What To Do In Waco After Magnolia | From a Local

Magnolia Silos Bakery

Let me guess, you are most likely drawn to Waco because of Magnolia Market – I mean, who doesn’t love the charismatic couple Chip & Jo who have aided in converting a sleepy Texas town into a HGTV version of a “Disneyland dreamland for adults” at the Silos. There’s a reason we are seeing an average of 30,000 visitors a week, reports the Waco Tribune (an annual total of close to 1.6 million people, that’s more than the Alamo in San Antonio) woah.

And you really cannot visit Waco without experiencing the fixer upper culture that Chip and Jo have implemented here. There’s a reason we are the number 2 place in the nation for tourism according to TripAdvisor.

My husband and I moved to Waco about 2 years ago, and we get the hype. The dream of purchasing “The worst house in the best neighborhood,” for an outstanding price… we still use that phrase as a prime factor in purchasing our future home. And we would be lying if we said we didn’t binge on the HGTV show ‘Fixer Upper’ as soon as we moved to join my sister in Waco to see what the fuss was all about.

However, there’s so much more to Waco than the nationally known restored Silos, the bakery and even the real estate. Which is not to say that everything the Gaines have done is overrated, they have transformed Waco in a beautiful way, and nothing about The Silos, Magnolia Table, or the Magnolia real estate should be overlooked or underappreciated. The Silos Baking Co. is a staple I still love to indulge in years later, the cupcakes, cookies and cinnamon rolls are truly mouth watering and SO worth the visit. Even if to simply admire the beautiful decor of the bakery inside and out.

Silos Baking Co.

Magnolia Table

Where even the bathrooms are gorgeous and believe it or not, smell amazing.. good job chip + jo.

Check out the customized day schedule that I personally use when my family and friends come to visit

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As I mentioned, we’ve been here for two years now, and for all of the visitors who have come to visit us, I have a particular order and reason of the when and where I like to take our family and friends. And as a result, I thought I would create an itinerary that could be used for others. I truly just want to give the best Waco experience in the most wonderful way I can. And each time I do, I always come home smiling, reflecting on how nice it has been to have all of this in my backyard. Because at the end of the day, I get to say, “I live here.” And that’s pretty cool.

Here are a few of my favorite spots that seem to always charm those who have visited us, always leaving long lasting memories and a roll full of beautiful insta-worthy pictures for years to come

SHOPPING

Spice Village

Spice Village is a must see. You can get lost in here for hours. You will not be able to leave this store without buying something. And if you like the smell of this place, bring it home with you with the Spice Village Signature Scent Candle. Omg. Yum. My favorite smell ever.

Roots Boutique

This Boutique. Take all my money. I’m serious, from candles, to dress, to quirky-cute gifts, be ready and don’t say I didn’t warn you. Also, same parking lot as Spice Village. It just makes sense.

COFFEE/DRINKS

Common Grounds

You’ll find heaps of Baylor Students coming here to study, plus their chai’s are amazing with oat milk. That’s always my drink of choice!

I personally am not a coffee fan, but my sister could have an “iced cowboy” or the “no bull” every day if she could. I am a wedding and event planner here in Waco, and I even had one of my brides have Common Grounds cater her wedding – it’s that good. Not to mention they also host concerts and open mic night in their venue space in the back which makes it feel like you are at a huge bonfire with live music and great people.

Iced Cowboy Coffee Common Grounds Waco, Texas

Dichotomy Coffee & Spirits

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Come on in, park it and stay awhile.

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Dichotomy. Coffee and Spirits with live music and a rooftop bar. Need I say more? Great place to park and get some writing done in the middle of Austin Ave.

Oh My Juice

The Backyard Waco

For beer, concerts, food and entertainment, be sure to see if there are any artists performing before you book your trip!

FOOD

Slow Rise Slice House

A tap-house, pizza parlor, cafe and a place for adults and children to play on the back patio all wrapped in one. You couldn’t ask for a better place to meet up with friends for New York pizza by the slice for lunch or dinner.

