Waco Welcomes You: Exploring Chip and Joanna Gaines’ Fixer Upper Town
Waco Welcomes You: Exploring Chip and Joanna Gaines' Fixer Upper Town - Magnolia Market at the Silos - Chip and Jo's Hometown Hub
No trip to Waco is complete without a visit to Magnolia Market at the Silos, the hub of Chip and Joanna Gaines' home decor and lifestyle empire. Even if you've never watched an episode of Fixer Upper, you'll want to spend some time exploring this sprawling complex along the Brazos River.
The Market itself is housed in a pair of 120-year-old silos that have been artfully transformed into a hip home goods store stocked with Magnolia-branded items. Beyond basics like candles and kitchenware, you'll find Revive paint colors that mimic those featured on the show along with charming apparel and accessories. Don't miss the Garden Shop tucked behind the main building, bursting with blooms and botanicals.
While shopping is a huge draw, Magnolia Market is about far more than just buying souvenirs. Food trucks ring the perimeter, peddling everything from wood-fired pizza to Hawaiian shave ice, while kids can expend energy at the lawn games scattered about. Take a break in the shade of the oak trees dotting the lawn or snap a selfie in front of the iconic silos.
Magnolia Table, the Gaines' farm-to-table restaurant, sits just across the street. Even if you don't plan to dine there, step inside to ooh and aah over the chic decor. The line for the bakery counter loops through the space, with patrons eagerly awaiting a turn at the glass cases brimming with fresh-baked breads, cookies, and other sweet and savory treats.
What else is in this post?
- Waco Welcomes You: Exploring Chip and Joanna Gaines' Fixer Upper Town - Magnolia Market at the Silos - Chip and Jo's Hometown Hub
- Waco Welcomes You: Exploring Chip and Joanna Gaines' Fixer Upper Town - Strolling Along the Brazos Riverwalk
- Waco Welcomes You: Exploring Chip and Joanna Gaines' Fixer Upper Town - Dining at Spice Village Food Trucks
- Waco Welcomes You: Exploring Chip and Joanna Gaines' Fixer Upper Town - Bargain Hunting at Hippodrome Vintage Market
- Waco Welcomes You: Exploring Chip and Joanna Gaines' Fixer Upper Town - Learning History at Texas Ranger Hall of Fame
- Waco Welcomes You: Exploring Chip and Joanna Gaines' Fixer Upper Town - Playing at Cameron Park Zoo
- Waco Welcomes You: Exploring Chip and Joanna Gaines' Fixer Upper Town - Experiencing Dr Pepper Museum
- Waco Welcomes You: Exploring Chip and Joanna Gaines' Fixer Upper Town - Staying at Historic J.H. Stuckeys B&B
Waco Welcomes You: Exploring Chip and Joanna Gaines' Fixer Upper Town - Strolling Along the Brazos Riverwalk
Meandering along the banks of the Brazos River, Waco's Riverwalk Trail offers visitors a scenic way to soak in natural beauty and local history. This peaceful pathway stretches over two miles as it winds through wooded areas, past historic landmarks, and alongside gushing rapids. It provides an escape from the hustle of downtown while still remaining footsteps away.
As an avid hiker who loves immersing myself in nature, I found the Riverwalk to be an oasis amidst the concrete jungle. Starting at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, I headed south as the trail took me through shady woods filled with towering pecan and oak trees. A chorus of birdsong accompanied me while butterflies fluttered to and fro.
Soon, gurgling waters came into view as I reached the Suspension Bridge dating back to 1870. This iconic pedestrian crossing offers picture-perfect views of the Brazos River roaring over limestone outcroppings. I paused here for a while, simply breathing in the refreshing air and watching kayakers navigate through whitewater below.
Continuing on, more captivating scenery unfurled at every turn. Massive boulders flanked the shores, swathed in emerald moss and dotted with tiny wildflowers. Cormorants and herons waded through the shallower sections, fishing for their next meal. Dappled sunlight filtered through the leafy canopy above, creating a magical ambiance.
