This Museum Is A Must-See For Dr Pepper Fans

Dr Pepper may not be the most popular carbonated soft drink on the market, but this jewel in the crown of the Keurig Dr Pepper company is a formidable member of the soda pop pantheon. It's not just that Dr Pepper is the oldest soda in the world (it was first sold on December 1, 1885 out of Morrison's Old Corner Drug Store in Waco, Texas). Part of what's made Dr Pepper so successful for so long is that it's steadfastly avoided having to bear the label "cola" since 1963 (via Google Books). This means the brand has been able to circumvent exclusivity clauses that Coke and Pepsi have with their distributors. That's why your soda choices at any given restaurant could very well be "Coke or Dr Pepper" or "Pepsi or Dr Pepper," but never "Coke, Pepsi, or Dr Pepper." 

Originally known as a "Waco," Dr Pepper — with its highly idiosyncratic flavor (which has been described as "a combination of allspice, mint and faint licorice" with elements of "cherries, prunes and plum jam," and possibly apricots and citrus fruits, via Thrive Cuisine) — has captured more than just the taste buds of loyal fans. It has also done a great job of capturing the imagination of both fans and those who are just really curious about this soda. That's why although The Dr Pepper Museum & Free Enterprise Institute is a must-see for Dr Pepper fans, it also captivates history lovers — especially "pop" culture history lovers.

The museum's interactive experiences include a paranormal tour

"Creating a Dr Pepper Museum was the vision of a few devoted enthusiasts of both Dr Pepper and its history," according to the museum's website. Known formally as the "The Dr Pepper Museum and Free Enterprise Institute," this must-see for Dr Pepper fans is located at the corner of Fifth and Mary Streets in downtown Waco, Texas in a building with its own historical value, the Artesian Manufacturing and Bottling Company. The location was built in 1906 for the sole purpose of manufacturing and shipping Dr Pepper, according to Waco History

The museum itself — which is registered in the National Register of Historic Places as the "Home of Dr Pepper," according to Atlas Obscura — is comprised of three floors' worth of exhibits in the main building as well as 7,000 square feet of another building across a courtyard from the main building (via the museum website). Altogether, the Dr Pepper Museum houses over 100,000 objects devoted to the history of Dr Pepper soda and the soft drink industry in general and is "continuously growing," although, as with most museums, not all of those objects are available at any one time. 

It also offers a soda fountain, a gift store, and a variety of interactive experiences, such as "make-a-soda" and "taste-a-soda" at the "Liquid Lab" located in the main building, and even a "paranormal" tour that would appear to involve ghost-hunting! And if you can't make it to Waco, there's always the virtual tour.