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Ways to Stay Cool in Waco

by Magnolia
Published on June 28, 2024

Water with the words Ways to Stay Cool in Waco

Summer is about simple moments, reconnecting with nature, family, friends, hobbies, and adventure. Our corner of Waco, Texas, is especially beautiful during the summer months. It’s marked by vibrant, lush greenery, long days of sunshine, a lively community—and the tendency to get hot. However, our little city is also full of fun ways to cool down. Beat the Texas heat with this list of activities, restaurants, and tips for staying comfortable in town.

Waco Waters

Bright sunshine and warm weather calls for quality time spent outside. Dive in headfirst this summer with local water parks, splash pads, and natural bodies of water that are well-loved here in our hometown.

Graphic of Lake Waco

Hawaiian Falls Water Park

If you’re looking for a way to entertain the whole family, check out Hawaiian Falls Water Park. Affordable and convenient, this park has everything from water playgrounds for the littles to freefall water slides for the daredevils.

Waco Surf

Formerly BSR Cable Park, Waco Surf is a world-renowned surf resort and waterpark here in our hometown! Complete with a surf/wave pool, waterslides, wakeboarding, and even (supposedly) the world’s longest lazy river, Waco Surf is an adventurous way to cool down for the day.

Lake Waco

Experience an entirely different side of our city by heading to Lake WacoOpens in new tab, a beautiful reservoir with swimming coves, beaches, fishing, boating, camping, biking, and hiking. Explore the lake with a water rental—like a paddleboard or a jetski—or take a walk along one of the several paved, accessible trails. With plenty of ways to entertain anyone for the day, this a great (and possibly free) way to spend some time by the water.

Brazos River

Running through the heart of downtown Waco, just a few blocks away from the Silos, the BrazosOpens in new tab is a fun way to unwind and explore the city. Here, you can paddle under the iconic suspension bridge, take in the breathtaking scenery of Cameron Park, feed the ducks, and more. Check out a locally-owned rental shop like Pura Vida Paddle for kayaks, paddle boards, and other rentals.

Splash Pads

If you’re looking for a free option or are trying to keep it quick, try a splash pad. Splash padsOpens in new tab are the perfect way to cool down the little ones, and Waco has plenty! This oneOpens in new tab in Hewitt is also easily wheelchair accessible.

Frozen Fun

Satisfy your sweet tooth with these locally-owned shops, offering ice cream, snow cones, smoothies, snacks, and more.

Three kids playing on food truck

Summer Snow

Cool off with a sweet treat from Summer Snow! Located at the Silos, this food truck is serving up over two dozen flavors of shaved ice, all year long.

Helados La Azteca

This local, Hispanic-owned and operated ice cream shop offers a variety of unique frozen treats, from mangonadas to cinnamon mocha ice cream. Check out one of their three locations here in town for a refreshing treat you can’t find anywhere else in Waco.

Katie’s Frozen Custard

If custard is more your style, swing by Katie’s Frozen Custard for gourmet ice cream, made fresh every hour. They also offer a selection of hot and savory menu items like Chili Cheese Dogs.

Mr. Snow

If you can’t decide what you’re craving, check out Mr. Snow. With a wide selection of menu items including shaved ice, ice cream, savory snacks, smoothies, and more, Mr. Snow is an easy and affordable option to cool down.

Splendid Oaks

A favorite local spot for sweets, Splendid Oaks offers their own lines of handmade artisan chocolates and ice cream. Located just a few blocks from the Silos, this shop is a convenient (and air-conditioned) treat in the heart of downtown Waco.

Summer Sips

If you’re planning to be out in the heat, it’s important to stay hydrated. Here are a few of our favorites to help quench your thirst.

Alabama Sweet Tea Company food truck

Alabama Sweet Tea Co. Opens in new tab

Located at the Silos, this fan-favorite food truck is a staple all year long. Serving freshly-brewed tea in a picture-perfect reusable glass jar, the Alabama Sweet Tea Company is one of our favorite ways to stay hydrated (and stay at the Silos longer!).

Pops Lemonade Opens in new tab

A Baylor favorite and a recent addition to the Silos, Pops Lemonade has some of the most refreshing sips in town. With delicious seasonal flavors, frozen lemonades, teas, snacks, lemonade buckets, and more, this is a pick anyone will love. Just head to the front of the ballpark to give it a try, or check out one of their other nearby locations!

Be Kind Coffee Co.

If you’re looking for a way to fuel your day, Be Kind Coffee is a great choice. Offering a selection of delicious specialty coffees, lemonades, snacks, and gluten-free and vegan friendly options, this locally-owned and operated coffee shop is sure to bring a smile to your face.

Midway Nutrition

Offering a wide selection of delicious flavors, Midway Nutrition is serving the Waco area with healthy alternatives, including meal replacement shakes, energy support teas, protein snacks, and more.

One Day

If you’re looking for a 21+ treat, swing by One Day to enjoy their unique selection of cocktails, wine, beer, and coffee and laid back atmosphere. Bonus: it’s just one block away from Hotel 1928!

Air-Conditioned Eats

Magnolia Table restaurant and Gaines Bros Burger

Magnolia Table

As Chip likes to say, there’s free AC with every purchase at Magnolia Table! Swing by to cool off and try our variety of breakfast, lunch, and to-go options as well as our delicious seasonal selections, kids menu, cocktails and mocktails, and desserts. We think it’s pretty cool! (in more ways than one).

P.S. Join us for dinner, beginning this fall!

Health Camp

Did you love the cover of this year’s summer issue of Magnolia Journal? Us too! Health Camp, one of Jo’s favorites from her time at Baylor, is more than just a vintage summer photo shoot spot—they also have some of the best burgers and shakes in town.

Union Hall

With a variety of Asian, Mexican, Italian, and American favorites, everyone’s sure to find something they’ll love at Union Hall. It is conveniently located right in the heart of downtown, just a couple blocks from the Silos. Don’t miss the TikTok famous Roni’s Mac Bar or local staples Curry Up & Wok This Way and Wacool Tacos.

Mamaka

This might not be a local exclusive, but it’s well loved here in Waco. One of their six locations is downtown, within easy walking distance of the Silos. Swing by to try their delicious smoothies and smoothie bowls, açaí, coffee, and more at the cute blue shop on the corner!

Slow Rise Slice House

There’s no place like Slow Rise Slice House. Nestled on the lush, green shoreline of the Brazos river, this locally-owned waterfront pizza spot has memorable views and some of the best made-from-scratch slices in town.

PLAN YOUR TRIP

Summers here in Waco are so special, they have their own name: “wummer.” Lovingly coined by decades of Baylor students staying in town year round, wummer is a symbol of community, adventure, and sunshine. We hope this list inspires you to come experience it for yourself, and to stay cool while you do!