For history buffs, the Riverwalk provides glimpses into Waco's past as well. Etched into several large stones are inspirational quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., paying homage to the famous civil rights leader's impact even here in Central Texas. Informational plaques describe the flora and fauna that thrives along the waterway.
While meandering along the trail, the city seems to melt away. Yet the Riverwalk maintains a sense of connection with glimpses of historic downtown through the trees. Footbridges allow for quick and easy access into the urban center filled with restaurants, shops, and more.
Waco Welcomes You: Exploring Chip and Joanna Gaines' Fixer Upper Town - Dining at Spice Village Food Trucks
No foodie visit to Waco is complete without a stop at Spice Village, an artisan food truck park serving up an array of drool-worthy global eats. Located in the trendy Silos District just a stone's throw from Magnolia Market, this alfresco eatery brings together a scrumptious selection of mobile munchies all in one vibrant village. It's the perfect place to grab a casual bite while soaking in that addictive HGTV charm.
Given my insatiable wanderlust, I'm always game for a passport-stamping food experience. So I knew Spice Village would be right up my alley - and let me tell you, it absolutely delivered. As I strolled from truck to truck surveying the scene, tempting aromas wafted through the air. Savory scents of slow-smoked brisket mingled with sweet whiffs of Belgian waffles and Thai iced tea. My senses were on overdrive and my stomach started to grumble.
I opted to start with some Texas-sized flavor at Guess Family Barbecue. Their tender, melt-in-your-mouth brisket coated in a smoky, peppery dry rub was pure perfection. I paired it with some kicky mac and cheese along with old fashioned potato salad - comfort food at its finest. Washing it down with a local craft beer from nearby Eureka Heights Brew Co, I was one happy camper.
Still craving more international adventure, I headed to Rollin' Smoke BBQ for Korean-fusion fare. Their bulgogi beef lettuce wraps bursting with sweet, salty, spicy goodness were an instant favorite. And for dessert, nothing could beat Banh Appetit's picture-perfect French macarons that simply melted in my mouth.
Waco Welcomes You: Exploring Chip and Joanna Gaines' Fixer Upper Town - Bargain Hunting at Hippodrome Vintage Market
For thrifty travelers and vintage enthusiasts alike, no trip to Waco is complete without some bargain hunting at the Hippodrome Vintage Market. This monthly flea market located downtown offers a retro wonderland for rummaging through relics of the past while pinching pennies. As a long-time aficionado of old-school goods, I eagerly anticipated sifting through the stalls in search of second-hand steals and hidden gems.
Upon arriving, I found myself utterly charmed by the Hippodrome's laid-back, festival-like atmosphere. Food trucks wafted mouth-watering scents through the air as live musicians jammed out bluesy tunes. Wandering aisles bursting with goods, nostalgia washed over me as curiosities from decades past beckoned. Crates of vinyl records promised musical escape; classic magazines spread pop culture history before my eyes. One booth held a treasure trove of faded pyrex dishes for a mere dollar apiece - an amazing find!
Yet beyond the vintage vendibles, the people drew me in. Waco locals manned the booths, eager to swap stories behind their wares. One gentleman explained how his collection of antique oil cans and Texaco petrol pumps connected him to his grandfather's service station. A lovely older lady described sewing delicate tea towels and aprons on display, just as her mother taught her as a little girl. These hands-on histories made the items all the more special.
Fellow thrifters also provided plenty of entertainment through good-humored bartering. Watching someone negotiate the price of a cast iron skillet down from eight dollars to just three made me smile. Another patron excitedly showed off a vintage Hollywood gown she scored for a steal thanks to a bit of friendly haggling. These savvy shoppers knew just how to finesse a bargain.
While the Hippodrome offers no shortage of Instagram-worthy antiques, collectibles, and memorabilia, it remains untarnished by pretension. Rather, a welcoming spirit of community prevails. Waco locals see the market as a gathering place to connect while sharing passions for craftsmanship and nostalgia. For visitors, it provides a glimpse into Central Texan culture beyond the Magnolia empire. One needn't spend huge sums to leave with a little piece of authentic local character.
