When in Waco - Travel Guide
When my husband asked me how I would feel about a weekend getaway to Waco, Tx - I was all in. We love to travel, but with baby on the way won’t be planning any luxurious trips this year. But a weekend in Waco sounded perfect to me!
The timing was also fun because it landed right after my birthday, which is also on Valentine’s Day. We decided to drive because we wanted to have the car in the city and thought it would be good in case we made any big purchases. It’s a 9-hour drive from Kansas City, but on the way down we stopped in Oklahoma City to visit some of J’s family. The drive back is rough though!
things to do
We stayed at the Hilton in Waco for two nights (J is a Diamond Member due to work) and were pleasantly suprised that it was in walking distance to their Main Street and the Magnolia Market. It would’ve been fun to rent one of the Fixer Upper homes, but you would need a group to make it worth the cost (around $400 per night).
My must-visit spots included:
- Magnolia Market (obviously)
- Silos Baking Company (for cupcakes)
- Visiting a few antique shops
- And eating yummy food
We didn’t make any big plans and decided to forgo the tours only because they take 2-hours or more. And I’d much rather do my own thing!
favorite places visited
We walked all over Waco and ended up filling our days by hanging out at Magnolia Market, trying different restaurants, and browsing all the antique stores. There honestly isn’t a lot to do beyond the Silo’s, so the two-day trip was perfect to fit everything in, while still having time to relax - which is a priority for me being pregnant and all.
The places we loved the most:
- Magnolia Market - of course! It’s just as beautiful as you would imagine. Beyond the Silo’s, there’s the bakery, a Magnolia shop, open area for lounging and playing yard games, food trucks for any craving, and a few seasonal activities. Note: their furniture line isn’t sold at the shop, just home decor and accessories! Think signs, vases, faux flowers & greenery, dishware, etc.
- Spice Village - on our way to Magnolia Market, we stumbled upon this collective boutique filled with every kind of shop you can imagine! From big name brands, like Rifle Paper Co. to local shops, we spent over an hour browsing all the goods.
- Mary Avenue Market - this new Market is located a block away from a Magnolia Market and is a mini version with a few shops and restaurants. We stopped by to browse and I ended up finding the perfect maxi dress for summer at Fox & Gray, one of the shops.
- The Findery - not too far from Magnolia Market is a darling, two-story antique shop filled with more high-end Farmhouse inspired home decor and furnishings. It definitely has a Magnolia vibe, but more options!
- Junque in the Trunk - more off the beaten path (we had to drive to this shop), are several antique stores in a row. Some we’re interesting to say the least, but this one was filled with small decor to big furniture pieces.
Eats & Treats
Considering cocktails are off limits, we focused on finding the best eats & treats Waco had to offer, which proved to be more of a challenge than I would’ve liked. The first day, I craved Mexican food and thought there is no way any restaurant could disappoint. We ended up at the worst Mexican restaurant (won’t name names, but it’s located next to Spice Village). The truth is, Waco is small. So, there are not a ton of quality restaurants. However, there are LOTS of food trucks, which makes sense to serve the influx of visitors during weekends. I also found lots of treats to satisfy my ever growing sweet tooth. Here were the top spots:
- Silos Baking Co (aka the bakery at Magnolia Market): we went early on Saturday morning (around 7:30am)!and made it right as it was opening. Still, we had to wait 20 minutes or so to get inside! I picked the Shiplap & Strawberries and Cream cupcakes to try. J choose a savory cheese biscuit. The cupcakes are large and even after nibbling on them twice that day, I still could not finish either. We were so glad to have gone early because by the afternoon the line was several blocks down the street!
- Vitek’s BBQ - coming from Kansas City (best barbecue in my opinion), we wanted to try Texas style BBQ. This apparently is the best spot in Waco and has been around since 1915. Again, it’s off the beaten path and we had to drive there but it was worth it. Their barbecue is much more vinegar-y, but I loved the chopped brisket & slaw.
- Cheddar Box (Food Truck): Like I said, there are food trucks everywhere and several stay parked in Magnolia Market. We settled on Cheddar Box because it was a rainy day and grilled cheese & tomato soup sounded like a winning combo. The wait for the food truck was super long, so took awhile to get our soup & sandwiches, but was worth it. The homemade soup with fresh tomatoes and butternut squash was the real star of the show, perfect for dipping your sandwich!
- Pokey O’s - I was so excited to try their ice cream sandwiches! It’s a cute ice cream & cookie truck that visits one to two different locations in a day. You have to follow them on social media to see where they will be!
- Moroso Wood Fired Pizzeria - Pizza is one thing that I always love, and this restaurant had great reviews. Again, off the beaten path and located in an interesting old mall strip, but the food was worth it. The arugula salad and pesto pizza were so good!
Things to note about Waco
- It’s not very big. Beyond Magnolia Market and a few shops in the surrounding area, it’s hard to fill more than a weekend with fun activities, in my opinion. Unless visiting the Waco Zoo, Texas Ranger Museum or Dr. Pepper Museum are on your list of to-do’s!
- You can walk, a lot. We hit nearly 15,000 steps each day! So, definitely wear comfortable shoes. And bring a light jacket in case of weather changes. There isn’t a ton of coverage once at Magnolia Market.
- You will need a car. Especially if you want to check out the real antique shops and best restaurants. There aren’t as many options in walking distance on their Main Street.
- There aren’t many bars or a big nightlife scene, at least from what we saw. This obviously didn’t bother me being pregnant, but wouldn’t be a great spot if you like trying different spots for drinks.
- If you’re going for Magnolia Market, visit early! Especially on Saturday. The earlier visit made our trip because we could visit the bakery and get our shopping in before the crazy crowds hit in the afternoon. Plus, going early made for better photo opportunities!
That’s my review off Waco! Overall, it was the perfect weekend getaway for a mama-to-be. Loved getting some fresh air, walking around the city and gettting to explore Magnolia Market. But definitely would not stay longer than that!