Waco during homecoming weekend: an itinerary

From Instagram: @annen2014 stops by the Magnolia Market.

By Sarah Jennings, Reporter

For many students, life revolves around Baylor’s campus. When parents and family come to town, it can come as a welcome opportunity to eat out, try some local venues and explore Waco. However, planning a whole weekend can be overwhelming as families often expect their students to know Waco and take the lead. Here are some suggestions for a day in the life of a cultured Wacoan:

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From Instagram: @bonfurg enjoys a sweet treat at Lula Jane's.

1. Kick off Friday downtown with brunch at Lula Jane’s on Elm Avenue. This homey, local bakery features mainly breakfast foods made from scratch, a garden on site and coffee starting at 50 cents. Lula Jane’s doesn’t waste anything, so go early for the best selection of that day’s menu.

Writer’s pick: baked oatmeal with all the toppings.

Other delicious Waco breakfast joints are Café Cappuccino and the Olive Branch.

2. Following breakfast, drive across the Brazos River and turn right to explore Cameron Park. Jacob’s Ladder, Lover’s Leap and the disc golf course are popular stops. The shady River Trail, which is easily accessed by parking at the Redwood Shelter pavilion, allows walkers to admire both the cliffs and water.

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From Instagram: @el_lobo_supremo snaps a picture of a man standing on a cliff in Cameron Park.

3. There’s approximately seven miles of pavement around the Brazos, forming the Waco Riverwalk. Though the Waco Suspension Bridge certainly must be revisited at night, this walk shows off the interesting bridges crisscrossing the river and can be followed all the way from Cameron Park to McLane Stadium.

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From Instagram: @sashaisms enjoys a cup of coffee at Dichotomy Coffee & Spirits

4. Hit up Austin Avenue for a little downtown shopping. This historic area comes alive with a little help from the Waco History app. After looking through the antique shops and tucking away some dinner ideas like Portofino’s and Sergio’s, stop by Dichotomy Coffee & Spirits. The view of the mural on the rooftop, which kicked off the Wacotown mural movement, is even better with a Sergio breakfast burrito and the unique “1885” drink in hand—a combination of espresso and Dr Pepper over ice.

5. Magnolia Market, a new development at the silos on Webster Avenue, is worth a ramble. Shoppers will also enjoy Spice Village and vintage shops along LaSalle Avenue.

6. If the weather holds out, drop by the Baylor Marina for sand volleyball, paddle-boarding or kayaking. The marina will be open from 3 to 6 p.m. on Friday. The ROCK in the Baylor Student Life Center will be open from 2 to 8 p.m. Guests must complete a liability waiver and pay a small guest fee.

7. For dinner, try a local restaurant. The food trucks on University Parks Drive—such as Xristo’s, Greek food, or the brand-new Tandoori Trailer, featuring Indian cuisine—are a great dinner choice for a pretty day. Other Waco favorites are Bari’s for Italian food, Bangkok Royal for Thai, George’s for American, Sergio’s for Mexican and Vitek’s for BBQ. The more adventurous foodies may enjoy Vietnamese food at the Clay Pot.

8. On Saturday morning, consider some breakfast at the Waco Downtown Farmers Market before heading off to the football game. It opens at 9 a.m. and features goods and food from local vendors.

9. On Saturday at 8 p.m., the Waco Hippodrome presents the Bill & Phil Show— a live acoustic band playing hits from the 70s, 80s and beyond. Also check out movie showings for some Halloween favorites.

10. While downtown, Pokey O’s is must. Dream of this: a divine pairing of homemade cookie and ice cream. Check their Instagram @pokeyoswaco for that night’s location and special flavors.

11. Family game nights are always fun. If the Hippodrome doesn’t suit you, U-swirl is a great hangout space, complete with board games and frozen yogurt.

12. Of course, a walk around the ever-growing Baylor campus should not be overlooked, especially with new additions like the fountain on Fifth Street and the new Hankamer School of Business building. However, as the popular Instagram hashtag says, #wacoisawonderland. It’s time to break out of the bubble.