When you live just a few short hours away from the Magnolia Silos, it’d almost be rude not to go, right! Honestly, I’ve wanted to go since I saw the Silos episode of Fixer Upper. Admit it, so did you. The mistake I made was underestimating how much time I’d need for the trip. You can absolutely spend a long weekend in Waco. Let me tell you a bit about those beautiful city.
My parents were in Houston last November to visit us. We decided to take a road trip to the Fort Worth Stockyards and stop by Waco on the way. Before the trip, I was afraid that there wouldn’t be that much to do in Waco. I assumed it was just an average small American city with average tourist attractions. Boy, was I wrong. The Silos are very close to Baylor University. Baylor was the first thing we saw as we entered Waco. The campus and surrounding area is just beautiful. This is one of those ‘movie-ready’ picturesque college towns; the kind of campus where you could just spend the afternoon happily wandering around all of those gorgeous buildings. The Brazos River winds around the campus and somehow this same river that looks muddy and terribly uninviting outside of Houston is a beautiful, meandering river in Waco. With a low, perfectly manicured shoreline where you can actually imagine dangling your feet. The lawn is level and stretches right up to it. Perfect spot for a lazy picnic on a sunny day.
The Silos are maybe half a mile away from campus. Within blocks of the Silos, the town has quite a few nice tourist spots. The Dr. Pepper Museum is right next to the Silos. It’s full of vintage memorabilia and history. In a warehouse a few blocks away, the Spice Village is full of antique and vintage vendors on the second floor. The first floor of the warehouse is full of restaurants. A few more blocks and you can tour a historic home, McCulloch House, or visit the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame and Museum. And, of course, Clint Harp’s shop is nearby. I didn’t see the zoo, but it’s supposed to be quite a nice little zoo. This town is perfect for a family weekend, or even a girls trip!
Of course, the Silos is the main attraction for all of us Fixer Upper fans. So, let’s get into that. The place is hopping, I mean seriously. The city of Waco has even provided a free trolley to take visitors from a free parking lot to the Silos a couple blocks away. There are also a handful of pay parking lots closer to the Silos. We were there on a weekday afternoon and it was pretty busy. The parking areas were busy and people were always coming and going. Some of the food truck employees told me that the weekends are much, much busier. But, the nice thing is that the people visiting were very relaxed and low key. It was mostly families. Kids were running around and playing everywhere. And that’s exactly what Chip and Joanna must have wanted because it’s designed for kids, really. The large open green space has lots of space for play. There is an open shed full of balls and other toys for everyone to play with. A few large swings and rocking chairs are on one edge of the lawn. Nearby are some porch swings for just hanging around and chatting with friends. And picnic tables are scattered around for people to enjoy all of the yummy food truck and Magnolia Bakery treats. It’s just a lovely, calming atmosphere for families and friends to relax. My son still tells me he wants to go back to that ‘play place’.
When you can finally pull yourself away from the grounds and food, the shops are great and exactly what you would expect from Joanna. Beautiful, quality home goods, signs, and books. They do sell their best seller, The Magnolia Story. But they have lots of items available there that you can’t find anywhere outside of the Silos and online Magnolia Market site. My mom picked up a recipe book of veggie packed side dishes. It was beautifully illustrated and flawless, as you’d expect. I don’t see it on the Magnolia Market site currently, so I wonder if they keep updating and rotating stock. The bakery, even on a ‘not busy’ day, had a line out the door the whole time we were there. It probably took 20 minutes to get through. BUT there is a Magnolia Bakery food truck on site. So, unless you absolutely have to see inside the bakery (you can’t even go in without waiting in line, too crowded) you can try that delicious food at the truck. I think it had all but a few items that the bakery had. There is also a cute little garden shed selling gardening odds and ends. The whole place is just fantastically relaxing, a real shopper’s paradise and family place. Honestly, these pictures don’t cover even half of it.
If you do get a chance to visit, try to pick a time with good weather. You’ll really want to be able to hang out and enjoy the grounds for an hour or two. It feels like a really chill, family park. Or maybe try around the holidays. I bet the Christmas decorations at the Silos are beautiful. I’ve seen pictures of the decorations around Baylor, they are worth seeing. We’ll definitely be going back!
If you don’t get a chance to visit, but love Fixer Upper, you might enjoy these: