Miles of viridescent trails that wind between meadows of dewy grasses and thickets of impressive oaks. A glistening lake glowing in the faded light of an autumn sun. Eye-catching architectural marvels that tell the story of a bygone era. All this sets the stage for the perfect fall road trip to Georgetown, a Texas Hill Country charmer that is home to The Most Beautiful Town Square in Texas. Lose yourself in stunning parks, spend some time by a magnificent river, savor delicious food on an outdoor patio, and turn in for the night in a historic bed and breakfast or an upscale hotel. Set just north of Austin, Georgetown is just the place for an autumn getaway. Read on to start planning your trip here.
Georgetown’s Parks are Just the Place to Enjoy Nature
With average daytime highs in the 70’s and 80’s throughout the season, autumn is a great time to get outdoors in Georgetown. Tie on your hiking shoes and traverse the seven miles of scenic trails at the 525-acre Garey Park, a lush escape to nature set just a few miles west of the downtown area. Travel through meadows and thickets of oaks before taking the River Trail to the bank of the San Gabriel River. After your hike, stop by the upper and lower pond to try your luck at hooking a fish or bring your horse to explore the trails. To get in some first-class birdwatching, follow the 1.5-mile nature trail that runs along the river, a heavily wooded area that is very active during migration season.
There are even more trails to explore at the Berry Springs Park and Preserve. Step along the 2.5 miles of hiking and biking paths and take in a view of two historic springs before settling in for the night in the 300-acre park’s campgrounds. If you’re looking for an easy-to-reach oasis, savor a picnic among the 200-year-old oak trees in San Gabriel Park. Take in a view of the pristine river from your own shady spot before dropping a canoe or kayak into the water for an afternoon paddling adventure.
Whether you’re searching for your next great hiking excursion or you want to breathe in fall’s fresh air, you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for in Georgetown.
Riverside Trails Offer Gorgeous Scenery
When you’re in the mood to work up a sweat, there’s no better place in Georgetown than the San Gabriel River Trail. Following the north and south forks of the San Gabriel River for nearly nine miles, this National Recreation Trail is much more than an exercise spot; it’s one of the best ways to get around town. Pick up the trail in San Gabriel Park, where it starts with a 1.6-mile loop before separating on either side of the river. Proceed along the south fork and you’ll find yourself at Blue Hole Park, one of the Texas Hill Country’s top swimming holes. Continue onto Pickett Trail, a half-mile natural trail that meanders through rock formations and outcroppings that eventually takes you to Chautauqua Park.
For a longer jaunt, opt for the trail on the river’s north fork, which passes through Rivery Park before ultimately culminating at Lake Georgetown. With so much space to explore, the San Gabriel River Trail is just as ideal for casual hikers and bikers as it is for long-distance runners. No matter where you start, you’ll enjoy an abundance of spectacular river views along with the idyllic autumn weather.
Inner Space Cavern is a Must See
Although fall is not the time of year you need to beat the heat, you should still descend into the magnificent subterranean wonderland of Inner Space Cavern. Hidden for more than 10,000 years, this natural wonder remains at a constant 72 degrees throughout the year. Beyond the temperature, which might be just the thing the doctor ordered on a chilly autumn day, the cavern is one of the best preserved of its kind in the Lone Star State. Each large room is adorned with beautiful formations that are showcased with prehistoric animal bones, leaving you to marvel at the forces that helped shape the cavern over millions of years.
To see it for yourself, choose from one of Inner Space Cavern’s three excursions. The Adventure Tour is an hour-long jaunt along lit paths to the cavern’s largest and most decorated rooms, while the Hidden Passages Tour introduces you to an undeveloped portion of the cave that is lit only by your flashlight. If you’re truly adventurous, sign up for the Wild Cave Tour. Hike, crawl, and climb through a complex maze of passages and chambers on this challenging four-hour descent underground. A true physical test, this tour is not for the faint of heart. Yet if you make it through to the end, you’ll have a lifetime’s worth of stories to tell.
It’s Easy to Savor a Day on the Water
The shimmering blue waters of a sprawling lake and just enough sunshine to bask in. If this sounds like the perfect fall day to you, get yourself to Lake Georgetown. Covering nearly 1,300 acres, the lake is a mecca for paddlers and anyone who wants to enjoy a day on the water. Don’t have your own kayak? Rent a single or a tandem from Ducks on the Pond Kayaks, who will deliver your watercraft of choice right to the lake. San Gabriel Paddlesports has kayaks you can borrow as well, along with boats you can propel with your feet that are ideal for fishing and photography.
