Family Travel

Thinking of Visiting Magnolia Market? Everything to Know Before You Go


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magnolia market travel"
magnolia market travel
Source: Brett Nicole Hayden and Magnolia Market
Source: Brett Nicole Hayden and Magnolia Market

I’ve been a fan of Chip and Joanna Gaines since the first time I caught an episode of Fixer Upper. Not only, in my opinion, do they have an unparalleled talent in renovation, demolition, and design, but that’s only the beginning of their charm. Their show stood as a perfect example of a simplistic, uncomplicated life. Of course, what we see on a screen is never the full picture. But even so, I loved the simple escapism that came with watching them help a family find and design their new home while sharing many laughs along the way. It was wholesome, feel-good reality TV at its finest.

When I moved to Austin, Texas, from a small town in Wisconsin, I knew I had to see the Gaines’ Empire—AKA Magnolia Market in Waco—with my own eyes. Before I knew it, in my two-year stint as a Texan, my one trip turned into five. And Magnolia Market quickly became my favorite place to take visitors. That’s because the same wholesome simplicity I felt when watching the show emanated even more when walking through the paths of the Market.

Now, I affectionately refer to Magnolia Market as my “adult Disney World,” or the happiest place on earth. If you’ve been a Fixer Upper fan for years, or the Gaines recently caught your attention after renovating a historic hotel, there’s no better time than now to plan your visit to Waco. Below, you’ll find everything you need to know before heading to Magnolia Market.

Getting to Magnolia Market

There are a few ways to get to the Market for a weekend getaway. First, visitors can fly in the Waco Regional Airport (ACT) and land just about 15 minutes away from the Silos. Because this is a smaller regional airport, however, ticket prices may reflect that, especially during peak seasons. In this case, it could potentially be more cost-effective to fly into a major airport like Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW). With this option, you can then rent a car and drive the approximate hour and 40 minutes south to Waco.

The benefit of renting a car when visiting Waco, whether flying in directly or to a neighboring city, is, of course, ease of transportation. Outside of the shops at The Silos, there are several other spots around the city worth visiting that may be easiest to get to with a personal vehicle. Plus, when road-tripping in from Dallas, there are some great pit stops to make along the way. You won’t want to miss the world-famous Buc-ee’s gas station with over 100 pumps, homemade treats, and great souvenirs (trust us on this one).

magnolia market
Source: Brett Nicole Hayden

What to Expect When You Get There

My first experience at Magnolia Market at the Silos was similar, I imagine, to that of a kid entering the gates of Disney World for the first time. My eyes gleamed at the property and what Chip and Jo have done with the space. Having visited Magnolia several times, I was fortunate enough to watch it grow and grow. What was once a plot with the Silos, a bakery building, one shop, and an open space of greenery has since expanded immensely.

Upon arrival, visitors are met with several gorgeous white brick buildings, the two historic Silos that came with the property, and perfectly manicured grounds. You’ll also find their famous Magnolia Home store, filled with larger pieces of furniture. There are also six smaller shops, their coffee shop (Magnolia Press), several food trucks, a baseball diamond, and a church that the couple had restored and relocated to the property. Needless to say, what was once a quaint stop on the map transformed into an all-day destination with something new to find around every corner.

magnolia market
Source: Brett Nicole Hayden

There are two ways to experience the Market. You can take a tour of the grounds for only $25 to get the inside scoop on the property and its history. Otherwise, you can walk around to the different shops yourself. I have yet to take a tour and have always enjoyed my experience, but it’s definitely on my list to do for next time!

Things to Note

During my several visits to the Silos, I learned a few things of note: Some were the hard way, while others were pleasant surprises worth remembering.

The Market is Closed on Sundays

The property is closed on Sundays, so be sure to plan your visit with this in mind. Saturdays are a bit busier with foot traffic, but even so, they have mastered the crowds, and you generally won’t find yourself waiting in line for more than a few minutes at a time.

magnolia press
Source: Brett Nicole Hayden

Most Spaces are Dog-Friendly

One thing that pleasantly surprised me is that most of the buildings at the Market are dog-friendly. Aside from the bakery and coffee shop that serves food, leashed dogs are allowed in the shops and all throughout the outdoor spaces of the grounds.

They Have a Great Shipping Policy

When going to the Market, it’s pretty inevitable that you’ll want to buy a few things to take home with you. Flying can make it difficult to have enough space to get things home in a suitcase or carry-on. But no worries there! Magnolia has a great shipping policy. Most anything you buy while visiting can be sent to your home without worrying about traveling with it.

Other Things to Do Near Magnolia Market

Source: Brett Nicole Hayden

Go Antiquing

The Gaines have made quite the empire in Waco. An added bonus to their success is that other shops and antique stores in the area have blossomed to welcome new business as well. Throughout the city, you’ll find other charming shops worth taking a stroll through while you’re in the City With a Soul.

Visit Other Magnolia Spots

The Magnolia experience doesn’t end once you’ve successfully redecorated your home from the Shops at the Silos. There are several other spots throughout town worth visiting that we have Chip and Jo to thank for.

magnolia market coffee shop
Source: Brett Nicole Hayden

Brunch at Magnolia Table

While you’re in Waco, you won’t want to miss having brunch at Magnolia Table. The farm-to-table eatery is known for fresh, simple, homestyle dishes. It’s conveniently just a 10-minute drive from the Silos. I recommend getting a reservation, especially for a Saturday, as tables fill up quickly. You can also stop by and get your name on the list. You may experience a longer wait time going this route as they do not allow call-ahead seating.

Tour the Castle

Fixer Upper fans may remember when Chip and Jo took on arguably their coolest project to date: a local castle built in 1890. If you watched the dynamic duo restore the beautiful building, you won’t want to miss touring the space.

See the Little Shop on Bosque

Head back in time to where it all began by seeing the Gaines’ original shop. Their Little Shop on Bosque may be temporarily closed, but even a quick peek is enough to appreciate where they began and all that they’ve done since opening in 2003. It’s a short drive from Magnolia Market and is a great way to experience other parts of Waco.

magnolia market
Source: Brett Nicole Hayden

Dine or Stay at Hotel 1928

While there are plenty of great Airbnb’s and hotels in Waco, you can make your trip even more special with a stay at Hotel 1928. The building was restored and designed by the Gaines and is everything you’d expect from the couple.

If you choose to forgo a stay, you could dine at one of the two restaurants the hotel offers. Book reservations online for dinner at The Brasserie, or grab drinks and eats on their rooftop terrace Bertie’s for a special experience.

Tour the Dr. Pepper Museum

One thing I love about visiting Magnolia and Waco in general is that it’s very family-friendly. Chip and Jo have five kids of their own, and it’s clear they designed the space with them in mind. Kids especially will love playing outside at the Silos and all of the great treat options. And when you’re done at Magnolia, you can head just down the street to check out the Dr. Pepper Museum. An $8 ticket gets you access to the museum, a guided tour, and a complimentary soda. Upgrade for one of their fun experiences, like their Make-a-Soda lab.

See Historic Baylor University

Whether you have little ones thinking about college yet or not, a visit to the prominent Texas university will showcase the city’s charm in a new way. Take a stroll through the beautiful campus, catch a fall football game, and don’t miss the Mayborn Museum with hands-on experiences perfect for kiddos.

I Just Stayed at Chip and Joanna Gaines' New Hotel 1928