Keep your “wax” for your candles and surfboards; the name of this town 30 miles south of Dallas is pronounced “walks-a-hatch-ee.” Dubbed “Hachie” by locals, this 40,000-person town—nicknamed the Gingerbread City for its delicately designed gingerbread-style architecture—shows its sweetness at every restaurant and small business in town.
Exit Interstate 35 East for the historic square anchored by the ornate Ellis County Courthouse. Detailed carvings of faces decorate the building’s facade: Local legend states the faces were based on a local stonemason’s fit of unrequited love. The Ellis County Museum houses artifacts and exhibits on how cotton and the railroad built the town. The square’s many small businesses add to the local character; stock up for a barbecue at Meat Church BBQ Supply and play retro games at The Arcade.
Pop’s Burger Stand
Photos and knickknacks on the walls of this joint date to the golden age of burger drive-ins. It’s hard to beat the stand’s classic cheeseburger, but I recommend the Low and Slow burger served with bacon, grilled onions, cheddar cheese, and house-made barbecue sauce. Wash it down with some of Pop’s World-Famous Root Beer on tap.
Waxahachie hosts the world’s only full-size replica of the home where The Munsters lived at 1313 Mockingbird Lane in the popular 1960s sitcom. Homeowner and superfan Sandra McKee dutifully watched all 70 episodes to recreate the house in detailed fashion. She didn’t overlook anything, from Grandpa’s dungeon to Spot the dragon living under the stairs. Book a private tour and let your imagination wander.
This military simulation game is set on more than 170 acres of varied terrain and features obstacles like trenches and bunkers along the land’s hills and ravines. The owners use off-road vehicles and helicopters for combat recreations, and they’ll rent everything you need to give it a shot. Participate in a team game or an intensive 24-hour “ops” experience.
Southern Roots Brewing Co.
Finish the day with a local craft beer inside this historic train depot. The brewery’s revolving menu of specialty beers, such as their margarita sour or Jackaroo dry-hopped pilsner, ensure the day stays interesting. Try an El Diablo handcrafted pizza, with cream cheese, bacon, and jalapeño slices.
So whether you follow my footsteps or forge your own path, I hope to see you on the road.
Chet Garner is the host of The Daytripper® travel show on PBS.
To view the Waxahachie episode, visit thedaytripper.com.
Follow along on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @chettripper.