Downtown Waco, Texas: Local Sentiment Research
We have examined the website of Niche.com and have curated both negative and positive sentiment surrounding how local people feel about downtown Waco, Texas from the past 36 months. Only verified resident data has been included. Each response has been given in its entirety [verbatim, which might mean there are grammar issues] and have focused largely on comments about downtown. In a few instances we have included data that did not have the word "downtown" included, but it was obvious from the content that this was what the resident was writing about. We have brought over the relevant positive and negative sentiment from the initial hour of research, and included it in this brief so that one cohesive document could be viewed.
Niche combines rigorous analysis with authentic reviews to highlight the best schools, companies, and neighborhoods. Each review states whether the user is a current resident of Waco or not. When looking at what they have provided for Waco, Texas we found many locals had provided their opinions.
Our research returned 28 positive reviews and 20 negative reviews. Our overall impression was that while the locals seem to like Waco very much, there are issues with traffic, crowds, and not enough night-life. There was also concern expressed about crime downtown. Magnolia seems to be the big downtown draw for most locals. Many locals expressed a fondness for the unique shops and restaurants offered in downtown Waco and seem eager for more development.
Positive Sentiment From Locals: Downtown Waco, Texas
- One month ago, another Niche user stated this: "Waco is a very interesting place that has allowed for me to find some of the best friends and make some of the best memories that I could have ever asked for from my time in college. There are so many cool shops, hole in the wall restaurants and fun things to do in this city."
- Also, from one month ago: "Waco is a great little town that has a wonderful family feel. There is plenty to do and the town continues to grow rapidly. While the public schools are not great, Waco is a great place for young adults or people looking to retire. It is a quaint small town, yet still within a couple hours of Austin and Dallas. There are many unique businesses and restaurants that cannot be found anywhere else."
- From 5 months ago: "I was born and raised in Waco. It is big but not too big. It has grown massively in the past couple of years. It is a safe environment with many places to eat, shop, and some of the best private schools in Texas."
- From 7 months ago: "I love the small town feel of Waco with bigger city amenities. I was born and raised here and have always enjoyed living here. There seems to be activities for just about everyone. Activities like kayaking on the Brazos river or going out to dinner and finding live music."
- From 9 months ago: "Downtown Waco is very scenic. It's best to be out and about at night. The Baylor Bridge is especially beautiful at night. We also have a lot of restaurants."
- From 11 months ago: "I've lived in Waco my whole life. A lot has changed in the last 5 years, mostly due to Magnolia Market. Downtown is beautiful and there are amazing local shops and vendors. It's a great college town with an awesome park and a good place to put down your roots."
- From March 21st, 2020: "I have lived here, for the majority if my 54 tears of life. It's a great city. The positive growth, of Waco- Baylor Stadium, restaurants and entertainment in downtown, is enlightening and appreciated, by me."
- From March 13th, 2020: [Please note: there is a negative comment mixed in with this person's positive comment. However, the positive outweighed the negative in our opinion, and therefore it was placed in this section]. "I have lived in Waco all my life and am really enjoying all the new additions to city life, family activities, and the downtown area, but taxes are increasing and traffic is getting worse. There is always something to do regardless of age and numerous ways to get involved with any community including religious."
- From February 20th, 2020: "Waco is growing every day and adding entertaining amenities like restaurants, movie theatres, and yoga and barre studios. It only 10-15 minutes to get anywhere in town, and it's a friendly community."
- From January 17th, 2020: "Lived here most of my life. We have everything you could want for a rural or suburban life. Usually pet friendly, tons of Starbucks. Places to shop for different needs. Equally family friendly. Two major hospitals in the area. Downtown is looking better now than ever, with a ton of historical places to see and experience. There is a very historical hippodrome and the states oldest church in the area, which is being restored by our countries famous Chip and Joanna Gaines from the Magnolia show. They live here and bring tourists from all over to see their Silos and their new restaurants."
- From January 4th, 2020: "Waco is booming and I think all the changes that are happening now, are splendid. Magnolia has defiantly turned Waco around. I would though like to see more outdoorsy activities. Such as, more parks, dog parks, fun outside eatery’s, things like that."
- From December 17th, 2019: "I like that Waco is its own community that accepts any and all visitors. Although there has been many negative accounts regarding this city, its people remain so positive and welcoming. We have beautiful parks and down town with many great food options."
- From December 4th, 2019: "It's an overall decent place to live in. It is currently booming with tourists due to another big business moving into the area. The attractions could use a bit more places to go as some places could get crowded quite fast."
- From December 3rd, 2019: "The schools are great as well as the shopping opportunities. I’ve lived here my entire life and I would never ever thing about leaving the beautiful and vibrant town. Magnolia keeps things interesting around here. It’s really funny going downtown and feeling like a tourist as well as watching people not from Texas."
- From November 29th, 2019: "I love living in Waco, there are many things to do and see. Historic downtown is just beautiful. Baylor campus is gorgeous."
- From September 17th, 2019: "Have been living in Waco for about 3 years now. Absolutely love the culture and history and appreciate the artsy side of the town."