Cajun Craft

BYOB and Chicken and Andouille Sausage Gumbo and Jambalaya? Sign me up. Cutest back patio close to downtown. Definitely worth the stop!

Baris

Baris, Waco Texas Pink Sauce Tortellini

A quaint, family owned Italian restaurant that I cannot recommend enough. The chefs use only fresh ingredients and the prices are outstanding for the amount of food you receive. The first time my sister took me here, I found out you could BYOB, which meant we could all split a bottle of wine over our Italian meal, plus the atmosphere is easy and fun for any time of day and any type of occasion! The bread rolls are huge and the tortellini with pink sauce is my go-to, absolutely every single time. Weekends can produce huge, long lines, but we’ve always found it to be worth it!

Milo All Day

Milo is best known for their scratch-made biscuits and southern comfort food. But did you see this pimento Mac?! Also, for every insta-girls dream, head to the gorgeously designed bathrooms. You won’t be disappointed.
Milo All Day Restrooms Waco Texas
Milo All Day Restrooms

Hecho En Waco

You cannot beat the location or the margaritas. If you’re not a huge spice fan, I would recommend the salmon salad, I am not even kidding. It was incredible.

(For more food recommendations, check out my free itinerary!)

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ICE CREAM

Pokey O’s

You can find this delicious cookie sandwich made with Bluebell ice cream in their ice cream truck, or at their main location inside the Hilton Hotel. This an an absolute MUST experience while you’re in Waco. I am craving Pokey O’s as a write this. My goodness.

Heritage Creamery

Heritage Creamery is another great location with unique flavors such as Strawberry Balsamic, Meyer Lemon, Matcha, or Arnold Palmer. This cute little ice cream shop is right next to Common Grounds too, so at the very least, take a peak and have a few samples. The employees are so friendly and make the visit a delightful experience.

SIGHTS

Waco Suspension Bridge

After grabbing yourself some well deserved ice cream, take a stroll over the Suspension Bridge, walk along the Brazos and peak over at Baylor’s McLane Stadium. Great for anytime of day, but sunset can be especially beautiful.

SAIL THE BRAZOS

Brazos River, Waco, Texas

Waco River Safari

Set sail on the infamous Waco River Safari on the Brazos with Captain Ryan. Ryan is a joy to have as a tour guide, funny sense of humor and has wealth of knowledge about the history of Waco. You can hop on his cruises for a sunset tour, a history tour or rent out the boat for birthday parties, a family event or simply to enjoy the cruise down the Brazos. There is no other way to experience the centerpiece of Waco by boat .

Koehne Park at Lake Waco

Koehne Park, Lake Waco, Texas
The most serene and best kept secret on Lake Waco. Often people are fishing here, enjoying a nice barbecue or soaking in the sunsets. I swear, every time I have been here, the lake has always been accompanied by a breathtaking sunset.

According to Waco Tribune, “Magnolia is making a HUGE change with a budget of $10.4 million dollars to renovations and additions before the end of the year. They plan to add a whiffle ball field, more shops, gardens, and relocated historic Waco church to the 4.9 acre site.”

THIS JUST IN:

Magnolia Market at The Silos

“Replacing the parking lot will be a “retail village” arranged around a green lawn, with eight buildings, five of which would be marked for retail space, two as bathrooms and one as an information center. The green would be anchored by the relocated Second Presbyterian Church building, which now sits at 510 N. 13th St.”

So for those who have already been to Waco, plan on visiting Waco, or even currently live in Wacotown, there is so much more to see here in the next few years. I have a feeling this is really, only the beginning.

If you are like me, looking at all of the options can be a bit overwhelming. I want to know exactly which spots are worth visiting, especially if I am only somewhere for a short amount of time. If that resonates with you, check out my free day trip itinerary by clicking on the link below that outlines a perfect day in Waco, without having to plan your own trip!

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Okay local Wacoans, what did I miss? Comment below your favorite place that wasn’t on the list, as there are always more places to explore in Waco Town!

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