10 Waco Hot Spots

Looking for a place that has something to offer for all types of trips? Whether it’s a girl’s only, a family affair, college retreat, or a man’s weekend, Waco has it all! Waco is known for Baylor and all things Chip and Joanna Gaines, but it has so much more than that! Spring break was my first girl’s trip, since having my second baby, and Waco was the perfect place to go! Lets talk about the top 10 things to do in this beautiful Texas town!

Be sure to click on the links in my post if you want further details about a place! Just move your cursor over the name of a place and click.

Downtown Waco

  1. Magnolia Market

You can’t go to Waco and not spend some time hanging out here. Not only can you find all things farmhouse but there is a bakery, green space to sit and hangout, gardening area, and food trucks! You do not have to love Fixer Upper to enjoy spending some time here. It can definitely get crowded and in the summer it gets pretty hot. Don’t worry, they have a juice bar and sweet tea food truck that can cool you down!

2. Austin Avenue & The Farmer’s Market

This is a street downtown loaded with cute shops and places to eat. We spent several hours just walking this street and hanging out at this cute candy shop. One place that I highly recommend checking out is the Hippodrome. You can see a movie, live performance or dine with them. If you want to reminisce about childhood or create some fun memories with your own child go to Hey Sugar! It is filled with all kinds of candy and a huge selection of specialty sodas. We even tried some very interesting ice cream mixtures. If you are in town on a Saturday, I highly recommend visiting the farmer’s market. We ate some tasty food and found some great take home items!

3. Suspension Bridge & Spice Village

The suspension bridge goes over the river and next to this beautiful park. You can rent kayaks or paddle boards or just take a stroll along the river’s edge. After spending some time at the park, head over to Spice Village for some great eats and fun shopping.

Things to Do

4. Dr. Pepper Museum

This is a great place to see Dr. Pepper memorabilia and have some fun soda themed treats! Check out GroupOn to get the best deal!

5. Mayborn Museum & Baylor University

They have exhibits for all ages! The locals say it is a definite must for families with children. After you wander around the museum take the time to explore the beautiful Baylor campus.

6. BSR Cable Park

This isn’t your average water park! They have the world’s longest lazy river, man-made beach, volleyball, and the Royal Flush slide. The slide is probably not what you are picturing in your head but more of an extreme sports, feel the wind beneath your wings kind of experience. You can bring your own food and GRILL to save money on food!

7. Waco Mammoth National Monument

We cannot wait to take our girls to check this place out. This a part of the National Parks System and you can see the actual dig site where a mammoth has been discovered. They did not remove what they found but instead they lead down into the dig shelter.

8. Cameron Park & The Zoo

The Park is beautiful, it is a great place to take a stroll or hike. They have trails for beginners or veterans hikers. Choose your level of difficulty and get back to nature! The zoo has a great variety of animals. You can get through the zoo in a few hours and they even have a time to feed the giraffes! This is a must if you are visiting with the family.

Great Eats

9. Magnolia Table

This was at the top of our to-do list and the very first thing we did when we got into town! Chip and Jo’s restaurant hasn’t been open long so of course it was filled with people but we were going to wait! My friends and I were kid free so we felt like we had all the time in the world! This is a breakfast and lunch joint that is closed on Sundays. We waited about an hour to be seated but they have a great outdoor waiting area that has refreshments and games to play. You can also check out the take-away area for gifts. You have to get the homemade biscuits and strawberry butter! It was so good that we purchased some strawberry butter to take home!

10. Sub Zero

You can see ice cream go from liquid to frozen in a matter of minutes! This place had a line out the door and once we got our ice cream I could see why. The Women’s March Madness was going on when we were visiting and while we were waiting, the entire Michigan team walked out of the shop!

More Yummy Eats

Waco is a hidden gem in Texas that is over-shadowed by some of the larger cities. I highly recommend this visit and we are definitely planning on going back with the kids! If this isn’t a place in driving distance then you will want to fly into Dallas (DFW) and rent a car. It is about an hour and a half drive. This can be it’s own trip or a stop along th way kind of place. Whatever you decide I highly recommend you check it out!

