Georgetown TX and Driftwood TX are two cities that are frequently compared by someone who is considering relocating to the Austin area and wants something a bit outside of the bustling city. There are definitely some similarities between the two cities and also some differences. Here we’ll help point those out and help you make the decision which city would be better for you.
Georgetown vs Driftwood: Topography and Appearance
Georgetown is a much bigger city, covering over 59 square miles, while technically the city of Driftwood covers about 2 square miles. What is considered Driftwood is a much bigger area, but still not 60 square miles. With a larger footprint, Georgetown has more variation in topography.
The east side of Georgetown is flat and rural with very few trees and the west side is more wooded with slight rolling hills. You can find everything from homes on large parcels, to large ranches with livestock, to luxury homes on acreage lots in a neighborhood setting, established communities with smaller homes on sizable lots to master planned communities of new homes on small lots.
Driftwood also has large parcels with ranch type properties as well as luxury homes on acreage lots in a more neighborhood type setting. There are no large master planned communities with homes on tiny lots just yet. Driftwood is trying to keep its small town quaint and unique without bringing in any hints of a big city. Driftwood does have some rolling hills and some areas that are barren with very little trees and some that are tree covered.
Georgetown vs Driftwood: Distance to Austin and Location
Georgetown is located north of Austin just past Round Rock. Driftwood is located southwest of Austin.
Both Georgetown and Austin are pretty equidistant to Downtown Austin. Driftwood is 24 miles to Downtown Austin and Georgetown is 27 miles. During off peak driving hours, it takes about 32-35 minutes to get to Downtown Austin from both places.
The difference comes when you have to travel during commute hours. North Austin is much more densely populated and Georgetown to Downtown Austin requires you get on 35 (a north/south commute), which can slow down in both Round Rock and Austin, even during off peak hours. From Driftwood, you take back roads through rural parcels to get to MoPac and then continue the last few miles on the freeway. Driftwood is much less densely populated, and thus has less traffic. Driving from Driftwood is going to feel a lot easier as it will be mostly rural back roads driving versus freeway through busy suburban and city areas if you come from Georgetown.
If you need to get to the airport easily, it’s also easier to come from Driftwood than Georgetown. The east/west commutes are a lot easier than the north/south commutes in Austin. Though Georgetown has the 130 toll road that helps residents avoid 35 when that is busy, it is also starting to back up some during rush hour. Distance is again very similar with 28 miles from Driftwood and 33 miles from Georgetown, both about 35-38 minutes without traffic. However, if you find yourself traveling at a busy time of day, coming from Driftwood would be a little easier.
Georgetown vs Driftwood: Schools
If you’re needing to utilize the school district, the Dripping Springs ISD, which serves the Driftwood area, is one of the most highly rated districts in the Austin area. And, if schools are your top consideration, you should stop reading this guide right now and settle on Driftwood. Georgetown ISD schools are acceptable, and certainly improving as more families move to Georgeotwn, but they’re nowhere near the current quality of the Dripping Springs ISD.
Georgetown vs Driftwood: Grocery Shopping
Being as though Georgetown is much more developed, it takes the grocery shopping category. There are two H-E-B’s (San Antonio based grocery store) and one Randall’s (Safeway in other cities) located in Georgetown and a new, mega H-E-B store coming to Wolf Lakes Village at 29 and 35. Georgetown is also about 15 minutes from Sprouts, located in Round Rock and 20-25 minutes from Costco in Cedar Park and North Austin. Georgetown is getting a Costco in 2023, so soon that will be a quick drive.
Driftwood currently has no grocery stores. But, you can go to Escarpment and Slaughter for H-E-B and Dripping Springs at 12 and 290 for another H-E-B. Sprouts, Whole Foods, Costco and Trader Joe’s are located in South Austin and are 20-30 minutes from Driftwood depending on which you go to.
Though you might not have all of the options you’d have in Austin as close as they are in Austin, you still won’t be going 45 minutes back to the grocery store when you forgot eggs or milk. You just might have to do a little more grocery planning in Driftwood than you would in Georgetown.
