Welcome to Waco You Guys! My heart feels so full sharing this post with you all today!!
This has been one of my most requested posts, so I am really excited to be able to share it with you all.
Lets just start with the fact that I love Waco with all of my heart.
And I loved it before Fixer Upper, Chip & Joanna and HGTV. When I first started Baylor, as a freshman in 2010, there was not a lot in the city. What I quickly learned though was how much this little city had to offer. How much character it had and how charming it really was. With the growth of Baylor’s sports program, the city grew quite a bit while I was there, but that is nothing compared to what Fixer Upper has done. If you would have asked me to do a Waco City Guide even just four years ago, I would have looked at you funny because even though I knew how great Waco was (& is!), the rest of the world didn’t seem to care.
When Colton and I visited Waco two weeks ago, I was shocked as to how much the city had grown. It was crazy to see how many people were there and just how much publicity my sweet sleepy Waco was getting. It was a very bitter-sweet moment. While the Magnolia Market was super cool, I loved seeing that all of my favorite places were still there and despite the new fame, Waco was still Waco.
I hope you can use this guide as a way to make the most out of your trip! To experience Magnolia Market the best way possible while also seeing everything that Waco has to offer!
I hope you are able to see why I love it so much too!
If you are traveling far to visit the Silos and Magnolia Market, do not worry, you will not be disappointed! It is truly everything you would except it to be. The Bakery is amazing, the Market itself is SO Joanna, and it really is just a fun place to hang out for the day.
Get there early around 7:30 a.m. right when the Bakery opens to grab a coffee and something sweet. Even though the market itself does not open until 9:00, if the bakery is on your list, then you’ll want to get there as soon as possible. The line builds up quickly and it’s not a short one at that. Once you visit the bakery, walk around the silos and check everything out before the market itself actual opens. After you have shopped your heart out, grab something to eat at one of their awesome food trucks and relax at a picnic table.
If you are worried about getting to &/or parking at the Silos, do not worry! There is parking all around the area, along the street and majority of all the parking lots downtown are free. There is also a Waco Transit that will take you to the Silos and wherever else around Waco for free! It also stops at all of the hotels downtown.
Explore Downtown: Downtown Waco is my absolute favorite. I love the quaint feeling, all of the small shops, salons and resturaunts. There is always parking and the entire downtown is not only walkable but is also perfect for a photo op.
Explore Baylor University: Baylor is by far one of the most beautiful campuses in the country. Seriously though, that’s not just me being biased. The whole campus is magnificent and you will not be disappointed at its sights. From the buildings and their architecture to the landscaping and our beautiful new fountain, you will be in absolute awe! Also be sure to stop by the bear pits to meet the our real life bear mascots, Lady & Joy.
Shop at Spice Village: I know that Magnolia Market gets all of the hype, but before there was Magnolia Market, there was Spice Village and still to this day, Spice Village takes the cake. You could get lost in Spice for hours. Clothes, Furniture, Accessories, Jewelry, Home Decor, Candles, Oils. You name it, Spice Village has it. Every time visitors would come in from out of town to see me, this was always the first place I would take them! Plus, the prices are definitely better than the ones you will find at Magnolia and it is all the same sort of stuff.
Pick Out Your New Favorite Outfit At ROOTS: After you have explored Spice for a little bit, do not forget to pop into ROOTS before heading out. Roots is still to this day one of my favorite boutiques. They always have the cutest clothes for every occasion and jewelry to match it. It is very rare that I have ever gone into ROOTS and have not left with something that I didn’t love.
The Waco Farmers Market: The Waco Farmers Market (Formally located by the Brazos River, now located in the middle of Downtown in front of city hall) is held every Saturday from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. and is definitely a treat that should not be missed! I love the Waco Farmers Market more than I could ever describe. The Farmers Market gives you the opportunity to see the heart of Waco. How amazing the locals are and everything the city really has to offer. Be sure to grab a crepe from Co Town Crepes and an Island Coconut Tea from Double B Farm’s booth (Those are my go-to’s!) and then walk around to check out all of the booths! There is usually live music and it is always a good time.
Spend The Afternoon At Cameron Park: If you are a little over shopping and spending money, then head over to Cameron Park for the afternoon. Cameron Park is beautiful and is located right on the Brazos River. Cameron Park is by far my favorite place to go for a run. The sights are beautiful and it’s always peaceful.