Beauty in Brevard

Do you ever wonder if those cute little towns in movies exist? For all you Lifetime movie, nature junkies, I have the perfect town for you!!! Brevard, North Carolina has more charm than one of those bachelors vying for a rose every week. 🙂 We were blessed a couple years ago to receive a Young Life camp assignment at Carolina Point, which is right outside of this gorgeous little town. We got to spend three and a half weeks soaking up the breath taking scenery and good eats Brevard had to offer.

Outdoor Junkies

Brevard is nestled in the middle of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This town is surrounded by beautiful waterfalls. This place is a hikers dream! If you’re thinking “I am NOT a hiker!”, don’t fear! There are waterfalls that require little to no hiking! My favorite waterfall was Triple Falls. One part of the Hunger Games was filmed here.


We also visited Sliding Rock. This is a rock that has naturally made a slide that flows right into some very cold water! I hope that we can return here. The day we went it was overcast and began to rain, so the water was freezing. All I remember is sliding, thinking this is fun, and BAM! I got the wind knocked out of me. I hit the water and it was so cold that I questioned whether they trucked this water in from Antarctica. Thank the Lord above that the exit was only a couple feet from where I landed because I was gasping for air telling myself “just keep swimming”. As I get out, I see people running back to the line to go again….CRAZY…

We were able to hike to several other waterfalls and mountain tops. Every waterfall and mountain was gorgeous and a reminder of how amazing our Earth is. Here are more pictures!

  • Slick Rock Falls
  • Twin Falls
  • Looking Glass Falls
  • Hooker Falls
  • Sassafrass Mountain
  • Pisgah National Forest
  • Dupont State Forest
  • Gorges State Park


After you enjoy the great outdoors, you must head in town and wander around the downtown! It has the cutest boutique stores and restaurants all located in walking distance of each other. We ventured into the cutest toy store, O.P. Taylor’s, that had a great selection of toys new and old. We even saw some amazing Ghostbuster collectibles! Victor had the great American barber experience at West Main Barbershop. It looked like it came straight from the 50’s. My favorite shop was Theophilus. It had the cutest things which included household items and clothes. I must have had so much fun downtown that I honestly didn’t snap that many pictures. Aren’t these the cutest little girls around. 😉

Amazing Eats

We had a variety of great foods during our stay! While downtown, Rocky’s Soda Shop is a must! When entering you feel like you have traveled back in time to the 50’s. They serve awesome shakes, burgers, specialty hot dogs and much more! We also enjoyed The HobNob, Marco Trattoria, and The Square Root. I loved that most downtown eateries had outdoor seating. The majority of our stay, we had gorgeous weather so we opted for outdoor eating most of the time. Being from Texas we are pretty picky about our BBQ but you can’t visit North Carolina and not eat their version. They had great pulled pork. Their BBQ sauce is vinegar based which is different that what I’m usually accustomed to, a tomato base. They have a tomato based BBQ sauce but I’ll tell ya to stick with what they are experts at. 😉 Our most frequent stop was Dolly’s Dairy Bar! They had the most amazing ice cream options. I tried something different every time and was never disappointed!

Places to Stay

Brevard has a variety of places to stay. They have chain hotels, local inns, houses, camping, or cabins. Prices range from super affordable to luxury. It just depends on what needs you have. Questions you may want to ask yourself, “What do I want to be near?” “Do I want the option of cooking for myself?” “Do I want to get the entire outdoor experience?” “How large is my group?” “Continental breakfast?” The biggest thing I would suggest is do not wait to book. We had friends come visit us last minute and the prices became outrageous. I would recommend doing your research and checking a variety of booking websites like AirB&B, Vibro, Hotels.com, and Home Away. Check this website for your camping options.

Surrounding Towns and Adventures

Here is a list of more adventures in Brevard

  • Crystal Mountain Gem Mine
  • Silvermont Mansion
  • Sherwood Forest Golf Club
  • Headwaters Outfitters, river rentals
  • Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education (feed the fish!)

If you want to venture outside of Brevard you have great options! Hendersonville is about 30 minutes away and has it’s own amazing tourist options such as Flat Rock Play House, Hands on Children’s Museum, and many hiking options. If you continue another 17 miles past Hendersonville, you can visit Chimney Rock. This is one of the most iconic travel sites in the state and has been featured in movies! We weren’t able to make it over there but I am anxious to go back and hike to the top of this rock!

