For fans of the popular HGTV show Fixer Upper, a trip to the Magnolia Market at the Silos is the next best thing to having Chip and Joanna renovate your house.
To help first-timers make the most of their pilgrimage to Waco, we asked our readers who have visited Magnolia Market to share their advice. From how to avoid long lines, to other Waco sights worth checking out, here are their tips.
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When to visit
“We visited the market last week all the way from Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands. Love Chip and Joanna and their silos! We went on a Wednesday afternoon and it was not too crowded and the staff are very friendly.”
— Tanya Ziemniak
“The market is not as large as you might expect, and the lines are long. Parking is at a premium. We learned that if we came back at about 4 p.m., more parking spaces would be available and the lines would be shorter and move very quickly. So that’s what we did.”
— Leslie Gordon
“Wednesday was a great day to go! We left Fort Worth early enough to enjoy kolaches in West along the way. There were no lines to enter the store.”
— John Scovil
Where to park
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“Use the new, free trolley system. There is lots of free parking downtown and the trolley will take you over to the silo area in just a few minutes.”
— Diane Hamilton
“Parking is scarce, so we paid the $10 for parking in the church lot. We were able to walk right in to shop.”
— Ginger Green
“Parking is a potential problem. There were only a couple of parking lots near the silos. We were lucky to find a parking spot on the street a couple of blocks from the silos, but we arrived in the morning. I would expect that finding a parking space would be much more difficult later in the day.”
— Lisa Gustafson
What to buy
“Our purchases were a stem of cotton balls, a tin cup for a friend who couldn’t make the trip and a bottle of Tocca cologne, which I usually have to drive to Nordstrom to get. There was other good stuff. Soap from France, candles and, of course, the cute signs they are famous for.”
— Virginia Jentsch
“My niece bought cute baby items for a soon-to-arrive grandchild. She also bought Magnolia T-shirts for everyone back home so she could brag that she had been there. I got lots of great ideas and especially loved the scented candles, magnolia bloom stems and real-live cotton ball branches. The branches looked like something from my childhood when cotton fields dotted the landscape. Things are pricey, but you can get great ideas for creating your own.”
— Caroline Gabbert
“I picked up a shirt ($26), postcard ($3) and a keychain ($8), but the experience of being there and seeing everything this store has to offer is beyond any expectations that I had.
“I will say that the back part of the store is located in a warehouse-type building and it was already getting pretty hot in there by 10 a.m. I would suggest going early in the morning to beat the heat. I checked out in the ‘warehouse’ with no line at all. I noticed the line in the front of the building was already forming when I had started shopping, so remember there are two different areas to check out.
“We then headed to Magnolia Flour. My husband got the lemon-lavender cupcake and I got the ‘Nuts and Bolts.’ BEST. CUPCAKES. EVER. I will be stocking up on my next trip!”
— Melanie Chapa
“It’s fun to go see Jo-Jo’s main furniture carpenter Clint’s shop at Harp Design. There you will find some clever and charming knickknacks and some beautiful furniture he made. Also, you need to peruse the house next door, as that is one of the lovely homes the Gaineses refurbished for Clint. Clint made the front door as a special surprise for his bride. I’ve been told they no longer live there because of people like you and me, and it became too well-known.”
— Mary Ann Sutter
“There is a great hometown sandwich shop called Schmaltz’s, which is on Fifth Street right off of Austin. Also on Austin Avenue is Jake’s Texas Tea House (home cooking), an Italian restaurant and a new candy store (Hey Sugar).”
— Vicky Morris
“While in Waco, don’t forget to check out shopping at Spice Village, Cameron Park Zoo and Bonnie’s Greenhouse.”
— Billy Flynt
“There is now a national monument with Columbian mammoth relics, which is very interesting. There is the Texas Ranger Museum right on I-35 and the Armstrong Browning Library on the Baylor campus.”
— Emily Harrell