Like millions of other people, I’ve watched Fixer Upper since its first season three years ago. I love Chip’s crazy antics, Jo’s method of mixing old and new to create beautiful, homey spaces, and Clint’s amazing reclaimed furniture pieces. If given the opportunity, I’d move to Waco and work for either company in just about any capacity. That won’t ever happen, but recently I got as close as I’ll ever get.
We arranged the route of our No Interstates Road Trip to take us through Waco, where we visited Chip and Jo’s Magnolia Silos, Clint’s Harp Design Co. shop, and took a quick tour of the Dr. Pepper museum, only blocks from Magnolia Market.
Warning: You’re going to see a lot more photos containing yours truly than normal. You’ve been warned. 🙂
The Mister enjoyed his meal from the Milo truck. His took longer to prepare than mine did, so I claimed one of the many empty white picnic tables in the food truck area while he waited for his food. As we ate, we watched families and children of all ages playing a variety of games on the lawn, kids swinging on the wooden swing, and people just sitting around talking over their meals.
It was like we had walked out of the real world and into this beautiful place that you wish the whole world could be like all the time for everyone. Even though it was crowded on a Friday afternoon, it just seemed peaceful; no one was in a hurry to get anywhere or do anything, or rushing to be first in line, no children were whining because they were tired of shopping with Mom… It’s just a place where, even if you have never heard of the show, you’d love to spend an afternoon. There’s something for everyone. It’s basically the most amazing backyard in Texas, maybe in America.
We stopped and played a few games of cornhole before going inside to shop.
The majority of the Market itself contains home décor items (including several that you’ve seen in Joanna’s reveals on the show). They are not the antiques from one of Jo’s several warehouses, even though some look like they could be. Magnolia t-shirts with a few different designs are also available for purchase. There are cute items for kids, like games, bedding, and cute clothes. And in Chip’s Corner, you’ll find man items like A Year’s Supply of Toothbrushes, which is a package containing four wooden-handled toothbrushes.
We bought one item here: a tree trunk vase. They looked so good in the store staged with amazingly realistic faux tulips. There were several other items that I would have liked, but we still had almost a week to go in our road trip and didn’t need to fill the back of the car up with a ton of stuff.
When we got home, very few flowers were still in bloom, so I picked every single one that still had any color on it and put them in my new vase.
If you ever have the opportunity to visit the Silos, here are a few tips:
- In addition to parallel parking around the Silos, you can park just a few blocks away at the Spice Village shops and either walk (it’s only half a mile) or ride the free trolley, which stops at several other points of interest.
- Don’t wait in line inside the Market for the single restroom for 15 minutes like I did. There is a larger one outside near the food trucks.
- Take your own bottle of water. You can buy one at a food truck, but you’ll save a few bucks by having your own. It gets hot in Texas, so you’ll probably want one.
- Plan to stay a while! Eat a meal, play a game of cornhole, push your kids on the swing – or do all three!
Our next stop was Harp Design Co. As much as I loved Magnolia Market, I might have loved HDC more. The moment we walked in the door (clearly handmade of reclaimed wood by Clint and his team), I inhaled the scent of wood and heard sound of saws and sanders. The workshop is closed off from the store, but the sound still found its way to my ears.
The second was one that I had seen on their website prior to our visit: an H made of reclaimed wood, which I was excited to use in our laundry room to add a touch of life to the otherwise gray, white, and black space. It took me a few months to get to that project, though, so it lived on the hutch in our kitchen in the meantime.
- Don’t walk here. Drive, then park in the lot next to the building. It’s not close to anything and the neighborhood here unfortunately isn’t quite the same as Magnolia’s.
- Take a look at the house next door. You might recognize it as the house from Clint and Kelly’s Fixer Upper episode. Since they moved for more privacy, it’s now available to rent, so be respectful of the renters’ privacy, and if you’re lucky enough to stay there, enjoy!
Dr. Pepper Museum
Our last stop in Waco was the Dr. Pepper museum, which you could actually walk to from Magnolia Market (or from the Spice Village shops I mentioned above). I checked Groupon before we arrived in Waco and found a deal that included two museum admissions and two drinks at the soda fountain downstairs.
The museum was full of interesting exhibits about the development of Dr. Pepper and the history of the company. I most enjoyed learning about the history of their marketing and advertising campaigns like “I’m a Pepper” and “Drink a bite to eat at 10, 2, and 4.”
It’s a small museum, so it didn’t take long to make our way through it and arrive back downstairs for a delightful experience at the soda fountain.
I had never had a soft drink mixed right in front of me, and now that’s the only way I ever want to drink one again! The soda jerk (I’m sure there’s a more modern term than this for the workers now, but I don’t know it!) puts 5 squirts of Dr. Pepper-flavored syrup in the bottom of the cup, then switches over to soda water, which stirs the syrup up off the bottom of the cup, mixing it and the soda water together. The taste is entirely different from that of a Dr. Pepper from a bottle, can, or modern fountain machine. It’s amazing.
If you ever have the opportunity to visit the Dr. Pepper Museum, here are a few tips:
- Allow an hour or two for the museum. Since it’s small, it won’t take you long to complete the loop.
- Museum admission isn’t required to visit the soda fountain, so you can still experience it if you don’t have time or don’t want to visit the museum.
Our time was short, and we moved on to the next town on our back roads route in time for dinner, but I would have loved to stay longer.
Waco is a nice quiet town with way more to do than what I’ve covered here if you plan to stay for longer than a day. You could quickly fill up a long weekend with shopping, a visit to the zoo, a walk along the Brazos River, and more. Whatever you choose to fill your time with, enjoy your trip!
Thanks for stopping by!
One thought on “An Afternoon in Waco, Texas”
Wonderful. I'm ready to pack some bags and hit some back roads.