Seeking The Silos in Waco, Texas

Seeking The Silos in Waco, Texas

The Tin Can Travelers September 12, 2018 27 Comments

Have you ever heard of a little show on HGTV called the Fixer Upper? Well, millions of people have. And although I heard Chip and Joanna Gaines, the endearing couple that made the show such a hit, have moved on to other things, the one thing they didn’t forget about… is Waco. We have been long-time fans of Chip and Joanna Gaines, so selfishly, our only reason for visiting Waco was to check out the Magnolia Market at The Silos. Our visit wasn’t planned around sightseeing or learning anything about Waco’s history (shameful, I know, but true), it was simply to visit the place created by the people behind a show we used to watch all the time, and loved.

The Magnolia Market at The Silos is located at 601 Webster Ave. in Waco, TX. We arrived around 2:00 pm on a Saturday and found it almost impossible to find a parking spot, even with the huge (and I mean huge) lot designated for visitors. After driving up and down all the streets in the immediate area, we finally found a place to park a couple blocks away. There is a trolley to pick-up and drop-off visitors, but it wasn’t around when we parked so we didn’t know it existed until we arrived. I’m not sure we would have been able to hop-on, anyway, since we had Richey with us. No worries…a short walk up a couple of blocks and we were there. It was quite busy, but the twenty-minute drive around the neighborhood prepared us. The Magnolia Market at The Silos is obviously a very popular destination that draws-in a ton of visitors!

 

The first thing you notice when you arrive, and even before that, are the huge silos towering over the grounds. They tower over most of the neighborhood, for that matter. Even if you had to park much farther away than we did, you wouldn’t have a problem finding your destination… just walk in the direction of the silos! The next thing you might notice, at least we did, is the feeling of surprise to encounter such a happenin’ spot in the middle of what might otherwise be considered a less than lively area. I wonder how many cars would be on the streets if the Magnolia Market at The Silos didn’t exist. My guess is… not many. Nonetheless, it seems to be just what this little neighborhood needs.

The only entry way, which is located behind the bus/trolley in the above picture, will lead you to the front doors of the Magnolia store and the family (and dog) friendly grounds consisting of a grassy area for kids to play, food trucks serving up a variety of casual foods, and shaded picnic tables to either eat at or just relax. We saw kids kicking around a ball, people of all ages lounging in the beanbag chairs scattered about, and people walking through the area with their furry four-legged friends. And whether you’re coming or going, the entry way also seems to be the place people memorialize their visit with a photo, which the employees are more than happy take for you.

 

We were hungry when we got there and really wanted to stop into the bakery and grab a snack (Hakam LOVES bakeries), but the line was an hour-long and the employee we were talking to didn’t know anything about the menu, other than it was very limited. We weren’t willing to stand in such a long line without knowing what was on the menu, or at least that there would be a variety of baked goods to choose from! Well, Hakam would have, but I wasn’t going to. And even though there were food trucks on the premises, we didn’t see anything we wanted to eat. Even if we had, finding an empty space at a picnic table might have been a challenge.

The inside of the Magnolia store is nicely staged and very attractive, but it’s also a mad-house. I actually waited for a lot of the crowd to exit the store before I went in, but it was still never more than a matter of seconds before I was either saying “excuse me” to get around someone, getting bumped into, or moving to accommodate someone else. I would have liked to actually pick up the merchandise and check out the prices, but I grew annoyed with the intense atmosphere and chose instead to take my pictures and leave. Unfortunately, I can’t say that I saw anything in the store that I wouldn’t be able to find at a Pier 1, World Market, or something similar. If I’m being fair, though, I only walked around the store for about ten minutes before I waited in the bathroom line for thirty-minutes, and then left. I did appreciate the structure of the pitched-roof in another section of the store, but there was no air-conditioning so it was unbearable to be in. In short, my experience inside the store was not a good one, and only two words come to mind when trying to describe it… Cattle Drive!

 

Overall, the Magnolia Market at The Silos just wasn’t what we expected. I’m not sure exactly what we did expect, other than to fall in love with the place like we did with Chip and Joanna Gaines and the Fixer Upper, but what we didn’t expect is the over-commercialized experience we walked away with. We did like the silos, though! I will say this, whether you love or hate the place, I’m more than certain it has done wonders for the local economy.

Hakam and I always say… We’ll never know if we like a place until we go, right? So for that reason, we’re glad we went, but we couldn’t recommend anyone driving as far as we did (three hours) to reach the destination. Luckily, Waco had more in store for us and we didn’t even know it!

