The city of Waco, Texas is located roughly 90 miles south of Dallas Metropolis and is just 100 miles north of Austin City. Waco City sits within the heart of Texas state's manufacturing and technology corridor and serves as the county seat of McKennan County. Waco City is situated along Interstate I-35 with other highways, including U.S. Routes 77, 84 and the Texas State Highway 6, serving the area. Waco is likewise the origin of the soft drink Dr. Pepper.
The very first inhabitants of the area were the Huaco Indians, that is where the name of the city came from. The city of Waco started as a small village which didn't begin to look like a city until the year 1849, when the first streets where laid out by George E. Erath, a surveyor. The city was incorporated during 1856 and rapidly developed into a bustling railroad community. By the 1870's numerous railroad lines were established making the city of Waco a hub of commerce for the state of Texas. In the year 1886, Baylor University merged along with Waco University after relocating from Independence to Waco City. By the 1900's, Waco City had become among the biggest producers of cotton within the world.
The city of Waco was the site of a deadly shootout during 1993, that claimed ten lives. Of the ten deaths, 6 were members of the Branch Davidian cult and the other 4 were agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The Davidian compound within Mt. Carmel was destroyed by a fire resulting from the 51-day standoff which ensued directly following the shooting.
Waco's Cameron Park is one of the biggest municipal parks within the state of Texas and has some major sites for canoeing, picnicking and hiking. Animal lovers are drawn to Cameron Park Zoo, which is a big natural-habitat zoo which houses several dozens of species from all over the world. In the center of downtown is RiverSquare Center that is an assortment of restored warehouses, among which date back to the early 1900's, that have been turned into restaurants, bars, and shopping. Some of the other fascinating attractions that can be found within the city of Waco are the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, which comprises numerous interactive exhibits covering all types of sports; Art Center Waco, which entertains children of different ages with hands-on activities; and the Dr. Pepper Museum, which comprises a mock-up of the original drug store when the drink was first invented. Likewise situated in the city of Waco is the Mayborn Museum Complex, the Armstrong Browning Library, Homestead Heritage, Lake Waco, Masonic Grand Lodge of Texas, Ranger Wing Of The Commemorative Air Force, the Waco suspension bridge and Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum.
The semi-pro football team, the Waco Thunder are based in the city. They compete as one of 32 teams in the Texas United Football League. A professional minor league basketball team, the Waco Wranglers, are also one of the sports teams of the city of Waco. As part of the American Basketball Association during 2006-2007, the Waco Wranglers played their opening season and joined the United Basketball Association in the year 2008.