As South Africa’s most popular tourist destination, Cape Town lives up to its reputation. Cape Town is seated on the outskirts of Table Mountain, a flattop mountain that divides the city into distinct regions. On the north side of Table Mountain lies Cape Town’s downtown district where you’ll find the bulk of the city’s shopping, nightlife, and theater attractions. To the west are the Twelve Apostles mountain region and the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, the hotspot for outdoor adventures. In southern Cape Town, you’ll find stretches of vineyards and the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, known for its diversity and richness of plant species. Finally, in the east lies Cape Town’s industrial district.
Tabletop Mountain is a prime destination for hikers and thrill-seekers alike. Hike up one of the 350 trails that lead to the mountain’s summit, or ride to the summit in a cable car, an exhilarating experience. Once you’re at the top, you can abseil back down. Visitors can mountain bike to Cape Point, the southernmost peak of the Cape Peninsula, swim with the penguins at Boulders Beach, scuba dive off the coast of False Bay, or kayak the waters around the Cape Peninsula.
Music is big in Cape Town. Throughout the city’s many bars and dance clubs, you’ll likely find a wealth of live music. Theater is also making a comeback in Cape Town. Some of the more popular theaters include Artscape for opera and ballet, Baxter Theater Centre for an eclectic variety of performances that include comedy shows and jazz concerts, Maynardville Open Air Theatre for a summer outdoor Shakespeare performance, and The Warehouse for mainstream dramas that cater to a young adult crowd. For shopping, there are a few choice destinations. The most popular is the V&A Waterfront with its variety of shops and restaurants. However, for a less expensive yet more original shopping experience, visit the street markets that make up the Gardens Shopping Centre.
There are plenty of family attractions in Cape Town to appease both parents and children. For a day of fun at the theme park, visit Ratanga Junction and ride its 24 rides that range from steam trains to roller coasters to boats. Bird-watching kids and adults won’t want to miss World of Birds, a collection of more than 3000 birds housed in walk-through aviaries. Boulders Beach is the prime beach destination for children because of its calm waters and viewable penguin reserve. Finally, there are many museums in Cape Town, the most notable being the Two Oceans Aquarium. There, kids and parents can view an immense collection of marine life, and there’s even a “petting zoo" where kids can handle select species.
Jessica Elliott is a freelance writer for Directory of Hotels.com – Hip Cool Hotels . For travel to this region, she recommends staying at any one of these fine boutique hotels in Cape Town .