The Silo Trolley is one of best things for the Magnolia Waco marriage of tourism. The trolley not only takes you from free parking spots to the Silos themselves, but it also takes to to explore more of the downtown Waco area. And best of all, it’s free.
So needless to say we are very supportive of the Trolley. After you’ve experienced Magnolia like a local the next step in the full Waco experience is exploring downtown.
Navigating through our website you can find various shopping guides, restaurant reviews and bullet point different places to enjoy, but we wanted to create a Silo Trolley specific guide for all you people wanting to get the most from your Waco experience.
If this list is overwhelming, don’t panic the Silo Trolley narrates your entire experience so you won’t miss a thing!
The Silo Trolley Basics
The Silo Trolley runs every 15-20 minutes in a circular route around downtown Waco. Routes begin at 9am and end at 6:30pm so be sure to watch your clock around 6 to be sure you don’t miss it!
The Trolley makes several stops at Free Parking destinations. If you’re not in a rush and don’t want to pay for parking, look for the (giant) ‘Free Parking’ banners in Magnolia’s font, park there and the Trolley will come give you a lift!
If you didn’t grab food at the Silos and are hungry as all get out, you’ve got a lot of options on the Trolly route. Some of these options are not exactly at a stop but are a quick walk away.
Breakfast places like Olive Branch, the Hippodrome and Cafe Cap are great places to fuel up before heading to the Silos. Park downtown, grab a bite to eat in the morning and let it sustain you until you get to snack at the silos.
If you’re looking for lunch, Schmaltz is a Waco classic. They use a garlic butter on their buns that is to die for. The food truck train along the river front is a great experience and allows everyone to get something they want. The Provender Store is downtown, gourmet and in a little crevice of a building. Alpha and Omega is walking distance from the Balcones shop, and is a delicious Mediterranean restaurant that gives you a little bit of a healthier option for food.
Dinner gives you a plethora of options. Ninfa’s is a delicious Mexican restaurant and you can’t leave without trying their “green sauce.”
If you’re in the mood for Thai food, don’t let the exterior fool you, Bangkok Royal is one of Waco’s greatest gems. Their thai food is authentic, delicious and filling. You will not leave hungry.
The Hippodrome also provides an array of options for dinner, and you can’t find a better view of Downtown Waco than from their dinning room.
Portofinos– What’s better than Italian downtown? Their baked ziti in pink vodka sauce is to die for. The rolls are delicious, the chicken parm is perfection and it is the perfect end to the day.
Down home southern cooking can be found family style at Jake’s Texas Tea House. The outdoor seating is beautiful on a sunny day and you feel at home the minute you walk through the doors.
Coach’s Smoke gives you great barbecue in all varieties. Their mac and cheese is everything you want from southern mac and cheese and their brisket tacos are actually incredible.
If you’re looking to end the day in an elegant, sophisticated way, Diamondbacks is an absolutely incredible place to devour a delicious steak. They also have some of the best desserts in Waco so if chocolate cake, cheesecake or velvet cake are something you seek, you will fulfill it here.
Crickets is a bar but they have incredible burgers, fries, wings and everything deliciously American.
For a steady location of dessert, you can always count on Hey Sugar to be in the same place. A lot of Waco’s desserts are food trucks like Pokey-O’s and Vanilla Bean Bake Shoppe, and while one of their greatest assets is that they’re mobile, we can’t promise you they’ll always be in range of the Silo Trolley stops. Check out their social media for location updates! What About Cupcakes is never a wrong choice and it is always a good time for a cupcake.
If you’re looking for coffee, Waco does great coffee. Only three of our local coffee shops are within walking distance of the Silo Trolley stops, but one of the stops is literally right in front of our espresso bar. Bru is an espresso bar out of a chic gold elevator in a marble covered lobby, and right around the corner is Dichotomy Coffee and Spirits. Pinewood is by the Balcones stop and is a locally sourced coffee that is brewed in Waco and we are very proud of it.
If you planned it right, you would have parked downtown and then taken the last trolley to your car and arrived back downtown around 6, just in time for a drink.
