Known as “The Gateway to the Garden Route” George is situated beneath the dramatic Outeniqua Mountain range. Surrounded by a lush landscape blend of rivers, rich farmlands, forests and wild flowers, its stunning scenery is a major drawcard for the town.
Think comfortable, small-town ambience and country gorgeousness. You’ll be surprised by its city-like establishment and quite pleased that it doesn’t forget its small town roots. Initially established in 1810 as a woodcutter’s outpost supplying timber to the Cape Outpost, George has much more to offer than you might think.
Instead of dismissing it as another South African boring dorpie, you should add it to your travel list. Here’s why:
Sights to see and things to do:
1. Experience Xhosa hospitality at Thembalethu, Khulani Xhosa Village
Immerse yourself in another culture’s singing, dancing, storytelling, rituals, beer and bread and enjoy the warm African hospitality.
Learn all about the flourishing timber industry in George, and its effect on local social history. There’s also an Anglo-Boer War expo for war buffs and a Ruby Reeves fantasy fairy paintings display for the softer-hearted visitors.
One of George’s most famous landmarks, this tree was planted in 1811. The old oak tree has an old iron chain embedded in the trunk, with the remains of a heavy lock attached to it.
The only National Railway Museum in South Africa, the museum has a tremendous selection of trains and a fine vintage car collection. There’s also an impressive array of other more specialised vehicles like fire engines.
If you’re looking for spectacular views, this 3 to 5 hour guided tour in motorised rail trolleys will give you more than an eyeful. Travel the railway line between George and Oudtshoorn, up the Outeniqua Mountains.
Places to eat:
Your tummy and taste buds will appreciate visiting these fine culinary establishments while you’re in George:
6. The Girls
Hidden in a petrol station – this is a gem worth discovering. Having won many awards, The Girls restaurant has a warm, welcoming atmosphere, this eatery is casual and non-pretentious. The two ladies who own the restaurant cook your meals in an open kitchen, and your taste buds will be pleased with what they receive. There’s also shopping to be done here – art and curios – and Wi-Fi to be had!
Dine in George’s original Town Meeting Hall. Built in 1848, it’s been a restaurant since 1976. Known for its fine steaks, tender venison, seafood and handmade pasta – this is one menu you’ll have a hard time choosing from.
It doesn’t get better than home-cooked and made with love. Try Lauren’s for the best chocolate cake in the world!
Doing business in George:
9. There’s a conveniently located airport nearby – making it easy to jet in and out of George as needed. There’s also a stunning City Lodge Hotel with all the business facilities you could need: fax, photocopying and Wi-Fi.
10. The CBD is accessible from all directions and there’s far less rush-hour traffic than in any of South Africa’s other cities. This fact alone makes it well worth considering for business purposes!