What It’s Like to Visit Waco, Texas

Today’s post is going to be a fun one if you’re a fan of the TV show Fixer Upper with Joanna and Chip Gaines!

Magnolia market in Waco, TX

My mom and dad visited Waco, TX in February to see all the Fixer Upper sights and my mom is here to tell you all about it. So, here’s my mom, Lisa, sharing all about their trip to Waco, TX in February 2023.

For Christmas of 2022, my husband and I decided to gift each other a trip to Waco, TX to visit all the area has to offer, and yes, in hopes of seeing Chip and Jo (we did not, but that’s ok, we had an amazing time)!

We flew from Pittsburgh, PA to Dallas, TX in late February, rented a car from there, and started our very flat trek to the Waco area. It was about an hour and 40 minute drive.  We then checked into our hotel, which was about a 6-7 minute drive to the Silo District of the city.

We stayed at La Quinta Inn Woodway and it was nice. It was clean and the staff was very nice and accommodating. It had an indoor pool and fitness center and breakfast was also included each morning.

As we drove toward town, we immediately saw the historic landmark ALICO building and Silos that you so often see during many episodes of Fixer Upper!

Waco, TX silos

We parked for free in a little lot we found, and walked down toward the Silo District.  It was sooo amazing! We immediately started taking pictures of the sites, and walked around in amazement–we finally made it to Waco!! The Silos are very cool! They built so many things in and around them. Such innovation and creativity.

We saw food trucks parked in the area so we tried one. It was delicious!  There were several options, and plenty of places to sit and enjoy lunch.  I ordered a rice bowl from the food truck Club Sandwich.

Rice bowl from food truck Club Sandwich in Waco, TX

There’s a big open area where kids and adults were lounging around in comfy chairs, playing soccer and ball, and just running around having fun.  There was also a large outdoor fireplace, and very comfortable chairs to sit and relax.  After eating, we decided to check out the Magnolia Market and shops.

Outdoor area in Waco, TX at Magnolia in Silo districtMagnolia Home Store in Waco, TXSigns in Waco Texas for Magnolia

Everything in the shops was exactly as I expected: perfect.  We also made our way to Magnolia Press, their coffee shop.  What an establishment!  So big, but cozy and homey at the same time.

There was such a mix of people there–families, couples young and old, groups of ladies, and Baylor students studying and enjoying the perfect coffee that they serve! There were also some pastries and muffins to go with the coffees.

Magnolia Press Coffee

When we went back to our hotel for the evening we decided to book a couple of things: one was breakfast at Magnolia Table, and the other a tour with Waco Tours.  I highly, highly recommend both.

Our reservation at the restaurant was at 10:30 am and it was a great experience. I highly recommend making reservations through their website or app.  It was very busy, even in the middle of the week in February.

My husband and I both got the country breakfast, and it was absolutely delicious.  I was in awe of the whole set up. It was so beautiful and impeccable. Every detail was perfect, creative and unforgettable.  The tables, floors, bathrooms–everything is so well maintained and clean.  I would go back there in a heartbeat!

Magnolia Table breakfast

After our meal we drove back to the Silo District and walked down toward the river (only about six blocks) to catch our tour which began at 2:00 pm. I have been on a few tours in my lifetime, but this was by far the most organized, friendly, and professional one I have ever encountered.  There are four owners and one of them was featured on their show!

We went to the building where we were asked to meet, and were greeted at the front desk, then our two tour guides arrived. Their names were Dano and Baxter.  They were the best! Seriously.

We walked to the van, which was very new, comfortable, and impeccable. They introduced themselves and we all did the same.  Then they prayed! For our tour!  That made me so happy and I thought wow, how often does that happen??

Husband and wife in front of Silos in Waco, TX

We saw so many sites and they talked and we laughed and learned as a little group of ten.  Some of the things we saw: THE CASTLE! Chip and Joanna bought a castle in Waco, and rehabbed it and were going to “flip” it, but they still haven’t sold it. Maybe they have other plans?

We went past many of the homes they rehabbed on the show, drove past Harp Designs (Clint Harp – the woodworker’s shop), and went to a local ice cream (Heritage Creamery) and coffee shop (Common Grounds Waco) where we received free ice cream or coffee as part of the tour!

