For this series on iconic ports of call, we’re highlighting nine cities that have leveraged their more industrial past to flourish into world-renowned waterfront destinations. Several travel professionals share suggestions on where to go, what to see and what to do to fully appreciate these maritime metropolises.
Known as the fairest cape in the world, Cape Town is flanked by the currents of two oceans and is nestled below the breathtaking Table Mountain and Twelve Apostles. What started as a supply station in 1652 has grown into a city whose metropolitan appeal is matched only by its dramatic natural landscape. Apartheid in South Africa didn’t end until 1994, when multi-racial democratic elections were held and won by the African National Congress under Nelson Mandela. “Cape Town is a small city with cultural influences from all over, creating one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world,” says Britta Dahms of Ellerman House. Karen Van Schalkwyk with One&Only Cape Town adds, “Here you will find a mix of cultures, landscapes, architecture, lifestyles, customs and scenery and myriad things to do whatever your tastes, inclinations or budget.”
Table Mountain: Whether you get to the top on foot or via the cableway, visitors enjoy sweeping views of the city, Robben Island, the peninsula and beyond from this wonder of nature.
Camps Bay: The chic Camps Bay suburb is home to some of the trendiest places to see and be seen, and its white-sand beaches are a favorite of the rich and famous.
The Old Biscuit Mill: A little village in the Woodstock neighborhood, the Mill is home to markets, workshops, designer stores and restaurants. The Test Kitchen, voted South Africa’s best restaurant in 2014, is so popular it has a month-long waiting list, says Dahms.
Winelands: The picturesque Franschhoek and Stellenbosch regions are a mere 45-minute drive from Cape Town and produce some of the world’s best wines.
Kirstenbosh Gardens: “No visit to Cape Town is complete without a stroll through the most beautiful garden in Africa,” says Van Schalkwyk.
This article is an excerpt from the July, August, September edition of the Traveler magazine. Click here to access the full issue.