Needing a complete Waco, Texas travel guide? I recently returned from a fun two days in this Texan city and am excited to share it all with you for your planning!
My first trip to Waco, Texas was back in October 2016 – almost a year to the day that Magnolia Market opened ;).
We made it a quick three hour stopover on our way from Dallas to Austin where we stayed for three nights that fall.
Magnolia Market has come A LONG WAY in the last 6 years (i.e. publish date of this travel guide ;)).
In fact, the entire city of Waco has so much to offer that it has truly become a fun place to spend a couple of days (if not more even).
Chip and Joanna Gaines (originally famous from the HGTV show Fixer Upper) have built this small Texan town into the amazing empire that it is and made it into an incredible and unique travel destination.
I have been asking my book club besties for years to go with me here because I think it is the perfect “slightly older” girls getaway city!
The group I went with in October 2021 was a group of fellow content creators that I have become friends with on Instagram ;).
In a rush?
A Complete Waco, Texas Travel Guide
- How to Get There
- Where to Stay
- Where to Eat
- What to Do
- Key Takeaways to Know Before Visiting Waco, Texas
How to Get There
For the three times I have been to Waco, Texas I have always flown into the Dallas Fort Worth International airport (DFW).
American Airlines has nonstop flights to Dallas from San Diego. In fact, because it is AA’s hub city – I would imagine there are quite a few nonstop flights from other cities to this airport.
Another airport in the area is Dallas Love Airfield (DAL) which is a Southwest Airlines hub. Again this provides for many nonstop flights to multiple US cities ;). Alaska Airlines and Delta also fly into this airport.
Dallas is about 110 miles north of Waco, Texas and is honestly worthy of a one or two night stay if you have the time!
We enjoyed exploring the locations of JFK’s assassination and some really good BBQ on our one night stay back in 2016.
Where to Stay
I have not stayed at this property but it looks like an amazing place to stay within walking distance of the Silos.
It is a good place to stay if you do not want to use VRBO or Airbnb…
There are so many more quaint places to stay in Waco than this Hilton.
However, if you have points for a free stay – this is a large chain option that is right across the street from Spice Village (mentioned below).
Or if you are in town for a conference at the Waco Conference Center, this Hilton is right next door.
And is where I stayed for the conference I attended in Oct 2022 ;).
The rooms are a nice size as well as clean – as to be expected from the Hilton chain ;).
The perfect option on Airbnb that sleeps 8.
My girls weekend group in 2021 was too big to stay here but since I am friends with Leslie (the owner), I was able to coordinate a tour for our group.
Unfortunately, the property we stayed at is no longer being rented out (otherwise – I would 100% recommend it for a larger 12+ group ;0).
But let me just say – I absolutely hope to stay here someday!
Another list of properties that I would be so excited to sleep in during another stay in Waco ;).
The owner of these pristine properties has three options that vary in size from accommodating 6 people to 10-12.
Photos courtesy of Havencraftwaco.com
Another beauty that has 3 bedrooms and sleeps 8!
Oh and is also an actual Fixer Upper Show home ;).
I.E. – this one books up quick!
Well technically they all book up quick so hopefully you are planning ahead for this trip ;).
The Morrow House blog also has some great travel tips for your time in Waco (if you don’t find what you are looking for here of course ;0).
Photo courtesy of TheMorrowHome.com
As you can see – the best places to stay in Waco are actually VRBO/Airbnb’s ;).
This one is literally one block from the Silos and has 3 bedrooms (sleeps 8).
Where to Eat
Probably some of the best biscuits I have ever had in my life… no joke…
Reservations are only available one month in advance for a group of 6 or less.
But if you have more than that – do not fret! This place is worth the wait- which honestly goes faster than you think.
Our wait for our group of 13 was less than an hour in a covered patio with water and tables ;).
Even if the line to the bakery goes around the corner to the Silos – wait!
That’s how long our line was and while I didn’t pay super close attention – I am pretty sure we were in the bakery in less than 25 minutes from when we got in the line :).
And holy toledo – I dream of Joanna’s cupcakes now…
I have eaten at this food truck park a few times now and every time think – wow how are there so many good food vendors in this tiny Texan town?
You will find everything here – from Magnolia Table biscuits at the Concession stand to grilled cheese to homemade pies to sweet tea!!
Yup – don’t really need the rest of the where to eat in Waco list now do you?
Except that the entire Magnolia Markets grounds are CLOSED ON SUNDAYS.