- From July 18th, 2019: "I love the community of the city. I also enjoy how it has the best of both worlds. You have hills and trees but also can drive a few miles in another direction and be in the city. People are friendly and there is always something to do here."
- From July 2nd, 2019: "What I love the most about Waco is its scenery. We have a lot of outdoor activities to offer, and Cameron Park is absolutely beautiful. I would like to see more food options, as well as more options for college kids because we are a college town."
- From May 17th, 2019: "I have lived in Waco, Tx going on 22 years now. Waco is a great place to call home. My parents worked for the Waco police department their whole career; Now retired, they get to reside in this amazing city. There is never a dull moment in this town! Waco is full of many avenues of entertainment waiting to be explored. From the numerous shops downtown to Magnolia to Cameron Park there are many places that make Waco an ideal location for residents and visitors alike."
- From May 14th, 2019: "Waco is continuously growing especially since Magnolia established themselves in the city. With that being said, the downtown area had taken a new look. There are food trucks at Heritage Square almost every weekend. A new bike company began tours of downtown which will show you many of the sights to see around the city such as the Silos, Dr Pepper museum, and other landmarks. [...]."
- From April 19th, 2019: "Waco is a well diverse town with a lot of different experiences. There are plenty of outdoor attractions such as Lake Waco, the Brazos River, Cameron Park, and much more. With the stars of Fixer Upper bringing in several establishments such as Magnolia Silos and Magnolia Table, Waco has become a tourist attraction that many people come from all over to experience. Downtown Waco has quite a few neat places to see such as Spice Village. There are plenty of fantastic restaurants to choose from. Waco, Texas is such a neat experience as a young adult."
- From April 13th, 2019: "Coming from a city like Dallas, Waco was a totally different atmosphere. It is quiet at times and not busy. I love it though, I am currently a student at Baylor and I believe it has enhanced my love for the city even more because the Baylor community is so strong it extends out into the rest of the city and it really is beautiful. Contrary to that, the only thing I would say is that Baylor needs more to do in terms of entertainment and overall city life."
- From February 22nd, 2019: "It is a great city! So much to do and there is something for everyone. There are lots of different kinds of restaurants, places to shop, places to explore, and fun things to do whether you have kids or not."
- From January 15th, 2019: "Well this has been a home to me since I was given birth and have grown up in the best environment specifically in South Waco it's a great community and people to be surrounded with. The education has improved a lot in the past four years of me attending University High School as well as attendance, we all have the ability to learn and achieve great things if we put in the effort. The diversity in the community has always meshed well. As a Hispanic we love to eat and the taco trucks/stands are very good, it's never the same each has their own touch added to be unique. My family has lived here for over 40 years I would say and have always had good times it's a very small town everyone knows everyone. You'll find most teenagers having fun taking a stroll downtown or thrift shopping at your local Goodwill."
- From November 18th, 2018: "Waco is an excellent place to live. It is big enough that you have most of the big retail stores/categories, but small enough that it is still manageable and you run into people you know often. There are lots of exciting businesses, restaurants, and shops also."
- From October 24th, 2018: "Waco is the perfect college town. It has the local community college to save $, or, of course, there is Baylor. Wide variety of food choices at decent prices throughout the city. A lot to do and see downtown: bars, antiques, clubs, restaurants, and the Brazos River. It's in perfect location to travel to one of many larger cities if you feel the need to explore more; Austin, Houston, and Dallas are no more than 2 hours travel time. The only downside as of right now, is that most highways are receiving construction and upgrades, so traffic can be congested in a multitude of areas. I have lived here for 2 years, but have been in the area for the entirety of my life. It's a great city, in a great location, with many things to see and do."
- From August 17th, 2018: "My experience living in Waco has been great. Waco is small country town, with not many things to do but you can make the best out of it. It a great town to start a family in and grow after graduation or retirement and live stable and happy. The changes I would like to see in Waco is more things to do, such as adjusting the night-life giving more young college students a great experience."
- From July 25th, 2018: "I love Waco, TX for the simple fact that it is growing tremendously. I love seeing Waco grow as a community. Our town is known for the show 'Fixer Upper', so we get a lot of tourists that love to come see downtown, which is just awesome to me (although traffic downtown gets a little hectic on weekends). New buildings and companies are growing by the day so that is more job opportunities for people and all around good for Waco."
Negative Sentiment From Locals: Downtown Waco, Texas
- From a Niche user 8 days ago: "It very much depends on where you live in Waco as far as crime and safety. I've lived in few different neighborhoods. On the West side, it is presented as the safest part to live in which in general is the case. However, it is not the case from neighborhood to neighborhood. [...] In the Richland Hills neighborhood, I had to deal with shootings being a weekly or monthly occurrence. I've caught shocking things on my security cameras! Drug-related incidents such as witnessing people using drugs out in the open is a possibility in the apartment complexes in Richland Hills. If you move to Waco, I strongly recommend researching the neighborhood of places you're looking to move into!"
