It’s here, the final day trip from Austin. We’re heading north to Georgetown, Texas! I’ve already posted about going South to New Braunfels, West to breweries, and East to parks so it’s only fitting to end with a day trip that incorporates a little bit of everything in its own unique way.
North of Austin: Georgetown
I live for walkability and one of the awesome things about Georgetown is its compact and walkable town square touted as the “most beautiful town square in Texas.” Looks aside, there’s a lot to keep you interested in Georgetown’s main square, including shops, restaurants, wineries, historic buildings, and of course…splashing in the San Gabriel River at Blue Hole Park.
In case you’re visiting during COVID times, I’ve tried note if restaurants have patio seating, and suggest other things that can be enjoyed in the open air. To that end, you’ll be glad to hear that Georgetown does not have the same strict open container laws as downtown Austin. Feel free to take a beer or wine to go while you stroll the square.
But First…Inner Space Cavern
It’s not in Georgetown’s main square, but you cannot come this far and not visit the Inner Space Cavern, just a couple of miles south of the town. This natural cavern was discovered back in the 60’s by the Texas Highway Department’s core drilling team, which explains why it is conveniently located just off Interstate 35. 🙂
They offer an “Adventure Tour” which is the one for normal folks and is an hour long walk through the cave on a clearcut pathway. There is a second tier of tour that takes you deeper into the cave and is not recommended for anyone with claustrophobia. And then there is a third tour, called the “Wild Cave Tour” which sounds more like the WTF tour as it requires tight squeezes and actual gear. But nothing says it better than the last sentence of their description, for after the tour: “An outdoor shower is available.” Eeep.
Okay, Back to Georgetown…
Once you’ve explored the cavern, drive north on S. Austin Ave. until you get to the main square. Parking is plentiful so find a nice place to leave your car for a while because you’ll want to go on foot from here. There are plenty of free lots where you can park all day but street parking around the square has a three hour time limit.
Coffee & Treats at Galaxy Bakery
First things first – make your way to the Galaxy Bakery & Coffeehouse on the corner of E 7th and Main and grab a coffee and a sweet treat. You’ll have plenty to pick from here as they have a whole slew of cupcakes, cookies, cakes, and pies on offer. If nothing else, at least visit their website which is one of the most whimsical things I’ve seen on the internet in a long time.
Find Some Nostalgia at All Things Kids
Next, cross the street to All Things Kids and check out the nostalgic, old-school toys that are hand picked from across America and Europe. No batteries or flashing lights here! Think wooden, mechanical, plush. I would also encourage you to check out their huge selection of candy but as it’s served bulk-style in bins, I’m not sure if it’ll be out due to COVID restrictions. But if you’re not already in a sugar coma from Galaxy Bakery, definitely visit Scoops, the ice cream parlor inside the store, that serves up 42 flavors in fresh waffle cones made on site. Welcome to 1957.
Uncover a Little History at the Williamson County Courthouse
Meander over to the Williamson County Courthouse which sits at the heart of the square. This majestic building is architecturally interesting both inside and out. Take time to go in and learn a little about the history of the town and Williamson county.
Georgetown Square Shopping
Head over to the The Daytripper World Headquarters to peruse their Texas-made goods and grab a free beer! (I’ve never tried this but it says so right here.) Wait…visit The Daytripper HQ while actually on a day trip?! Mind is blown.
There’s lots of other shopping and retail around the square so take your time strolling around. If you need to re-up your liquid fuel, you can combine shopping with drinking at Mesquite Creek Outfitters which sells high end outdoor apparel and craft beer and wine. A light food menu makes them a triple threat.
Lunch at El Monumento
In the afternoon, walk north on Main street and make your way to El Monumento for lunch. Sit on the patio and take in the view of Blue Hole lagoon while enjoying their signature frozen margarita, which they make using a Japanese shaved-ice machine. It’s basically an adult snow cone.
Wade in Blue Hole Lagoon
Freshen up after lunch with a wade in the San Gabriel River at Blue Hole Park, or just enjoy the scenery from one of the many picnic tables. The entrance is just behind El Monumento. Alcohol isn’t allowed in the park so as tempting as it may be, you can’t bring that to-go margarita with you! p.s. the blue hole is sometimes a brown hole, if it hasn’t rained in a while. (Ew, that didn’t come out right. I mean, there’s no water in it.)
Now for the fun part – make your way back down to the square and hit the wineries! There’s a little section of them, all conveniently located near to each other:
Grape Creek on the Square – serving up wines produced at Grape Creek Winery in Fredericksburg. They have an upstairs tasting room and a large covered patio!
Georgetown Winery – their wine is produced a couple of towns over, in Liberty Hill. They range from dry to fruity but if you like sweet wine, you’ll enjoy their large selection of specialty wines like sweet peach, sparkling strawberry, and apple cinnamon. They have a couple of small tables in front of the building for outside seating.
Baron’s Creek Wine Room – another Fredericksburg staple, this tasting room has an elegant yet relaxed atmosphere. As of this post, they’re operating at limited capacity so seatings inside are by reservation only. They have some covered tables in front of the building as outdoor seating.
Dinner at Körk Wine Bar
When you’re hungry enough for dinner, head to Körk Wine Bar, which not only serves up an extensive wine list, but has a full food menu including salads, small plates, charcuterie, and Neapolitan style pizzas. Want pizza again? Buy one of their to-go kits that includes a dough ball, sauce, and toppings. They also have a spacious patio!
There’s a lot to discover in Georgetown so don’t worry about coming with an itinerary, just plan to spend the day soaking in the small town charm and enjoying all that this “most beautiful” town square has to offer.
As usual, definitely check websites in advance of your visit to make sure hours or operating policies haven’t changed due to COVID-19.
Hope you enjoyed this post about Georgetown, Texas, and the others in my mini-series of directional day trips from Austin. If I missed anything, or if you have more to share, leave me a comment!