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Texas Brazos Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program

Waco


BRIDGING THE PAST AND PRESENT

The nicknames “Six-Shooter Junction” and “Athens of Texas” are contradictory, but Waco is where the Wild West met the Old South. Platted in 1849, the community grew with the cotton industry. Cattle drives along the Chisholm Trail helped stimulate the post-Civil War economy; cowboys and saloons also earned Waco notoriety. Walk in the hoof prints of the era on one of Waco’s signature attractions, the single-span suspension bridge over the Brazos River, which helped transport countless head of cattle. The bridge and surrounding bronze cattle now hosts events and connects a riverwalk loop.

In 1871, the first of three rail lines arrived, and Waco became a flourishing trade center. Baylor University moved here in 1886, enhancing the city’s reputation for education. The Mayborn Museum complex on campus features natural and cultural history including a limestone cave, a Waco Indian grass hut and an Anglo settler’s log cabin.

Cameron Park, a 416 acre city park started by a donation from the Cameron family in 1910 boasts New Deal trails and wall projects including the walls along “lover’s leap” and in the 1990s exotic and local species arrived at the Cameron Park Zoo. Prehistoric animal remains are nearby at the Mammoth Site, the nation’s only recorded discovery of a nursery herd of Pleistocene mammoths. Take time to wet you whistle with Texas’ favorite soft drink, in a restored 1906 bottling plant, now the engaging Dr Pepper Museum. Discover western legends and tools of the law enforcement trade at the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum.  

Located on I-35, Waco & the Heart of Texas is halfway between Dallas/Ft. Worth and Austin. Known for its rich culture and diverse heritage, Waco is a lovely mid-size town with the friendliest people you’ll ever meet! Attractions include the Waco Mammoth Site, Texas Ranger Museum, Dr Pepper Museum, Texas Sports Hall of Fame, Historic House Museums, Armstrong Browning Library, Historic Waco Suspension Bridge, Cameron Park Zoo, scenic hiking and biking trails and canoeing and kayaking on the Brazos and Bosque Rivers. Endowed with natural beauty, entertaining and educational museums and attractions and plenty of recreational activities, you’ll find Waco’s offerings, like the city itself, are conveniently located and easy to get to. All the fun without the hassle!

Watch the following video to learn more about Waco's historic downtown.  This video was produced for inclusion in the Town Square Walk Around mobile tour, more information about which you may find on the Texas Main Street Cities page at the following link: http://texastimetravel.com/travel-themes/main-texas-main-street-cities

Scroll down the page for more information about Waco and more photos and videos!


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Read more about Waco in the Handbook of Texas Online.