Waco, ‘Fixer Upper,’ and visiting my hometown in Texas: Southern Yankee

Central Penn Parent Staff//January 6, 2017

Waco, ‘Fixer Upper,’ and visiting my hometown in Texas: Southern Yankee

Central Penn Parent Staff//January 6, 2017

The new year is upon us and that means many of us have made a few resolutions, some that we’ll keep and some we’ve already broken. One of my resolutions this year is to become a better home improvement aficionado, since neither my husband or myself are very handy when it comes to home improvements.

Home improvement shows seem to be all the rage and everyone has their favorite program. One of the widely popular home improvement TV shows has been “Fixer Upper” with Chip and Joanna Gaines of Waco, Texas – my hometown! Wouldn’t it be fun to make a New Year’s resolution to travel to the great State of Texas and visit Chip and Joanna in Waco?

Magnolia Market (from City of Waco website) Magnolia Market (Photos from City of Waco website)

When packing for your trip to Texas, there are a few things you’ll want to leave behind.

First, you’ll need to leave behind the “yous, you-ens, yous guys” and any other plural form of you that doesn’t start or end with “y’all.” Second, ya might consider leaving behind the heavy coats if traveling to Texas during the winter. And when I say “winter,” I mean “January 1st to January 31”—yes, winter is very short in Central Texas. In fact, my parents told me that this past Christmas Day, the temperature was in the 70s with the AC running. Lastly, you’ll want to leave behind your spurs; it’s a common misconception that everyone in Texas rides a horse.

Dr. Pepper Museum Dr. Pepper Museum

Waco is a large city with a population of over 130,000 residents, but has a small hometown feel. Your Texas destination trip to Waco should include some well know sites, such as the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame, the Waco Mammoth National Monument and recently preserved woolly mammoth, the Magnolia Market at the Silos (owned and operated by Chip and Joanna Gaines), the Dr. Pepper Museum (Waco is the home of Dr. Pepper), and you can make a drive past the Crawford Ranch aka “The Western White House”—the popular living space for former president George W. and Laura Bush.


Waco Mammoth National Monument

Waco Mammoth National Monument

In Waco, you’ll have plenty of choices for great places to rest your bones and hang your spurs—well, maybe not your spurs, since I said you should leave them at home.

If you are a true follower of Chip and Joanna and want the full Fixer Upper Experience, you could make early reservations to stay at the Magnolia House in McGregor, a small suburb not far from Waco.

There are many great restaurants and eateries to check out in Waco and you can’t go wrong with a Tex-Mex menu! A few Waco original recommendations would be Uncle Dan’s BBQ, Schmaltz’s Sandwich Shoppe, La Fiesta Restaurant & Cantina and Leal’s authentic Mexican. And no Southern Yankee-trip would be complete without a visit to your local Whataburger (pronounced “waterburger,” best burgers around).


Your Texas travel destination may include other great stops like Austin, San Antonio and Dallas/Fort Worth. But deep in the heart of Texas, the city across the Brazos River that connects each of these great hubs, you’ll find Waco.

See y’all there.




Laura Page is a self-proclaimed “Southern Yankee” and invites readers to experience the lifestyles, culture, places and happenings within Central Pennsylvania through the eyes of a Texas girl. Email Laura at [email protected]m