Another option is to head north and spend some time in Asheville. This is a larger city and is home to the famous Biltmore Estates. They offer tours but in my opinion, they are a little pricey. For an adult it is 40 dollars. No matter what you decide you will have an amazing trip!

Visit Brevard’s tourist website for more information! Here are more pictures in case you are questioning whether this place is amazing! 😉

The Secret to Disney

Disney World…you HAVE to go! Everyone feels differently about vacations, but this place no matter who you are will always bring joy to your heart. This company works so hard to make this the happiest place on earth and honestly I never leave without some beautiful memories. I even recommend going at different stages in your life. Hopefully your parents were able to take you as a kid, you should go in your 20’s without kids, then return with your own kids, and probably go with your grandkids but that would be a convo for my parents, not me. 😉 I have been 6 times in my life and plan to keep on going!


Saving Money at Disney

You have two options when it comes to planning a Disney trip. Do you stay on property or find outside accommodations? Some people swear by getting the whole package and I don’t doubt it’s amazing, but the parks themselves are “wow” enough for me budget wise. If you are wanting the whole package and are willing to plan a year or TWO in advance, there are people who know how to save hundreds of dollars. I follow SMART Moms Planning Disney and the woman who leads this Facebook group knows how to make it happen. I am not a coupon clipper and I do love to plan things but I am also impatient so I just can’t. With that being said, here are my money saving tips….

  • Go with a group and share an AirBnB (So many GREAT places to stay)
  • Stay at a hotel that will take you to Disney or rent a car with your group so you only pay parking once (My mom rented a 15 passenger van and that thing hauled the mail!)
  • Go with someone who can get you military tickets
    • We were able to take advantage of this when Victor was in the Air Force and it saves tons of money
    • We could buy up to six tickets so we always took family with us.
  • Do you know someone who works at Disney? They can get up to two people in for free on certain days! (Not peak days)
  • Kids under 3 are free
  • Make and take your own food into the parks. Take a water bottle and ask for cups of water they are free!
  • Do not purchase the park hopper option..seriously you need all day to enjoy each park
  • The more days you go the cheaper the daily ticket gets. You need a 4-day pass to hit every park.
  • Buy certain souvenirs from the local Walmart, Target, or discount Disney Store
    • When you walk into these stores you think you are at a Disney gift shop! SO MUCH DISNEY STUFF!
    • Only buy things at Disney that you can’t get any where else
      • Mickey ears
      • Christmas Ornaments
      • Exclusive Park Toys (We bought Quinn the Rapunzel Tower)
  • You can pay for anything with Disney gift cards so ask for those as gifts for Christmas or birthdays!

Tricks to Have the Time of Your Life


    • You need to sign up for them 30 days in advance or 60 days if you are staying on property. We stayed one night at Disney’s Art of Animation this last time so we were able to sign up for Fast Passes 60 days in advance! 🙂 DO NOT wait…Seriously, on your 30 day mark wake up at 6 AM and get to work.
    • You can initially sign up for 3 passes at one park per day. (You do this using the Disney Park APP) Once you are at that park and after you use your passes, go on the app and sign up for more! We had 8 fast passes one day and never waited in line!
    • Whatever you do, if you do not get a fast pass for a certain ride, head straight for that ride right at opening to avoid long lines. Not all rides need a fast pass. Do your research!
    • Check out a peak time calendar to know when to go Disney
    • If it’s in the “slow season” the tickets are cheaper! (Click here to view the website)
    • June and July are miserably hot and busy
    • Christmas week…NOT WORTH IT
      • We went the week before Christmas and the first week of January both were good.
    • Making it part of a work trip saves money (Thanks Victor 😉 )
    • The sit down restaurants at Disney are pretty amazing but can be pricey. You must plan that out and you can make reservations up to 180 days in advance. (You can’t walk up to the restaurant and ask for a table. That won’t go well with the people who’ve reserved their spot up and are waiting in line. They’ll look at you like you’re crazy. 😉 ) The character dining is fun with kids! Research the prices because it can get up there!
    • Be Our Guest is one of Magic Kingdom’s newest sit down restaurants. If you go during lunch it has more affordable options and you must try the grey stuff! If you go to the Enchanted Tales with Belle and then the restaurant it is almost like character dining with out the price tag. 😉
    • Purchase this with your group! We went with my family (15 people, hence the 15 pax van) We all linked to my account so it made the price worth it. Disney has people everywhere ready to take your picture. They will scan your ticket or magic band and it is all saved to one place. At the end of your trip you can download all of your images. They took around 500 pictures of us on 4-day trip.
    • If you want to save money they will also take pictures with your camera for you!
    • Talking Mickey is at Magic Kingdom and you can get a Fast Pass for him
    • Epcot is a great place to meet a lot of characters
    • Take an autograph book
    • Use the App to find out times and places for characters
    • Disney Junior characters are only at Hollywood Studios
  • Ask any store at the park for your FIRST visit button (also, birthdays and anniversary)


