What to Do in Waco, Texas

 

Visit the Magnolia Market at the Silos. For my fellow Fixer Upper fans, this is a must stop and is likely why you are headed to Waco in the first place. Fixer Upper is a remodeling show on HGTV featuring Chip and Joanna Gaines. Chip and Jo help their clients find a house, renovate it, and design it to suit their clients’ style. Chip and Jo are fun to watch, are authentic, relatable, hard-working, creative, and make their marriage and family a priority. They often feature local artisans through items incorporated in the design. The Silos are in downtown Waco and are hard to miss. Hit up the Silos Baking Co. on the corner of the Silos property and enjoy a cupcake or two. I opted for the Red Velvet cupcake on my recent visit, because, well, that is my all-time favorite kind of cake. Check out the outdoor seating area and head on over to get in line for the Magnolia Market, the Gaines’ shop at the Silos. You’ll find lots of farmhouse-inspired goodies to buy. There are food trucks, pavilions, a small greenhouse and garden, and more on the property. You can shop, eat, and enjoy some quality time with your family or friends.

My advice: Arrive early. The bakery opens at 7:30am, and you can get in line a few minutes before that. Grab a pastry or cupcake to enjoy. There’s nowhere to sit and eat inside of the bakery, but you can take your treats outside and eat under one of the pavilions, in the seating area just outside of the bakery, or at one of the picnic tables. The Magnolia Market shop opens its doors at 9:00am. If a line starts to form, you may want to go ahead and take your place in line outside of the shop to be one of the first few in the shop. Be prepared for crowds. Fixer Upper continues to gain in popularity and the crowds are flocking to Waco to visit the Silos. I chatted with one of the Magnolia Market employees and he told me that they get 5,000 to 6,000 on a slow day. A slow day. They might see as many as 12,000 people through their doors on a busy day. Don’t expect to meet Chip and Jo. You might get to see and/or meet Chip and Jo, but know that they don’t hang out at the Silos all the time. They are busy people with multiple businesses. As fun as it would be to meet them, most visitors to the Silos are not going to have the opportunity to meet Chip and Jo.

Tour the Dr Pepper Museum. Waco is where it all began for Dr Pepper. The famous soda was created, manufactured, and sold beginning in 1885 [drpeppermuseum.com]. Learn more about the rich history of Dr Pepper through your visit to the museum. You’ll find the museum at 300 South 5th Street in Waco.

Shop at The Findery. This is a lovely shop with farmhouse and vintage inspired home decor, clothing, accessories, and furniture. It’s a two-story building located about a block away from the Magnolia Market. The Findery was my personal favorite in the shops of Waco. Shop The Findery online.

Take a tour of Waco with Waco Tours [www.waco-tours.com]. Waco Tours was started by Luke and Rachel Whyte and David Ridley. Both the Whytes and David Ridley had their homes renovated on Fixer Upper. They saw a need for welcoming visitors to the City of Waco and started their tour company as a way to welcome people, share the history of Waco, and showcase some of the homes [including their own] that have been renovated on Fixer Upper.

Browse the booths at Spice Village. The Spice Village is in an old, historic building in downtown Waco. There are loads of booths with vintage items, antiques, clothing, home decor, and more.

Take in the “in situ” fossils at the Mammoth National Monument. In 2015 President Obama proclaimed the Mammoth Monument in Waco as a part of the National Park System. The Mammoth National Monument is one-of-a-kind; it features the only recorded discovery of a nursery herd of Columbian mammoths in the United States. Adult tickets are $5.00.

Walk the Baylor campus. Waco is home to Baylor University, a private Christian university. While you are there, take in a game and cheer on the Baylor Bears.

Learn about the Texas Rangers at the Texas Ranger Museum. These are THE Texas Rangers…the law enforcement ones, not the baseball team.

Stop by Harp Design Co. If you watch Fixer Upper, you’ve seen Clint Harp and his woodwork featured on the show. Joanna Gaines often turns to him for furniture…dining room tables, desks, kitchen islands…for the homes they renovate on the show. Clint uses reclaimed wood and has some beautiful pieces. The shop at 808 N. 15th Street  is small but worth a stop. You can also shop online at Harp Design Co.

Stay at the Harp House. The Harp House is the home renovated for Clint and Kelly Harp on Fixer Upper. It’s right next door to the Harp Design Co. shop, and you can book your stay on airbnb.com. The Harps lived there for a couple of years but now use it as vacation rental for visitors to Waco.

Eat at Ninfa’s, a Tex-Mex restaurant. Ninfa’s was recently mentioned in the April 2017 issue of Southern Living. You can find it on the corner of 3rd Street in downtown Waco.

Take a side trip to McGregor, Texas. You can browse through area antique stores (some are featured on Fixer Upper) and drive by the Magnolia House. The Magnolia House is a vacation rental that you can book for the duration of your visit to the Waco area. If you do drive by, be respectful. There are likely guests staying at Magnolia House and there are neighbors who probably don’t want people traipsing all over the place to get a good photo. Respect their privacy and enjoy the drive by the Magnolia House.

Take some time to go explore Waco, Texas!