The friendly and cosmopolitan city of Cape Town is located on one of the most naturally spectacular stretches of shore in the world. Perched on the southern tip of the African continent, the city is surrounded by ocean and a unique coastal landscape. Just outside the city, Boulder's Beach is a great place to relax and check out the colony of resident penguins. For divers, Cape Town is also an appealing location, with a tremendous diversity of fish, coral, and geology under the sea.
When you arrive, consider taking a guided tour of the city, which will introduce you to the region's people, customs, and cuisine. A land of natural bounty, Cape Town is justifiably proud of its food and wine. Check out the delicious dining options in the Gardens or Waterkant districts, or visit the trendy Observatory neighborhood for a more bohemian vibe and ethnic food. If you want to make a day of it, take a trip to the Franschhoek Valley, one of the premiere wine growing regions in South Africa.
Here are a few additional suggestions of things to do in Cape Town:
-Table Mountain: You can climb to the 3,000-foot summit of Table Mountain to enjoy some of the most breathtaking views in all of Africa.
-Cape of Good Hope: Also called Cape Point, this nature reserve is filled with spectacular scenery and views of the Atlantic Ocean.
-Robben Island: Nelson Mandela was once an inmate at this former island prison, now an interesting museum.
-South African National Art Gallery: This museum maintains a collection of European and African art from the 19th and 20th century.
-Two Oceans Aquarium: This fun and family friendly aquarium has massive displays of flora and fauna from the Indian and Atlantic Ocean.
-Victoria and Albert Waterfront: This 19th century harbor was transformed into a chic shopping center with plenty of restaurants, bars, entertainment, and a promenade.
Visiting Cape Town is even better in a luxury vacation rental like a spacious beach house. If you want to stay in the middle of the city, look for an apartment or condo in the Gardens neighborhood or near the Waterfront, where the city's attractions will be within walking distance. If you've come to Africa for nature, seek out a private villa near the coast or a cozy cabin in the wine country.
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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