My friend Alyse and I do a trip every year and this year, we decided to go to Waco and Austin, Texas. Why Texas? Well, we are (big, HUGE, SuBsTanTial, astronomical) fans of Fixer Upper and the dynamic duo Joanna and Chip Gaines.
Really, this was just a trip for us to geek out about our favorite show and go shopping at the Magnolia Silos. But we decided (especially since most things are closed in Waco on Sundays) that we would make a trip to Austin as well.
In the end, I could have done without Austin. We showed up, thinking it would be easy to find things to do since it was such a large city, but were surprised when the only thing recommended to us was drinking at the bars and eating tacos. Nothing, and I repeat NOTHING, else. Don’t get me wrong, the bars were pretty cool and the swing dancing was on point, but sweating in 104 degrees with over 60% humidity and nothing to really do during the day was a bit…well I’ll just say, disappointing.
Overall though, it was a great trip! Here is a little info about what we did:
Waco, Texas: Home of Magnolia EVERYTHING
Waco is a small town, which is surprising because Baylor University is just on the other side of the interstate. But it sure does have a lot of character!!
We spent two nights in Waco and, of course, spent most of it at Magnolia. Magnolia is the company that Joanna and Chip started in 2003 and they haven’t stopped expanding it since.
There is the Magnolia Silos, made up of their market (design/merchandise store), seed store, and bakery, which sits on a nice piece of land that with grass, outdoor games, and food trucks. There is also Magnolia Table, which is a diner a few miles away off the highway, where you can go to get the best meal in town (and I seriously mean that…be sure to check out Joanna’s cookbook!).
Beside the common tourist stops, there is Magnolia Reality, Magnolia Bed & Breakfast, as well as many of the shops that are featured in the show (i.e. Harp Design Co.).
We followed some advice online and got to the Magnolia Silos right when they opened. We got there around 7:30am and didn’t have to wait in a line at the bakery, so we sat outside and enjoyed our coffee and pastries until the shops opened. This also allowed us to walk around and take a lot of photos without very many photobombs.
We did some shopping afterward at The Findery, Harp Design Co., and GoodTimber Furnishings before going to Magnolia Table for lunch. It was a 2-hour wait when we got there, but they have a really good system set up so that not only do you get a text when your table is ready, they give you a link that has real-time updates. So we were able to leave and come back with confidence.
During our wait, we also checked out the grab&go store and I got some of the best coffee I have ever had!! An iced latte with lavender, YUM!
We spent the evening at the Wine Shoppe, talking with locals, before going to one of the worst dinners I have ever had (I don’t even want to tell you where it was), before heading back to our Airbnb.
The next day we checked out the Waco Downtown Market (happens every Saturday!) before stopping by Magnolia Silos for a quick goodbye as we headed out to Austin.
Austin, Texas: Keep Austin Weird
I guess the slogan “Keep Austin Weird” is due to the fact that the town doesn’t feel like it’s in Texas. As the location for the Texas Longhorns, it felt more like a hip college town. Which could explain why everyone was suggesting that we just drink and eat tacos the whole time.
During our two days at Texas, we still managed to go kayaking, exploring at the Zilker Botanical Gardens, and Swim at the Barton Springs, in between, well….drinking and eating tacos.
Overal it was a great trip! But if I had to do it all over again, I would have stayed another night in Waco 🙂
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