A Hidden Gem
Words by Erin McWilliams Photos Courtesy of Newton O’Neill Communications
Georgetown is one of the Hill Country’s hidden gems, boasting the beautiful Blue Hole along the San Gabriel River, one of the best preserved caves in the state, and a dreamy town square.
After a long work week, make it a low-maintenance Friday. Check into the historic San Gabriel House and check out 600 Degrees Pizzeria Drafthouse on the square for a huge slice of their mouthwatering pies. If you’re indecisive, try your luck with the Baker’s Choice, and let the chef decide the fate of your pizza. After you’ve had your fill, let your food digest while walking around the Square to see the holiday lights (lit the Friday after Thanksgiving!) or catch A Christmas Carol at the Palace Live Theater.
Start your day with a farm-to-table brunch at Sweet Lemon Kitchen, where everything is made from scratch, then take a tour of the Inner Space Cavern that lays 33.5 feet under I-35 and is home to fossils of over 44 species of animals, including a Mammoth and Saber-Tooth Tiger. If you’re looking for a paved walking tour, take the Adventure Tour, but if you’d rather a real adventure, take the Hidden Passages Tour and explore delicate formations off the beaten path (literally). The truly daring will take a gamble on the Wild Cave Tour, where participants crawl through rugged passages of the caves for four hours with nothing but a flashlight. After all that walking (or crawling), you might be hungry for a snack. Visit the Monument Market for a healthy light-bite, drink from the espresso bar, or a homemade dessert. Make a day of the Rentsch Brewery, just a ten-minute drive from the caverns. End your night with dinner and cocktails at The Hollow Brasserie.
The Monument Cafe offers a classic diner-style breakfast and lunch that will remind you of your favorite diner back home. You might notice while driving through town that many of the houses and buildings have metal plaques on them; that’s because they are part of Georgetown’s Historic District and are protected from renovation by the county. To get a good viewing-variety, drive down Myrtle, Ash, or University. Before heading out of town, stop by Mikey V’s Hot Sauce Shop and taste-test some award-winning, mouth-burning salsas and hot sauces to take home as a souvenir.
If you go…
Where to Stay: If you’re looking for convenience and comfort, the new Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center sits across I-35 from the square on the San Gabriel River. It has everything you could possibly need, but if you’re looking for something more quaint and local, try the San Gabriel House, a few blocks from the square, or Sweet Lemon Inn right inside the square.
Holiday Events: The Friday after Thanksgiving, the entire Square is decorated with Christmas lights. December 1-2, Georgetown puts on the annual Christmas Stroll that includes Santa, a parade, a Christmas Tree Farm, Bethlehem Village, and The Grinch’s Whoo-village. Drive around the square and neighborhoods to see houses and businesses put on holiday light displays.