  • Go to Disney Springs (it’s free) and it has lots of shops and eateries
  • Plan well but don’t over do it! You cannot do everything so figure out what is a must for you and stick to it! It is easy to get distracted by all the amazing things.
  • Get a Dole Whip at Magic Kingdom and try as many different foods as you can in Epcot
  • Most rides do not have a height limit and you can even ride those when you are pregnant!
  • Take a stroller…Do not torture yourself or your children…
  • Go early and stay late..the lines are the shortest. Take it slow in the middle of the day. Let your kid nap in a stroller while you ride big kid rides. Disney has child swap for anything with a height requirement.


Magic Kingdom – Plan around parades and rides

Rides: FP=A must fast pass

  • Peter Pans Flight FP
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train FP
  • Space Mountain FP
  • Splash Mountain
  • Buzz Lightyear FP
  • Dumbo
  • The Little Mermaid
  • Winnie the Pooh
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Big Thunder Mountain
  • Enchanted Tales with Belle


  • Night Parade
  • Fireworks

Epcot- Plan around the food and characters

  • Frozen Ever After FP
  • Nemo
  • The Soarin’ FP
  • Test Track FP
  • Mission Space


  • The World Showcase

Hollywood Studios- Plan around the shows

  • Tower of Terror
  • Rock n’ Roller Coaster FP
  • Toy Story Mania FP
  • Star Tours FP
    • Toy Story Land is opening summer 2018 and Star Wars Land summer of 2019


  • Disney Junior Show
  • Frozen Sing Along
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Indiana Jones
  • Fantasmic
  • All things Star Wars (if that’s your thing)
  • Voyage of the Little Mermaid

Animal Kingdom- Check out all the animals

  • Dinosaur
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris FP
  • Expedition Everest FP
  • Avatar FP


  • Lion King Show
  • Nemo Show
  • River of Lights

I hope this is helpful information and PLEASE message me because I could write 10 pages about all the things you need to know!

D.C. on a Dime

D.C. was a trip that Victor and I took as a “babymoon” before our second was born. I had been itching to go some where since I finally passed all the sickness and exhaustion the first few months of pregnancy brings. We hadn’t been anywhere since the summer and my initial thought was to go back to NYC over Christmas break. When I started looking for plane tickets I soon realized they were not in the price range I had hoped so I started researching places to visit during Christmas time. Victor and I love Christmas so we wanted somewhere that had the spirit of Christmas like NYC. Washington, D.C. popped up and the price was right!

Plane Tickets and Planning

We found round trip tickets through Spirit for $150 per person. Christmas time is a very busy time to fly so I managed to find us a trip right before the crowds started. We flew out the morning of Dec. 18th and flew back the evening of Dec. 21st. I booked our flights on Nov. 10th so that gave me a little over 5 weeks to plan! Our first step was to try to get a tour of the White House, but we were not successful. After that it was on to booking our hotel. After researching things to do, I realized that everything that you want to do is FREE! This is one of the most affordable trips to take because most tourist attractions cost you NOTHING!


