My Waco Trip

This post has been in the making for a long time (we visited Waco back at the end of July), but with moving back to Louisiana, taking the MPRE (the ethics section of the bar exam), and starting my third and final year of law school, I haven't exactly made time for playing around on the blog or reminiscing over summer photos. 

We only spent one night in Waco, but we sure packed in lots of fun into our time there! I honestly think a weekend trip is all that's really necessary to see all that Waco has to offer (but be mindful a lot of the town is closed on Sundays). We finished with the Silos in a couple of hours and we really took our time, so I don't know how people spend full days there. 

Our Trip Itinerary
  • 7:30am  - Left the Woodlands, TX (The drive once we got off the interstate was so pretty! I didn't know there were rolling hills in Texas. You know, all rolling hills are pretty when you grew up in a place that sits well below sea level). 
  • 10:30am - Arrived at Magnolia Table, put our names in for a table
  • 12:00pm - Lunch at Magnolia Table, see below for a description of our meal + photos!
  • 1:00pm - Drove to the Silos, explored the Magnolia store/grounds
  • 4:00pm - Little Shop on Bosque (they close at 5!)
  • 5:30pm - Back to the Silos for sweets at Silos Baking Co. + a golden hour photo shoot once the place had mostly cleared out
  • 6:00pm - A trip to HEB to pick up picnic supplies
  • 11:00am - Checkout of Airbnb
  • 11:30am - Lunch at In-N-Out before driving back home

What We Ate
Magnolia Table

The homemade tater tots were delicious! 

Luckily, one of my best friends had visited Magnolia a few weeks prior to our trip, so she gave us tips that I'm now sharing with y'all! Her best advice was to go to Magnolia Table first to put your name in. We got there at 10:30am (obviously pretty early for lunch) but ended up with a fairly short wait time of 90 minutes so we decided to stay put instead of driving over to the Silos. We got lemonades from the outdoor juice bar and waited outside at the tables under umbrellas. The staff was so friendly, walking around with extra umbrellas, menus, and games to play while waiting. We also explored the Takeaway Market where they serve coffee and grab-and-go snacks and sell a handful of souvenirs. By noon when we were walking back toward the restaurant, I heard them turning people away saying there were no more tables left for the day (open for breakfast & lunch, 6am-3pm).

Our order:
  • Peach Tea Lemonade and Lemonade (if you get the lemonade, you'll receive a souvenir milk bottle-style glass that you can keep to make the cutest flower arrangements when you get home)
  • Appetizer to share: Homemade tater tots -- SO GOOD! 
  • Appetizer to share: Biscuits with strawberry butter -- again, very tasty! I wanted to buy the cookbook just for this dish.
  • Syd: BLT + housemade kettle-cooked potato chips  
  • Jake: Burger + housemade kettle-cooked potato chips
  • Total cost (for the sake of transparency): $53.59

While waiting for our texts that the table was ready, we sat outside under the fans drinking lemonade (with free refills!) and explored the Takeaway Market where they had coffee, juice, snacks, and a few souvenirs including the cookbook! 

Inside the Takeaway Market, the coffee bar 

Silos Baking Co.
Photo of Silos Baking Co. taken on our way out of the Magnolia compound after closing

There was more waiting in line at this location, too, but there were cute little Disney-World-style signs at the start of the line saying "20 minutes from this point." Jake and I both agreed they were quaint and kind of funny because waiting in line for twenty minutes for desserts is fairly silly. We discussed the amazing marketing department at Magnolia throughout the day and both agreed that Chip and Joanna's team is pretty incredible for hooking an audience the way they have. The whole place would make for a very interesting field trip for a business class. While in line, we looked at the menu and marked up exactly which sweets we wanted. Of course, my sweet tooth is my favorite tooth, so we ordered practically one of everything (a mild exaggeration). 
  • 4 Cupcakes: If you know me at all, you know I had to try all the special cupcake flavors. We got lemon lavender, peach pie, strawberry lemonade, and shiplap (vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream). 
  • 2 Cookies: (1 sugar, 1 chocolate chip) The cookies are way underrated in our opinion. Cupcakes were just okay, but the cookies were the best! LOVED the chocolate chip cookie! 
  • 2 Bottled Waters (to be refilled at the water stations around the park since it was hot)
  • Total cost: $24.36

Fair warning: these cupcakes had a serious amount of frosting, though it was not an issue for my massive sweet tooth. Jake did scrape some of his frosting off. The cupcakes weren't exactly my favorite, though; the cookies were much better!

