WACO, Texas – In this installmant of Destination Texas, we’re staying right here in Waco and checking out a tour company garnering national recognition.
Waco Tours offers a fun and engaging way to see all the history the city has to offer. They are also trying to show that while while Chip and Joanna Gaines did have a huge hand in the city’s revitalization, Waco is about more than just Magnolia.
“There’s really a special thing about Waco,” says Waco Tours co-founder David Ridley.
Ridley and two friends saw people coming from all over the world to visit Waco, but not actually experiencing the whole city. They launched Waco Tours in 2016 to show people what the community has to offer.
“A lot of people are drawn from all over the world, because they’re drawn to Chip and Joanna Gaines from the show ‘Fixer Upper,’ so we wanted to create an experience, so when they come to town, they get to see a little bit of all of Waco,” Ridley says.
The three-hour bus ride shows guests attractions like the Magnolia Silos, but also Baylor University and Cameron Park. Tourists even get a little taste of the local flavor at some sweet stops along the way.
The tour guides turn into storytellers – not only giving guests a history lesson, but also making the experience a fun one.
“They were funny and personable. We danced in the van, we sang. So it was really, really great,” says Minnesota tourist Wendy Vreeman.
Waco, the van, and the guides all add up to one of the best tour experiences in the entire country. Don’t take their word for it – Tripadvisor voted it the Fourth Best City Tour in the United States.
“It’s no surprise to us that we might be in the mix, but #4? We would have never thought that,” Ridley says.
David and the folks from Waco Tours say they are blessed to get visitors from all over the country and the world. They say they also love getting people from this community to re-discover the city that has grown so much over the last decade.
“The first year or two, we didn’t get a lot of locals on our experiences. Now we get locals, I’m thinking, every week. They will come back and do our tours over and over and over, and it gives them something fun to do in their own city,” Ridley says.
Even those coming from out of state are eager to spread the word.