Longer days and abundant sunshine are all hallmarks of summers here in the Lone Star State, making it the perfect season to travel. If you’re looking for your next getaway to the Texas Hill Country, find your way to Georgetown. Located just north of Austin, this lively town offers a multitude of unique ways to savor the season with your friends or family. Take it easy at a swimming hole, explore a breathtaking cavern, sip locally made craft beers, and indulge in delicious ice cream sandwiches and milkshakes. No matter what your perfect summer vacation looks like, Georgetown has it all. Read on to see how, then plan your visit here.
Swim in Pristine Waters
Crystal-clear waters shadowed by towering limestone bluffs, all surrounded by stately oaks. Here in the Texas Hill Country, it doesn’t get any more inviting than this, especially in the summer. When the weather heats up, find your way to Blue Hole Park. Set around a scenic lagoon, the park is just the place to soak up the sun as you swim in the San Gabriel River or enjoy a picnic on the riverbank. As welcoming as the oasis is, you might think you’d have to travel far to get here. Yet the park is just a few minutes from Downtown Georgetown, so visiting couldn’t be any easier. Just make sure to get here early, as Blue Hole Park is one of the Hill Country’s top swimming holes.
Fish, Kayak, and Hike at Lake Georgetown
Bathed in the bright Texas summer sun, Lake Georgetown is an easy-to-reach getaway for when you want a day out on the water. Set just a short drive from the downtown area, the 1,200-acre lake offers a multitude of ways to savor the outdoors. If you have a boat in tow, take advantage of Cedar Breaks Park and Jim Hogg Park’s boat ramps to access the water. You can also rent a kayak from San Gabriel Paddlesports or Ducks on the Pond Kayak Rental to embark on your own paddling adventure.
For you anglers out there, Lake Georgetown is a fantastic place to hook bass and catfish. While there’s plenty of fun on the water to be had, the lake is also surrounded by 16 miles of hiking trails that serve up an abundance of spectacular views. As with everything else here in Texas in the summer, you’ll want to get an early start to get the most out of your time at Lake Georgetown.
Savor Local Craft Brews
Is there anything better than a bright and citrusy IPA or a refreshing pilsner on a hot summer day? Only if the beer you’re drinking is locally made, of course. Georgetown has two craft breweries that produce some of the highest quality ales and lagers around. Choose from a full-bodied weizenbock or a rich and malty IPA and find a spot under the shade of a massive oak tree at Rentsch Brewery. The kind of spot you could hang out at all day, the brewery has a full complement of brews light and dark, including year-round brews and a rotating array of seasonal beers. When your appetite hits, get something delicious from one of the local food trucks that are on site.
Meanwhile, Barking Armadillo Brewing pours a delicious array of pilsners, IPAs, and even a Belgian strong dark ale, as well as a house-made blackberry mead and a selection of guest beers and wines, and non-alcoholic drinks. Hanging out on the back patio is a great way to pass the time, and if you stay for long enough you’ll catch one of the live music performances that the brewery frequently hosts. You won’t need to go far for dinner, either, as Barking Armadillo Brewing also hosts a variety of food trucks.
Sometimes, a pint of your favorite kind of brew is just what the doctor ordered. Enjoy some of the best the Hill Country has to offer right here in Georgetown.
Beat the Heat Underground
When the swelter of a Texas summer sets in, descend into the otherworldly subterranean wonderland of Inner Space Cavern. Explore palatial rooms adorned with stunning formations, all while savoring the ambient 72-degree temperature that provides a nice break from the daytime heat. Discovered in the early 1960’s, the cavern has been a popular attraction for more than 50 years.
Today, you can experience this underground oasis on one of three guided tours. For a quick exploration along a well-lit trail through the cavern, the Adventure Tour is an accessible way to see some of the top sights. Looking for the kind of thrilling experience you won’t have every day? Choose either the Hidden Passages Tour or the Wild Cave Tour. The former takes you off the beaten path to a newly opened section of the cave, while the latter is a nearly four-hour excursion through a complex network of passages and chambers.
