Today I'm headed a bit further West than my Southern travels tend to take me to a town we've all grown to know and love - Waco, Texas.
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I had the chance to head out to Texas and jumped at the opportunity to spend a quick trip exploring all this sweet town and a few little stop-sign towns surrounding it. Nestled perfectly in the middle of the major cities of Dallas + Austin, I'd say Waco has in the past been known mostly for Baylor University but most recently has been put on the map as a top destination thanks to the sweet couple that is helping to revitalize the city, Chip + Joanna Gaines. So you know the whole Magnolia tour was on the top of my list during my visit.
A few beautiful, notable + historic landmarks you'll want to be sure to visit during your trip to Waco :
- McLennan County Courthouse - isn't it just so gorgeous and grande? Located right near the downtown strip, the building is ornate inside and out with beautiful marble and stained glass. It was built in 1901.
- ALICO Building - nearly every time I searched Waco when pre-planning my trip a shot of this building popped up. It was built in 1911 and is the tallest building in Waco. Used currently as an office building, the architecture and sign have such a great Art Deco-like look to me. You can get a great shot from the parking lot in front of the Courthouse too.
- Downtown Waco - of course all my travel guides instruct you to visit the downtown strip or square, this one is no exception. The old brick building lined street has quite a few little shops, restaurants, businesses and historic theatre with the sound of whippoorwills singing to you as you stroll down the streets.
- The Hippodrome Theatre - opening in 1914, this sweet historic theatre is located right on the strip in downtown Waco and is complete with an old-school flashing marquee sign full of lights. It has had a storied past of renovations and ups and downs but is now entertaining the town with everything from new release movies to classic performances.
- Waco Mural - you know I love a good #instagramshot in a small town coupled with classic hand-painted signage so this city mural is one stop you can't miss. It's right on the corner of 5th Avenue and Franklin so be sure to head over to snap your photo and toss in a #HEIRLOOMEDTRAVEL hashtag while you're at it.
- Riverwalk + Suspension Bridge - this landmark has long been on the map for Waco as the bridge was originally constructed in 1870. This is a pretty little area to take a break outside with the kids, have a picnic and grab a few photos.
- Dr. Pepper Museum - as an Atlantan I'm a Coke lover but this building is oh-so-charming and I bet the classic soda experience of the museum is just as sweet. Right down from the Silos too.
All I can say as a fangirl of Fixer Upper and a branding lover is that every little detail in regards to Magnolia is flawlessly executed in a way that it just as you'd imagine it to be. I can only imagine that Joanna has had a hand in each and every beautiful detail because it just screams her aesthetic at every turn. Loved it all.
- Magnolia Table - of course what I love most about the beautiful new restaurant is that it is located inside the old Elite Cafe, a Waco institution. I love the idea of bringing back anything old to a new life and they have done this oh-so-beautifully. Giving homage to the roots of this building, the menu is filled with some of Joanna's best recipes (I also grabbed another copy of her book!) but Heidi and I couldn't resist the Avocado Toast, a hot cup of coffee and of course a pile of biscuits with strawberry butter. I mean. The restaurant is not located right there near the Silo District so plan accordingly, it's a quick Uber ride away.
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- Magnolia Market - located right in the Silos District the shop is big and beautiful and brimming with so many great finds. Gifts, home decor, kitchen and lots more. The market baskets are fantastic and it's the place to go if you're looking for a Waco-inspired shirt that you may have seen on the show, along with many other things they use to style the properties they renovate and design.
- Silos Baking Co - another sweet treat, the Bakery is just a tiny old building right beneath the two towering grain silos in town and had a line literally out the door and around the corner in the morning hours. Everyone is so sweet and helpful and they hand you a little menu checklist so you can be ready to order once you make it to the counter. We may or may not have sampled quite a variety of the cupcakes - all delicious if you ask me!
- Magnolia Seed + Supply - one of my favorite things to see (unexpectedly so) was this just adorable little garden store in the Silos District. It was brimming with all things any garden lover would love and the grounds surrounding it were filled with so many beds of fresh blooms, but I especially loved the Zinnias. Gardens have my heart and I couldn't resist snagging a "Plant Lady" shirt of my very own.
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- Silos Lawn - connecting most of the above is the great lawn here in the district where so many folks gathered to take photos, enjoy a meal and just relax or play yard games. There are a bunch of (super cute) food trucks, perfect for grabbing lunch and a little water spigot to fill up your water bottles too.
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- Harp Design Co - the shop to visit where you can support woodworker Clint Harp and his wife that are a go-to resource on the show. The shop is in an area of beautiful old homes and a few antique stores too.
- Tours - there are a number of tours of Waco you can go on, including some where you can see some of the homes that were featured on Fixer Upper. I didn't partake but you'll see what options you have when you're there on site.
- Lula Janes - sweet and cozy and pet-friendly too. Complete with their own garden, pretty much any place that categories their menu with "Breakfast" and "Sweets" is a win in my book.
- Heritage Creamery - I'm an ice cream lover and this seems to be a must-visit stop in Waco, especially if the kids are joining you on this journey. Perfect place to stop and have a sweet treat on a hot Texas afternoon.
- Common Grounds - this local coffee shop is just too cute with 'WACO' letters on the outside of the little coffeehouse. The owners even had their home renovated on one of the episodes of Fixer Upper. Great place to get your caffeine fix in the AM.
- Magnolia Table - of course, a must visit. Go early to avoid lines (and you know I love breakfast) and you can spend any time waiting perusing the little Market shop there at the restaurant.
- Health Camp - I spotted this one right next door to Magnolia Table and it's so visually interesting and full of juxtaposition (ie: burgers + ice cream are not what I'd call health food) and I just absolutely love how retro it is.
- Silos District Food Trucks - aforementioned, it's a great place to catch lunch while visiting the Magnolia sites.
ANTIQUES + SHOPPING :
While I did mention the was a quick work trip, I didn't get a bunch of leisurely time to peruse the area for antiques. And I was there on a Sunday/Monday, days in which most great antique shops tend to be closed. But if you love them as much as I do, here's a list for you!
- Show + Tell Antiques - oh my gracious I am so sad this one was closed during my trip. It kind of reminds me from the exterior of an Addams Family home (but in a good way) and is situated near the Harp Design Co shop and around a few streets of beautiful old homes. I am totally going back, let know how it is!
- Savage Finds - stumble upon this little gem right behind the Silos across the train tracks (a very short walk) and loved the Texas vibe. It has some architectural pieces and odds and ends but perfect to stop in and take home a Waco treasure.
- Junque in the Trunk - another I wasn't able to make it to but was on my list to visit after some research
- Roundtop Antiques - OK, not in Waco BUT if you're a vintage lover and planning a future trip and can be flexible Roundtop is close enough to Waco that I'd totally recommend planning your trip around the show which happens twice a year. Otherwise, a drive out there is sure to score you some finds.
- Linen and Cake - (EDIT) : I added this one thanks to a comment by my Instagram follower @teagues1, it wasn't open when I visited but looks right up my alley so go check them out!
HISTORIC HOMES :
Here are a few gems from Waco that I thought you may enjoy!
EDITOR NOTE : Our giveaway has now ended. Congrats to winner Dee Dee M. You can still sign up below to get on our newsletter list to be notified of future giveaways and travel guides!
I shopped some fabulous local goods while I visited Waco and you can enter below to win the complete package of items I brought back home with me and sign up for our e-newsletter, including :
- Magnolia Table coffee mug
- Magnolia Table cookbook by Joanna Gaines
- Magnolia Table apron
* some restrictions apply. US residents only. giveaway ends 08.17.18.
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