It was my Mum who introduced us to Fixer Upper.
She watched it with the girls when minding them once and they excitedly told us about this lady who designed beautiful homes.
As we prepared to move over to the US from Australia we’d visit Mum and Dad each week for dinner and a Fixer Upper catch up.
We’d laugh at Chip and wow at Joanna’s modern and elegant design skills.
“I want her to do our house one day … when we get one.”
Thankfully, Qantas flies direct to Dallas, so when I planned our one month road trip with my parents, I told them to fly into Dallas so we could visit Magnolia Markets in Waco Texas and follow the Fixer Upper and Chip and Jo story.
Waco TX is between Dallas and San Antonio, which we planned to visit to fulfill my Dad’s dream of visiting the Alamo. And then close to San Antonio is the Hill Country which I’ve always wanted to visit.
We left Dallas just after 6 am in the morning so we could arrive early, beat the crowds, and fit in as much as we could.
We wanted to start our day at Magnolia Table in the remodeled Elite Café, which Chip and Jo only opened two months ago.
One day at Magnolia Market and Fixer Upper in Waco Tx
In case you do not know anything about Magnolia Market, The Silos, Magnolia Table and Fixer Upper, it is an extremely popular renovation show on HGTV.
Chip and Joanna Gaines are a married couple from Waco Texas who take the worst house in the best street and turn it into their dream home for their clients.
Chip is the demo guy and the builder. Jo is the extraordinary designer.
Together they make a great team and are super cute, sweet and funny.
Although they had their own renovation and design business before Fixer Upper, the show has elevated them to celebrity status and they now have a Magnolia Empire that consists of their own home furnishing line, a bakery, restaurants, a magazine and best selling books.
Waco Texas is where Chip and Jo live and is the setting for the show Fixer Upper.
They have helped put Waco back on the map. It is no longer THAT place you heard about many years ago with the cult madness.
We only had half a day to spend in Waco Texas following the Fixer Upper Trail. And we only visited for that purpose but would love to come back and explore the many fun things to do in Waco beyond Fixer Upper and Magnolia Markets.
We enjoyed it’s young hipster modern vibe.
Magnolia Table, Waco Texas
“I think that’s the best bacon I’ve ever had” I said after my first bite.
Dad didn’t waste much time eating his after that.
“Oh that’ is really good. I think that’s the best bacon I’ve had in a decade.”
We don’t know what they did to it, but it was sensational.
The perfect mix of salt, fat, and subtle smokiness. The sausage was equally delicious: made in house and is flavorful and moist, but not too oily.
And you know how much we love our lattes. Magnolia Table served up creamy coffee that perfectly balanced the flavors. It was one of the most Australian tasting coffees we’ve had in the US. Because we know Australia does them best! 🙂
All the food at Magnolia Table is sourced locally, and you can tell.
The signature dish at Magnolia Table are Jo’s Tater Tots sprinkled with chives and parmesan cheese. Although it may not look like it, the breakfast is filling.
When we left we agreed that it was one of the best breakfasts we’d ever had.
Magnolia Table has been touched by the Chip and Jo effect – farmhouse style, sprinkled with class and sophistication.
Every element is designed with intention – how does it help create the mood and tell the brand story – even down to the wooden pencils and coloring sheets that come with the kids menu.
Signs in that elegant black and white typography remind you that you are welcome,
“Where everyone has a seat at the table.”
There’s an emphasis on community at Magnolia Table.
The ‘good ole days’ where people gathered around the table for conversation and hearty, yet delicious meals made with love from the garden.
A circled message on the menu invites you to leave your phones in the leather pouches hanging up on the wall beside the table.
The conversations flowed for us, particularly with the staff. The staff were enthusiastic and authentic in their engagement and spent time talking with us.
It was a delightful way to start our day in Waco Texas and indicative of the kind of people Chip and Jo are.
We fell even more in love with this Fixer Upper dynamic duo and so inspired by their innovative and visionary spirit.
(A couple of nights ago we watched the renovation of the Elite Cafe into Magnolia Table on Fixer upper Season 5. It was so cool to see its transformation knowing we had been part of the finished product! )
Magnolia Table is at 2132 S Valley Mills Dr, Waco, TX 76706
Open 6 am – 3 pm daily. (Further tips on visiting Magnolia Table below.)
The Silos, Waco Texas
The Silos represent what great visionaries Chip and Jo are.
If you watch Fixer Upper, you would have seen the transformation of the the run down silos into an entertainment and retail space.
At the moment, there is nothing in the Silos; the attractions are built around it on the block of land.
