Have you seen the HGTV show called Fixer Upper? If you haven’t and have no idea what I’m talking about, then don’t waste your time reading this article. But, if you’re one of the thousands who are glued to their television every time Chip and Joanna Gaines come on the show to transform a house in the Waco, Texas area for someone, read on because you might just want to adjust your Vacation Plans from some high priced destination to the sleepy little town of Waco.
Some of you may even be a fan of the Fixer Upper television show, but not know that there is something to see of the house flipping couple in the form of a home store, a garden store, and a bakery. Actually, there is quite a bit to see! Just in downtown Waco alone, you could spend a day at the Silos. The Silos is the name of the property because dominating the landscape are two giant retired grain silos which brand the destination. The Silos were what initially drew Joanna to this abandoned landmark according to the television episode where she invites her husband, Chip, to meet her there and she reveals her master plan of transforming the useless property into a destination of its’ own. The opening of the Silos have been featured on the show as well as the opening of the Magnolia Market where they sell all sorts of home design pieces and the opening of the Magnolia Bakery where they serve Chip and Joanna’s favorite cupcake flavors. Chip and Joanna’s home at the farm is also featured on the television show, but that is not open to the public. But if you’ve been watching the couple as they’ve gained fame over the last four years, you might really enjoy touring the Magnolia Market, the Magnolia Bakery, and the Garden Center where you will find familiar items such as Jimmy Don’s cut metal signs, throw pillows, and home décor items just like Joanna uses in their clients’ homes. Your purchases can be shipped from their shipping center so that you don’t have to carry them home on the plane with you. You can wait in line (the day I was there, the wait was about 30 minutes in the hot Texas sun) and purchase some delicious baked goods and cold gourmet lemonade. There is a patio for the patrons of the bakery to enjoy their purchases. There is also a large yard with games and about a dozen different food trucks to choose from. There are tables and chairs. It’s a festive atmosphere. There is free parking behind the Magnolia Market. But when that fills up, the city also has free parking down the street with a trolley to deliver you right to the main gate.
The Silos opened in October 2015 and host an annual Silobration, so if you plan your trip that month, you’ll want to purchase your tickets online for that event. There is a daytime shopping event with 90 vendors and food trucks and a nighttime concert. The daytime event is free, but the concert requires a ticket.
There are several hotels close by to the Silos. There is a Residence Inn by Marriott and a boutique hotel called Hotel Indigo. But, if you really want to immerse yourself into the Magnolia culture, you can reserve the Magnolia House, an historic home in nearby McGregor, Texas. It’s a home that Chip and Joanna transformed into a vacation rental on one of their episodes. The house sleeps 8 and currently is booked through 2017. Rentals for 2018 will open later this year. The current price listed on the website is $695.00 per night.
Recently, it was announced that Chip and Joanna have purchased another historic property, this time a restaurant in Waco. The Elite is beloved by many Texans and sadly closed recently. It has been announced that Chip and Joanna purchased the property and will open a restaurant later this year there.
You can easily make a relaxed vacation in Waco, Texas because besides the Silos, there are several other things to see in the city. If you want to continue your shopping binge, stop by a loft boutique by the name of Spice Village. With their own signature scent filling the air, you’ll find all sorts of great clothing. It’s a local favorite of Baylor University students and their parents. And speaking of Baylor University, take in a sporting event at their lakeside stadium or a high quality theater performance at the Hooper Schaefer Building while you’re in town. If you’re a Dr. Pepper fan (or even if you’re not!), consider spending a few hours at the Dr. Pepper Museum. You may learn a few things and can end your visit with a Dr. Pepper Float. If you haven’t had your fill of shopping, consider some of the antique shops that line nearby LaSalle Avenue. With names like the Junky Monkey and Shades of Shabby, you know you’ll find some treasures worth taking home. Another stop could be the Texas Ranger Museum, especially fun for the men on your itinerary. If you’re looking for a cup of joe, stop by Common Grounds. It’s a local coffee shop on the south end of the Baylor University Campus whose owners were once featured on the Fixer Upper show themselves.
There are some great local restaurants in Waco as well as some national chains. Some of my local favorites include George’s Restaurant, Sascee’s, Lula Jane’s, Rudy’s Barbeque, and Ninfa’s Mexican Restaurant. You’ll find lots of comfort food, Mexican food, and farm to table fare. Texans like to eat and Waco is no exception!
If you’re looking for a vacation with a small town feel, you’ll find that in Waco, Texas. It’s a laid back, relaxing little town with some fun things to do and plenty of friendly people. Because of the location of Waco, it can be a challenge to get there. It’s an hour and a half drive from either of the big cities surrounding it- Dallas or Austin. American Airlines does have a connection from Dallas that lands at the regional airport in Waco.
My name is Jeri May and I would be glad to help you plan a “Fixer Upper” themed vacation to Waco, Texas or any other destination you desire. You can email me at Jeri@TravelwiththeMagic.com or 1-800-670-4312 x 147.