Waco Travel Diary
It’s been a little more than a week since I travelled to Waco (+ Dallas) with my mom! We did as many things in Waco as possible, so I’ll share them all with you here. My mom and I travelled to Waco as a mother/daughter trip to celebrate my 30th birthday early, since I’ll have about a 3 week old baby when I turn 30! The trip was so special, knowing it’ll be the last trip “just the 2 of us” for probably a pretty long time.
First things first, we travelled to Waco in January which is super important to point out. Why? According to all the staff associated with Magnolia, from about mid-February through October (+ the holidays), everything Magnolia related is booming. Several staff members mentioned 2-4 hour waits to get into the store, checkout lines, the bakery, the restaurant, etc. If you’re unable to travel during the “off season”, they recommend trying to go during the week. Saturdays are the busiest day to visit Waco/Magnolia, so be prepared! Everything is closed on Sundays, just as a heads up.
Going in January meant it was MUCH quieter which allowed us to get into every single Magnolia spot right away. We didn’t spend any times in lines/waiting, which meant one day was perfect for us. There isn’t a lot of other things to do in Waco outside of the Magnolia stuff, so keep that in mind (more on this below).
**For videos and photos of the spots we visited, check out my “Waco” highlight on Instagram!
How Much Time to Spend in Waco
I had allotted two full days in Waco because I had heard stories about how big the crowds can get. If you’re spending 2-4 hours in line per attraction, you just won’t be able to hit everything in one day. As I mentioned above, going in January meant we got right into to every spot we wanted to hit! We got everything done in one day. If you’re able to go during the “off season”, one day is PLENTY. I do assume you’d need two full days if you’re going when it’s super busy.
For example, our waiter at Magnolia Table told us that it is very common that they start turning people away around 11am because at that point the wait is about 4 hours and they close at 3pm so there is no way they that everyone will get seated.
What to do in Waco (what we did!)
Magnolia Market - plan to spend as much time here as possible! While the store may be a little smaller than expected, the grounds themselves are amazing. The grounds include the store, bakery (more info below), the Silo’s, grassy area for hanging out, tons of food trucks and the seed shop. There are a bunch of places to sit, relax, eat, etc. to really make the most of your time while on the grounds.
Magnolia Bakery - definitely expect a line to get into the bakery, but it’s well worth it! Most people go for the cupcakes, but I opted for a gluten free cookie. There are a bunch of tables outside to enjoy your snacks!
Magnolia Warehouse - “Little Shop on Bosque” - great prices here! Definitely worth checking out. We didn’t buy anything here as we didn’t have room in our suitcase for a majority of the pieces in the store. If someone lives in Waco (or nearby) they are super lucky to have this gem!
Waco Tours - a super cute 2.5 hour tour that brings you around Waco! It was started by two couples who were featured on Fixer Upper, so you get to see their homes along with a few others that are publicly listed on air bnb. The tour brings you to some local spots featured on the show:
Heritage Creamery - cute ice cream shop featured on Fixer Upper - Chip and Jo go for a date night during the Matsumoto episode
Common Grounds - definitely check this spot out! Super cute coffee shop with a ton of unique outdoor seating outside. The show was featured on Fixer Upper when Chip and Jo did a home for the owners!
Harp Design Co - Clint is a regular on FIxer Upper. The shop is a must see! Clint’s woodworking skills are beautiful and the shop is full of pieces available for purchase for your home.
JDH Iron Designs - at this point, Jimmy Don is preparing to open a shop in between Magnolia Market and the Findery. The shop wasn’t open yet, but Jimmy Don does have a small pop up shop right next door. He stands out there all day and is just the sweetest!
Dr. Pepper Museum - to be honest, not my favorite, but you should check it out if you’re in Waco and have the time!
Spice Village - This place has a little bit of everything! You can find clothing, antiques, knick knacks, baby clothes and everything in between!
The Findery - super close to Magnolia Market and a great place to shop for home decor and clothing items. Has a similar vibe to Magnolia pieces, but also includes a boutique for clothes, which to be honest, were the only things I could afford in the store - haha!
Where to eat in Waco (where we ate)
I’ll be totally honest, there are not a ton of food options in Waco. So if you’re a foodie, you may leave a little disappointed. Most of our favorite spots were open for breakfast and lunch only so we had to get creative for dinner!
Magnolia Table - a breakfast + lunch spot opened by Chip + Jo! Definitely worth trying if you’re able to get in. Not only is the decor amazing, but the food was so good! As a heads up, there are not a ton of GF options here, but you can find things that work. There is also a market attached to the building which is great for taking items to go.
Cafe Homestead - a farm to table restaurant outside of town. We went for breakfast and it was delicious. It is about a 15 minute drive from downtown Waco, just as a heads up!
Viteks BBQ - An authentic BBQ spot that I heard is loved by Chip himself. Worth noting, he was not there.
Dichotomy - a coffee shop and bar all in one! We went for a cocktail and a mocktail!
Where to stay in Waco
If you’re going with a group (or have a big budget) there are a ton of air bnb options to check out! We opted to stay in hotel to keep costs down.
We did look into staying in the Magnolia House because from the episode I got the impressions it was a B&B. However, you do have to rent the whole house, it’s not just single rooms that are available for rent. So keep that in mind if you’re checking out this property.
Many of the Fixer Upper properties are available for rent through air bnb, so if you’re looking for the true “Fixer Upper” experience - this is a great option to explore.