A Weekend in Waco & Magnolia
"It's like Disney for design lovers'. That's how I've been describing the wonder that is Magnolia Market to people after our visit to Waco, Texas. Visiting Magnolia Market at the Silos, enjoying a meal at Magnolia Table, and exploring Waco as a whole was a Fixer Upper fan's dream. I couldn't stop snapping photos of the beautiful displays and every single thoughtful design detail. So much inspiration to be found for our modern farmhouse!
I truly didn't know what to expect before I took my trip, so I made a point to jot down a few of the helpful things we learned during our whirlwind weekend in Waco! Be prepared for a LOT of photos and a travel guide for anyone looking for interior inspiration!
If you're flying, Dallas or Austin are your best bets for an affordable flight. From there, Waco is around an hour and a half away by car. My parents and I were able to find some great Southwest deals from our respective home airports and met up in Texas!
where to stay:
We stayed at the new Hotel Indigo: Waco. It was amazing because it was centrally located just a few blocks walking distance from Magnolia Market and the silos and other downtown shopping and restaurants. If I went with friends or Kyle, I'd definitely consider Airbnb too. Sometimes you can even snag a former Fixer Upper Home like the "Shotgun House" to stay in.
Can't find somewhere near Magnolia to stay? The good news is that unless there is a special event going on, there is plentiful parking available in the downtown area.
Magnolia Market + the Silos
You could probably spend all day long at Magnolia Market between the on-site bakery, the expansive boutique carefully curated with farmhouse decor, and the green space by the silos lined with food carts and lawn games. Here are a few helpful tips we learned while there.
- There is nearly always a crowd on the weekends, but right around the opening and closing time of the store is your best bet to avoid long waits in line to get in or checkout. This would be around 9 AM when they open and 5 PM (they close at 6)!
- I was totally overwhelmed when we first stepped into the market. It's wall-to-wall people during most times of day and we came back first thing Saturday morning and it was much calmer!
- They are closed on Sundays, so make sure you plan accordingly!
- We heard the line for the bakery moved fairly quickly (they're a well-oiled machine at Magnolia!), but we opted instead to grab sweets from their airstream trailer outpost for the bakery located at the Magnolia Warehouse.
- If you're wanting to do actual shopping, it wouldn't hurt to do some "research" in advance online or at the very least have a plan of souvenirs you're looking to take home with you!
- While we were there they offered free shipping if you spent over $100 in-store! They have a shipping outpost right in the store, and it's not hard to spend $100 (plus, save some room in your suitcase)!
- If you're feeling overwhelmed by crowds in the market, head to the meticulously maintained gardens and Seed + Feed shop on the grounds for a little break!
- Save room for a bite to eat at one of the many food trucks- from crepes to grilled cheese and sweet tea in mason jars, there's a little something for everyone. There's also plenty of green space and covered picnic tables to relax at.
We got very lucky because Joanna + Chip announced the same day we were in town that they'd reopened their original Magnolia shop on Bosque boulevard as a scratch + dent / overstock warehouse shop! Word had not yet gotten out about it and we were able to shop with a very small crowd and score some great deals.
- The shop is very tiny, so you'll want to make sure you also check out the main market, but it is a chance to save a lot and see where Joanna Gaines' dream first started.
- It wasn't yet live in google maps when we visited. The shop is located at 3801 Bosque Blvd in Waco.
- When we visited they also had an airstream on-site selling cupcakes from Silos Baking Co. - they were not only affordable but SO delicious! We had no line, which was also a bonus!
Another spot you won't want to miss in Waco is the new Magnolia Table, a breakfast/brunch spot serving a few comfort food inspired dishes with Fixer Upper flair. It was cozy, full of rustic modern style and full of details like leather pouches to store your phone during meals! I loved the motto "The Good Ol' Days Are Yet To Come" emblazoned on mugs & tees. I had the Farmer's breakfast and the biscuit with strawberry whipped butter was divine, as was the Pecan Coffee and peppered bacon!
- They don't take reservations so come early if you want to beat the crowds (I like to look at Google's estimated busy time graphs!). We went at 6 AM right when they opened and had no problem finding a table (but it was also a little dark for photos)!
- Parking is very limited but there is a free shuttle (more info at the link above!) that stops there
- There is also a take-away window if you can't get a table or don't feel like waiting as well as as cute boutique with some artisan food products, cookbooks, and dish towels.
There is so much to do and see in Waco beyond Magnolia Market and the silos! My mom was sweet enough to book our family a spot on Waco Tours on our first day of our trip and it ended up being one of the highlights of our trip! Our tour guides were so sweet and knowledgeable and our group was full of Fixer Upper fans. It gave us a chance to better explore and get to know all areas of the city and its growing community. We also stopped by a few Fixer Upper homes, drove around and learned about the history of Waco and its landmarks and grabbed a cowboy coffee at Common Grounds.
Here are a few of other suggested areas to explore while visiting Waco:
Food + Drinks
- Baylor University finds its home in Waco and has a beautiful campus, don't miss out on a hand-crafted ice cream treat from Heritage Creamery or coffee from Common Grounds.
- We enjoyed BBQ at Vitek's, a recommended local favorite! The brisket was amazing.
- I went ga-ga for the mid-century design and ultra cool vibes at Pinewood Roasters.
Shopping + Exploring
- Harp Design Co. as my fellow HGTV watchers know, is where Joanna gets a lot of her woodworking pieces and furniture. Clint has a gorgeous little shop of his own where you can purchases his pieces and other decor.
- Spice Village, a short distance from the Silos, was an amazing place to do some more shopping. It houses over 60-stores under its roof with tons of farmhouse inspired decor items and cute clothes! A little bit of something for everyone.
- We didn't have a chance to stop, but there's actually a Dr. Pepper Museum right across from the silos (founded in Waco)!
- I'm a huge archaeology/paleontology nerd, so I enjoyed our mini detour to Waco Mammoth National Memorial where you can learn about (and see) the mammoths found there.
- Beautiful Black Oak Art ceramics pieces are often seen on the show. They can be purchased at an adorable home decor store, Gather, in downtown Waco.
- Cameron Park is a great option for a drive or hike with views of the Bosque & Brazos river and a surprising amount of elevation!
One thing was evident from our visit to Waco. This town has heart. It is so beautiful to see how much love Chip and Jo have poured into their community and how much has been built in the town to support and welcome the influx of people visiting! It is so inspiring and gives me all kinds of hopes and dreams for our little slice of farm life and country living! I hope if you are planning a trip to Waco you'll find some of my tips helpful!
Can't make it to Waco anytime soon? We're obsessing over the latest pieces from their Hearth and Hand collection at Target.