Inner Space Cavern is one of Texas’ most beautiful show caves, and you don’t need to go that far to get here. The cavern is less than three miles from Downtown Georgetown, making it as easy as can be to visit while you’re here.
Dig Into Delicious Local Fare
Whether you’re swimming in Blue Hole Park or exploring Inner Space Cavern’s awe-inspiring depths, your appetite is bound to catch up to you at some point. Fortunately, Georgetown has a seemingly endless array of restaurants you can choose from. Savor an authentic taste of Texas at 2020 Market Scratch Kitchen & Bar, where the menu is full of dishes made with ingredients from local farmer’s markets and Gulf Coast fishing boats. Dig into a soup, salad, sandwich, or a delightful entrée like Texas ribeye or coastal seafood enchiladas that are delicious when paired with something from the wide-ranging wine list.
Meanwhile, District Six combines the inviting appeal of your neighborhood sports-friendly spot with an upscale vibe and dishes like Nashville hot quail legs and a Texas wagyu smashburger. Play some arcade games, hang out on the spacious patio, watch a game on the 21 TVs, and tip back a craft cocktail or your choice of 40 beers and wines on draft. If you’re craving the meat sweats, Tejas Meat Company can’t be beaten. Both a butcher shop and restaurant, Tejas serves up sandwiches like a club with herb and tahini roasted turkey and the Georgetown Melt, a delicious combination of house-smoked brisket, bacon, mild cheddar, smoked gouda, pepper jack, gruyere, and provolone. Get your fill, then choose from a multitude of cuts of beef and pork or wild game, including axis, elk, and red stag to cook later at home.
These restaurants have plenty to offer, but we’re just scratching the surface of your dining options in Georgetown. See all the destination’s other eateries here.
Shop The Daytripper Headquarters
If you’ve ever traveled in Texas, you may have heard about (or even been inspired) by The Daytripper. This popular Emmy-award-winning TV show showcases some of Texas’ coolest places, and you can experience the Lone Star State when you stop by The Daytripper Headquarters. Browse a collection of goodies made right here in Texas, along with exclusive The Daytripper merchandise and other souvenirs, at this shop right on Georgetown’s downtown square. All the while, sip on a free beer from the in-store taps. Whether you’re a fan of the show or you want to find amazing souvenirs to take home with you, a stop by The Daytripper Headquarters is a must.
Indulge in Sugary Sweets
There’s nothing sweeter than an ice-cold milkshake on a hot summer day, and Georgetown has plenty of places to treat yourself. Colorful, creative, and flowing out of the top of a mason jar, the eye-catching confections at The Yard Milkshake Bar are second to none. Imagine scoops of ice cream topped with a slice of lemon ice box pie, an entire chocolate chip cookie, a brownie, and a Texas-sized serving of whipped cream. There are many shakes to choose from, including the Greetings From Georgetown with cookies and cream ice cream with red marshmallow and chocolate drizzle all rolled in crushed Oreos and topped with a candy red poppy.
When you want to satisfy any kind of sugar craving, Scoops is the place to be. Not only does this shop have Beth Marie’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream, but it also offers uniquely Georgetown sundaes and more than 400 kinds of candy. Of course, we can’t talk about desserts without mentioning The Baked Bear. In three steps, you can make your very own decadent ice cream sandwich with your choice of more than 10 cookies, ice cream flavors like espresso bean and old-fashioned vanilla, and toppings like hot caramel, Nutella, and brownie bits. You can even get your sandwich warmed up so everything is that perfect amount of gooey.
A spectacular swimming hole? Check. Kayaking and swimming in a picturesque lake? You bet. Delicious local cuisine and one-of-a-kind sugary sweets? It’s all here in Georgetown, the perfect summer getaway in the Texas Hill Country.