We Parted ways with Magnolia Market and grabbed a bite to eat at Hecho en Waco (included in our “Texas Restaurant Reviews” post), a Mexican restaurant within walking distance. It’s actually the only restaurant within walking distance, according to a Market employee. After dinner we walked the deserted streets snapping pictures of some interesting sites including the Dr. Pepper Museum, train tracks, and the Silos from afar, but there wasn’t much else to look at. We headed to our truck so we could drive into downtown Waco and look around a little before starting the long journey back to San Antonio.

Downtown is very small, with only a street or two of shops and restaurants, but very quaint, nevertheless. Not much was open (that we saw) other than a few restaurants, but the area was interesting enough to keep us rolling down the streets in search of something else. We stopped to admire the McLennan Court House and the ALICO building, which is the tallest building in Waco, and then drove a little more and saw the McLennan County Sheriff’s station, and later a cluster of eclectic shops.

And with that, and already much later than originally planned, we pointed our truck in the direction of the highway to head back to San Antonio. That is, until we saw…..

Indian Spring Park at The Waco Riverwalk

 

Only two minutes into our trip back to San Antonio, and we were already making a detour to check out this lovely green and hilly park we spotted on our way out. After a somewhat disappointing trip to the Magnolia Market at The Silos, we were desperate to find something that would justify our three-hour trip to Waco. We had a feeling Indian Springs Park at the Waco Riverwalk just might be what we were missing.

The Waco Riverwalk, which is accessible from various points throughout downtown Waco, stretches approximately seven miles along the banks of the Brazos River. Its lighted trails pass underneath several bridges including the iconic Waco Suspension Bridge, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It spans 475 feet and was built with steel and cables supplied by the John Roebling Co., which is the same company that designed and supervised the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge in New York. The Waco Suspension Bridge is undoubtedly the centerpiece of the Waco Riverwalk and certainly photo-worthy. We know we did not do it justice.

 

Even though the suspension bridge was easily seen as we approached the park, the first thing we were actually drawn to was the Peace Officer Memorial. It sits right up front, unobstructed, and is provided a backdrop of blue skies, nature, an iconic bridge, and several other uniquely beautiful bridges.

 

Although the Waco Suspension Bridge is the “star of the show”, and rightfully so considering its history and design, we got just as much joy from looking at and photographing the other bridges we either crossed over or passed under while walking along the trails.

 

The Waco Suspension Bridge is bordered by two parks: the Indian Springs park on the west side and the Martin Luther King Jr. park on the east. We happened upon Indian Springs. The park is green with lots of trees and flowers, plenty of picnic tables and benches throughout, stone walls that line the walking trails on one side, bridges and memorials, and impressive displays of public art sculptures everywhere, including the Branding the Brazos, a reminder of Waco’s early history.

There were many more sculptures to see and photograph, and quite a bit going on in the surrounding neighborhood, but we still had a long drive ahead of us so we had to get back on the road. This time, however, instead of being disappointed we drove three hours to visit a place that didn’t live up to our expectations, we were disappointed we didn’t have more time to explore the great area we accidentally discovered. If you’re ever in Waco, you should add Indian Springs Park to your itinerary.

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About The Tin Can Travelers

We are just an ordinary couple who traded in our old life for a new one. We quit our jobs, sold our house, and embarked on a journey to travel the U.S. in a tiny home. More importantly, we made the conscious decision to stop embracing things and start embracing life. We are learning to live more with less.

27 thoughts on “Seeking The Silos in Waco, Texas”

  1. Robin Carpenter says:

    I am SOOOOO jealous ! LOL My friends are playing a trip next year . Thanks for all the pictures. I m so excited for sure now. Robin (clerk) N Chas

    1. admin says:

      Hey Robin! Thanks for reading the post… we appreciate it! We were very excited to get to Waco and visit Magnolia Gardens at The Silos, but we mostly enjoyed visiting the Waco Suspension Bridge at the River Walk (Indian Springs Park). We’re jealous of you because you’re planning the trip and will probably allow yourself adequate time to check out the town. We didn’t, and wish we had! There’s more to that little town than first apparent. Have a blast and let us know what you thought of it. And if you like flan and eat at Hecho en Waco (right down the street from Magnolia Market), don’t split an order of the flan with anyone…. it’s too delicious to share! Take care and thanks for reaching out!

  2. The silos look cool from the outside but I’m not sure i would love them. I do think the river looks much more my speed. Either way if I ever end up in Waco I will likely check out both.

    1. admin says:

      Hey Lauren… People either seem to really like the appearance of the Silos, or not. I think it’s taste specific. Like you, the River Walk was much more our speed and we really enjoyed ourselves there. But like you said, if you’re ever in Waco….check them both out!

