Georgetown, Texas, is more than just a pit stop on the road between Dallas and San Antonio. Located 30 miles north of Austin on Interstate 35, it is the Williamson County seat and home to The Most Beautiful Town Square in Texas. The Red Poppy Capital is known for its beautiful hike and bike trail and outdoor recreation activities. It is also the hometown of Kid at Heart Traveling Mom Kuleen Lashley.
Despite growing up in nearby Austin, I knew little about Georgetown, Texas, before my husband and I made it our home. The next time you drive down Interstate 35, I hope you make a point to explore the town I have grown to love.
The Williamson County Courthouse Square
Local shops, restaurants, and businesses fill the restored buildings surrounding the historic Williamson County Courthouse. Many of Georgetown’s festivals and events take place around “The Square.”
Stores offer extended shopping hours and live entertainment on the first Friday of the month from February through November. On the second Saturday from March through November, The Square turns into an outdoor marketplace with live music, and fun for the whole family.
Visitors can learn local history at the Williamson Museum which also hosts tours of the Courthouse and Downtown Square. The Palace Theater is home to a thriving local theater community with educational programs and weekly performances.
Outdoor Recreation in Georgetown, Texas
Georgetown, Texas, is a mecca for people that love the great outdoors. There are over eight miles of hike and bike trails along the beautiful North and South San Gabriel Rivers. The 200-year-old pecan trees in San Gabriel Park provide shade for family picnics while the kids play on the Creative Playscape. The park trail runs alongside the river and is a favorite place to fish, feed the ducks, or just take a stroll.
Closer to downtown, Blue Hole is a natural swimming spot formed between limestone bluffs on the south fork of the San Gabriel River. It is the perfect place to cool down on a hot Texas day. If you prefer water sports, Lake Georgetown is the place for boating, kayaking, fishing, and camping.
Inner Space Caverns
In the early 1960s, the Texas Highway Department took core samples south of Georgetown to determine if the ground was stable enough for a highway overpass. The drill bit suddenly dropped over 20 feet into what is now known as Inner Space Caverns. The one-hour, one-mile cave tour makes thirteen stops to point out soda straws, stalactites, stalagmites, and other formations. Visitors travel a total of 69-feet below ground and have the chance to experience one-hundred percent total darkness.
Public Art in Georgetown, Texas
As part of the ongoing effort to bring art to Georgetown, The Georgetown Art Center opened in 2013, just off the Williamson County Courthouse Square. In addition to the Art Center, the Georgetown Public Library, and Southwestern University host rotating public exhibits in a variety of styles – sculpture, paintings, collage, ceramic arts, and more. Keep an eye out downtown for local favorites, including the “Blue Healer” sculpture and the “Jumping Around” mural with the jackalope.
Red Poppies of Georgetown, Texas
Every spring, wildflowers cover central Texas. But Georgetown has a flower you are unlikely to see anywhere else.
After World War II, local legend and soldier Okra Compton brought poppy seeds home from the war fields of France. His mother planted them in her yard, and the flowers soon spread throughout Georgetown. The funny thing is that the Papaver Rhoas variety of poppies was not supposed to reseed itself in our climate. In 1989, Georgetown became the Red Poppy Capital of Texas, and each April we celebrate with the Red Poppy Festival.
Visit for a day or Escape to the New Sheraton Georgetown Texas Hotel and Conference Center for a longer stay. The charming locally-owned Sweet Lemon Inn makes a good home base to explore my hometown or try 25+ Fun Free Things to Do in Austin, Texas with Kids.