Lake Georgetown provides a world of adventure, yet the best part about it might be its location. Set just six miles from the downtown area, the lake couldn’t be easier to reach.
You Can Savor Outdoor Dining at Its Finest
There’s nothing quite as satisfying as a delicious meal enjoyed outdoors, particularly on a refreshingly cool fall evening. Whether you’re searching for your next date night locale or a place to satisfy your appetite, you’ll find plenty of one-of-a-kind restaurants with outdoor patios in Georgetown. Start at none other than El Monumento, where mouthwatering street tacos and sizzling fajitas pair perfectly with frozen margaritas crafted with 100 percent blue agave blanco tequila, all-natural triple sec, fresh lime juice and a Japanese shaved-ice machine.
When nothing sounds better than a piping-hot pizza, claim a spot on 600 Degrees Pizzeria’s patio. Make your own pizza or order one of the specialty pies along with one of the 30 craft beers on tap. The pizzeria even offers vegan options for its cheese, sausage, chicken, ground beef, and chorizo, so there’s something on the menu for everyone. Meanwhile, Wildfire serves USDA dry-aged prime beef seared over oak logs along with sophisticated comfort food favorites, mouthwatering seafood entrees, and wines from Texas and beyond. Speaking of wine, if you enjoy a red or white then you should head to Kork Wine Bar. Choose from more than 25 wines by the glass (or more than 100 from around the world by the bottle) and savor a Neapolitan-style pizza, charcuterie board, or other small-plate dishes.
These are just four of Georgetown’s many restaurants where you can relish great food and fall’s friendly temperatures. Find more dining options here.
Delicious Desserts are Everywhere
Is there anything better than a sugary treat on a crisp autumn afternoon? Of course not! From fresh-baked cookies to creative milkshakes, you’ll come across a multitude of ways to satisfy your cravings here. Sink your sweet tooth into a made-your-way ice cream sandwich at The Baked Bear, where you can choose from more than a dozen cookies, ice cream flavors, and toppings like vegan chocolate chip and red velvet. You ice cream lovers will also want to check out Scoops Ice Cream, where you can choose from 42 varieties (including French toast and smores) along with an array of unique sundaes.
To truly treat yourself, look no further than The Yard Milkshake Bar. Look at the menu here and you’ll see that The Yard’s milkshakes are undoubtedly over the top. Each option comes with a delicious ice cream base and such toppings as dark chocolate shavings, whipped cream, and even an entire cupcake brownie. While all choices are great, you should consider the local’s choice: Greetings From Georgetown. Only found here in town, this milkshake comes with coconut chocolate almond and butter pecan ice cream with crushed Oreos, chocolate and red marshmallow drizzle, whipped cream, and a candy red poppy.
Hungry for more? There are more sugary sweets to be found here.
There are First-Rate Places to Stay
Dip your toes into a heated outdoor pool at a state-of-the-art hotel or unwind in your corner of a historic mansion. No matter the season, where you stay is just as important as what you do during your next getaway. Here in Georgetown, you’re spoiled for choice. Combining small-town Texas hospitality with world-class service, the Sheraton Austin Georgetown Hotel & Conference Center is a destination unto itself. Beyond its temperature-controlled pool, on-site dining, and state-of-the-art fitness center, the hotel’s posh guest rooms and spacious suites provide just the place to kick back after a day spent exploring Georgetown.
Book a few nights at the San Gabriel House Bed & Breakfast and you’ll feel right at home. This Arts-and-Crafts-style mansion built in the early 20th century is full of vintage charm, from its wrap-around veranda to its elegant parlors and original mahogany woodwork. The home houses five guest rooms with private bathrooms and high-end linens, with each unit connecting to a common area on the second floor. For more privacy, consider the studio apartment on the upper level of the Carriage House. Regardless of where you stay, you’ll enjoy a hearty two-course breakfast in the main dining room, which is just the thing you need to start your day in Georgetown.
Ready to hit the road? Plan your next autumn adventure to Georgetown, where you’ll find an abundance of things to see and do along with a Texas-sized serving of Hill Country charm. Discover Georgetown’s attractions, shops, restaurants, and lodging options here.