1) Landscape & Climate
Strikingly beautiful, Cape Town is a year-round City. From Table Mountain to the Cape Town Waterfront, every angle and every view cries out for an Instagram worthy photo. Add to this the Temperate Climate - by Seoul, South Korea & Mid-Atlantic, USA standards! – and it is clear why so many people call Cape Town not only their Dream Vacation spot, but home.
Spending the day experiencing Cape Town’s Landscape & Climate at the spectacular Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens offers an amazing array of Botanical Knowledge and Experiences. Kirstenbosch is run by the South African National Biodiversity Institute. If there is a member of the Family whose passion is Botanical in nature, this is the spot to dedicate at least a day’s exploration.
As with all of Cape Town, make sure your camera batteries are full and there is plenty of space for all the pictures you could dream of taking. Kirstenbosch is a great way to experience Cape Town’s Unique Landscape & Climate.
On everyone’s list when visiting Cape Town is of course Robben Island. Yet, there are many more Museums than those often expected by Tourists. Cape Town itself has gone out of its way to attract the largest collection of modern African art in the World, the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa.
Cape Town has such diverse Museums as the South African Jewish Museum, offering Heritage Experiences of the Jewish Diaspora, to the Heart of Cape Town Museum, which highlights the world’s first human heart transplant. There are also amazing gallery areas, all of which can be tailored into a bespoke Cape Town Experience.
A few important opening notes: Unlike most Museums in the World, the Zeitz closes on Tuesdays, rather than Mondays. And, the SA Jewish Museum is closed Saturdays and Jewish Holidays. Make sure to plan accordingly!
3) Food & Wine & Gin & Rum & ….
After the Sun, Beaches, & Laidback Lifestyle, many find Cape Town synonymous with good Food and Drink. While the first drink to come to mind may be Wine, Cape Town has a burgeoning and dynamic Micro Brewery industry.
Both Gin and Rum production, on a small, artisanal scale have boomed throughout the Western Cape. In fact, these Spirit Distilleries have become an integral part of Cape Town Tourism. Offering tastings, just as found in the World Famous Cape Wine Region, hard liquor producers have created a truly niche market, in their own right attracting Tourists from around the World.
Another note about opening hours: As these are often, small, family run, working Distilleries, many are only open limited hours for their delicious Tastings. For instance, on of my favorite micro Gin Distilleries, Hope on Hopkins, is open on Saturdays only, between 12pm and 5pm. But, they are well worth planning to visit and almost all offer non-alcoholic alternatives for the youngsters and teetotalers in your group.
While the Victoria & Albert Waterfront, and specifically my beloved Woolworth’s, is the center of Cape Town Shopping, there is so much more to explore. Last year I was looking for reusable copper straws and was able to source them at a specialty shop, Blink, on Regent Road, Sea Point in Cape Town.
And, while you often hear people warn “never purchase from a hotel gift shop” I have found the opposite to be true throughout Africa. In Cape Town, several of my favorite pieces of Patrick Mavros jewelry were sourced from Hotels which carry his collection. As well as my unique, one-of-a-kind hand embroidered wildlife placemats were found at the Westin Cape Town Gift Shop.
Of course, there is also always the opportunity to purchase that exceptional, ethically sourced South African Diamond. You can find more details about this type of experience in my Art, Wine & Safari, Cape Town & Kruger, South Africa Experience.
Cape Town offers the international, world traveler shopping options and choices not found anywhere else.
Who doesn’t love to fit in a bit of time at the Spa while vacationing? Like many other aspects of Cape Town, you can find World Class Spas throughout the City. One of the benefits of Cape Town being such a modern, sophisticated City is also the flexibility of services. On more occasions than I’d like to admit, I have arrived in Cape Town, prior to a Business Trip, and needed some immediate Spa Services. I have always found a Spa who could fit me in last minute, while still providing Top Notch Service.
Of course, one of my favorite Spas in Cape Town is Heavenly Spa by Westin. In addition to offering great Spa Treatments, you can also request a private massage in your room – a service I have found not many Hotel Spas offer. One of my favorites is Heavenly’s Signature Massage, which offers, “…the pure essence of marula oil to aid relaxation and celebrate Africa’s deep spirit.” Marual Oil = Heaven!
6) Medical Tourism
I have raved on numerous occasions about Medical Tourism to South Africa. Last year in Cape Town I was able, at an exceptional cost, receive State-of-the-Art Eye Care. You can find my blog post on this experience here.
And, as if to put the icing on the cake, just a few weeks ago I was back in the States talking with a friend of mine who needed to go for an Eye Exam. She was dreading the awful, painful “deluted eye” exam. She had never heard of the exam now being done by computer, as I had experienced in Cape Town. You better believe I suggested some Medical Tourism.
7) The People
No matter how enchanting the views, delicious the new opportunities for exploration, or enticing the off-the-beaten path may be, all places of travel on Earth are made by The People. If New York City is the melting pot of the World, Cape Town is the fusion, multicultural Capital of Africa.
Of course, Cape Town’s bread and butter is the Hospitality Industry. Thus, there is, as would be expected, the highest quality of Customer Service. But, I have always been able to feel the genuine. The People of Cape Town are truly welcoming. There have been few places on Earth, to which I have traveled, that from the very beginning I was creating deep and lasting friendships.
So, even with all the other amazing reasons, The People of Cape Town are my top reason for loving Cape Town.
Sien jou binnekort!