Another stop and highlight of our trip was visiting JDH Iron Designs, the home of Jimmy Don. We went in and he was there! He walked out from behind the counter and started talking to my husband and then took a picture with us!

Jimmy Don from Fixer Upper

I was instantly drawn to a design he had hanging on his wall. I walked back to it like three times.  I told them we just couldn’t travel back with it on our flight. They said they could ship it and I said SOLD! It’s now proudly hanging on our living room wall as I type this. I love it. Thanks Jimmy Don!

Psalm 46:10 Be still and know that I am God steel sign by Jimmy Don Designs

We also drove through a beautiful park called Cameron Park. We made a stop there and the tour provided refreshments for us to enjoy. There was a beautiful view of the river! We also learned so much history of the city, and it was such a great treat to hear it from such knowledgeable tour guides. If you visit Waco: please take this tour.  Honestly, it was that amazing!

After our tour we shopped around that area, and they had the coolest concept.  There were multiple different shops–all open concept, on one floor, separated by just a few feet and one check out.  It was so cool to just walk from one to the other without going in and out of different doors. In that huge building were also many restaurants and other shops!

We then drove back to the hotel and ate at Luigi’s, and zonked out from our busy day. Luigi’s was excellent!

The next day was our last full day there, so we decided to go to the Silo District and visit Silos Baking Co.  Whenever we walked by there it was always busy, with customers lined up outside the building and halfway down the street, so we said ok today’s the day! We got in line and waited, and it honestly wasn’t that long of a wait! And sooo worth it!

Magnolia Bakery in Waco, Texas

We got inside the door and it was a whole new world: Joanna Gaines bakery world! Once again, it was so well run, maintained, and impeccable.  We decided to each try a cupcake, and ordered a dozen cookies to bring back home (I actually found a way to jam them into my carry on bag and guarded them with my life).

I got the original, which was chocolate with vanilla buttercream frosting, and my husband ordered the strawberry with buttercream frosting. We walked over to Magnolia Press, got a fresh cup of coffee and scarfed those babies down. It was one of the best cupcakes I have ever had!

Magnolia bakery cupcake and magnolia press coffee

We also found a really cool store across from the Magnolia shops called The Findery.  It was full of super nice antique style furniture, clothing, jewelry and wall pics.

Unfortunately flying made it difficult for us to make any bigger purchases, but I did find a beautiful necklace that I will always cherish as a reminder of our trip!

Necklace from The Finders in Waco, TX

We then walked around all the shops again, and bought a few souvenirs to bring back–some coffee cups and ground coffee, and a couple of sweatshirts for ourselves.

We decided for our last day to walk back down to the river shops and try one of the highly recommended Mexican restaurants – Ninfa’s Mexican Restaurant.  It was so delicious and very authentic Mexican cuisine.  Also highly recommend.  The Waco Tour Co. gave us a book full of money saving coupons, and we used that for some free queso!

After that, we headed back to the hotel to pack up and get ready for our trip back to the ‘Burgh.  We ate at the same Italian restaurant, Luigi’s, again (it was within walking distance from our hotel – so that made it very convenient!). The next morning we drove back to Dallas/Fort Worth, flew back to Pittsburgh, and had an amazing surprise 60th birthday party for Bill!

If you’re wondering what the weather is like in late February in Waco, it was between 55° and 70°, and partly to mostly sunny. We had some rain but nothing heavy.

Best place to visit: The Silo District
Must Do: Waco Tours
Best Place to eat: Magnolia Table
Best Coffee: Magnolia Press

If you’re reading this and on the fence about visiting Waco, you should go. It’s well worth it! We also found out Chip and Jo are building a hotel! So, I guess we will have to go back 😊

Have you ever been to Waco, TX?

If you have any questions for my mom, leave them in the comments!



  1. Thanks Allie! Thank you for featuring our trip to Waco as part of your blog. I loved that you asked me, and I’m hoping that anyone reading will be inspired to take the trip- it is definitely an amazing place to experience.
    Thanks again- love you!!

  2. What a nice write up! It reminds me what a great time had! And the best birthday party ever!
    Love 💕 You

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