This past Mother’s Day I decided to give my mom a “weekend in Waco”! Now because we both work in schools we had to wait until summer to actually have time to go, but it was a fun getaway nonetheless.
From 2012-2015 I lived in Waco while attending Baylor University. Right around the time I was graduating, Waco was really starting to grow. Thanks to Chip and Joanna Gaines of “Fixer Upper” fame on HGTV, Waco went from being a small college town to a fun tourist destination in just a couple of years. Unfortunately, I moved back to Houston before they Silos were built. But, it has been so fun to watch a town I love so much grow and become a destination people from all over actually travel to! I am so ashamed that I hadn’t taken the time to go back and visit Waco until this year! Although now that I am currently remodeling my house (thank you Tropical Storm Imelda) I am sure I will be back again sometime soon!
Getting to Waco
Although there is a teeny tiny airport in Waco, your best bet to get there is probably driving. Waco is about 1.5 hours drive from both Dallas and Austin and about a 3 hour drive from Houston. Driving to Waco from any of those cities is a fairly easy and relaxing drive.
While in Waco driving yourself will be your best bet to get around to lots of locations. So you will want to have a car while you are there!
Staying in Waco
My mother and I stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn in Waco on our most recent trip. This hotel was surprisingly gorgeous and is in a great location (right next to lots of restaurant options). Most hotels in Waco are reasonably priced and probably average around $115 a night.
If you notice a price surge that is probably due to a Baylor University event happening and I would check the hotels of neighboring towns like Bellmead and Woodway, you might be able to find better deals there.
Where to Eat
If you are traveling to Waco, chances are you are there to see a glimpse of all of Magnolia places. The Magnolia Table is a MUST! This restaurant is certainly an ~experience~ and you shouldn’t miss it! First of all, it will be crowded. Power through and find some parking, there are attendants in the parking lot who will help. Then you get into a line to get into the waiting area. Once you are in the waiting area the fun begins! There is a juice and coffee bar with pastries. There is ample seating and fun games being played. I think we waited in this area about 30 minutes, but they have created such a fun environment the time flew by. Now you get to go into the beautiful restaurant. You can tell that literally every single thing in this place has been thoughtfully designed. Also the food here is incredible. Hands down the best brunch I’ve ever had.
This is a franchise that started in Austin and you can find throughout Texas. I’m a huge Torchy’s fan and highly recommend it to anyone who hasn’t been! You have to get their queso!
(We are such big Torchy’s Tacos fans we actually took our engagement pictures at their Austin location)
This was my favorite restaurant in my college days! Very affordable, yummy pizza! You can’t go wrong here!
Here is another famous Waco place that you have to pop into to get a little snack. Although it’s not a restaurant, you can certainly get little snacks here and it is a very unique place to visit. When I was in college I lived right near Common Grounds and got to walk past it every day.
There are all sorts of fun food trucks surrounding the Magnolia Silos. My mom and I ate at the Cheddar Box and had some pretty amazing Grilled Cheese sandwiches.
There is also another cluster of food trucks in a section called “Chowtown” at University Parks Dr. at Franklin Ave.
What To Do
Again, if you are making the trip to Waco the Magnolia Silos are probably #1 on your list of things to see. And I have to admit they are pretty darn cool. There is so much to see and do around here and so much home design inspiration! Bring some money though because not everything here is budget friendly.
We did discover though that the original Magnolia Market has turned into a place where you can find a lot of their discounted products. The day we went we were told that if we brought our receipt from the Silos we would get an additional discount at the Original Market. I’m not sure if that happens all the time but I would go to the Silos first then the Original Market.
The Magnolia Team is awesome and there is even a Trolly that will take you around Waco’s downtown!
Did you think Magnolia was the only cool place to shop in Waco? Think again! Spice Village was around back when I was in college and is always a fun place to shop and find unique gifts, home decor and clothing! It is a huge market so definitely allow yourself at least an hour to wander around.
I mean how could you visit Waco and not see one of the most beautiful campuses in the country? Am I biased? Maybe. But Baylor University is so gorgeous!
When walking around Baylor don’t miss the Armstrong-Browning Library. It is free and open to the public Monday-Friday 9:00am-5:00pm and Saturdays 10:00am-2:00pm.
Did you know that the best soda on Earth comes from Waco? Did you also know that they have a whole museum dedicated to said soda? Check it out! Admission for adults is $10 (and you get a soda!)
There is a Christian community in Waco that has a really cool village that you can visit. There is market, general store, pottery, blacksmith, fabrics store, restaurant, etc. Anything you can think of is here and it is all handmade and home grown! Their restaurant even has a seasonal menu based on their current harvest.
I just love my wacky-Waco town so much and I am so happy for the growth it has had in the past few years. I’m curious to know, have you been to Waco? Are you interested in seeing the Magnolia Silos?