So be sure to take that into account when you are planning your dates!!
A local friend recommended this Southern chain and I must say – it was delicious!
If you have read any of my travel guide posts, you know I love food halls!!
While the reason for that may or may not be due to my ridiculously limited (ahem picky) pallet, I have found they are the best choice when I travel with others so that my pickiness does not affect them ;).
This food hall was perfect – and a dang good photo op too I might add…
I personally have not eaten here yet – but I know I am returning to Waco in Fall 2023 and will make sure this restaurant is on my itinerary.
It is listed on pretty much every “Best Restaurant in Waco” list I have found…
Photo courtesy of Miloallday.com
Y’all probably know Texas is synonymous with BBQ – so more than one BBQ joint on this list should not be a surprise…
Haven’t been to this one yet either – but based on the photos online, I am guessing this is some serious local fare!!
Photo courtesy of Jaspers-bbq.com
A steakhouse a little out of the city but presumably the best steak in town (and one of the nicer/pricier restaurants in the area too!).
Can you ever go wrong with tacos and margaritas???
Photo courtesy of Waco Tribune-Herald
Another great casual place for tacos, nachos, and margaritas!
And it’s location next to Spice Village (and Hilton Waco) is ideal!
Photos courtesty of Ninfa’s Waco website
What to Do
You definitely could spend a few hours just wandering these grounds.
And that is if you don’t end up finding people to play softball with on their game field 😂.
There are also a million and one photo ops on these grounds!!
Not to miss is the Old Church on the grounds.
In 2017, Chip and Joanna Gaines purchased the church in its original location, moved it to the Silos property and renovated it to be a place for quiet (and AC) at the Market ;).
The original Magnolia Market is located a short drive away from the Silos.
You will find discounted, slightly damaged items at Joanna’s original shop location…
Some people venture to say they like the shopping options at The Findery better than at Magnolia Market.
I personally love both A LOT!
All three times I have visited have been in late September or early October.
And each time, The Findery already has their Christmas inventory out.
WHICH IS AWESOME in my eyes! Especially because by the time October rolls around – my brain is 100% thinking of what I want to do for my holiday decor ;).
Looking for vintage bread bowls, furniture, old windows/doors, and/or bread boards?
Junque in the Trunk is your place!
And the prices are truly amazing…
A little bit of EVERYTHING can be found at Spice Village…
Candles, clothes. home decor, Baylor apparel – you name it – it’s here!
More vintage finds (imagine that!)…
Photo courtesy of Rustiko Facebook page
While I have not actually been to this Joanna Gaines’ famous shop – it is still on my return to Waco to do list!!
I would love to see some of his woodwork in person – especially his tables!
Photo courtesy of TripAdvisor
A great shop if you love to host and entertain guests.
Local pottery is a focus at this carefully curated shop…
Photo courtesy of Gather Waco Facebook
Key Takeaways to Know Before Visiting Waco, Texas
- The Magnolia Market grounds as well as many other shops in the area are closed on Sundays
- Saturday’s are notoriously busy at Magnolia Market – try to plan your trip for early mornings midweek to avoid crowds
- Getting there early will also help you with the parking situation… as of Nov 2022, there is no official parking lot for Magnolia Market but there is plenty of street parking and lots around the area
- Get the biscuits with strawberry butter at either Magnolia Table or the Concession stand by the ballpark on the grounds
- Most shops in the area will ship to your home sometimes even for free above a purchase of a certain dollar amount – be sure to ask!
- Baylor University is also in town – be aware of freshman move in dates, home football games, and graduation weekends when planning your visit! Those dates can really put a kink into your dining, sleeping, shopping plans ;0
- Waco can be the perfect place to spend a day in between a drive from Dallas to Austin (which is a super fun destination in and of itself!).
- Depending on when you visit – Texas can get HOT! Plan accordingly – every time I have been there in late Sept/early Oct the temps have been in the mid 90’s! And from what I have heard – temps during their summer months are quite a bit higher than that…
- Have fun in the land of Chip and Joanna (and forget about that scandal that originally put Waco, Texas on the map… ahem Branch Davidians cult anyone?? 😬)
I hope you found my complete Waco, Texas travel guide helpful in planning your fun getaway in what I believe is the motherland of farmhouse home interiors :).
Even if you are not that into farmhouse or vintage – this destination is a great place for a girls weekend.
And will probably be one of the best cupcakes you will ever have ;)!
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Have a wonderful day my friend! I hope something makes you smile today ;).