  3. Betsy Ball says:

    I lived 2 hours from Waco for 25 years and even worked there before Magnolia Market was “a thing.” Now, everyone absolutely LOVES going there. We had friends come visit from Maryland and they stopped at Magnolia Market before they came to see us! Thanks for your post — you have included wonderful pictures, throughout.

    1. admin says:

      Betsy… People certainly love the place! It was very busy when we visited – too busy for our taste. We had always wanted to visit because we used to watch the Fixer Upper (religiously), but we left there a little disappointed. We did, however, love visiting the iconic Waco Suspension Bridge at Indian Springs Park (Waco River Walk). We enjoyed the park in whole and wish we had allowed more time to explore the area. Thanks for reading the post and the compliment on the photos! It’s appreciated!

  4. Wow, this looks like a really fun place! Unbelievable. Lively, Maybe one day I will go and visit it.

    1. admin says:

      Peter… It was definitely lively – maybe too lively for our taste, but we always wanted to visit so we’re glad we finally did. We can check it off the list. If you’re ever in Waco, however, check out the iconic Waco Suspension Bridge at Indian Springs Park (Waco River Walk). It’s a beautiful structure with a lot of history to back it up. Thanks for reading our post…it’s certainly appreciated!

  5. Sadly I’ve never heard of this town before. However, after seeing your lovely pictures I’d love to visit one day.

    1. admin says:

      Miamigirlfoodie… Waco’s certainly not as large as San Antonio, Houston, Dallas or Austin, but it’s worth checking out if you’re close enough. There’s a lot more the city than first apparent. And while you’re there, you might as well check out the Magnolia Market at The Silos and definitely the iconic Waco Suspension Bridge at Indian Springs Park at the Waco River Walk. Thanks for checking out our post and please do visit our site again!

  6. Sanu Aulakh says:

    Wow. This is similar to what I have heard about Ree Drummonds’ Mercantile. It’s amazing what a popular tv show can do for a town

    1. admin says:

      Sanu… You are so correct! I’m more than sure the Magnolia Market at The Silos has created a big boost for the local economy. And although the place wasn’t really our “thing”, I can always appreciate that. Thanks for visiting our site, and please do visit again!

  7. All this pictures are so amazing. This place looks so inviting. Amazing post.

    1. admin says:

      Monidipa… Thanks for the compliment on the pictures and the post. Please do visit our site again!

  8. Erica says:

    I guess that is a better form of disappointment 🙂 I’d be interested to visit this place. Seems a lot of tourists enjoy!

  9. admin says:

    Erica… That’s funny, but so true! Although we were a little disappointed with the Magnolia Market at The Silos, we are still glad we went because we not only got to check it off “the list”, but it led us to the iconic Waco Suspension Bridge at Indian Springs Park (Waco River Walk). You are also correct in that lots of people seem to enjoy Magnolia Market… the place was very busy when we were there. If you’re ever in Waco, you should check out the Market and the Waco River Walk. Thanks for visiting our site and please do come back!

  10. I love the fact that you were still being positive despite the fact that the Magnolia Market at The Silos was not up to your expectation. It is so true that we’ll never know if we like a place until we got there. Like, everyone said that Paris is beautiful and romantic, but for me personally, it’s not a place that I would want to re-visit again anytime soon (not that it’s ugly though, it’s just – as you said – not like what I expected it to be). Thank you for sharing your experience!

  11. Katie says:

    This looks like a fun visit! I haven’t been here but hopefully we can stop by some day. Your pictures are beautiful!

  12. Looks like a fun visit. We have been dying to visit Magnolia’s, hope we can soon.

  13. Devyani Ray says:

    That looks wonderful. No wonder you fell in love with the place! It’s best to have no expectations sometimes.

  14. Oh wow! Judging by the photos this looks like such a wonderful place to visit. I know I’m gonna have a great time there.

  15. This looks like an amazing place. Your post is so beautifully written and very detailed. I’m so glad that read this wonderful post. It made me feel like I have take the trip right along with you. The details were so enthralling I enjoyed this so much.

  16. Arleene says:

    I love fixer upper! When I saw the episodes of them creating this space I freaked! I told my husband if we ever go to Texas it’s to go there! Lol I am jealous!

  17. Good you were optimistic despite the place not meeting your expectation. Seems good in pictures though

  18. Alaina Monster says:

    Looks like such a fun place to visit! I love their show too 😀

  19. Mommy Sigrid says:

    This is an interesting tour! Not the usual, which makes it a very unique kind of tour. Would love to bring the kids here and explore the history of these silos.

  20. Such a fun outing! I love learning about new places and Waco seems very interesting.

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