What to do in Waco, TX…besides The Mothership, Magnolia!

Hey, buddies!
If you’ve ever thought about making the trip to Waco, TX to see all things Magnolia but were wondering if there was anything ELSE to do to make the trip worth it, this post is for you!  A few IG buddies and I were invited by The Findery (more about this cutie spot in a bit!) to spend the weekend touring and experiencing Waco, and I was so pleased to see just how much there is to do above and beyond a trip to The Mothership….Magnolia!  😉  See below to check out recommendations of our stops, shops and a place to stay on your own Texas trip!

(The gals: CCNina, Theresa, Aly, me, Holly, Cecilia)

WHERE TO SHOP

1.MAGNOLIA MARKET

I mean, duh.  Of course you are in Waco to check out Farmhouse Disney Land, ie Magnolia Market, and it certainly was pretty cool to see it all in person finally!  We went during Spring at the Silos, and all my Instagram buddies I met while in Waco told me that it was not normally THAT busy…but it was always busy.  😉  Because of our time constraints, we gave up even trying to get inside the main Silo shopping area or the bakery, but I was honestly more interested in the vibe, the grounds, the buildings, the finishes…so exploring was way fun!  So many places for a cute photo op, and the food trucks and pop-up shops only added to the celebration vibes.  I heard from non-first-timers that if you want to experience Magnolia with a bit less crowd, try to come during the week as opposed to the weekend, skip the larger events (like Spring at the Silos) that draw larger crowds, or try to scoot in an hour or so before closing when people start to thin out.

 

2. THE FINDERY

Once you’ve had your fill of crowds at Magnolia, get a breath of fresh air inside of The Findery, a two-story-plus-warehouse establishment full of vintage treasures and farmhouse finds!  This isn’t your typical vintage shop, either: I loved the way they opted for open, airy arrangements rather than small booths, and they style their shop like the rooms of a home.  You can get so inspired just by taking a peek at how they put together spaces, and then boom: the items are there for your convenience!  Another thing I loved about this space was the mix of vintage and new with seamless styling and such unique pieces.  We were treated to an Instagram followers meet-and-greet at The Findery where I was able to hug the necks of many sweet IG buddies o’ mine, and then we were able to shop The Findery after hours and get all kinds of behind the scenes inspo and ideas!  Such a cool experience, and I think you guys would absolutely love this adorable shop!

3. HARP DESIGN CO.

One of our first stops was at Harp Design Co. after receiving a sweet invite from Kelly Harp to come after hours and tour their facility!  If you’ve watched “Fixer Upper” for awhile, you’ll recognize Kelly and her husband Clint Harp from their own fixer upper home episode, and Clint is Joanna’s creative carpenter on the show, too!  It was so interesting to get Kelly’s perspective on being on the show, the ins and outs of that experience, and…she and Clint are launching their own show pretty soon, too.  So cool!  (And, because I had to pee like a mo fo and Kelly was so sweet, I used the bathroom in the wood shop and got to take a peek at where all of Joanna’s creations are, well, created by Clint Harp and his team!  Ha!)  Be sure to stop by Harp Design Co. on your tour of Waco to experience this sweet shop!

 

WHERE TO STAY

GATHERING OAKS RETREAT

For our stay in the Waco area, our group of gals (and Mr. Cotton Stem 😉) stayed at the adorable Gathering Oaks Retreat!  I don’t know if there could be a more perfect place to stay for a noise-adverse person like me: you can have your own tiny cabin to stay in with no above/below/adjacent neighbors.  🙌🏻  It was the cutest!!  This place would be perfect to rent out for wedding parties, family reunions or girls’ trips to Waco (hint hint…invite Erin!  😉)  There is a main meeting cabin with a kitchen view that includes a peek at Chip and Jo’s stunner farmhouse just across the street.  I mean, we were basically neighbors all weekend, duh.  AND!  They have the cutest fire pit area where they treated us to a s’mores night under the stars and twinkly lights.  So much fun!  The team at Gathering Oaks Retreat went above and beyond to make our group feel comfortable and pampered during our stay, and I would highly recommend this unique and adorable place if you are planning to visit Waco!

WHERE TO EAT

1. MOROSO WOOD FIRED PIZZA

One of the yummiest meals we ate while in Waco, TX for our Instagrammer’s event was at Moroso’s, a wood fired pizza place with delish, authentic ingredients!  They brought out pizza after pizza with some of the most interesting and tasty toppings I’ve tried lately, and the service was so great.  Mr. Moroso came out to chat with us for a bit, and he was just as welcoming as the rest of the staff!  Order the San Daniele, a fave of our group!

 

2. WACO HIPPODROME THEATER

If you want a chance to explore downtown Waco, be sure to plan on eating a yummy brunch at the Waco Hippodrome, an historic theater-turned-eatery with so much history and detail!  The owners are expanding and creating open-air dining spaces that look out onto the streets of downtown Waco, and you can even dine while catching a show in the theater.  So cool!  I had the stuffed French toast with ricotta mousse and berries…YUM.

3. WAFFLE LOVE FOOD TRUCK

We attended Spring at the Silos while visiting Magnolia, and they lined the streets with food trucks of all different types…and boy am I glad we snagged a breakfast treat from Waffle Love to start our Magnolia adventure!  DELISH.  Hubs and I watched their season of “Food Truck Race” on Food Network, and we were excited to taste their fares in person.  I got the Nutella Love waffle with bananas and, well, my day was made at breakfast.  😍  If the Waffle Love truck is around while you’re in the area, don’t skip it!

