If any of you are thinking about a trip to Waco, go! I took a trip with my mom and sisters to see the capital city of all things Fixer Upper, and we were not disappointed.
Here are a few must-sees if you make it to Chip and Jo’s neck of the woods:
>> Sweetness Desserts: This is the shop feeding Joanna’s cupcake obsession, and according to one Sweetness employee, the owner Laura was hired as manager for Magnolia Flour at the Silos. The shop is small and has weird Saturday hours, but Italian Cream was good, and so were So Berry Good and Coconutty. Address is 2034 North Valley Mills Drive.
>> Magnolia Market (obviously): The shop is filled to the brim with the kind of décor Jo has made famous on her show—lots of distressing, lots of wood and metal, lots of faux flowers, lots of pretty dishware, and lots of large signs.
One of my favorite things was that the merchandise was displayed on different types of farm tables, rather than stocked on typical shelves. Each table looked like Clint Hart could have made it.
Also, this “shop” is huge—two levels with two separate places to pay. Look for Chip and Jo’s handprints in the concrete counter on the upper level.
One of the very best ideas at the Silos is the turf outside Magnolia Market. It’s a huge area ideal for dads to play with kids while moms shop. They’ve got yard games like cornhole and gigantic Jenga available for the taking, not to mention beanbag chairs for those feeling a little lazy. Food trucks are parked around the yard with good stuff like grilled cheese and savory crepes, so dads are fed, moms are happy, and kids are entertained.
If you can time it, go on a day with questionable weather; the employees told us there’s been a two-hour wait just to get in the Magnolia Market door, but on the overcast day we went, we breezed right in and stayed a long while without fighting crowds to see the wares. I’m not a big shopper, but I spent $200 without even blinking.
Fun fact: What’s inside the silos themselves? Nothing right now (well, there’s probably something in there, but they aren’t open to the public. We were told plans for the actual silos might show up in a later stage of the Silos project.
>> Historic homes of Waco: It doesn’t take long to find the historic neighborhoods in Waco, and they are full of what would have been mansions back in the day. Some are in great shape; others not so much. I’m hopeful that Chip and Jo will tackle some of those beauties in future seasons.
Downtown we also found Clint’s house (though I read he’s moved) and his shop right next door.
>> Chip and Jo’s house: I’m ashamed to admit it, but with the help of a gas-station attendant, we were able to find Chip and Jo’s farmhouse. The Magnolia Farm sign Chip gave Jo a few seasons back is gone, and there’s a metal gate requiring a code to access their drive. That must mean fans have gotten a little out of hand, so we left quickly. But the house is lovely and so is their barn and herd of longhorns.
>> The Salt Lick: We went to Waco by way of St. Antonio, so on the way home, we stopped at the Salt Lick in Austin, highly recommended by my brother. And it did not disappoint. Skip the brisket and just order the pulled-pork sandwich piled high with coleslaw. This thing was as big as my head, and I pounded it like any real woman would.
Joanna’s style is not my own, but you gotta respect someone with strong design sense AND sense of self—not to mention she saves old houses, works hard, and adores her family. Chip is fun, but Joanna is inspiring.
Questions as you plan your Waco trip? Let me know! •