If your with your ladies and are craving some wine, Klassy Glass sells all kinds of local wines giving you a taste of our wine culture.
Dichotomy not only has incredible top shelf cocktails but they incorporate Balcones, which is our local yet global award winning whiskey.
You could go straight to the source and taste a flight of Balcones in their tasting room. They also host tours, giving you the full experience. You definitely want to check them out.
If you want a beer, Crickets gives you an incredible selection and Barnett’s Pub is an Irish pub that fits the description perfectly.
If you want to escape the crowds, Trojan’s Cork and Keg is a bar beneath Spice Village that gives you great cocktails, and on Fridays they have fishbowls and that’s all you need.
The Backyard Bar and Grill is an a great place to hang out on a sunny day. Their outdoor section is eclectically cool, and they’re always running great specials.
Firstly, check out our Downtown Shopping Guide for (slightly) more in-depth description of the stores downtown! Again not all of these are on the direct stops but they are walkable.
Waco’s boutique scene is growing, and the Silo Trolley conveniently circles several options.
Roots Boutique and Wildland are two stand alone shops that you can’t leave Waco without seeing. Wildland’s style is chic, minimalistic and trendy and Roots has earthy displays and free people clothing.
Really Spice just has everything. If you don’t have a long time but want to see as much possible, Spice Village is home to over 90 different venders, both local and around Texas, and each shop carries anything from home decor to jewelry and clothing.
Gourmet Gallery is next to Dichotomy and is home to all kinds of adorable kitchen tools and cook books. Their locally sourced spices, jams and jellies are a great take home souvenir.
Interior Glow is a home decor store that is high end, bright and trendy, their displays are gorgeous and worth the trip.
Cameron Trading Co is a great place to practice your Gaines-level antiquing. You may recognize the store from the show, and if you’re a pro you won’t forget to check the upstairs shopping as well.
The Findery is technically within walking distance of Magnolia so you don’t need to catch the Silo Trolley to see it, but you definitely don’t want to miss it. The store is farmhouse chic and you undoubtably find something you want to take home with you.
Activities and Attractions
While you’re here and in walking distance to some of Waco’s coolest, most photogenic places, you might as well check them out!
If you’re familiar with any Waco Instagram accounts you’ve undoubtably seen lot’s of our best murals. There’s the “You’re looking good today #Wacotown” mural by Cafe Cap, the “City with a Soul” mural by the Findery and then the extremely colorful mural by Hey Sugar. And obviously the “Wacotown” mural must be visited. All of these are great destinations to grab a pic to prove you made the trek to Waco.
Things like the Suspension Bridge and the Alico building are absolute Waco staples for pictures. The green door outside the Hippodrome makes another great backdrop for any photo opportunity. But the most photogenic location in all of Waco is the corner of 8th and Austin. From this intersection you get to see a good portion of the best Waco features.
If you’re looking for an additional extended activity for the day, The Dr Pepper Museum is great for the whole family. With hands on displays and an in-house soda shop, it’s a great way to spend time in Waco.
If you just want to go for a stroll, walking around Heritage Square or the Brazos River front allow you experience some of Waco’s best places to spend time, and they’re all within walking distance of the Silo Trolley.
And if you’re feeling adventurous and daring, try your hand at Escape Rooms. It’s a great activity for groups of people, and their new location that is about to open up is downtown right next to Wildland. We are anxiously awaiting their new locations grand opening and we are extremely excited about the Silo Trolley’s access to it.
And at the end of the day if you really just want the inside scoop of Waco outside of the Trolley’s, sign up on Waco Tours. They take you everywhere from Heritage Creamery to Cameron Park.
We love the Silo Trolley because it allows people visiting Magnolia to explore a little bit of our beloved downtown. Also we love that it plays a Waco song periodically throughout the ride.
We tagged each of the businesses social media pages so because many businesses use them to communicate specials, differing hours and any other occasions they’re celebrating.
Below is the City of Waco’s list version of what is at each stop! Be sure to look out for maps while you’re on the Trolley as well.
Happy Waco Silo Trolley exploring!