Our time in Waco was one of our favorite stops on our winter Texas adventure. If you are planning a visit to Texas and you don’t already have Waco on your list, then read on to find out why you should add it to your itinerary!
We spent three days exploring this area and we wish we had had more time since there was more to discover. We camped at Midway Park Campground, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineer facility that provided a great spot to base camp as we explored. The campground is conveniently located just minutes from the heart of downtown off a four-lane divided highway. We know that on a return trip to Texas we will budget more time for another Waco stop and stay at Midway Park Campground.
Campground: There were some things we liked and other things we disliked about Midway, so we thought it might be easier to break things down according to positives and negatives.
- Midway is located just minutes from the heart of downtown while still offering a park feel. Several sites are located along the lake, providing beautiful views.
- The campground offers 11 (very reasonably priced) full hook-up sites.
- Most of the sites (other than the pull-throughs) were under large shade trees–which would be welcome relief during hot Texas summers.
- The sites were large, well manicured, and had great fire rings and picnic tables.
- The campground offers a few “double sites,” which provide a double-width site pad and two electric hook-up boxes so two campers could be on the same site.
- Due to being so close to the highway, there is a good bit of road noise in various parts of the campground. Sites 5-16 would probably have the least amount of road noise due to being down the hill from the road.
- The bathrooms were not in very good condition: Kristin was very glad we had full hook-up because the women’s restroom didn’t even have a mirror (see pictures below).
- Many of the sites had a good bit of front-to-back slope, and depending on the length of a camper, it could make it difficult to get a camper sufficiently level. In the picture below you can see some of the slope that we had at our site, which we dealt with by backing the camper as far back as we could to keep as much of it on the level portion as possible.
One other note about Midway is that the park locks the entrance gate at 10 p.m., and although you can exit the campground any time during the night, you can not re-enter until the gate reopens in the morning. You can’t even enter through the exit because there are one direction tire spikes. Outside the gate there is a large parking area where people can park if they don’t make it back before the gate closes, and then individuals would have to walk back to their camper.
Bathrooms: As I previously mentioned we were very glad we had selected a full hook-up site for our stay at Midway because the bathrooms were in need of some repairs. The ladies restroom did not have a mirror–instead someone had written on the wall, “Don’t worry your very beautiful.” (And given the faded status of the writing, it appeared the mirror had been missing for some time.) Kristin also didn’t find a working soap pump at the sink in the ladies restroom.
Amenities: There was a small playground that was geared for young children.
Touring: This is where this campground really shines since it is only about 10 minutes to many of the main attractions in Waco. During our stay we explored only a few of the many things that Waco has to offer. We loved the Waco environment–it had a very approachable and hometowny feel to it. And since we’re not big city people, Waco was a city that didn’t feel overwhelmingly big. We did find the highway system to be a bit confusing–without our GPS we probably would have gotten very mixed up. 🙂
Magnolia Market: (I will let Kristin write this section as she was so excited to visit the flagship store of Chip and Joanna Gaines.) Hi guys! Yes, our stop at Magnolia Market was something I was very excited to see. And it wasn’t just about getting to stroll through the store–although it sure was fun browsing! Magnolia Market is more than a store but an experience that is meant to be savored. The whole venue was designed to create a space where people could fellowship, sit back and relax to soothing music while enjoying simple pleasures like swinging, kicking around a ball with the kids, or eating biscuit sandwiches with friends under a trellis canopy. We had gorgeous weather the day we visited, and the kiddos were thrilled to play on the green while I checked out the shop.
We hear this place gets crazy during peak times (like weekends and breaks) so in order to enjoy Magnolia Market at your leisure, try to plan for an off-peak day when the sun is shining so you can enjoy the green. (There is not a lot of parking immediately near the market, but across from the Dr. Pepper Museum we found a free public parking lot that was about four blocks away.) Also consider visiting over meal time to savor yummy fare from the variety of food trucks on site. And before you go, be sure to satisfy your sweet tooth with a visit to the Silos Baking Co. (I want to go back just to get more cupcakes!) ~Kristin
Waco Mammoth National Monument: This is one of the National Park Service’s newest sites and features a unique cooperation with the city of Waco and Baylor University. These entities work together to maintain the prehistoric mammoth dig site, which you can tour for a small fee. This stop was a highlight for our kiddos because they are science nerds like their dad. 🙂
1st Cavalry Division Horse Cavalry Detachment: We had planned to attend the Mounted Demonstration and tour, but then we discovered while we were in Waco the cavalry wasn’t scheduled to perform. (We were very disappointed. 🙁 )We have read wonderful reviews about this presentation, however, so it’s definitely on our list to do for a return visit!
Other points of interest we would like to explore on a return visit include:
Dates of stay: 1/9-12/2017
Cost: $28 per night for full hook up, for a total of $112