One-tank trips: 5 ways to enjoy your next trip to Waco

City of Waco Texas courtesy of Facebook

HOUSTONOne tank of gas can take you from Houston to some pretty amazing places. Our ongoing series “One Tank Trips,” helps you discover what to do, and where to eat and stay in these places.

Waco, Texas

Distance from downtown Houston to Waco: 184 miles

Nestled between Austin and Dallas, Waco is a convenient Texas stop for a few quick activities when road tripping through Texas. The quaint town is filled with plenty of local restaurants, boutiques and sites. It has a myriad of fun activities for kids and Baylor fans alike. It also attracts lots of “Fixer Upper” fans who are looking for a close getaway or lunch pit stop.

Here are five things to know about your next trip there:

1. Dr Pepper Museum & Free Enterprise Institute

Dr. Pepper originated in Waco and serves as the oldest major soft drink in America. Created in 1885 at the Old Corner Drug Store, Dr. Pepper started just one year before Coca-Cola.

The museum celebrates this in the birthplace of Dr Pepper and allows visitors to view the historic Dr. Pepper collection along with showing Dr. Pepper science demonstrations at the liquid laboratory.

Frosty’s Soda Shop inside the museum serves fountain drinks, ice cream floats, shakes, malts and more. The museum also has a gift shop with a vast amount of Dr Pepper memorabilia. The museum is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5:30 p.m.

2. Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum

At the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, visitors will view many artifacts used by the Texas Rangers including currency, badges, a Lacey-Bowie knife, firearms, fine art and sculptures. There are a handful of other exhibits and galleries. Guests are able to visit the museum every day between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

3. 'Fixer Upper' tours

“Fixer Upper” and “Fixer Upper: Behind the Design” are popular HGTV shows where Waco natives Chip Gaines and Joanna Gaines give client homes complete makeovers. The TV show is based in Waco and many client homes can be seen around town.

Joanna Gaines boasts over 11.2 million Instagram followers and Chip Gaines has 4.6 million followers and both of them have a huge following in Waco. Waco allows a handful of “Fixer Upper” fan tours that will take guests through the rich history of Waco and its sights, along with pointing out some notable “Fixer Upper” spots along the way.

4. Magnolia Market at the Silos

This local spot is owned and operated by the Gaines'. The market provides plenty of great shopping if you're looking for home goods or apparel.

The market has greenery for kids and families along with a variety of food trucks serving barbecue, pizza, gourmet popcorn, juice and more. Silos Baking Co. is an on-site bakery that serves plenty of adorable treats made from Joanna Gaines' personal recipes.

Magnolia Table also serves a traditional breakfast and lunch menu that specializes in fresh, homegrown ingredients. They are open Monday through Saturday.

5. Waco Hippodrome Theatre

Since 1914, the Waco Hippodrome has showcased a variety of films, from blockbuster films to locally produced films. The theater is located in the heart of downtown Waco and also has a third floor bar and casual diner. The Hippodrome is also an entertainment hub with live music, stand-up comedy shows, Broadway-style acts and shows and more.

Tips & tricks:

  • According to Hello Lovely, guests should visit Magnolia Market on a weekday at a time close to opening or closing to avoid the long lines. She also recommends getting to Silo Baking Co. an hour and a half early in order to avoid extremely long lines.
  • According to the Cards We Drew, guests should also take a look at the online store before visiting the market to know what they want and need amidst a large crowd.