- From a Niche user 5 months ago: "It's cool but there really isn't a lot of things to do down here. But if you travel to like Austin, Dallas, or Houston there is a really good view."
- From 5 months ago: "I would like to see less violence in the city. More affordable apartments, Better schools, something for the elderly and homeless done. Like beauty and hair cuts every week. A city clean up of trash."
- From 8 months ago: "Waco is a very basic city. It doesn't have a lot of fun entertainment options, but it is slowly becoming bigger downtown."
- From 10 months ago: "Waco is a relatively nice place to go if you're old and retired. There's not much to do after a while, things start to get old quickly. Definitely not a place a more younger or adventurous person should stay at. Downtown is pretty dirty as well, but the suburban areas are quiet and ok."
- From January 9th, 2019: [Please note: there are some positive comments mixed in with this person's negative comments. However, the negative outweighed the positive in our opinion, and therefore it was placed in this section] "Waco is a great community with local character. From the Magnolia Market & Silos to the Baylor University, the town is beaming with opportunity! Although it is a bigger city, it is not the safest. Safer communities are those on the outskirts of town, like Woodway and Beverly Hills. There is minimal retail shopping also, so residents or locals might want to travel to Austin or up to Dallas-Fort Worth. There are very excellent restaurants in Waco, like Ninfas, Hecho En Waco, Chuys Woodway, and Diamond Back Steakhouse. Also, the schools are average. But overall, a good town with good character."
- November 29th, 2019: "Lived in Waco all my life. It’s absolutely the worst place. Waco is still in the top 20 most dangerous cities in Texas. The job market is absolutely horrible. Pay rates are horrible. Everyone thinks it’s great because magnolia but honestly it’s not. If you're gonna move here just to be close to magnolia I would advise you to not waste your time. There is nothing to do here that you won’t get sick of very quickly. Rent wise it’s definitely cheaper than other cities but not worth it to stay in Waco. It gets worse the older I get. We have officially planned to move out of Waco. Most people here are very rude. Baylor and magnolia try to cover up the bad but if you’ve lived here all your life then you would know it’s not all that. Once again, don’t waste your time."
- From November 15th, 2019: "Very stark divide between those of Magnolia and those who originally lived here. The socioeconomic divide is massive. The diversity is ok for a Texas city, not a single Asian market to be found in this whole city."
- From November 1st, 2019: "Waco is a relatively small town in Texas. It's easy to find your way around town and the people here are open to help. The only drawback is that there are not a lot of activities in Waco besides going to eat, so it would be nice to see Waco invest in something such as an addition to Hawaiian Falls."
- From July 31st, 2019: "Waco is a town which has its charms, it has a great historical down town, wonderful local parks along the river, and some wonderful independent businesses. The Baylor community fosters volunteerism, religious outreach, and opportunity for city improvement. However, in my years in Waco, certain business booms have uprooted Waco by creating more extreme economic hardships, gentrification, and rising prices of sustainable living. Magnolia markets has created chaos in the downtown area, created a "fixer-upper" fetishism in the housing market which pushes many families out of historical homes due to rising land values and taxes. Although it has brought an economic boom to Waco, it does not benefit all and fosters an economy fit for those at the top with certain cultural homogeneity. Additionally, many people ignore how large Waco really is and the need for economic improvement across all of Waco, not just down town and the Baylor bubble."
- From June 14th, 2019: "Waco is really boring in my opinion and I live here, magnolia is overrated and expensive other than that there is nothing to do here except leave out of town. I would not recommend for anyone to live here."
- From April 3rd, 2019: "The only good thing about Waco is the university. Waco is not the greatest town as there is not much to do besides visit the Magnolia Market. This is such a tourist attraction that it makes getting around the small area of downtown difficult during the week and nearly impossible on the weekends."
- From January 8th, 2019: "I would like to see better paying jobs and more things to do besides movies and eating establishments."
- From November 7th, 2018: "Waco is a friendly town that allows you to be very social. Also, we are very active and athletic. Although Waco struggles in safety and the lack of activities and nightlife."
- From August 17th, 2018: "Waco is very up and coming! While I love all the new shops and restaurants coming into town, it’s hard to be a fan of the crowds that come with them."
- From June 16th, 2018: "Waco has small town living, but is growing fast. It is a good distance between Dallas and Austin. Downtown is starting to develop more of a nighttime life, but is not always safe. Waco has a higher than moderate crime rate, but overall fun."
- From June 11th, 2018: "We enjoy Waco. We have lived here for 3 years and enjoy the convenience of everything. There isn’t much to do as a family, other than attend a movie at the local theater."
- From March 3es, 2018: "Waco is currently turning itself around but still has some work to do. The downtown area is starting to thrive again with new shops and new entertainment choices. The Brazos River and Cameron Park provide perfect places for outdoor activities for all ages."
- From January 8th, 2018: "I admire the atmosphere and diversity of the communities that compose Waco, however, I would like to see some more development in different parts of the city to promote activities for local residents."
- From January 8th, 2018: "More entertainment options available, and more things open later. The whole town seems to shut down around 9/10 at night."