Trade in city lights for laid-back luxury in this Texas town.
By Lydia Gregovic, Photo by Colin Maloney
With “the Most Beautiful Town Square in Texas,” the city of Georgetown, Texas, is sure to cure you of all your Gilmore Girl-induced small-town nostalgia. Situated a half-hour’s drive north of Austin and home to Southwestern University, Georgetown strikes the ideal balance between college-town charisma and family charm. So, if you’re looking for the perfect excuse for a weekend excursion, look no further than our getaway guide, featuring all the best activities Georgetown has to offer.
Upon arrival, take the opportunity to stretch your legs and head to Blue Hole Park, located only five blocks north of Georgetown’s downtown square. Named for the scenic blue lagoon that comprises the majority of the park, Blue Hole is open to waders and walkers alike from dawn to dusk. Dip your feet in its shallow waters, or simply stroll down the riverwalk it borders. Whichever you choose this park is sure to set the perfect tone for a relaxing weekend ahead.
Eat dinner like a local by stopping 600 Degrees Pizzeria for a slice and a sip. A favorite among both college students and Georgetown residents, the restaurant features a menu laden with off-the-wall selections, such as the North Beach, a classic pie topped with spicy Sicilian sausage, banana and bell peppers, red onions, minced garlic and pineapple. The drink list includes 55 local and craft brews. And with a hip atmosphere that would put any city kid at ease, 600 Degrees brings Austin vibes to a small-town setting.
Forgo chain hotels in favor of Sweet Lemon Inn, a husband-and-wife-run bed-and-breakfast packed with charm and located right off the town square. The inn offers two suites, the Lemon Chess Suite and the Lemon Chiffon Suite, along with a shared upstairs kitchenette, balcony and living space. But don’t let its small size fool you. From the bedspreads to the flowers on top of your nightstand, Sweet Lemon abounds in hand-selected details sure to put a smile of every guest’s face.
For breakfast, head downstairs to Sweet Lemon Kitchen, the inn’s woman-run counterpart. The café specializes in breakfast and lunch with a gourmet twist, serving everything from paninis and salads to desserts and pastries—all made from scratch. Keeping in touch with its hometown roots, Sweet Lemon emphasizes using local vegetables, eggs, honey and coffee.
Step outside and venture into Georgetown’s beloved square, where you’ll find shops and sweet treats galore. If you’re looking to expand your wardrobe, be sure to stop by newcomer Sincerely Yours 1848, a boutique that combines timeless pieces with contemporary trends. If you prefer an oldie but a goodie, try the Georgetown Antique Mall, filled with unique finds like vintage postcards and records.
After your shopping spree, fill up at Georgetown’s most famous establishment. Featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Monument Cafe transports guests to the 1950s with its black-leather booths and to-die-for milkshakes. Try the café’s famous Monument Burger, or dive into a pile of pancakes, as Monument serves breakfast all day long. If you arrive early enough, don’t miss out on a piping-hot plate of cinnamon rolls, baked fresh every day and served until they run out.
Get your culture fix in with a trip to the Georgetown Art Center, a local gallery featuring year-round exhibits by Texas artists. To find receptions and talks by specific artists, check the center’s website, or stop in any time and peruse the featured exhibits. If you’re more of a history buff, stroll down the square to the Williamson Museum, a Georgetown institution dedicated to promoting the culture and heritage of the fastest growing county in the country.
Not to be confused with the Monument Cafe, El Monumento serves up home-style, made-from-scratch Mexican fare and pristine views of Blue Hole Park. Indulge in the Campechana Cocktail, a combination of Texas gulf shrimp, crab meat, tomatoes, green olives and lime juice, or sample the queso flameado, a blend of melted quesadilla and Oaxacan cheeses, poblano peppers and caramelized onions. Follow up your meal with a custom cocktail courtesy of El Monumento’s bar.