Waco Welcomes You: Exploring Chip and Joanna Gaines' Fixer Upper Town - Learning History at Texas Ranger Hall of Fame
For history lovers, no trip to the Lone Star State is complete without a visit to the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum in Waco. As the official museum of the legendary Texas Rangers law enforcement agency, this institution provides an immersive journey through the storied annals of the Old West. From exploring its vast collections to strolling through recreations of a frontier town, the Texas Ranger Museum brings this iconic chapter of history to life.
Stepping through the carved wooden doors of the museum felt like traveling back in time. Right away I found myself captivated by the extensive exhibits detailing the Rangers’ origins. As the first statewide law enforcement agency in the United States, these legendary officers have played a pivotal role in Texas history since 1823. Perusing the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame, where the names of inducted Rangers are enshrined, I gained a profound admiration for their bravery.
Venturing deeper into the museum, I discovered an impressive collection of artifacts illuminating different eras of Ranger history. Antique firearms, badges, diaries, and more immersed me in the dangerous realities of the job. Of course, pop culture Ranger lore also holds a prominent place. The Lone Ranger’s mask, silver bullets, and other iconic paraphernalia delighted my inner child.
Beyond exhibits, the sprawling indoor/outdoor complex features animatronic scenes allowing visitors to experience Ranger history first-hand. I walked through an old-fashioned town and witnessed dramatic moments like train robberies, jailbreaks, and outlaw shootouts unfold before my eyes. At the Frontier Ranger Camp, a grizzled animatronic Ranger regaled me with tales from the trail over the flickering glow of a campfire.
Fellow museum patrons raved about how moving through these detailed tableaus transported them back to the dangerous days of the Wild West. A fellow visitor from Wyoming said, “Walking down the dusty streets past saloons and peeking through the windows of old shops, I felt I was living a piece of my frontier ancestors’ world.” For life-long Texas history buffs like him, it brought their passion to life.
Beyond the animated elements, full-scale replicas of historic structures further enhanced the living history experience. The sprawling replica fort illuminated the Rangers’ early frontier defense role. And strolling through the two-story Wesley West Gallery allowed me to envision the Rangers’ progression to sophisticated modern crime fighting.
Waco Welcomes You: Exploring Chip and Joanna Gaines' Fixer Upper Town - Playing at Cameron Park Zoo
For families visiting Waco, a day of wildlife encounters and outdoor adventure awaits at Cameron Park Zoo. Spanning 52 acres near the heart of the city, this charming zoo offers kiddos and kids-at-heart the chance to get up-close with exotic creatures from across the globe. As an intrepid world traveler and animal lover myself, I knew a zoo trip would be a highlight of my Waco getaway.
Meandering along the zoo’s paths, I discovered habitats transporting me from the Texas plains to the wilds of Africa, Asia, and South America. At the African savanna exhibit, gangly giraffes ambled over for a snack while zebras raced about their enclosure. The big cat encounters proved particularly thrilling, as tawny lions napped mere feet away. A rare white Bengal tiger leapt gracefully across logs as my kiddo squealed, “Look how big he is!” The orangutans’ canopy climbing and swinging elicited giggles too. We must have spent an hour just watching those clever apes.
Beyond animal exhibits, Cameron Park Zoo offers hands-on learning opportunities to foster a passion for wildlife. Daily giraffe feedings allow getting nose-to-nose with the gentle giants, their long blue tongues grabbing lettuce from eager little hands. At the Lorikeet Landing aviary, nectar cups transform visitors into living bird feeders as colorful lorikeets flock and land for a drink. And don’t miss feeding the hungry goats at Goat Mountain! With so many chances for up-close interaction, kids come away feeling like true animal experts.
Waco Welcomes You: Exploring Chip and Joanna Gaines' Fixer Upper Town - Experiencing Dr Pepper Museum
Among Waco's quirky attractions, the Dr Pepper Museum holds a special place in the hearts of locals and visitors alike. As the birthplace of America's oldest major soft drink, this homage to the beloved beverage intertwines Texas history with fizzy fun. For soda lovers everywhere, it proves irresistible.
