As a huge fan of Chip and Joanna’s HGTV show, Fixer Upper, I was so excited to visit their Magnolia Market in Waco, TX. It had been on my list of must-go places since it opened in 2015! After getting 2 days of the full Magnolia Market experience, I have to say it was worth the 700 miles we traveled from KY. Not only was the merchandise beautiful and high-quality, everywhere you turned there were remnants of Chip and Joanna’s magic touch on every detail of this place. From the perfectly staged marketplace and scenic garden to the large playground with toys and swing sets for kids to play, it was an amazing experience to see their visions and dreams laid out on this one-of-a-kind property.
If you’re like me and this is a place you’ve been itching to visit, I have a few travel tips including 5 things to know when visiting Magnolia Market and the wonderful city of Waco!
1. Parking at Magnolia Market- As you approach the Silos, you’ll see lots of parking lots with people waiting to take $5-$10 to let you park there. Not that you shouldn’t support the local Baptist Church, but if you keep going just a little bit farther, you’ll find that there is plenty of FREE parking around the back side of the Silos! There is also a free trolley that will transport visitors around the area.
2. TIMING is key at Magnolia Market- Another helpful tip for traveling to Magnolia Market is your TIMING. This home decor haven brings in around 15,000 visitors per week, so to beat the crowds, it’s best to get there either very early (around 9:00 am when they open, and 7:30 am for the bakery) or later in the day (around 3:00, though keep in mind that they close at 6:00, so be sure to give yourself enough time to explore the property and find all of your treasures and inspirations). I would also suggest getting to the bakery sooner rather than later, as they had run out of a lot of their yummy treats by the time we got there in the late afternoon. On a side note- Could we just take a second to appreciate the fact that I didn’t have ANY people photobombing my Magnolia pictures? This was a very difficult task considering the flood of people that were constantly coming and going. Okay, second’s over. Moving on..
3. Vendors/Food trucks inside and out of Magnolia Market- If you start to get hungry after all that shopping, don’t worry! Inside Magnolia Market are several vendors selling brick-oven pizza, hot dogs, kettle corn, fresh juice, and more! For more options, there is a whole field of food trucks just a block away from the Silos that have BBQ, Asian cuisine, burgers, and my personal favorite that I’ll be sharing, TACOS!! El Ray Coliman is the place where I got my fix of some amazing steak tacos! If you’re a lover of authentic Mexican food like myself, this is one you must try!
4. Spice Market + Mindful purchases that will save you $$$- If you are traveling to Waco, the Spice Market is a place you must go!! It’s only a block away from the Magnolia Silos and it’s full of the cutest boutique-style clothes and rustic home decor! The Spice Marketplace has been around for over 20 years, has 90 vendors, and, fun fact- the queen Joanna herself used to have a booth there! Some of the clothes here are affordable, but most pieces are around $40-$50. I did find realistic artificial flowers at a booth that were identical to the ones at Magnolia Market for $1.50 a flower compared to $4 a flower at Magnolia. This is just one example of what you should look out for when deciding what is worth the buy and what you should hold out for when shopping at Magnolia and really anywhere with retail-priced goods. At Magnolia, I noted that several of the awe-inspiring decorations were small, textured milk glass and clear glass jars that ranged from $8 to $28. As an avid thrifter, I know I can find similar pieces for much cheaper. For example, as we were leaving Waco, we forced Granddad to whip back around at an exit where I spotted a huge building labeled JUNK (we do this a lot, he’s such a trooper). This place had old chairs and end tables piled sky-high; this is a sure sign of what we call “good junk”! We didn’t have room in the van for any frugal furniture, but as we pilfered through all of the dusty treasures, I was able to find 6, yes 6, antique glass jars and a flower basket for $4!!! I woulda, coulda, shoulda gotten more, but I try to control my impulses in these situations and focus on my vision of “what am I going to do with this?” Below I have shared pictures of all of my purchases from Magnolia Market that I couldn’t leave without + all of the prices, along with my finds from Spice Market and our JUNK excursion.
Magnolia Market Finds:
Gold Bell- $8
T-shirts- $21 each
Hats- $26 each
French Guest Soaps- $2 each
Antique Seltzer Bottle- $36
Laurel Wreath- $14.70
Bloom Sign- $4
Spice Market Finds:
Floral off-the-shoulder blouse- $40
Cactus & Succulent Candles- $14 for 6 pack
All for $4!!
5. Cameron Park Zoo-
We saw everything there was to see at Magnolia in about a day and a half (you could do it easily in one day, but we arrived late on day 1 and still needed to finish up our gift buying and sight seeing on day 2). This left us with lots of extra time to enjoy just a few of the many activities Waco has to offer. This included the Spice Market and the Texas Ranger Museum. There was also a Dr. Pepper museum right beside Magnolia, which, for those who know me, know this would have been a dream to visit since I’m Dr. Pepper’s No.1 fan. Maybe next time. My favorite place that we visited however, besides Magnolia, was the Cameron Park Zoo. Animals are near and dear to my heart, so sometimes zoos make me sad because I hate seeing them in small enclosures, deprived of their natural habitat and instincts to run free and hunt. Despite my reservations, the Cameron Park Zoo is one of the nicest zoo’s I’ve ever visited. There was a large variety of exotic animals who were all very active, looked well taken care of and happy in their large exhibits with plenty of toys, swimming holes, comrades and room to run. The Meerkats had a cute little ball pit, the Elephants had a big swimming pool, and the Lemurs had their own island that most humans would be jealous of! That being said, if you’re traveling to Waco with even just an hour to spare, this is a place that you must go that is enjoyable for all ages!
I hope this post was helpful to you all and I hope you enjoyed my documentation of our fun-filled Weekend in Waco! If you have any more questions that I may not have covered, please feel free to ask and I’ll try my best to answer! Thank you so much for reading and God Bless Texas!!!
Sweet Maddie Jane