Located 25 miles north of Austin, the quaint town of Georgetown is an increasingly popular Austin suburb. Once considered a small town, Georgetown has now expanded both residentially and commercially and is considered one of the fastest growing small cities in the U.S.
In this month’s Q&A, we get the inside scoop from AQUILA’s Director of Marketing, Kendall Guinn, who grew up in Georgetown. She shares some of her favorite things to do and places to eat and how this Austin suburb has grown in recent years.
Q: What are some things to do in Georgetown?
A: When I go visit my mom in Georgetown, one of our favorite things to do is shop the Square and go antiquing. Georgetown’s historic town square is known as The Most Beautiful Town Square in Texas and has lots of antique stores to peruse. Some of our favorites are Georgetown Antique Mall, Rough and Ready Antiques and Gatherings. We also like to drop in Diva’s, a gorgeous home furnishings store.
While we’re out shopping, my husband and dad love to golf. Georgetown is known for its great golf courses and it has plenty — Georgetown Country Club, Berry Creek Country Club and the courses at Sun City, including Legacy Hills, White Wing, and Cowan Creek Golf Courses to name a few. Also, there is Cimmaron Hills, an exclusive Jack Nicklaus Signature Course.
Lastly, it may seem cheesy, but if you’ve never been to Inner Space Cavern it is worth a trip, especially if you have kids!
Q: Georgetown hosts several annual festivals and events. Which are your favorite?
My family also loves going to the Lighting of the Square the weekend after Thanksgiving. It’s a great way to get into the Christmas spirit!
Q: What about the arts and cultural scene?
Georgetown’s reputation as a cultural center has also grown substantially over the past several years. Community theater is a big draw with the Palace Theatre leading the way. Historic preservation is very important to Georgetown, and the Georgetown Historical Society and Williamson County Museum offer all sorts of activities and events to preserve the city’s gorgeous historic district, homes and the like.
Also, Southwestern University offers life theater, musical performances and other arts offerings that are revered by residents.
Q: What are some good places to eat in Georgetown?
A: Georgetown’s dining scene has expanded a lot in the past several years. When I was growing up the only real option was Chili’s. Now locals and tourists have a lot of options to choose from.
The most known eatery is Monument Cafe, which has been spotlighted by Texas Monthly and was featured on Food Network’s Diner’s, Drive-Ins and Dives. It is an institution in town and serves up delicious breakfast fare as well as southern cooking favorites in a retro feeling diner setting.
The owners of Monument also own El Monumento, which serves up modern, yet creative, Mexican food along the banks of the San Gabriel River. They have good, locally sourced food, yummy cocktails and a great ambiance.
Eating out on Georgetown’s historic town square is also a fun experience. You’ll find the locals hobnobbers at Wildfire, while Gumbo’s offers a nice date night locale. For more casual fare try 600 Degrees Pizzeria & Drafthouse or Full House BBQ Food Truck.
That said, I can’t officially call any trip to Georgetown complete without a trip to Dos Salsas, which offers traditional Tex-Mex comfort food.
Q: In your opinion, what is the best spot in Georgetown? Why?
A: My favorite place to go in Georgetown is Dos Salsas. It’s Georgetown’s best Tex-Mex restaurant and a place where you’re guaranteed to see someone you know.
The Light Plate – which counter to what the name suggests, probably has at least 1,000 calories – is a menu staple along with the street tacos and the Burrito Americano — a bean and cheese burrito that is slathered with queso!
While you wait for your table (because there is usually a wait) be sure to try the skinny margarita.
Q: What is the commercial real estate market like in Georgetown right now?
A: Georgetown’s great schools and quaint small-town charm has attracted a large new population to the city. In fact, since 2010, Georgetown has ranked in the top 10 of the U.S. Census Bureau’s Fastests Growing Cities. (This year they dropped to Number 5 after holding the top spot for several years straight, according to an article by Community Impact.)
This incredible population growth has led to an influx of national retail to serve these new rooftops. Shopping centers such as The Rivery and Wolfe Ranch have taken off as national restaurant chains and retailers flock to the area.
In terms of commercial space, Georgetown’s office market has historically been comprised of mom and pop businesses. But a few investors are looking to get in early and create an office market in the area.
Georgetown has a great reputation for being very family friendly and offering good schools. As such, it is home to a well-educated workforce. Employers looking to capture this talent could be well-served to locate in Georgetown where housing prices are more affordable than Central Austin.
With new product on the market and a strong workforce, it’s just a matter of time before employers get smart and choose to locate there.