Don’t skip these trips: The best daytime activities in the 254

Students enjoy the Cameron Park landscape. Lariat file photo

By Emma Weidmann | Arts and Life Editor

If you’ve been racking your brain for how to fill up a day or few in Waco, here is the only list you will ever need. From shopping to local music to outdoor adventures, here is the best the city has to offer all in one list.


As you might guess, Waco is home to quite a few boutiques surrounding the downtown area and within the vicinity of Magnolia. If a day of searching through sparkly dresses and glittery boots is your thing, be sure to check out Pretty in Pink Flamingo Boutique at 611 Washington Ave. This is paradise for anyone looking for an outfit for a summer pop concert, and it has a wide array of sweaters, accessories and shoes for any occasion.

Dylan Nicole boutique at 700 Franklin Ave. is a similar spot for the shopaholic. Good service and lots of cute stuff await you there, making it a perfect stop on a tour of Waco’s locally owned boutiques.

If vintage and antique stores are more your speed, Waco has a lot of great finds in store. Central Goods at 1701 Franklin Ave. is the definitive place for anyone looking for a cool vinyl record or a vintage Baylor sweatshirt that will make everyone jealous. It has everything, and it’s surprisingly large, so you can budget at least an hour at this stop if you’re the type to look through every rack and peek on every shelf.

Of course, that’s not all there is to the vintage scene here. Clasé Vintage and Goods is a hidden gem, tucked next to a cafe at 108 N 25th St. The coolest person you know in Waco probably shops there. It’s the place to find the most obscure and random — yet very cool — vintage T-shirt or an obscenely low-priced vinyl record.

Speaking of records, if your idea of fun is thumbing through thousands of vinyls, the collector in me recommends Spin Connection at 3703 Franklin Ave. This is the place for decently priced new records that you won’t be able to find at a vintage store. It’s a Record Store Day participant as well, so you might luck out and find a unique pressing or something cool and unexpected.

Local music

There’s always something going on in Waco’s music scene. A good place to check where to go to hear some live tunes is Waco Heart of Texas’ event calendar. This will show which bars, restaurants and music venues are hosting which artist on any given day, so be sure to check its website when you’re searching for an evening of live music.

Typically, live music can be heard at Common Grounds Waco on Eighth Street and Freight Icehouse and Yardbar on James Avenue. Just check their websites before you go to make sure there’s something going on, and enjoy the low-lit backyard feel of these venues.

Outdoor adventures

The obvious favorite for a day outdoors in Waco is Cameron Park. Full of beautiful hikes and winding trails, this is a great place to wander in the wilderness without, you know, actually wandering all that far. The trails here are simple, straightforward and easy to navigate.

It goes without saying, but it’s worth a mention — be sure not to go alone. Stick to the marked trails, wear the right shoes and go during daytime.

If you pick the right trail, you can go straight down to the banks of the Bosque River and spend an afternoon just watching the waves ripple as pontoon boats go by. Or you can take the high road and look out over the trees and the river at Lovers’ Leap, reflecting a little bit on the story behind its name while you take in the scenery.

Don’t let the stories scare you: Lovers’ Leap is not really a treacherous cliff. Rather, it’s a scenic lookout with a very sturdy railing.

Also in connection with Cameron Park is the Cameron Park Zoo, which is a nice hour’s worth of wildlife exploration if you’re down for a walk. The best animal here by far is the capybara — the world’s friendliest rodent and the star of a very random TikTok trend.

Lastly, what’s a day in the 254 without a picnic on Lake Waco? Make sure you find a good spot along the beach and watch a beautiful sunset at the close of a great day in one of Central Texas’ most underrated cities.