By Harper Mayfield | Sports Writer
What’s that? Your hometown was cooler than Waco is? OK, awesome, what did y’all do there? High school football games? No, yeah, that’s cool, definitely cool for college students to go to high school events all the time. Y’all went to other cities too? So leaving your hometown was the main source of entertainment?
Me too. I get it, a lot of people love the place they grew up simply for the memories they have there. There’s nothing wrong with that. I grew up in Allen, Texas, and I loved every minute of it. Does that mean it’s cooler than Waco? Not necessarily. We leaned heavily on high school sports and driving to Dallas. Waco offers so much that so many other towns its size don’t.
We all know about Magnolia. For some, the amount of publicity Magnolia and its divisions get has muddied the waters a little. We hear about it so much that we forget that there are a lot of people that come from all over the country to get a glimpse of the silos. I’ve also never seen the entrance to Magnolia without a line around the corner. The influence of the Gaines family has brought a lot of other things to Waco, too.
Waco has quietly become a really good food town. There are high quality restaurants of every variety throughout the Waco area. Barbecue fan? Guess Family, Vitek’s, and HTK are right there. Looking for a burger? Health Camp, Coach’s, and The Backyard fit the bill. The food scene in Waco is blowing up, and students can take advantage of it right away.
Aside from food, Waco has a lot of entertainment options. Waco has a pretty solid museum scene. The Mayborn Museum Complex, Dr Pepper museum, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame, and Martin Museum of Art all offer fun, academic experiences. There’s a zoo in Cameron Park, those animal statues are there for a reason. BSR Cable Park has wakeboarding, and also that really big slide you’ve seen on social media.
When you’re in the mood for some outdoor excursions, Waco delivers. Woodway Park has great views of the lake, as does Koehne Park. Cameron Park is also more than its aforementioned zoo, it has tons of hiking trails, several of which lead to the ever-popular Lover’s Leap outlook point. More hiking trails can be found at the Lake Waco dam and the Lake Waco Wetlands.
If you do feel the need to get away, Waco is allegedly within two hours of Dallas and Austin, and within three of Houston and San Antonio. So if you’re one of those people that can’t have fun where they live, you have the means to go check out one of Texas’ notable cities for a weekend.
Waco is decidedly a cool town, and for Baylor students to not appreciate that is weird. So many college students go to school in places that don’t have a fraction of the attractions Waco does. We’ve got it pretty good here, and it’s OK to recognize that.