and Webster, housed in the 100-year-old Percy Medicine Building, this boutique offers unique shopping from several vendors under one roof. Jute, the main vendor and also the owners of The Findery, is described as ‘an eclectic melding of vintage chic and industrial furniture and home decor with a flair for repurposing classic and functional elegance.’ Along with Jute, you will find vendors such as Wild and Free, Congress Clothing, Hinge, and Serenity that sell clothing, jewelry, candles and gifts.

The Findery © Dedra Davis

Cameron Park Zoo

Cameron Park Zoo is home to over 1,731 animals, representing 300 species. The zoo is spread out over 52 acres alongside the Brazos River and has picturesque waterfalls, a lake and ponds immersed in Texas vegetation. It is named after and is located inside Cameron Park. Cameron Park Zoo prides itself on the natural habitats in which the animals flourish. A place where visitors can get up close and personal with some of the wild animals, there are always fun events happening at the zoo, so visit the website before you plan your visit.

Cameron Park

Cameron Park is an enormous urban park and the perfect place to escape to nature. Spanning 416 acres, the park has two rivers, playgrounds, splash pads, 15 miles of twisting trails for biking and hiking, for both beginner and novice, and, of course, the beautiful zoo – all of this beside the Brazos River. Brazos Park East, located at MLK and Herring Avenue, is a part of Cameron Park and features boat ramps, a pavilion, horseshoe pits, Frisbee-golf and many scenic and peaceful views for walking, running or just sitting in front of the Brazos. The view across the river is beautiful. Waco is full of nature; you can escape the concrete and be active or find some peace, whatever you need. Even if you just drive through, Cameron Park is one of the places that Wacoans hold close to their heart.

Brazos Park East © Dedra Davis

Waco Hippodrome

The Waco Hippodrome, a historic theater, wasn’t always an eat-drink-and-see-a-movie kind of cinema; it first opened in 1914 as a vaudeville theater. A few name changes and several reconstructions over the past two centuries have changed many things, but the theater has always maintained its historical integrity. An experience in and of itself, The Waco Hippodrome now offers first-release films, along with classic films, live theater, concerts, stand-up comedy, dance and much more. It also features full-service in-theater dining, a mezzanine level restaurant and a full-service bar overlooking picturesque Austin Avenue.

Waco Hippodrome and Austin Avenue © Dedra Davis

Austin Avenue

Austin Avenue is a beautiful tree-lined street that is the soul of the city and pleasing during every season. The popular downtown street has nostalgia and is loaded with history. It’s also home to great shopping, eating, and nightlife that includes the Waco Hippodrome, Muddle, Dichotomy, Classy Glass, Jake’s and Nick’s, to name a few. The shopping areas are a bit farther down Austin, and there you will find Wildland Supply, Junque Queens, Christy’s, Lane’s and Sironia, plus many more antique and home decor shops. These establishments are an easy walk from Magnolia, and you will capture the essence of the small town that Waco still is today.

Austin Avenue During The Fall   © Dedra Davis

Spice Village

Spice Village is a compilation of shops in a restored warehouse, surrounded by restaurants. It first opened in 1997 and is located in the heart of downtown on the corner of 2nd Street and Franklin Avenue. The historic Waco Hardware Building, built in 1908, is now a 30,000-square-foot space holding 90 various shops under one roof. You will find shops that sell everything such as antiques, clothing, housewares, gifts, apparel, accessories, home decor, and true finds that are either vintage or trendy and fads.

Spice Village Courtesy of Spice Village, Fawn Barlow

Wine Shoppe

If relaxing and enjoying a few spirits is what you have in mind after a day of shopping, the Wine Shoppe is a lovely place to visit. Located at the far end of Austin Avenue in Castle Heights, the Wine Shoppe is a quaint little tasting room that offers imported wines direct from Spain, Uruguay and Italy, from small, family-owned vineyards. On Saturdays, they offer an impressive apertivo and wine pairings with cheese and a charcuterie board. The shop highlights two to three bottles daily that they open for you to taste. Full bottles from their impressive inventory are always available for purchase as well.

The Wine Shoppe © Dedra Davis

George’s

George’s is a well-known stop on Highway I35, and Texas songwriter Pat Green even mentions this popular Waco hangout in two of his songs. The food is worth the stop, with a full menu of Texas favorites that have been recognized by governors, senators and congressmen. George’s is also the home of the famous Big O™ – it even has its own trademark. Long ago, a waitress named the large, heavy beer glasses Big Oranges, and the rest of the staff shortened the name to ‘Big O™.’ The bar first opened in 1930 and was re-named George’s in 1966. The original building has been enlarged several times over the years due to popularity.

George's © Dedra Davis

The Backyard Bar Stage and Grill

The Backyard‘s slogan is ‘meet me in the backyard,’ and understandably so given that the restaurant-bar offers a large backyard area with four fire pits, a cascading fountain, plus picnic and patio tables, all under towering shade trees. There are plenty of yard games such as washers, Jumbo Jenga, Cornhole, and an outdoor pool table. The Backyard also has live acoustic shows, open-mic nights, and Waco’s well-known Piano Man plays weekly on the 27 X 15-foot outdoor stage. Although there are no waitresses, the walk-up Patio Grill offers everything from salads and fish to burgers and tacos.

The Backyard © Dedra Davis

Waco Downtown Farmers Market

If you happen to be in Waco on a Saturday, one of the best places to shop and eat at is the Waco Downtown Farmers Market. You will find live music, fresh vegetables and fruits, as well as artisanal cheeses, gourmet popsicles, flowers and plants, wine and fresh juice. You will also discover some great places to have brunch or lunch while sitting at the picnic tables that offer a view of the Brazos River and McLane Stadium. On any given Saturday, you will have between 35-40 vendors, including farmers, artists, food trucks, coffee vendors and vineyards selling their wares. Visiting the market and buying products help support local farmers, artists, shop owners and food truck operators.

Waco Farmer's Market © Dedra Davis