It’s in my Top 3 Texas Towns… I adore Georgetown!
The town square has a vibe like no other. When I have to drive through without stopping, I look at the folks sitting at tables outside a restaurant or bar sipping a great drink, and wistfully long for the day I get to be that person. The town square boasts the hip, the culture, the deliciousness that is Texas.
Georgetown is small enough to easily get around and enjoy it all in one weekend, yet expansive enough that you do need several days to soak it all in. This Texas jewel has the libations, the vittles and the outdoor fun to keep you coming back for more.
An extension of Fredericksburg’s Barons Creek Winery, this tasting room has all the ingredients for the perfect date night–recessed lighting, a relaxed vibe and amazing wine. With a winemaker hailing from Barcelona, Spain, the reds, whites and cava (sparkling wine) make this a true gem. The food and wine pairing is perfectly executed, highlighting four wines, each paired with a small appetizer.
We tried the crisp 2019 Texas Viognier with an herbed goat cheese bruschetta, drizzled with a peach glaze. The 2017 Barbera (our favorite) paired perfectly with the Kalamata olive hummus. The 2018 Hippo accented a dark chocolate truffle and we ended with the 2018 Zinfandel and a perfect smoked bison jerky.
Wear your mask when you enter; they’ll take your temp, give you some hand sanitizer, then enjoy relaxing at your own spacious table that is socially distanced from others. Take advantage of their bottle service, glasses to go, chef’s table full dinner pairings, in addition to the pairing above. Live music on Friday nights and their VIP members club add to the sparkle.
Sitting on Austin Avenue, just off the square and next to the Palace Theatre, Wildfire is a fan favorite. They do fill up during peak hours but they have a speakeasy-esque bar with booths off the main hallway where you can order from the full menu.
Enjoy a great beginning with the macadamia-encrusted calamari or potato skins. Their “pools of broth” (doesn’t that just sound interesting?) include french onion soup or chicken (pollo) tortilla. Your taste buds will be in love with the Blue Corn Encrusted Catfish Fillets or the Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Fried Steak- which comes with both southern gravy and red eye gravy. Pair these with a craft IPA on draft or a delicious wine. You’ll be back!
This farm-to-table dining experience has been one block off the square for three years and has developed quite the following, with locals and visitors alike. (One couple made a day road trip from Houston just to eat here!) With faves like the crab-stuffed chicken and beef enchiladas, it’s tough to decide whether to go the comfort food route or Tex-Mex.
Or, you can take the crispy salmon route, the bacon and jam burger route or choose a lighter option with a salad. With tables spaced out, bring your mask (there’s typically a wait during busy times) and get in line for a table.
With the combo of friendly customer service, uber-fresh ingredients and a creative menu, you’ll see why folks drive from far and wide for this cafe. (Tip: check out the brunch menu on the weekend.)
It’s known for homestyle comfort food, a la diner days. You’ll likely get a hankering for a chicken fried steak just walking through the doors. Go for it– this is one of those places where it’s just not worth it to go healthy; you’ll regret it later. Just order what sounds amazing; something hearty, fried or just down right comfy. So whether it’s the chicken fried, a burger or something else covered in gravy, you can pair it with a refreshing iced tea… But they also have a great Texas craft beer selection on draft.
This locally-owned franchise is all the rage for sweet treats in Georgetown. They’ve only been open since June 2020 but are making a name for themselves with their own brand of ice-cream used to create individually crafted ice cream sandwiches.
Choose the base cookie (it’s a tough decision with the popular Gooey Butter Cake alongside stand-bys like funfetti, snickerdoodle and of course, chocolate chip); choose your ice cream (Bear Batter, Toasted Smores, Butter Brittle Cake), then choose your cookie to top it off. It’s a sugar overload so two people can easily share one.
Wear your mask to stand in line (there’s oftentimes a line but it moves really fast), then take your yummies outside to enjoy (there’s no indoor seating right now).
STAYING IN STYLE
It’s so much more than just a hotel and you really can’t grasp it, until you visit. The Sheraton sits centrally, next to adorable restaurants and shops like 2020 Market Scratch Kitchen and Bar, BBs Home Cooking, Woops Bake Shop, Spa Luxe Day Spa, Orangetheory Fitness and other enjoyable ways to spend your time.
The hotel itself features an inviting lobby (with spaces designed for working, if that’s helpful to you), a lobby bar with a cool vibe, a heated pool out back and comfortable rooms.
Brix and Ale at the Sheraton Austin Georgetown, led by Executive Chef Robert Felios III, boasts dishes crafted and perfectly paired with the restaurant’s robust selection of Texas craft beer and wine. From starter items Tators & Beer Whip to hearty sandwiches like Beer Braised Pork to entrees like Smok’en Duck, Brix and Ale features a large selection of fresh and flavorsome dishes.
Sunday brunch (11am-3pm) at Brix and Ale is a treat in and of itself! Savor their Brix Benedict, featuring crab cakes, cheddar grits, hollandaise sauce and a poached egg…delish! Or, try their Avocado bruschetta with toasted pistachios or the Hill Country Scramble. Sip on a cappuccino and you won’t want to leave.
After you’ve slept and dined, work off those calories and enjoy the San Gabriel Trail that runs right behind the Sheraton. This trail is truly a hidden gem. Directly behind the property, you’ll also find Rivery Park and if you take the trail off to the left, you can see varied terrain and plenty of activity, including a busy disc golf course, Georgetown Country Club, Chandler Park and other spots perfect for bird watching and stargazing. Walker, joggers, cyclists and disc golfers are all welcome on the trail.
OUT AND ABOUT
Ten local Georgetown women from various backgrounds and expertise joined forces and opened this indie bookstore in April 2019. Five of them are still working hard to keep this adorable store thriving. The vibe extends the hip and cultural scene of Georgetown and you’ll want to spend ample time browsing for books, unique and quirky gifts and there’s even a bistro with the most fun and colorful booths and decorations.
If you’re in town on a Saturday (9 am-1 pm), head to the Wolf Ranch shopping center and enjoy the local farmers market. Here, you’ll find homemade salsa, fresh veggies, local cuts of meat and more pet snacks than you ever thought possible. Enjoy a snack or light lunch with some tamales and lemonade if that strikes your fancy.
For one of the most enjoyable bike rides, cycle on the San Gabriel Trail (which you can hop on at the park – behind the rec center- or at Rivery Park next to the Sheraton hotel). You’ll find others walking and enjoying the disc golf course just off the trail. San Gabriel Park has a beautiful grassy area next to the river, perfect for picnics and reading a good book.
You’ll find ample camping (get a reservation in advance), hiking and others on boats enjoying the lake. We love this area because it’s off-the-beaten path yet popular for good reason. The lake has a great reputation with locals but does not get as crowded as some of the other area lakes.
Depending on the time of the year, you might want to enjoy the popular Blue Hole swimming spot, not far from the downtown square. Due to Texas temps, you can easily get in well into the fall months (which is more peaceful than jockeying for a spot in the summer). The Blue Hole has been closed by local officials off and on during the pandemic so check online before you go.
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Cover photo courtesy Georgetown CVB
Marika Flatt is the Travel Editor of Texas Lifestyle Magazine. She’s enjoying “getting back out there” while maintaining social distance and wearing a mask when needed. You can hear her “Weekend Trip Tips” on the statewide NPR show, Texas Standard.