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Texas

Exploring Waco, Texas

On a beautiful Wednesday in October we traveled north and visited Waco, Texas.

Our goal was to go to The Silos at Magnolia Market and get some of their famous baked goods in celebration of Leah’s birthday.

Our first stop, though, was William Cameron Park and the Waco Riverwalk to let the dogs – Kilo and Harley – expend a little energy. The weather was perfect for a walk in the park!

William Cameron Park

"Welcome to Cameron Park, City of Waco Parks & Recreation" sign, with bird sculture and Brazos River in background. ©Jeri Murphy Photography

According to the Waco – Heart of Texas website:

The 416-acre park, a gift of the William Cameron family, features towering live oaks, stunning bluffs overlooking the Brazos and Bosque Rivers, and a National Recreation Trail system. Mountain bikers, hikers, and equestrians share the park with disc golfers, picnickers, and bird watchers. Cameron Park is one of Waco’s greatest treasures ….

Woman, man and two white-and-black dogs standing on cement platform with Brazos River in the background. ©Jeri Murphy Photography
Clockwise from top left: Leah, Spencer, Harley and Kilo
Woman running in park, with black and white dog on leash. ©Jeri Murphy Photography
Taking Harley for a run is one way to wear her out!

One unique highlight was Jacob’s Ladder – although it clearly is not accessible!

Man and woman, with dogs, hiking up steep Jacob's Ladder in Cameron Park, Waco, Texas.  ©Jeri Murphy Photography
Ascending Jacob’s Ladder

As described by the Waco Department of Parks and Recreation:

Climbing this quirky staircase is one of Cameron Park’s most beloved challenges. Built in the early 1900s by a family living at the top of the bluff, the original ladder was constructed entirely out of cedar trees from the park.

The present-day Jacob’s Ladder was completed in 1963 and is characterized by its cedar railing, zigzag design and uneven cement stairs. Each step was built according to the ground’s slope, which accounts for the uniqueness of each step. The aged structure now includes 88 winding steps to the top and is still usable today, due to periodic renovations.

Trekking up and down Jacob’s Ladder tired the pups and their humans! So we took a short break and had a little lunch at one of Cameron Park’s many picnic tables.

Waco Riverwalk

Refreshed and ready to continue walking and exploring, we headed upriver along the Waco Riverwalk.

The Waco – Heart of Texas website has this to say about the Riverwalk:

The Waco Riverwalk includes approximately seven miles of multi-use, lighted trail that loops along both banks of the Brazos River. The scenic riverwalk stretches from Baylor University to Cameron Park and passes underneath the Suspension Bridge. The rivewalk is accessible from various points through downtown Waco and captures the natural beauty of the Brazos River Corridor.

Man and woman and their two dogs walking along Waco's Riverwalk. ©Jeri Murphy Photography
Three turtles on a log in the Brazos River, along the Waco Riverwalk.  ©Jeri Murphy Photography
Woman and man, with their two black-and-white dogs, walking along Waco Riverwalk with Btazos River in background. ©Jeri Murphy Photography

Waco Sculpture Zoo

Along the way we passed numerous sculptures, which we later learned were part of the Waco Sculpture Zoo and represented animals that are native and/or can be found in the nearby Cameron Park Zoo.

Sculpture of Sumatran Tiger, part of Waco Sculpture Zoo, along Waco Riverwalk. Black and white dog laying nearby is not part of the sculpture. ©Jeri Murphy Photography
Harley taking a break next to the “Sumatran Tiger”
Sculpture entitled "Box Turtle II", part of Waco Sculpture Zoo along Waco Riverwalk, with Brazos River in the background. ©Jeri Murphy Photography
“Box Turtle II” sculpture
"Lioness with Cubs" sculpture along Waco Riverwalk. ©Jeri Murphy Photography
“Lioness with Cubs”
Man (with dog) sitting on bench along Waco Riverwalk, imitating"Wise Elephant" sculpture. ©Jeri Murphy Photography
Spencer, Kilo and “Wise Elephant”

Again quoting the Waco Department of Parks and Recreation:

The mile-long stretch of the Waco Sculpture Zoo features 28 artworks varying in style, form and materials. Each sculpture represents an animal that can be found in Cameron Park Zoo or that is native to the area

The sculptures were commissioned by Creative Waco following a national call for artists, a rigorous juried selection process and the generosity of private donors. The project features work by 17 different artists from across the United States, including 2 local sculptors.

