Travel Guide: The Magnolia Silos & Waco, Texas
Updated: Feb 15, 2019
Looking for a last minute winter trip? Look no further. If you know me or have been following along with recent blog posts, you probably know that I am from Texas, a small town called Temple just between Waco and Austin. The final winter months are the perfect time to visit Texas due to it's typically warm temperatures. I'll save Austin for summer, but Waco is a perfect destination for the season we are in complete with delicious food, lots to do and the famous Magnolia Silos.
While I alternate driving and flying to Texas from Kentucky based on my reason for traveling, if you're coming from out of state, I think it is easier to fly. If you plan to fly, getting to Waco is simple: Most major airports offer flights into Waco usually connecting in Dallas or Austin for just a few hundred dollars round trip. Favorite Waco hotels are Hotel Indigo and the Hilton Downtown, but there are tons of cute AirBNBs located throughout the city. Both of these hotels are located conveniently downtown close to most of the local attractions.
The Magnolia Silos
Like many visitors, you have likely watched HGTVs Fixer Upper featuring Chip and Joanna Gaines or picked up a copy of Magnolia Journal magazine at your local grocery. The Magnolia Silos might be first on your list of attractions. Here are a few tips for visiting the popular spot:
If at all possible, visit on a week day earlier in the day before it gets busy. The Silos are open Monday-Saturday 9:00am to 6:00pm, but the Magnolia Bakery opens early at 7:30am. Saturdays are a bustling day for locals and tourists alike, but I personally like to avoid the weekend crowd.
Wear your walking shoes and dress for the weather. While the Magnolia Market main building is indoors, you will like have to park a block away unless you are super lucky and the food trucks and most of the photo ops are located outdoors near the actual silos. You can avoid having to park by hopping on the free Silo District Trolley. It runs every 15-20 minutes and passes all of the coolest Waco spots. More on this later.
Speaking of food trucks, come hungry! In addition to the Magnolia Bakery, there are tons of food trucks serving up everything from warm caramel apples to sweet tea, Texas BBQ and brick oven pizzas.
High quality goods at high prices are to be expected. The Magnolia Market carries a wide variety of home goods many from artisan vendors. The selection is beautiful although a bit pricey.
If you plan on visiting the Magnolia Table Restaurant, go at dawn. The restaurant is located just a 10 minute drive up I-35. They do not accept reservations and the wait is typically 2-3 hours unless you go early in the morning. They have delicious breakfast though, so that's a win. Here is the current menu.
There are so many things to do outside of the Magnolia Silos. On average a complete trip to Magnolia takes 4-5 hours leaving time to explore the city even if you're just visiting for a few days. The city is simple to navigate and public transportation and Ubers are plentiful. I have compiled a list of local attractions and activities complete with links for your convenience and easy travel planning.
Spice Village is the place to shop. Filled to the brim with over 60 booths from local boutiques and shops, Spice carries everything from clothes and jewelry to candles and Waco-themed souvenirs. It can be describes as a mall of boutiques.
The Waco Suspension Bridge is a legendary icon for downtown Waco. It spans over the riverwalk which covers a 7 mile stretch of the Brazos River. The scenic riverwalk runs from Baylor University to Cameron Park.
Dine where the locals do. Some of my favorite lunch spots include Ninfa's, The Olive Branch, Vitek's BBQ, George's and Health Camp. Make dinner reservations at Diamondbacks Steakhouse for a taste of deep south fine dining. Whataburger is a go-to Texas fast food restaurant for burgers and fries and is open 24-hours perfect after a late night out two-stepping. You have to go. Look for the massive orange W!
If coffee is your jam, go to Dichotomy Coffee & Spirits for a caffeine fix. Booze is also an option depending on the time of day.
Don't miss the Dr. Pepper Museum. I am a Texas gal forever and Dr. Pepper has been my favorite drink for as long as I can remember (red wine is definitely a close second). Located a block from the Silos, the museum features quick tours and Dr. Pepper floats.
If you have time to catch a movie, The Hippodrome is cooler than your average theater. Originally built in 1914, the updated theater shows off historic architecture, but now shows newly released films and has been remodeled to include state-of-the-art screens and reclining leather seats. They also have an extensive menu and a full bar.
Transportation in downtown Waco is simple. The Silo District Trolley schedule circles with stops every 15-20 at most high-traffic spots for easy access.
The Backyard Waco is an outdoor music venue located downtown and features country artists like Casey Donahue, Jo Dee Messina, Stoney LaRue and Kyle Park. Their concert schedule is available on the website. Even if a band isn't playing, cold beer is always available.
Not located downtown but definitely worth the drive/Uber, Valley Mills Vineyards is owned and operated by the Bagnasco family and has been making fine Texas wine with locally grown grapes since 2007. If you have a group or may be interested in spending a Saturday touring all of the local wineries, Waco Wine Tours is the way to go.
This about wraps up our blog post on the Magnolia Silos and Waco, Texas. I hope you have an awesome trip to the Lonestar State! If you need any recommendations, always feel free to email me or shoot me an Instagram message @_giselle_smith. XOXO