If you’ve watched HGTV, strolled through Target, or even just flipped through the news, you’ve likely come across Chip and Joanna Gaines and the Fixer Upper frenzy. Once you’ve binge-watched all five seasons, subscribed to their magazine, followed them and their companies on Instagram, and redecorated your whole house to resemble a modern farmhouse, how else can you get your Fixer Upper fix? With a trip to Magnolia Market at the Silos in Waco, Texas, of course! If you’re considering making a pilgrimage to the Fixer Upper shrine, here’s what you need to know.
1. It’s an easy trip from many of Texas’s largest cities. Don’t want to stay overnight? It’s only an hour and a half from Austin and Dallas. If you’re traveling from Houston or San Antonio, it’ll take you around three hours each way, but still doable in a (long) day. However, there are a lot of places to stay in Waco, including some super cute Airbnbs, so if you have the time to spare, I recommend staying overnight. I’ve stayed here (the main house was in Fixer Upper season two) and here, and both were great. Don’t forget to look into the Magnolia properties as well.
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2. It’s always a little bit different. The displays and merchandise are constantly changing (though some staples, like the signature magnolia leaves wreaths, are always available) so no matter what time of year you go, or how many times you’ve been in the past, you’ll have a unique and different experience.
Tip: Consider visiting around the holidays when the store is decorated for Christmas and the bakery has delicious seasonal treats.
3. Avoid visiting over the weekend, and note that Magnolia Market is closed on Sundays. Crowds are pretty much inevitable, but you can minimize them by going during the week and/or arriving first thing in the morning.
4. Don’t pay for parking. You’ll see a lot of places in the area advertising parking for $5-10, as well as signs for Magnolia Market’s own parking lots. Don’t bother with either of these; Magnolia’s lots are always packed, and there’s no need to pay to park. Take five minutes and check out the surrounding area; there is always free street parking if you look for it. In my five trips, I’ve never paid to park.
5. There’s more than just shopping. There’s a large, beautiful lawn in front of the silos with oversized games, comfortable places to sit, picnic tables, and space to run around. It’s a really family-friendly place. There is also a separate garden shop surrounded by countless beds of seasonal plants and flowers. Hungry or thirsty? Grab a bite to eat or something to drink from one of the many resident food trucks that surround the lawn.
6. Allow extra time for some sweet treats from Silos Baking Co. The bakery opens before the market so consider making it your first stop. You may see a line out the door, and perhaps it wraps around the building but I’ve always found it to move quickly. When you reach the front door, a cheerful employee will hand you a menu card and pencil; after drooling over all the delicious-sounding options, mark what you’d like on the menu and hand it to the cashier when you reach the register. Don’t forget to check the seasonal specials – they’re always changing.
7. Don’t leave without signing the guest book, finding Chip and Jo’s hand prints, and getting your photo taken under the #MilestoMagnolia sign!
8. The Fixer Upper fun isn’t limited to the Silos. After a morning at the market, jump back in your car and spend the afternoon visiting other Waco favorites featured in Fixer Upper. Some highlights include:
- Harp Design Co.
- Waco neighborhoods like Dean Highland and Sanger-Heights; can you find your favorite Fixer Upper house?
- The original Magnolia Market shop
- Magnolia Table restaurant
- Magnolia House and Hillcrest Estate home rentals
9. There’s more to Waco than just Fixer Upper. Halfway between Dallas and Austin, Waco is home to over 130,000 people, as well as Baylor University, and it’s not just shiplap and open concept living spaces. Not sure where to go or what to do? Start with these great places:
- Common Grounds coffee shop (if it’s a nice day, get your coffee to go and walk around Baylor’s gorgeous campus; it’s right across the street)
- Balcones Distilling for a tour, tasting, or both
- Cafe Homestead for delicious, local food set among a craft village and sustainable farming community (it’s about 20 minutes outside of town but so worth the drive)
- Cameron Park (playgrounds, trails, overlooks, and a zoo)
- Dr. Pepper Museum (who knew the soft drink had so much history?)
- Spice Village, a collection of clothing and decor boutiques (grab a margarita at Ninfa’s while you’re in the area)
Have a great trip!
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