Magnolia Market at the Silos

Sufficiently tired from our walk in the park and along the river, we loaded up the car and traveled a few blocks to our primary destination: Magnolia Market and, most especially, the Silos Baking Co.

Black and white "Welcome to the Magnolia Silos" sign. ©Jeri Murphy Photography

Per Waco – Heart of Texas:

Magnolia Market and its famous landmark silos occupy two city blocks in downtown Waco. Owned by HGTV “Fixer Upper” stars Chip and Joanna Gaines, the store offers items in Joanna’s unique style.

Admission to the complex is free. Visitors can play free games on the lawn or picnic in the shade. The shops and grounds are updated frequently, so be sure to come back to see how it grows and changes with the seasons!

Guests entering Magnolia Market / Silos property, walking under a "Silobration" sign with historic silos on camera right. ©Jeri Murphy Photography
Corner of two-story white building, with "Magnolia" on left side and "Everyone Has A Story Worth Telling" written on forward-facing side. ©Jeri Murphy Photography

Saving the bakery for last, we first walked around the grounds, browsing Magnolia Market and the Seed + Supply shop and admiring the adjacent garden.

Man and woman with two dogs on sidewalk, with Magnolia Silo in the background and fenced gardens on each side. ©Jeri Murphy Photography

The paths were wide and wheelchair friendly, there were food trucks and plenty of benches and other types of seating, as well as large grassy areas for picnicking and play.

Food trucks and covered courtyard at Magnolia Silos in Waco, Texas. ©Jeri Murphy Photography
Food trucks and covered walkway. (The “pet relief” area is behind these trucks.)
Wide, even and accessible brick walkway at Magnolia Silos in Waco, Texas. ©Jeri Murphy Photography
Accessible walkway at Magnolia Silos in Waco, Texas. ©Jeri Murphy Photography

(Note: This “grass” is artificial. There are signs posted asking that visitors take their pets to the real grass in the back of the shopping area to “do their business.”)

And Finally, Cupcakes!

Our last stop was Silos Baking Co.

Silos Baking Co., with historic silo in background and a line of customers in the front. ©Jeri Murphy Photography

According to the website, this building was part of the cotton oil mill at the Silos, and later became a flower shop called Rosetree Floral.

Chip and Joanna Gaines bought the Silos property in 2014 and turned this century-old building into a signature bakery, “filled with Jo’s personal recipes and hand-picked favorites.”

Table with plates of cupcakes and cookies from Silos Baking Co., Magnolia Silos, Waco, Texas. ©Jeri Murphy Photography

I had heard that the Strawberries ‘N Cream cupcake was amazing – and the rumor was true! It was one of the most delicious cupcakes I have ever eaten! In fact, we bought two!

We also purchased the Lemon Lavender and the Chocolatier cupcakes, as well as a sampling of cookies: Classic Chocolate Chip, Brownie Cookie, and our favorite – The Silo Cookie (oatmeal chocolate chip with peanut butter chips and walnuts).

We’ll Be Back!

Our day in Waco was the perfect way to celebrate Leah’s birthday!

And when friends and family come to visit us in Texas, you can be sure we’ll add the Waco Riverwalk and The Silos to our “must visit” list.

(But we’ll probably skip Jacob’s Ladder!)

All Photos: ©Jeri Murphy Photography

By Jeri Murphy

Traveler, writer, photographer, former wedding officiant, mother, friend, explorer and new Texian ... that's just a little about me!

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