In Georgetown, April Is Red Poppy Festival Time

All year-round, the central Texas city offers dining, outdoor activities and even a cave to explore.

By Marika FlattApril 19, 2018 10:06 am,

With its one-of-a-kind Victorian architecture and its incredible eats and shopping, the central Texas city of Georgetown offers lots of opportunities for activities and adventure.

The city’s biggest festival is the Red Poppy Festival that happens the last weekend of April. The city says Georgetown is one of the few places in the United States where red poppies grow naturally each spring. And late April is when the flowers are expected to be most abundant and in full bloom.

The history of the red poppies in Georgetown traces back to a man nicknamed “Okra.” His real name was Henry Purl Compton. Okra is said to have sent poppy seeds from northern France to his mother in Georgetown while he was serving as an Army corporal in World War I. The story goes that shortly after Okra’s mother planted the seeds, red poppies began to grow wild across the town.

To celebrate this unique bloom, Georgetown’s annual Poppy Festival features a parade, arts and crafts booths and lots of live music. This year’s headliner is musician Joe Nichols. And best of all, it’s free.

But if you don’t make it time to see the red poppies blooming, there’s still plenty to do anytime in Georgetown.

The city’s famous Blue Hole is most popular in the heat of the summer – but it’s open all year round. Located just a few blocks from Georgetown’s beautiful town square, the scenic lagoon and swimming hole is the perfect place to relax in a float, tube, or canoe. It’s also a good place to hike. But if it’s fishing you’re looking for, you’re better off heading out to Lake Georgetown. It’s a top regional destination for bass fishing.

You can also take a trip 70 feet below ground to Inner Space Cavern. Hidden for over 10,000 years, it’s one of the best preserved caves in Texas. Explore the naturally air-conditioned caves and mining area, or take kiddos to the playground and gift shop.

When you’re hungry, Georgetown’s food scene will not disappoint. Stop by 600 Degrees Pizzeria & Draft House for some North Beach-style pizza and craft beer. Or visit pit master John Mueller’s barbecue trailer, Black Box Barbecue.

Just a short drive from downtown is the recently-renovated Rentsch Brewery, the first craft brewery in Georgetown. It’s open Wednesday through Sunday – serving up craft beer, live music, and tons of tasty eating options from area food trucks.

Finish up your day on what’s called the most beautiful town square in Texas. Every first Friday of the month, merchants stay open late.

You can learn more about these and other Texas destinations in the travel issue of Texas Lifestyle magazine.