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Tips for Visiting Magnolia Market
If you have ever binge-watched a season of HGTV’s Fixer Upper, or uttered the phrase “shiplap,” you just might want to add a visit to Magnolia Market in Waco, TX to your next road trip itinerary. At Magnolia, you can take in the larger than life Silos, eat some delicious food, and shop til you drop. Here are some helpful tips for visiting Magnolia.
Ten years ago when I was about six months pregnant with Lily, Bob and I hopped on a plane and spent a long weekend visiting my dad and stepmom in Texas. My dad had just accepted a new job a few months earlier and they packed up and moved many states away for this new venture. We were looking forward to a visit to their new house, located in the Dallas suburbs, and it was the first time either of us had ever been to Texas.
Whirlwind Texas Trip
We arrived in Dallas and basically packed more tourist-y activity into those few days than I can even remember. It was July and ridiculously hot, but we still made it to some cool places. On one of those days, we drove to San Antonio to see the Alamo. If you know anything about Texas cities, this was roughly a 5 hour drive. EACH WAY. We did it in ONE DAY. Did I mention how pregnant I was? I honestly still can’t believe we did it, but we did and hey – I saw the Alamo!! LOL
Anyway, on the way to San Antonio from the Dallas/Fort Worth area, there was a whole lotta nothing. It was a really boring drive for the most part. The ONE and ONLY thing that I remember was seeing the Waco watertower as we skirted around the city. Of course, ten years ago the only thing that came to mind regarding the town was the cult led by David Koresh. That happened when I was in junior high and I remember watching it play out on TV.
2019 in Waco, TX is a VERY different story.
Magnolia. Perhaps You Have Heard of It?
You might have heard of a couple named Chip and Joanna Gaines. They starred on this little show you may have heard about called Fixer Upper on HTGV. Long story short, they have built a tourist attraction that fans and non-fans alike are flocking to in daily droves.
Magnolia Market is hard to miss. It is located on a sprawling complex just outside of downtown Waco and sits in the shadows of two enormous old farm silos. There is a lot to do at Magnolia and it can be easy to get overwhelmed as you try to navigate the crowds and take in the sites.
A few weeks ago, Bob found himself on a road trip to Texas for work. He had to deliver a company car to a job site near good ‘ol San Antonio. I asked (okay, semi-begged) him to stop and check out Magnolia. I have every intention of getting there myself on a future trip, but I was hoping he could make a visit and take in the sights (and snap some pictures) to hold me over until then. He was such a good sport and not only stopped at Magnolia, but strolled around, took pictures, bought me some merch and experienced enough of the Silos complex to share some helpful tips for any of you who might be planning a visit!
What to Know Before you Arrive at Magnolia
1. Arrive early. Bob did not believe me when I tried to tell him how popular Magnolia Market has become. He figured he would just mosey on over at opening and walk right into the store. He… was wrong. He arrived and had to park a few blocks away. Make sure you check out Magnolia’s Event Calendar and if there is a special event happening on the day of your visit, allow even MORE extra time and expect crowds. We didn’t realize that Bob’s visit would be over the 3-day “Spring at the Silos” vendor fair event at Magnolia and it was super duper crowded.
2. Dress for Texas weather and bring water. Even in the early morning hours, Texas runs warm most of the year. Once that sun rises, so do the temps (and quickly). Consider dressing in layers and assume that it will be warm/hot sooner than later. Have a bottle of water with you (especially helpful when the crowds are thick and lines are long).
3. Expect crowds and lines. During peak times, there is a line to get into Magnolia Market. When Bob arrived it was about 10 minutes prior to opening. He said the lined moved quickly but by the time he was leaving, the line had swelled and staff was letting visitors in only as other visitors left the store.
4. Go hungry. Maybe not starving, because of the lines and waiting described in #3, but definitely plan to sample some of the tasty food at Magnolia. From the bakery at Silos Baking Co to the food truck(s) surrounding the store, there are lots of yummy things to try.
5. If you see merch you want, get it. See a mug you love? Or a shirt? Don’t put it back on the shelf thinking you will come back to get it, because things sell out frequently at Magnolia. I will never forget the phone call from Bob as he frantically tried to grab the shirt that I wanted while telling me how fast the sizes were selling out. LOL I don’t know how cut throat the merch-grabbing really is on a typical day, but I do know that the crowds flow through that store at a rapid pace. If you see an item you can’t live without, pick it up immediately.
6. Parking is free, but fills up. There is a free parking lot near the Silos and there is ample street parking around Magnolia as well. If you are downtown you can hop a free trolley out to Magnolia (it’s about a 10 minute ride each way). Be aware that if special events are happening at the Silos during your visit, some of the parking might not be available. During Spring at the Silos, the street was closed and used for vendor tents.
7. Pack your patience. Lines can be long, temperatures can be high, tempers can be short. Pack your patience when you arrive at Magnolia and do not expect to get anywhere quickly. It isn’t the easiest place to just “drop in” and even a quick visit can take up to about an hour.
8. Bring some cash. While most (if not all??) of the actual Magnolia-affiliated buildings at the Silos accept credit cards, it is always a good idea to bring some cash. You never know when you will find something cool at a vendor tent or tasty at a food truck who doesn’t take credit or whose credit card machine is acting up.
Until our next visit to Magnolia, those are our tips to make your visit a little easier! Have you ever visited Magnolia Market? Are you hoping to visit in the future?
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