We stayed at the Club Quarters Hotel on 17th street, which ended up being just a few blocks from the White House! We usually only book where they have complimentary breakfast but this place was running a special for only $80 a night (normally $200) and it was in a central location. Our hotel rewards had racked up and we got one free night, so we only paid 93 dollars after taxes for our stay! I always read hotel reviews before booking a hotel. I wanted to make sure the price reduction wasn’t because of unpleasant conditions. Needless to say that was not the case. We loved the hotel and had a great view. (See photo below) The room was small but who hangs out in their hotel while in DC…no one!:)


Day 1

We landed in Baltimore at 10:15 a.m. and proceeded to the Amtrack station. When purchasing your ticket, you want the value ticket! Trains are constantly running. Once we made it to DC we headed to our hotel. Our room was ready before check-in so we were able to drop our bags and change before heading to our reservation at Founding Farmers. This place was awesome and delicious. You have to have a reservation or you will be running a very high chance of not getting a table. The food is locally sourced and fresh. Our waiter was a hoot and cracked jokes about Republicans because we were from Texas. In the photo below we were laughing because he said, “Say I love Donald Trump!” The people next to us did not find that amusing at all but oh well 😉


When we left the restaurant the temperature had dropped about 20 degrees, so we raced back to the hotel to put more clothes on! BRRRR! We then headed to see the White House and as many monuments as possible. We were also able to see the Christmas tree display outside the White House. They had a tree for every state and territory! The subway stations are much farther apart in D.C. than New York so be prepared to walk!

Day 2

We decided to purchase 2-day trolley tickets, from Old Town Trolley Tours, so that we could hop on and off at the places we wanted to visit. When you are 6 months pregnant, you realize that you can only walk so far! Since everything we wanted to do was basically free we didn’t feel bad about spending money on the trolley. Our trip was a short one, so we didn’t want to waste time walking from place to place. They had a winter promotion where you buy one day and get the second for free. We paid $60 per person and it was money well spent! We started our day at the National Archives. This is where the most precious documents of our country are housed. We were not allowed to take pictures but I will tell you that it is a must see! We moved on to the American History Museum then to the Holocaust Museum.

We then rode the trolley out to the Arlington National Cemetery. If you have the chance to visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier please do it! We were able to see the changing of the guard. Those soldiers show you what pride for your country and dedication really means.

We then headed back into the city and took a short break at the hotel before hopping the trolley and riding out to Georgetown. This is the cutest area with cobblestone streets and fun shops. We of course stopped at Georgetown Cupcakes and then checked out a coffee shop named Peet’s. We managed to visit during their grand opening and got free drinks! We then crossed the street and had some amazing pizza at Pizzeria Paradiso. One of our pizzas had an egg on it and it was amazing! We then caught a taxi to the zoo, which is also free. We didn’t see many animals but we were able to enjoy the beautiful seasonal zoo lights. After that I was exhausted so we road the subway back to the hotel and crashed!

Day 3

We had booked a tour to visit the U.S. Capitol, which again is also FREE, so we got up and stopped at a breakfast restaurant, Wicked Waffle, that served all things waffles. Victor went sweet and I went savory. Next, we hopped on the trolley and rode to the Capitol building. You have to book your tour in advance so go to the website before your trip. Our tour guide was hilarious! We were able to see rooms that our founding fathers served in, including Abraham Lincoln!

We then rode the trolley around and saw the few monuments we missed and hopped off at the Air and Space Museum. Once we finished it was time pick up our bags from the hotel and head to the airport. Our flight was bound to leave around 8:40 p.m. that evening but ended up getting delayed until 1 in the morning! This pregnant girl sure did sleep on the floor of the airport! LOL! We ended up getting vouchers for the inconvenience and made it back home at around 5 in the morning.

Final Note

Washington, D.C. is definitely an affordable trip! If you go during the off season you can stay in a central location and get great deals. It was cold but we had a blast! I highly recommend purchasing the trolley pass to avoid walking for MILES. I am not exaggerating when I tell you everything is far apart. There are 19 Smithsonian museums and tons of monuments to visit that cost you nothing. If you want a tour of the White House, get online and write your senator early because it books up fast. We definitely splurged a bit on food because we spent nothing on tourist attractions and I was pregnant so food was a priority! I hope that we can return during the spring with our children one day and see the cherry blossoms. If you want any more tips or tricks, feel free to comment below!

4 Tips for Traveling on a Budget

Do you ever sit around and dream of places you would love to visit? I do…ALL THE TIME. I feel like once we get home from one trip I am already beginning to think of the next place to go. If you visited my Pinterest page you would see my obsession. (You would also see my obsession with DIY projects, cooking, and party planning) I am definitely a planner but love to have an open schedule. I think I fall more under the category of researcher. I want to know everything I can possible know about a place before I go and visit. Research saves me time and money, two things we never have enough of….