According to a police officer securing the property, Chip plans to turn the inside of the Silos into a man cave so he can offer something to his male Fixer Upper and Magnolia fans.
I was surprised by the number of men wandering around looking like they were having a fantastic time – my Dad included!
Surrounding the Silos is a wide open green space. Jo has added her small touches to it, with a section for games and a container filed with soccer balls and corn hole equipment.
You’re invited to play and pack up after yourself when you’re done. Corn hole is one of Savannah’s favorite games so we played it for awhile.
Once again, the objective is to bring families and friends together experiencing good ole fun.
There’s also a space off the green grass with picnic tables and swinging chairs.
If you arrive early you’ll more than likely get a chance to sit in it and enjoy the ambience. If you’re hungry, the perimeter of the Silos are a number of food trucks offering a variety of options.
At the back of the Silo is a garden to wander through with a small log cabin to purchase seeds.
I hope you can replicate something similar at home. I’m dreaming of it when I finally get a home … one day.
Jo and Chip have inspired me to maybe move in that direction.
For now, we were happy smelling the flowers, drinking water from the old horse trough and then sitting on the wooden mushroom logs in the old naked tipi.
Jo’s cupcakes are legendary.
So much so that queues can be over two hours long. Thankfully we only had a five minute wait.
Magnolia Bakery is organized with efficiency and bright smile. Minute considered details makes all the difference in the Magnolia world.
As you join the Magnolia Bakery queue, you’re handed an order sheet to make the process flow. By the time you reach the front of the queue you are ready to pay and collect.
The girl’s cupcakes were light and fluffy. If you are a cupcake lover, you’ll be happy to wait for these.
My only disappointment was there were no gluten free cupcakes. There were gluten free cookies, but I don’t like cookies. My mouth watered and my eyes cried looking at those cupcakes.
The bakery building is worth looking at without the cupcakes.
The European inspired design feels like you’ve stepped over into France. It’s minimalistic and inviting and has gorgeous views of the Silos in the background.
There’s a small garden area to the side for you to rest and eat. Try to nab the wooden stools under the sign for a great photo opportunity.
And in between the bakery and the silos is this great hashtag photo opportunity for your Instagram.
I love the girls in this one.
Magnolia Market at the Silos
When I finally get my own place, I’m driving to Magnolia Market to buy all the furnishings. I might just bring back Jo with me to put it altogether!!
What a wonderful store the Magnolia Market is. It’s filled with the style and essence of Jo.
Chip’s essence is not ignored either. He has his own section dedicated to the men called Chip’s Corner.
I generally don’t have patience to shop, but I loved browsing through all the homeware pieces in the store.
It’s the kind of home décor you’ve seen on the show and ranges from kitchen items to rugs and wallpaper.
The steel wall plaques on display by Jimmy Don were the most eye catching pieces in the store for me.
There are also T-shirts and hats in the store with the Magnolia Table. I couldn’t help but pick up a tank I have admired Jo wearing many times on the show.
And my sweet girls plotted together to buy me a beautiful notebook and sweet smelling Magnolia candle for Mother’s Day. It made my day.
Other Fixer Upper Locations
Harp Design Co
Everyone knows Clint Harp from Fixer Upper. He creates feature woodwork pieces for the homes Chip and Jo renovate.
He has his own store and workshop in Waco Texas. He also now has his own DIY TV Show!!
I love seeing how Fixer Upper has helped so many other people thrive in their own business. What a wonderful story and positive ripple.
Next door to Harper Design is Clint’s House, which was also renovated on the show on season one, episode 11.
You can take pictures and admire the featured door, which Clint made. It’s eye catching.
Clint has turned this into a Bed and Breakfast you can rent when you visit Waco Texas.
We picked up a beautiful map from Harper Design with the words Wander written over the top. And a wooden heart shaped bowl for Savannah.
822 North 15th Street, Waco
Magnolia House is the Bed and Breakfast Chip and Jo renovated in season three of Fixer Upper.
It’s about a 20 minute drive south west of Waco Texas in the downtown McGregor area.
We stopped in on our way down to San Antonio. We were surprised by how small the block of land is compared to what it looks like on TV.
You also see the Carriage House down the back that was fixed up on the show for the managers of Magnolia House.
It’s a charming home. You can rent it out, but is usually booked months, if not a year in advance.
Apparently it’s okay to pop over and take a few photos!
323 South Madison Ave, McGregor TX
You can also visit Jimmy Don’s workshop, who does all the metalwork designs for the show.
It’s located about 20 miles west of Waco so was too far of a diversion for us.
9685 North Lonestar Parkway, Crawford TX
The Brazos River
Wander over the the pedestrian Waco Suspension Bridge which spans the Brazos River, the longest river in Texas.