Go To The Cameron Park ZOO: You wouldn’t normally think of the Waco Zoo as being that spectacular, but you would be surprised. The first time I went to the zoo was for a lab and I was shocked as to how nice it was, how big it was, and just how many spectacular animals they had.
Go See A Baylor Game: Football; Basketball; Baseball; Tennis; You name it, Baylor has it and the games are always so fun to watch!
Balcone’s Distillery: Spend an hour at the Balcone’s Distillery taking a tour of their new and beautiful facility and finish it with a tasting. The beautiful new location is pretty magnificent and the whisky tasting is kind of awesome awesome. They have been winning some major Whisky Awards the past few years, so this is a stop you do not want to miss.
See A Movie At The Waco Hippodrome Theatre: The Hippodrome is the best draft house movie theatre in all of Central Texas. Relax, take a seat and enjoy full access to a bar and food while watching your movie.
-Common Grounds: No one can go to Waco without visiting Common Grounds! Common grounds is located right off of Baylor’s campus and might just be the most charming little coffee shop in the world. At night, they hold concerts in the back and they are famous for the iced Cow Boy coffee. Just click this link to watch the video and get the full experience.
-Dichotomy: Located downtown, Dichotomy is the chicest and most modern coffee shop in the city. Coffee by day and spirits by night (or day – whatever you prefer). They are known for their perfectly crafted cappuccinos and have a pretty awesome rooftop area that looks over all of downtown Waco.
-Cafe Cappucino: A local favorite with the best pancakes around! Be prepared to wait, but it’s worth it.
-Lula Jane’s: Lula Janes Bakery is sweet, delicious and has a new menu every day.
-Olive Branch: Olive Branch is located downtown, right by Spice, and is pretty much the cutest little breakfast and lunch spot in the city. This was always one of our favorite spots to have breakfast on the weekends. Everything on the breakfast menu is delicious and if you are looking for the perfect sandwhich and salad for lunch, then you will find it here!
-Schmaltz’s Sandwich shop: A local favorite that has been around literally forever. The bread is handmade everyday and each sandwich is toasted to perfection.
-Food for Thought: Another Baylor student favorite. I LOVE the chicken sandwich with avocado.
-Twisted Root Burger: New to the city, but I have heard amazing things about this new burger joint! Everyone I know that has been raves about it.
-Health Camp: Health Camp is famous in Waco and for good reason. It has been around since 1948 and they might just serve the best milkshake you will ever have in your life.
Georges: George’s is another Waco must! If you are visiting Waco, you have to go to Georges. Get a BIG O (just trust me) then literally pick anything off of the menu and you will be more than satisfied (& very full) The portions are huge!
Shorty’s Pizza Shack: Shorty’s is our first stop every time we visit. Going to Waco and not stopping in for a pitcher (& in Colton’s case a pizza pillow) just seems wrong. Located right off of Baylor’s campus. Sit inside or outside on the patio and order a slice from the board or a whole pizza to share. My favorite is the spinach and garlic on wheat! (Also great for lunch)
Diamond Backs: Diamond Backs is one of the nicest (if not the nicest) steak house in Waco located downtown. It’s beautiful, elegant and very $$$$ but worth every penny.
135 Prime: 135 Prime is my personal favorite steak house in Waco. It’s a tad bit farther than the rest, but it is so worth it! This is where Colton and I spent ever anniversary or date night. The steak is unreal. So is the salmon. Actually everything is amazing.
Buzzard Billy’s: Located right on the Brazos river, Buzzard Billy’s has the best view of the new Baylor Stadium. All of the seafood with a cajun twist is to die for and the drinks are pretty awesome too.
Klassy Glass: In the heart of downtown, Klassy Glass is perfect for a light dinner, cheese board and a glass of wine. They also always have live music on the weekends!
Best Fast Food Near Downtown
Torchy’s Tacos; Fuzzy’ Tacos, In & Out Burger; Chick fi la; McAlisters;
The Wine Shoppe
Crickets Draft House (Also serves food!)
Austin’s On The Avenue
Favorite Pizza: Shorty’s Pizza | Favorite Wine Bar: Klassy Glass | Favorite Place To Watch The Game: George’s | Best Thai: Clay Pot | Nicest Restaurant: Diamond Backs | Best Steak: 135 Prime | Best Italian: Baris III Pasta & Pizza | Best Mexican: Chuy’s (or Ninfas) | Best Breakfast: Anything at the Farmers Market | Most Beer On Tap: Crickets Draft House
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