 

TAKE AWAYS…

Overall, my first trip to Waco, TX did not disappoint!  From great eats and the cutest place to stay to finally visiting The Mothership (Magnolia) and discovering other adorable places to shop like The Findery, I’d say another trip down south needs to get on the books ASAP.  My biggest hold up in planning a trip to visit Magnolia Market was….what else is there to do?  And, you know what?  This trip certainly answered that question, filled up a weekend of fun and…the city left me wishing I’d had even more time to explore, eat and experience.  I’d say that’s a good take away, wouldn’t you?

Hopefully this little review of our Instagrammer’s weekend in Waco, TX was helpful to some of you who might be thinking about traveling to visit, and take my word for it…there’s so much to do after you’ve finished with Magnolia!  Anyone else been down there and have a rec for us?!
❤ ERIN

 

  1. Alicia

    March 22nd, 2018 at 4:02 pm

    If you go back, do Waco Tours. We did a girls trip in Sept and loved it. Would honestly do the tour again. It was a highlight of our trip.

  2. Erin | Cotton Stem

    March 22nd, 2018 at 5:02 pm

    Oh really, ok! Cool thanks for the tip!

  3. Merinda

    March 22nd, 2018 at 6:02 pm

    Love the Silos! I’ve been twice, but still didn’t know what else to do while I was there- this is a great post! We have family in the area (and by area I mean 1.5hrs away) so I definitely plan to go back. I have always went during the week and the crowd is very tame, so I definitely recommend. There’s also a few thrift shops that were fun to visit, and— next time, check out Good Timber Furnishings! Their store is dreamy, and they are so nice! (They’re on IG!)

  4. Liz

    March 22nd, 2018 at 6:03 pm

    I’ve been thinking about this trip for a while and wondered the same thing, what else is there besides Magnolia? I think this trip needs to be my birthday present! Turning 40 next month!
    Thank you for the tips!

  5. Roberta

    March 22nd, 2018 at 6:06 pm

    We visited WACO and The Silos in January 2015 on our way to Round Top TX to visit Junque Gypsies and Round Tops world famous antique vendors. We DID go into Magnolias and I have to say…once was enough! No desire to go back…felt like Pottery Barn and everything was faux vintage imports from China? No a single antique in the building. Was very disappointed 😞
    However we will go back to Round Top!!! We stayed at Rachael Ashwell’s “The Prairie” and it was amazing! Private cottages and a Lodge where gourmet breakfasts were cooked to order. Just awesome!

  6. Christa Carr ( Blondieon7)

    March 22nd, 2018 at 9:34 pm

    My & my hubby went to Waco & Magnolia around this time last year. If you go back, go to Homestead. It’s a lil bit outside of town, but it is so cool. They have a restaurant there where they cook organic, all natural meals. They make their own grains, furniture, grow their own herbs, vegetables. Basically it’s a self sufficient, sustainable community. They even teach classes on everything. We loved it. Also Waco has a great zoo ! It was the cutest, happiest zoo where the animals are really well cared for. Lastly, was the Mammoth museum. It was very cool. We would go back just to visit those places again.

  7. Sara

    March 22nd, 2018 at 9:38 pm

    Def hit up the bridge and toss tortillas and go see the bears on campus (they’re real bears….in the middle of campus! Ha!) and eat at ninfas and get coffee from common grounds and a sweet treat from heritage. Dr Pepper museum is fun and the mammoth museum is super fun as well. Breakfast at olive branch! Health club is great too. So much to do 😎

  8. Daniella and David

    March 22nd, 2018 at 10:41 pm

    To add to your list, we really like eating breakfast or lunch at Lula Janes. We also enjoy Homestead. For coffee we like Pinewood Roasters. Spice Village is always a good time and they have a list of “Where to Shop” of all local only shopping spots in the downtown area.

  9. Cherish

    March 23rd, 2018 at 8:58 am

    There are a ton of cute shops downtown and on Lasalle Ave. just a couple minutes away as well. Lots of cool places to eat. Stone Hearth, Magnolia Table, Health Camp (not actually healthy haha), and Hencho en Waco are just a few. If you’re feeling outdoorsy you can rent paddle boards or a kayak at Waco Paddle Comlany. Usually lots of live music downtown on the weekends as well. If you bring the kids, Cameron Park and Cameron Park Zoo are a fun treat. I’ve lived here for 3 years and grew up nearby. We love Waco! ❤️

  10. Renee Hathcox

    March 23rd, 2018 at 10:29 am

    Must do The Waco Tours. David the bachelor on Fixer Upper owns this tour group along with another guy from Fixer Upper. Wonderful 3 hour tour worth every penny. Got to see lots of Waco that we wouldn’t have without it. Takes you to Harp Designs and several Fixer Upper homes.

  11. Miriah Hoagland

    March 23rd, 2018 at 8:30 pm

    Erin was the place you stayed close to town? Looks so cute!!!

  12. Paula

    April 4th, 2018 at 10:23 am

    You’d probably enjoy Spice Village – a huge old brick warehouse-turned-multiple vendor/antiques/ new farmhouse decor/clothes/jewelry/a bit of everything. It’s downtown near the Brazos River on Franklin Ave – just a few blocks from the Silos. Olive Branch bakery/cafe on the ground floor. Also some neat antique shops in nearby McGregor, TX.

  13. Trish Washam

    April 4th, 2018 at 11:16 am

    Thank you so much for this post! We are visiting Waco this week and I used your post as a guide of what to do. 😊

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