This Small Town In Texas Is Packed With History And Charm

Known for having the “Most Beautiful Town Square in Texas”, Georgetown is a small historic town just 27 miles north of Austin. The Red Poppy Capital of the state continues to surprise visitors with all that it has to offer, and its close proximity to Austin makes it a popular destination for locals who want to get away from the city noise and relax in the welcoming, quaint town just north of Round Rock.

Georgetown and all its hidden charm is the kind of place you want to spend a little time to get to know - ask the locals, put on your walking shoes, and come willing to explore. Lucky for you, I have researched and listed all the important sites, best places to visit, and most interesting facts to help you create the ultimate weekend getaway.

When visiting Georgetown, there is an obvious choice on where to stay - The brand new Sheraton Georgetown is a 222-room hotel located in the heart of town, just a few blocks from most of the attractions and a short drive from the beautiful countryside and farmlands. The juxtaposition of luxurious amenities and the small rustic charm of the surrounding terrain is the perfect mix for a leisurely staycation.

Featuring a Lone-Star-meets-luxury design accented with rich woods and textures layered with locally-inspired art, the hotel beautifully captures everything that we know Texas to be. Artsy and vibrant, the guest rooms are cozy while maintaining a big-city flair, equipped with everything you might need. Sheraton is known for continuously delivering a top-notch experience, and this is no exception - signature brand amenities, expert staff, 24-hour room service serving a well-curated menu from the in-house restaurant Brix and Ale, a complete fitness center, plus the ideal location right on a hike-and-bike trail - it all comes together seamlessly, creating the framework for an effortless weekend stay. Enjoy a full breakfast buffet or brunch menu, featuring gourmet items and even a brisket table, because well, this is Texas after all. Be sure to relax in the cabanas and go for an invigorating swim before heading home.

About 4 miles down the biking trail from the Sheraton Georgetown you will come to a scenic lagoon known as Blue Hole. The pet-friendly park is lined by natural limestone bluffs, fresh water and plenty of wading pools. Though diving is not permitted and the water is not monitored by the city, the park is clean and well maintained by the locals who treasure the town’s heritage. The park is a popular destination for visitors during the hot summer months and the mature trees make for the perfect shady spot for a break during a busy day of family fun. Bring a picnic basket and chilled drinks, and plan to stay a few hours.

The famous nine-block area circling the Williamson County Courthouse is a beloved gathering spot for locals and residents. Filled with antique stores, restaurants and gift shops housed in the historic buildings, this area creates most of the business for the city. Most weekends you will hear live music floating through the town from Grape Creek Winery as passersby search for their next stop. The historic sites have been preserved as a result of community efforts through the years, and the culture of appreciating the charm and character of Georgetown shines through every victorian detail. For an easy day, plan an afternoon poking into the small shops and stopping for lunch in one of the lively restaurants.

A day of biking and hiking in the sun is sure to make you work an appetite, and Georgetown has more than enough options to quench your every mood. The many restaurants on the square and around town cover everything from fine dining to juicy burgers and kid-friendly joints. Have a glass of wine at one of the wineries, dinner at a French restaurant, and dessert paired with live music, all within one block.

First discovered by the Texas Highway Department in 1963 during the construction of I35, the Inner Space Cavern is a unique experience for any age. Dating back 90-100 million years, the cavern is filled with stories - some in the form of prehistoric Ice-Age animal skeletons. Today, though much of it remains unexplored and blocked off, around 1.2 mile tour of the cavern is open to the public. There are three guided tours available on a first-come, first-served basis, including the newly opened Hidden Passages Tour which takes visitors on a rugged intimate tour of the delicate formations through an undeveloped trail.

So much history, geography and nature are embedded in Georgetown’s past. The 169-year old town is home to Southwestern University, the oldest university in Texas founded in 1840, and also houses three National Register Historic Districts - Williamson County Courthouse District, Belford National District, and the University Avenue/Elm Street District.

The city also has a large collection of Victorian buildings, restored and protected by a local historic ordinance, which you can find and learn about through the downtown Visitor Center. Travelers can spend the day taking in the architecture’s character, and learning about the pre-historic findings, the five endangered species residing in the area, and the unique topography along the San Gabriel river.

For lovers of live music, Georgetown offers frequent opportunities to appreciate the arts. From the annual classical concerts spanning September to May at the Klett Center for the Performing Arts, to the frequent live country and jazz music held at the local restaurants, and the free concerts held each month at the Georgetown Public Library, there are plenty of chances to support the music scene. Georgetown is also home to the Red Poppy Festival taking place on April each year, featuring dance and live music performances all weekend. To keep up with the music scene, stay current on Georgetown’s Arts page.

Interior design and home decor attract many Texas to the small town, where many come to hunt for collector’s items, antique finds and period pieces. From genuine farmhouse decor to the finest French home furnishings, shoppers come to the Town Square to spend an afternoon finding the missing pieces for their homes, and most likely an anecdote to go with it.

Georgetown offers a variety of spas and salon services for those visiting for the day or an extended stay. Whether you just need a quick nail or hair fix or want to indulge in a full body treatment and clinical facial, there is a spa that is just right for you. Ask the concierge at your hotel for recommendations and help making an appointment, ending your visit on a pampered note.

Follow along with the author on Social Media!

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.