Georgetown vs Driftwood: Homes and Neighborhood Types
Driftwood does have a much more consistent type of neighborhood and home type than Georgetown. Lots in Driftwood start at around ¾ of an acre and go up to 25 acres. Lot sizes in Georgetown can be as small as 0.09 acres, but as large as 100 acres, though in a typical year the largest lot is more around 20 acres.
The most master planned type communities in Driftwood are acreage lots with luxury homes, whereas Georgetown has several master planned communities with newer homes on very small lots. Georgetown also has acreage lots with luxury homes as well, but they are mixed in. Now that Georgetown has grown significantly, the city has approved more suburban style living and we aren’t seeing that in Driftwood.
Georgetown has a well known Del Webb Active Adult community called Sun City, which is bigger than the entire city of Driftwood. If you’re looking to be around other active adults and have planned activities, golf, dining and community pool right in your neighborhood but don’t want to maintain it, you can’t do better than Sun City.
If you want something more uniform with high end homes on large lots and don’t want to have any master planned communities nearby, Driftwood is your best bet. If you don’t mind the variation, or need variation for other family members to live nearby, Georgetown can offer more affordable options.
Georgetown vs Driftwood: Shopping and Dining
Shopping and dining in Georgetown is much more convenient as you don’t have to leave the city. Wolf Ranch at 29 and 35 has several big box retailers including a Target, Walmart, Kohl’s, Best Buy and PetSmart to name a few, as well as several restaurants. Downtown Georgetown has several family owned restaurants that are actually quite delicious. Plus, if you go downtown, you’ll have the quaint small town square atmosphere to enjoy while you dine.
Driftwood does have a few options for dining, but none for shopping. There are several wineries and breweries that are opening restaurants or including food trucks on-site. However, their operation hours are limited. So, if you wanted to run out for lunch during the week, you might not have many or any options that are open. Depending on where in Georgetown you live, you might have a longer drive, but you will have at least a few options. Dinner is usually a little bit easier to secure in both cities, with still many more options in Georgetown.
Georgetown vs Driftwood: Housing Costs
Georgetown’s housing costs are much more affordable than Driftwood’s. Some of that is because there is more supply in Georgetown and another reason is there are more varied housing options, including some smaller homes on small lots, which you don’t find in Driftwood.
The average price of a home in Georgetown in July 2022 was $555,336 and the median price was $486,400. The average price of a home in Driftwood in July 2022 was $1,177.936 and the median price was $1,025,000. Only 97 homes have sold in Driftwood over the past year compared to nearly 3,000 in Georgetown.
So, not only does Georgetown have more choices, they also have better pricing.
Georgetown vs Driftwood: Hospitals and Medical Care
There are no hospitals in Driftwood. There are one or two doctors’ offices, but you’ll probably find yourself going to Dripping Springs or Austin for medical care. Dripping Springs does not have a hospital just yet, but they do have several doctors.
Georgetown has a Saint David’s in Georgetown and a trauma center in Round Rock, so you likely won’t have to go into Austin for medical care. Plus, there are several other doctors, even specialists in Georgetown, so you won’t really have to travel too far for great medical care.
Georgetown vs Driftwood: Which One is Better for You?
Georgetown and Driftwood are very similar in some ways and then very different in others. Typically when people start this research online, they’ll be leaning towards one area and when they see it in person, they’ll sometimes switch. Though you can get a lot of information online, nothing can substitute for driving around and seeing what each area is about. If you can’t do that, talking to a Realtor about what you’re looking for so they can help you discover some of the nuances that can’t be researched online is the next best thing.
Considering Relocating to the Austin Area?
Our team is very experienced in helping buyers relocate from other areas of the country. We relocated to the Austin area nearly 15 years ago now and love it. Since then, we’ve specialized in helping other people do the same thing. With a little bit more information from you about what you’re looking for and what types of places you need to be able to easily access, we can help you determine which area of town is best for you. Whether it be Georgetown, Driftwood, or some other area of town that might be a better fit. Our job is to analyze what you’re looking for and how you like to live and help you determine the best place to start looking.
For more info about our home buying program, check out our Austin Home Buyers page and our Austin Relocation Guide page. Then, email us at info@11OaksRealty.com or call us at (512) 827-8323 to discuss your move and how we can help.