Tips on How to Travel on a Budget

  • Research

Research is KEY! I have planned trips months in advance and ones where I have a few days to get it together. If you show up to a new place with no clue on how to get around or what to do, it is likely you will spend more money than you are hoping. Things you need to know in advance are transportation tips, best neighborhoods, things to do, and places to eat. The best way to find these things out are from people who have been there and the internet. Of course you can’t believe everything you read on the internet so make sure you have more than one source! Pinterest is definitely my go to when I start my research. On this one site you have first hand experiences from personal blogs as well as travel websites. Also, I will usually start asking friends in person and on Facebook if they have any recommendations.

  • Credit Card Points

Do not….I REPEAT…Do not use this step if you are not good at living on some kind of budget. You must have the discipline to pay this credit card off every month to not have any interest rate fees. Two years ago we decided to get a credit card that would reward us with travel points. I had been RESEARCHING 🙂 ways to save money on travel and this kept popping up. We took the plunge and it has saved us tons of money! We use our credit card as a debit card. We charge everything to it but we live on a budget and track this budget daily. At the end of the month we pay of our credit card. We do not pay the statement balance. We pay exactly what we charged to the card that month. Our credit card does have a 99 dollar yearly fee but compared to the amount we save on travel it is worth it. I think last year we used our travel points for plane tickets, hotel stays, and car rentals that probably totaled up to at least $600 dollars. Do your research on which credit card would best suit your needs.

  • Reward Clubs

Reward clubs that do not require and fees or commitments are great. We use hotels.com to book our hotel stays if we are not using travel points. Once you have 10 hotel night stays you get a free one. This of course takes a little while to accumulate but it does pay off. They also send us discount codes on occasion that we can use when booking.

You can also find reward clubs that have a yearly fee that pay off. We are a part of the 9 dollar fare club for Spirit Airlines but I am not sure if that has payed off for us yet. Time will have to tell on this one.

  • Fly Cheap and be Flexible

We do not have loyalty to any airline company. Our credit card points allow us to book on any airline. The majority of the time we end up on Spirit but they just end up being the ones with the lowest price. We have also flown Frontier, United, American, and Southwest. Of course Southwest has amazing perks and great staff but they many times are one of the most expensive.

Evaluate your personality and needs while reading this. The cheapest airlines are NO FRILLS. This means you do not get pretzels, large seats, free baggage or free medium sized carry ons. My family does not need these things. We try to find direct flights and remind ourselves we are only on the plane for 1-3 hours and the actual trip is where we want to spend our money. These airlines also require you to plan ahead. If you are taking baggage you need to pay online in advance. We have gotten really good at packing so we fit everyones things into one bag and take a couple of backpacks onto the plane that are no charge. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays tend to be the cheapest days to fly but if you can be slightly flexible on your days you will end up with a great deal. We save tons of money doing these things and you can do the same!

If you can not do flexible dates download the app Hopper and put in the dates you plan to fly. They will alert you when prices drop and when is the best time to buy.

  • Extras

Lastly, here are a few extra ways to save money that may not work out every time. We try to travel to places where we know people and stay with them. We do not do this every time we travel but it is nice when you can. We also take our own baby gear! We take car seats, strollers, baby carriers, tablets, toys, ect. We do not always need all of these things but if we do we do not rent or repurchase these things at our destination. Next, we put on our maps app to avoid tolls. We do not pay the extra rental car fees for the toll tag or the insurance. When we drove from Miami to Key West, we needed the toll tag so it was worth the fee but in Orlando…totally unnecessary. Also, stay at a hotel that has free breakfast or complimentary happy hour, and no I don’t mean just free drinks. When you travel, food expenses add up so save by eating at the hotel when possible. Finally, we love discounts and bundle pricing! Every where is different and you have to do the research but many times you can save tons of money. City Pass is a great example of a bundle that can save you money if you have the time to use all the coupons.

I have so many more tips that are exclusive to the places we travel and those will come out eventually. I hope this helps you take the leap to travel more often and don’t be afraid it will break the bank every time.