Like so many of you, I enjoy the HGTV smash show “Fixer Upper” and have followed Joanna & Chip Gaines as they have rapidly expanded their Magnolia brand across their hometown as well as the rest of America. Home Design & renovations, real estate, book, shops, cafes, target collaborations, and more - as one of my inspirations for our Wild West Home, I knew next time I was in Texas, I would have to make the drive to Waco to see it for myself!
Waco is a small town about 1.5 hour drive north of Austin (or South of Dallas depending) that to the surprise of residents, now regularly brings nearly 30,000 visitors a week seeking some time spent at Magnolia’s Silos, which sits on 5 acres. I opted to stop into another town along the way (Round Top) and knew immediately when I was nearing Waco as Chip Gaines had taken out multiple billboards with messages like “I bought this billboard to say I love you”, and on another “This was too”, and finally “Dallas can wait”. Marketing savvy at it’s finest! It didn’t take long to spot the giant Silos warehouse and the many, many people walking towards it, as well as the construction happening next door where they are building yet another Cafe. I mean, there was even a special shuttle to bring people who had to walk from further away, that’s what a draw this place is!
First of all, the set up is genius. It is created to give a whole experience to being part of Joanna & Chip’s world. There is a cafe to the right of the entrance, as you walk by into the Magnolia store and giant warehouse space in the back of it (everything from home decor to t-shirts to mugs to bags to their books). Behind the warehouse, is a wide open environment, which a giant lawn (and beanbags!) with the Silos looming in the background, multiple food trucks (hello Alabama Sweet Tea!), multiple picnic tables in the gardens, and then the Seed & Supply store. They also have a local B&B and restaurant, Magnolia Table, about 10 minutes away from Magnolia Market. As a fan, I think it is well worth a stop as long as you are adding other stops into the mix on the way there as Waco (sorry guys) doesn’t have a lot of appeal for tourists (it’s a fairly residential college town) and there are other towns to explore for BBQ, Antiques and nature (see my previous post). That said, I did find some cute antique stores, a live music garden for a drink, and an adorable Vintage candy store up the road.
Best Time to visit: Needless to say, Magnolia is popular year round but beware the busy weekends! Early morning or in the hours before they close are the least busy (shortest lines!) It’s busiest around lunchtime and on Saturdays. Tuesday is the best day of the week to visit both the Silos and Magnolia Table. December is a fun time to visit to see all of the holiday installations, and it isn’t super hot or crowded unlike Summer. Another good time to go is spring or during the Silobration, usually in the fall. During these special events there are tons of venders in covered tents outside of the market.