This Texas Town Made the TripAdvisor’s Top 10 List of ‘On the Rise Destinations’

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TripAdvisor recently named their Top 10 List of U.S. Destinations on the Rise and Waco, Texas made the cut. Obviously, this previously underrated university town has gained recent notoriety thanks to HGTV’s “Fixer Upper,” featuring the remodeling talents of Chip and Joanna Gaines. It could also be argued, though, that Waco has been exuding charm since well before the Gaines’ made it famous.

Once Served as the White House Press Center


Photo: Facebook/wacoparksandrec

The 2016 census recorded the population for Waco at 134,000 people and, during the presidency of George W. Bush, Waco was the home to the White House Press Center. The press center provided briefing and office facilities for the press corps whenever Bush visited his “Western White House” Prairie Chapel Ranch near Crawford, about 25 miles northwest of Waco.

Bring An Empty Trunk and a Full Wallet

Waco shopping

Photo: Facebook/GreaterWacoChamber

Shopping is king in Waco and visitors come armed with an empty trunk and a full wallet. Boasting antique stores like Laverty’s, a frequent stop for antiques-loving Joanna Gaines. There’s also LaSalle Shoppes and, for a more intimate experience, La Grange Antiques, not to mention the sprawling, 18,000-square-foot Cedar Chest Antiques for those willing to trek to nearby McGregor.

Mostly Southern Comfort Food

Health Camp

Photo: Facebook/HealthCampWaco

Waco’s food options are an approachable combination of “Southern Comfort with a dash of foodie,” and you can find plenty of good local eats if you know where to look. Cheekily named Health Camp has been a local favorite for burgers and shakes for almost seven decades, and it’s surely going to get a boost thanks to its neighbor, Elite Cafe, which will be the latest in the Gaineses’ quest for Waco domination: a much-buzzed-about breakfast spot.  

TripAdvisor compiled its list by examining year-over-year increase in positive TripAdvisor traveler review ratings for accommodations, restaurants, and attractions, and an increase in search and booking interest for U.S. cities.

To see the complete list of destinations on the rise, visit the TripAdvisor website.