Stepping through the doors of the century-old bottling plant, I found myself transported back to Dr Pepper's origins. Vintage advertisements and decades of memorabilia immersed me in the nostalgia that still clings to this old-timey drink today. Yet the museum also sheds light on Dr Pepper's role in the evolution of advertising, bottling technology, and even Texas culture.
One patron, Elaine from Houston, calls it "a Texas heritage experience." She says, "Seeing how a little soda company put our state on the map, watching old commercials, it reminds me of being a kid when things seemed simpler." Her husband laughs, adding, "Yep, makes me crave an ice cold Dr Pepper!"
Indeed, the displays here cultivate serious cravings. In the working soda fountain and tasting room, visitors can try over 25 original flavors like cherry, peach, and sarsaparilla - reminiscent of bygone pharmacy fountains. The scents of vanilla and toasted sugar waft through the air as floats and phosphates are mixed before your eyes.
For many, like college student James, the tasting experience is the highlight. "It was cool seeing how they used to make sodas the old-fashioned way," he says. "The employees let me sample all these funky flavors I'd never tried. I always figured Dr Pepper was just one drink, not a whole world!"
Yet the museum reveals it is so much more. The brand's evolution from local legend to global juggernaut shows how advertising skyrocketed it to success. Here, you'll find vintage commercials, print ads, and merchandise that capture Americana at its finest. Seeing a 1940s delivery truck plastered in Dr Pepper logos or WWII-era "Morale Is A Lot Of Little Things" posters sends visitors on a nostalgia trip.
From showcasing how early bottling worked to displaying an authentic bottling line used into the 1960s, the museum also illuminates soda-making history. Peek into the actual laboratory where chemist Charles Alderton invented Dr Pepper back in 1885! The fully functional line lets you watch modern bottling science in action too.
For many Texans, like mother of three Julie, the experience rekindles childhood memories. "I still remember being treated to a Dr Pepper float as a girl," she reminisces. "Now I get to share those memories and fun facts with my own kiddos!"
Waco Welcomes You: Exploring Chip and Joanna Gaines' Fixer Upper Town - Staying at Historic J.H. Stuckeys B&B
For travelers seeking a uniquely Texan lodging experience in Waco, the Historic J.H. Stuckey’s B&B offers a delightful glimpse into roadside Americana. This restored 1920s-era cabin along famed Route 66 immerses guests in the heyday of early auto travel, when road-weary motorists found refuge in Stuckey’s roadside oases.
Stepping into the lovingly-preserved historic cabin, I instantly felt transported back to the advent of cross-country car trips. Vintage travel posters, Route 66 memorabilia, and restored Texaco petrol pumps harkened back to the early auto age. The interior shared the simple, down-home charm of early cabins for road-trippers, complete with knotty pine walls and cozy quilts.
Yet modern comforts like wifi and air conditioning ensured pleasant slumber as well. I curled up on the cloud-like bed with a cup of hot coffee from the in-room Keurig and flipped through a large-print edition of Steinbeck’s “Travels With Charley,” getting into the old school road trip spirit.
Fellow guests also enthused about the immersive retro vibes. Mark and Susan, a couple from Oklahoma celebrating their 50th anniversary, called it “the perfect trip back in time.” Mark said, “Seeing the neon Stuckey’s sign out front at night took us right back to our honeymoon along Route 66.” Susan smiled and added, “We felt like newlyweds again in that darling little cabin.”
Many stayed precisely for thehistoric charm. Stacey, a solo traveler from Austin, said, “I'm obsessed with all things vintage travel, so this iconic cabin was at the top of my Waco wish list!” She explained how poring over the cabin’s memorabilia and reading about its restoration made her road trip dreams a reality.
Plus, the location proved ideal for exploring Waco’s attractions. The Baylor University campus was a quick drive, providing easy access to the Mayborn Museum and scenic campus strolls. I walked along the Brazos River just steps from my cabin door. And it was a straight shot to Magnolia Market, Spice Village, and other Silos District hot spots.