Friday, May 11, 2018

Visiting Magnolia Market at the Silos in Waco Texas: Logistics

Visiting Magnolia Market at the Silos


Fly into Dallas, rent a car and drive 1.5 hours to Waco.
I met my cousin outside the Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) airport baggage claim. She arrived by plane a few hours earlier and had taken the shuttle to pick up a rental car for us. She waited at a Starbucks nearby until I texted her that I'd landed. When I had my bag and was ready to leave, she pulled up to the baggage area and we were off.

*Tip: There are several airports in Dallas, make sure everyone is booking a ticket to the same airport.

Driving from Dallas to Waco:
Eat in Dallas before you head to Waco.
Dallas/Fort Worth is huge and you'll be excited to drive to Waco. You can find something to eat much easier before you get on the road. 
My husband has family in Texas and I really like Chuy's Tex-Mex. We drove to this location in Arlington, TX so that we were heading south. We laughed, strategized and enjoyed guacamole/chips and fajitas.

We drove I-35W South for the majority of the trip and it's an easy drive.
*Tip: We like the Waze app for directions, which will tell you of hazards ahead etc. If they offer a 2 minute reroute, take it. We didn't think a 2 min reroute made sense so we ignored it. What it meant was that there was an accident ahead and they were trying to have us get off the highway for 2 min to skip and then reenter the highway after the problem. Instead we were in a slowdown that added 30 min to our trip. Lesson learned.  

Reserving a Hotel in Waco:
We stayed at the Fairfield Inn and Suites on Woodway Drive in Waco. It was just what we needed: clean and air conditioned rooms, free breakfast so we could get to Silos without delay, easy access to the highway, safe parking. 

Waco, Texas is big. We were surprised by the scale of the city and the huge highway running through town. Everything was much bigger than we expected. The bustling part of the city is not cozy or charming. The highway and "feeder road" was a bit of a challenge for us. Pay attention to what lane you're in and whether it is a "turn only" lane that heads back under the overpass. You'll get the hang of it, but give your driver a break and don't distract her on her first trip to the hotel, the Silos and back. For example, after exiting the highway, we missed the driveway into our hotel every time! The 7-11 (handy to pick up bottled water and snacks) next door shares a driveway with the Fairfield Inn and always threw us off.

There is a large free parking lot on the South side of the Magnolia Market/Siols property, behind the row of food trucks. There is also street parking and other lots that seemed to charge $10. I didn't hear anyone complain about parking or access so I assume other visitors had luck finding a place, just as we did. (*Note: I didn't hear anyone complain about anything the entire trip. Good job, Chip & Jo!)

Our visit was the Monday/Tuesday after the Sunday "Marathon at the Silos" and we were expecting huge crowds hanging around after the big event. The store was busy, but there was no line to enter at 9 am. The bakery line at 12:30 took about 30 min outside and 5-10 min inside. The Magnolia Table line (Tuesday morning at 9 am) took 30 min to put our name in and 15 min after that to get a private table for 2.

It's hot in Texas and at 95 degrees, it was unseasonably warm when we were there May 6-9. My Pacific Northwest self was used to 58 degrees and it felt very hot to me. Take advantage of the shade! There are covered picnic benches on the stage of the Silos. There are super cute black & white striped awnings over
many picnic tables on the lawn. The main store is air conditioned as well as the bakery. There is a free cold water bottle fill station on the grounds near the Silo stage. (What a smart idea!) as well as cold bottled Magnolia water for sale for $1.50.

*Suggestion: I would love for them to sell cups of ice for a nominal amount on the property. Drinks go warm quickly and a cold drink is better.

On the lawn area off to the side near the barn store exit, there is a separate building that's a multi-stall bathroom. I don't know if it is air conditioned inside, but the line for it is in the sun. I opted to wait in line inside the main store (air conditioned) for the 2 larger individual bathrooms that were air-conditioned. The wait was never more than 20 min and I was always glad for the chance to admire the displays while in line. There is also a 1-person air conditioned bathroom inside the bakery. After waiting in line outside, be sure to take advantage of this cute and handy bathroom.

We flew into Dallas in the afternoon. Ate an early dinner at Chuy's and were at our hotel in Waco by 7:30 pm. We unpacked and talked endlessly about what we thought it would be like. We were up and out of the hotel and at the Silos (10 min drive?) by 8:45 am. We spent the first day there. We made a 7 pm reservation for dinner at Diamond Back's and it was perfect (more on that later). We drove back to Magnolia Market to look around and take pictures of the Silos lit up. We knew it would be closed, but noticed that they certainly could have been open as people did arrive to check things out just as we did. We were in line the next day at Magnolia Table at 9 am. It took about 30 min to get through the line to put our name in. After that we had coffee in the courtyard until they texted us that our table was ready, maybe 15 more minutes. We got a darling table and loved our breakfast. We headed back to the hotel to shower, pack and check out. Then we went to Magnolia Market at the Silos for a last bit of shopping and picture taking. Then we drove around Waco and found Clint's shop, the Magnolia shop on Bosque and a beautiful retail home store called The Findery. Then we had coffee at Common Grounds, ate a late lunch/early dinner at George's (not recommended for a girl's trip), drove through Baylor's college campus and then left for Dallas at 6:45 pm hoping that we missed the rush hour traffic. We did and the trip to our airport hotel was smooth. We spent the night and both had flights around noon the next day. It was like clockwork! Don't shortchange yourself. If you're going all that way, don't schedule your flight out of Dallas the 2nd night, it's too tight.

Okay, I will gush and share the details tomorrow, but I wanted to get the logistics down for you. Hope it helps you have a wonderful trip to Magnolia Market at the Silos in Waco, Texas!

Read about getting cupcakes here.
Read about shopping at Magnolia Market here.

#magnoliamarket #magnolia #milestomagnolia #wacotx #chipandjo #chipgaines #joannagaines #girlstrip #thesilos #magnoliamarketsilos

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