You’ll see the bridge and river in many of the B-Roll shots of Fixer Upper.
But, the bridge has a story of its own.
It was part of the Chisholm Trail, a trade route trod by millions of heads of cattle in the 19th century. On the northern shore of the bridge near Indian Spring Park, is a herd of larger than life bronze cattle sculpture.
If you feel the braided steel cables and stout brick tower look familiar, then cast your minds eye towards the Brooklyn Bridge.
The cables were furnished by John A. Roebling from New York, who built the Brooklyn Bridge.
There are a few food trucks scattered around the foreshore of the river.
Other things to do in Waco, Tx
Unfortunately, we only had half a day so didn’t have time to explore the other things to do in Waco, Tx that doesn’t involve Fixer Upper.
Waco has definitely been transformed because of Chip and Jo and Fixer Upper.
It’s wonderful to see and look at how many local people have been employed and the spill over effect for other local businesses.
Waco is a vibrant thriving area with a lot of cool things to offer. We’d love to return and explore more.
Common Grounds is a café that Jo has visited before on the show.
It is in the Baylor University area and was full of students on lap tops studying for their final exams.
The Cowboy Coffee is Jo’s favorite and made famous because of the show. I’m not sure what it is. It has a secret sauce and is labelled as sweet so I stayed away from it.
I like my coffees strong and bitter – no sweetener allowed.
There’s a lovely outside seating area, a small porch in the front and plenty of comfy couches inside.
There’s a backyard stage turning it into an indie concert venue.
Next door to Common Grounds, is an independently owned and locally operated ice cream store, Heritage Creamery.
Everything is 100% all-natural and made in their shop using fresh, top-of-the-line ingredients with no additives or preservatives.
We popped in there to grab the girls an ice cream while we sat in the back garden of common grounds enjoying a coffee.
Tips for visiting Magnolia Table, Magnolia Market at the Silos and the Fixer Upper Story
- Arrive early. Magnolia Table, especially on the weekend, can have up to 4 hour wait times. The restaurant opens at 6am. I’d arrive not long after that.
- After breakfast at Magnolia Table, head straight to the Silos and Magnolia Bakery which can also have lines up to two hours long.
- Start lining up for the bakery immediately. You can easily wander around the Silos and Magnolia Market at any time.
- If you’re afraid of the traffic circle out the front of Magnolia Market, come off the I 35 and turn onto the frontage road – check name – and enter the parking lot from the back entrance.
- There are plenty of warnings about the traffic circle out the front (roundabouts) We have them everywhere in Australia, so we weren’t worried about it. American’s aren’t that used to them so often don’t know how to drive on them! There are warnings not to try and cross it on feet if you park outside of Magnolia Table.
- Parking is limited at Magnolia Table, another good reason to arrive early. You can take the free LaSalle Circle Shuttle bus from the Silos to Magnolia Table. It runs every 30 minutes or so from 9am to 6pm, Monday through Saturday. That way, you can park once and still visit Magnolia Table.
- While you are waiting for your table at Magnolia Table, take your photos and visit the gift shop.
- You will get a text when your table is ready, so have a phone with you. It comes in handy if you do have a four hour wait. You can go into Waco and visit the Silos while you wait.
- Wednesday is the quietest day at Magnolia Table and the Silos in Waco Texas.
- Everything looks smaller than what you see on TV. So be prepared. I thought the Silo area looked much bigger on TV with less around it. Same too with Magnolia House. We were expecting it to be on a large block of land.
- You can stay in a number of the Fixer Upper homes that have been converted into B&B’s
- Bring your camera. Capture the beauty of Chip and Jo’s designs, the delicious food, and Silo Selfies.
- You might want to read some of the Magnolia stories before you visit:
They are on my reading list. I am subscribed to the quarterly Magnolia Journal which I love. Mum now has my stack to take home to her.
Bonus Video sharing the top 10 Things to explore on the Fixer Upper Trail
Planning a Trip to Waco Texas
Booking Accommodation in Waco, Texas
- Booking.com has over 43 properties in Waco Texas You get free cancellation on most rooms and a best price guarantee.
- There are plenty of elegant homes for rent in Waco on Airbnb. Click here to search available properties.
Booking Flights to Waco, Tx
- Skyscanner is a comparison website that searches millions of flights. Once you find your best deal, book directly through the airline (no extra fees).
Booking Car Rental to Waco, Tx
- RentalCars.com is the world’s biggest car rental booking service that compares all the major brands like Hertz, Avis, Alamo, and Europcar. Book your car rental to Waco here