As mentioned in a previous post, my husband and I took a quick getaway to Waco, TX to see Magnolia Market. I’m a huge fan of Chip and Joanna, not just for their design sense, but because they’re good people, good parents, and just a good influence on the world. Our trip was supposed to last three days but due to major flooding in Nebraska, we rushed home after one day. But in that one day, I had the best time! I thought I’d share some things I learned to make a day at Magnolia Market one you won’t forget!
We flew into Dallas Love Field and flew out of DFW. Honestly, the drive seemed pretty similar. I believe Houston is about the same drive time, too. I would check all options when booking flights. If you could save quite a bit by booking a different location, it would be worth it!
For lodging, I would highly recommend Hotel Indigo. Since we were trying to book just a quick weekend getaway, we were almost deterred by the price of Hotel Indigo. It happened to be the beginning of their Spring at the Silos event, so the price was much higher than I think it typically is. However, after a little bit of research, we decided the extra cost would probably be worth it due to the location. We were not wrong! We were literally three blocks from the silos. We easily walked back and forth throughout the day. It was nice to not have to worry about parking or traffic. The hotel itself is beautiful and the staff was really friendly. It was definitely a great choice.
Magnolia Table (their restaurant) is not by the silos. Not even close! However, it is totally worth a visit. It opened at 6 am, so we got there a few minutes before then, even though I HATE getting up early! We figured we’d have to wait in line some, but hoped getting there early would minimize the wait time. It worked! There was a line forming when we pulled up, but we only had to wait about 15 minutes to be seated. They only let in a handful of people at a time when they open to avoid overwhelming the kitchen. Our server was fantastic and the food was SO good! The strawberry butter is something I’m going to have to try to recreate at home, but I’m sure it won’t even come close. The hash browns were also fantastic. And of course their coffee was even perfect!
After we finished breakfast, we headed back to the hotel, parked, and walked to the Silos. I wish I could explain it accurately, but I feel like my words can’t match my feelings. Walking up to the silos, I almost felt like I was walking into Disney World. Everything was so freaking perfect, it almost seemed like it was a set. I always feel that way about Disney. The colors were so vivid and everything was so beautiful, it just didn’t feel real. As we walked up, I noticed that even the smell was different. Even though we were still outside and had simply crossed the street, it noticeably smelled better…fresher, cleaner, slightly floral but without being overwhelming. I swear they have to pump some sort of scent into that place, yet it is definitely not a fake smell. Maybe I’m crazy, but it was something I definitely noticed. I wish I could do that to my house! I felt like it was busy when we got there, but compared to what we saw later in the day, it was definitely NOT. We were able to walk around and take some pictures before getting in line to get into the store, Magnolia Market. Yep, you heard me. You get in line to go inside the store. Crazy!!
When we got into the store, we shopped and got a few things. However, since we were flying, I was limited on what I could take back. I had heard a tip before going that a lot of what they offer in the store, they also offer online. It is cheaper to have it shipped from there than to pay to bring it back on the plane. So I bought some smaller things and then made a mental note of what to shop for online later. The displays in the store are absolutely gorgeous though and totally worth going in there to see.
If you are able to visit during the Spring at the Silos event (or their Silobration event), it is an awesome time. They had free entertainment on the lawn the entire time. They brought in bands and singers and you could hang out as long as you wanted. There were oodles of food trucks, including one for Magnolia Table, where you could have a limited menu and try the restaurant without having to go there. They also had a bakery truck where you could get cupcakes without having to stand in the long bakery line. Just a little tip for you! We were also lucky enough to be there for Jo’s book launch for “We Are the Gardeners”. They had the stage set up for that event, as you can see. Because of the book launch event that night, we got to see Chip, Jo and Baby Crew. So surreal!
The bakery on the grounds has amazing cupcakes and baked goods. The line will be long no matter what. It wraps around the side of the block and seems to go on forever. I promise it goes pretty quickly though. While you are in line, friendly employees will bring you a card with their menu and a pencil. You mark what you’d like and put your name on it. This speeds up the process a ton. When you get to the counter in this tiny little space, you hand them your card and they ring you up. In a couple of minutes, they’ll call your name and have your order in a sack for you. There is nowhere inside to sit and eat, so it’s truly just a pick-up spot. If you only want cupcakes, you might be better off visiting the bakery truck out with the other food trucks. I had to get inside and see what it looked like though. I couldn’t help it!
On our way to the Silos, we were approached by a guy with Waco Tours. He was super nice, but we just kind of let him do his thing, figuring we’d brush him off kindly and go on our merry way. As he told us about their tour of the city, explaining that we would get to see several Fixer Upper homes, Clint Harp’s store, Baylor University and more, we perked up a little and actually listened. We ended up taking the two and half hour tour and it might have been even better than visiting the silos, honestly. We saw the shotgun house, Clint Harp’s house (and shop), David Ridley’s house (coincidentally, he is the guy that started and owns Waco Tours), the loft they did, along with several other homes. Our driver was one of the nicest guys ever and is friends with Chip and Jo. His daughter actually worked as a designer on the first two seasons of Fixer Upper, so he was really knowledgable and could answer so many questions we all had about the show and process. We saw sights at Baylor University, got ice cream from Heritage Creamery or coffee from Common Grounds (included in the price of the tour), saw sights from around town that were non-Fixer Upper related, saw Lover’s Leap (gorgeous view!), Chip and Jo’s church (where both of the tour guides attend as well), the castle they just purchased, plus other buildings that you see in clips on the show. We even got to meet Jimmy Don, who came over to our tour van and shook each of our hands and introduced himself. Such a nice guy!! We heard a lot about the history of the town and a lot of really cool things that make Waco unique. By the end of the tour, I was ready to move to Waco and be best friends with Tim and Drew, our guides. Waco Tours is housed out of Hotel Indigo, so just one more reason to stay there. I highly recommend looking into one of their tours.
As you can see, we fit a LOT in one day. The one place we didn’t get to go see (though we saw the outside on our tour!) was where Chip and Jo first started, their little shop on Bosque. They still have it opened as sort of a clearance/warehouse shop. If I had more time, I would have loved to go see it. No matter how much time you have though, here are some tips and things that I think are helpful to know when visiting the silos:
- Wear comfortable shoes! I wore Rothy’s all day and I’m glad I picked something comfortable that wouldn’t give me blisters. You will be on your feet all day!
- Bring your patience. You will stand in a lot of lines, but it will be totally worth it.
- Check their online store before buying anything in the Market. If you sign up for their e-mails, you can get a 15% off coupon. If you’re buying bigger things, that savings might be more than shipping.
- Get up early. You’ll be glad you did. The end of the day is also a great time to visit, but your time will be limited. They closed at 5:00 when we were there.
- The silos aren’t open on Sundays. Currently Chip and Jo are letting the community hold their “Church Under the Bridge” services there since they are displaced with road construction. That’s a really cool story you can google if you are curious!
- Water and paper cups are available for free around the grounds. You don’t need to bring your own.
- Don’t take your kids. I know, I know…they’re family oriented. They are! And there are games on the lawn. But to be honest, besides playing a round or two of Cornhole, there’s not a ton for the kids to do there. Huge lines, baked goods, and a home decor store aren’t exactly big attractors for kids. You’ll enjoy yourself more if you can just take it all in and enjoy it!