Waco, Texas is commonly known for two things: The Branch Davidians and Magnolia Market. Although these are parts of Waco’s culture and history, there is more to see and do. Here are 5 places to visit in its borders.

Waco, Texas suspension bridge
Photo by Kevin Stewart on Flickr
Waco, Texas suspension bridge
Photo by Kevin Stewart on Flickr

After living in Waco, Texas for years, I have found amazing gems of history, culture, and nature. Here are the top 6 you must visit.

1. Waco National Mammoth Site, Waco, Texas

Waco National Mammoth Site, Waco, Texas
Photo by National Park Service
Waco National Mammoth Site, Waco, Texas
Photo by National Park Service

When you think “mammoth”, do you think of colder climates? Long hair? The Ice Age? Did you know mammoths lived in Texas?

This site sits near the Bosque River in Waco, Texas, where the remains of Columbian Mammoths were discovered. The original 16 members of a nursery herd discovered are housed in Baylor university. But, many of the fossils discovered since 1990 still remain in their original locations. These include a baby mammoth, adult females, an adult bull, a camel, and even the tooth of a Sabertooth!

The fossils live in a climate controlled shelter, protecting them and allowing visitors. If you plan on visiting this site, bring comfortable shoes. It is a hike to visit the bones, but so worth it.

It is free to walk the grounds, but costs $5 for a guided tour of the site.

2. Dr Pepper Museum, Waco, Texas

Dr Pepper Museum, Waco, Texas
Photo by website
Dr Pepper Museum, Waco, Texas
Photo by website

Dr Pepper is the soda of choice for many texans. If you are making a trip to Waco, Texas, this is a must visit! Learn the history of this favorite drink at this site. The museum is actually in a 1900s bottling plant! Cool, right?

There is even the The Soda Fountain! You can get an old fashioned Dr Pepper float.

The site costs $10 for adults and $6 for students and children. It even has discounts for military personnel and educators!

3. Cameron Park, Waco, Texas

Lovers' Leap, Waco, Texas
Photo by Waco-texas.com
Lovers’ Leap, Waco, Texas
Photo by Waco-texas.com

If you are a nature lover, this is a must visit. Full of hiking trails and views of the Bosque River, this site is a perfect place to escape the bustling city. My personal favorite location in this park is Lovers Leap. It is a peaceful lookout. I used to study while looking out at the water.

Even better, there is no charge for this site! It is completely free!

4. The Mayborn Museum, Waco, Texas

Exhibit at Mayborn Museum, Waco, Texas
Photo by baylor.edu
Exhibit at Mayborn Museum, Waco, Texas
Photo by baylor.edu

Any lover of history and museums must visit this site. It has been run by Baylor University since its opening in 2004. This museum has exhibits ranging from natural and cultural exhibits, to a living museum! They even have special traveling exhibits. My favorite was the Wizard of Oz exhibit!

They even have virtual exhibits and at home activities for the kids!

This site costs $9 for adults, $7 for children, and $8 for seniors 65 and over. If you are a Baylor University student, you can get in this site for free!

5. Magnolia Market, Waco, Texas

Magnolia Market Site, Waco, Texas
Photo by Brandi Ibrao on Unsplash
Magnolia Market Site, Waco, Texas
Photo by Brandi Ibrao on Unsplash

The amount of tourists who visit Waco for any other reason than Magnolia is slim. The Fixer Upper and the Gaines have done their part to put Waco, Texas on the map. This site is in the middle of downtown, actually a small walk from the Dr Pepper museum.

Many visit this site for the Silos, the store, or the bakery. I go for another reason-the food trucks. One in particular. Although there are quite a few, my favorite is Club Sandwich. No, it is not a sandwich place. They are known for their rice bowls.