1. Virtual tours continue in cities across America, including Waco. Learn all about tigers at the Cameron Park Zoo or how one of America’s favorite sodas was created at the Dr. Pepper Museum & Free Enterprise Institute. These and many other videos have been shared by the Waco Convention & Visitors Bureau as a way for visitors still unable to travel due to the pandemic to visit the city. Check them out at wacoheartoftexas.com/virtual-visit-to-waco.
2. While Waco Mammoth National Monument is under a phased reopening of parts of the park, its trails are open for exploring. The park’s 108 acres includes hiking paths that allow you to step back in time. Its easy paths, which make them friendly for all ages, lead visitors past honey locust plants that were here during the ice age, a Texas Live Oak tree that is as old as America’s constitution, and few rambunctious roadrunners or elusive deer.
3. As in-person events do start to gain steam (hopefully soon), health and safety will still be top of mind for many planners and attendees. The Waco Convention Center knows that, so in December 2020 it earned its Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) STAR Accreditation the cleaning industry’s only outbreak prevention, response and recovery accreditation for facilities.
4. Did you know Abilene is the Storybook Capital of America? Whether you have kids, grandkids or are a kid at heart, explore the city’s collection of public Storybook Sculptures. Around the city you’ll find beloved characters like The Lorax, Stuart Little, Charlotte & Wilbur and many more.
5. As the old saying goes: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially when you have a busy day of work, meetings and events ahead of you. Two Abilene restaurants – The Dixie Pig and The Flipping Egg – offer up classic yet hearty breakfast favorites that will fill you up and fuel your day.
6. Killeen is adjacent to the Fort Hood military base in Bell County, meaning any trip to this Texas two blends southern charm and military pride. Show your respect and learn a little history at the 1st Cavalry Division Museum and the 3rd Armored Cavalry Museum. Both tell the stories and display memorabilia and equipment used by these groups throughout conflicts past and present.
7. Killeen’s Mayborn Science Theater is once again open to small groups of up to 30 for their shows that are out of this world. Located on the Central Texas College campus, this planetarium recently underwent a million dollar, full-scale digital upgrade has created a full-dome display and allows for more entertainment opportunities.
8. In San Angelo, stroll along Concho River Walk, an area designated as one of five Great Public Spaces on the American Planning Association’s annual “Great Places in America” list. Take advantage of the 4-mile public walkway and the river views, which also include gardens, water displays and outdoor art installations, including Art in Uncommon Places.
9. History is written on the walls … quite literally in San Angelo, where Historic Murals of San Angelo has worked throughout the year to integrate art and history in a series of murals featured on architecturally significant buildings around town. The first, “The History of Transportation in San Angelo,” was created in 2002, followed by like “The Stagecoach,” “West Texas Ranching,” “The Cromwell Airlines” and more.
10. You can’t visit San Angelo without spending time at Lake Nasworthy, the city’s stunning reservoir. Spend the day fishing for largemouth bass, catfish, crappie, white bass and sunfish or going swimming.
Sources: Waco Convention & Visitors Bureau, Abilene Convention & Visitors Bureau, Visit Killeen, Discover San Angelo
Photo credit: iStock.com/Arpad Benedek