Where We Stayed 

We stayed at this tiny house Airbnb, to round out the HGTV-style weekend. I would definitely recommend this place to anyone visiting Waco! It was a little ways away (only 15 minutes) from the Magnolia compound, but since we were only there for the night, it was perfect. After our day at the Silos, we were exhausted so we stopped at HEB to pick up all the fixings for a picnic and ate on the rooftop deck. 

It was my first time in a tiny house, and it was such a cool experience. Even though Jake felt a little cramped, I thought it was cozy. Props to any couples who can live together in tiny spaces like that; in a 20' shipping container, it was around 160 square feet. The hosts really had thought of everything and utilized all the space perfectly. I was most worried about the size of the shower and the bed, but the shower didn't feel cramped at all, and the queen-sized Murphy bed was very comfortable. If you're going with a friend instead of a boyfriend, though, I might recommend one of the host's two-bedroom tiny homes to give yourselves some more space to move around. You can see all his listings in the tiny home "trailer park" here. Our one-night stay ended up costing $168.84 after the Airbnb fees and taxes (this is the busy season price). 

What We Bought

Inside the warehouse/souvenir section of Magnolia Market

Ah, souvenirs... One of the best parts of any trip. I have to say I was a tiny bit disappointed with the Magnolia Market itself. I expected it to be a little bigger with a wider selection of home/kitchen/garden decor. After seeing the show and knowing that Joanna designs the front section every season, I was surprised by how small it felt. I felt like I was in a really crowded pottery barn in the front section, and the back section was cute but full of only "souvenir" products like hats, shirts, bags, etc. However, that didn't stop me from making a few purchases. The photo above is in the back part of the warehouse. 

Items that made their way home with me:
  • Magnolia Seal T-shirt
  • Greenhouse scented candle for Jake's mom (these candles smell so good; however, the "summer" scent was not my favorite)
  • Magnolia Yeti Mug (Jake bought this because I was trying to pick between the shirt and the mug, but he didn't want me to settle. He tricked me and bought it on the other side of the store while I was waiting in line to buy the t-shirt!)
  • Chuck's Gourmet Popcorn A bag of kettle corn to bring back to my mom (I wish I would have tried the Cinnamon Toast flavor!)
I was surprised by the size of Magnolia Market and a tiny bit underwhelmed. I was expecting some sort of farmhouse-Mecca and though it is a large warehouse converted into a store, it didn't exactly feel grand. It's possible that the sheer number of people there affected my impartiality, but I felt like I was in a crowded Pottery Barn with overpriced Target items. A little harsh, but I have to be honest. I think the Magnolia stuff is quaint, yet overpriced. We did go to the Little Shop on Bosque in the afternoon and it was even smaller than I expected (very little room to move around), but the prices were much more reasonable! Make sure you go to Magnolia & the Silos first because they gave me a $10 discount for showing my Magnolia receipt!

While everything in the Magnolia Market was pretty, I did think I expected more from the Gaines family. It was lovely, but not exactly as grand as I expected. 

The attention to detail on the Silos grounds was pretty impressive. There were these umbrellas when you walk in to protect yourself from the sun, strategically placed water stations to keep you hydrated, and fans with misters throughout the park to combat the heat. 

I loved the little garden on the grounds. I can't wait to have a yard of my own and a sweet little garden, too!

A peek inside the greenhouse in the garden on the grounds

The cutest little garden shed outside the Seed and Supply store on the property

Outfit details:

Jake was definitely the shining star of the trip! He did his best to make sure I had a blast the entire weekend, including encouraging me to buy as many souvenirs and sweets as I wanted, taking approximately 10,000 pictures of me, watching HGTV reruns of Fixer Upper in the tiny house after a full day at the Silos, and overall keeping a great attitude despite the heat and crowds.

Other Waco guides that I used when planning the trip:

My best advice based on our experience:
  • Go to Magnolia Table first thing to put your name in! (90 minutes was a long wait, any longer and we would have left to go do something off-site instead of waiting there). 
  • Try the tater tots! 
  • Go during the week if you can to avoid the worst crowds (we didn't!).
  • Wear comfortable shoes and sunscreen.
  • Go to the Little Shop on Bosque after you do your shopping at Magnolia Market and you may get a discount (ours was $10 off!).
  • Be mindful of your surroundings when you're not at the Silos (Waco isn't exactly the nicest town).
  • Bring your own water bottles into the Silos with you and refill them at the water stations.
  • Don't go to Silos Baking Co. at the end of the day (they were sold out of some items).

Have you been to Waco? Let me know in the comments!

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