15 Reasons Why Locals Love Cape Town
With what is considered to be some of the best scenic beauty in the world on our doorstep, coupled with cosmopolitan class and outstanding food choices, here are some top local choices for fun in the Mother City:
1. World class hiking
Though Capetonians get a bad rap from the rest of the country for being so laid back, that doesn’t mean we’re not active. On the weekends you’ll likely find us hiking in Tokai Forest, Silvermine Nature Reserve, Cape Point Nature Reserve, or Table Mountain Nature Reserve – each of which has a unique scenic draw. Hiking isn’t only a daytime activity for us, because if there’s a full moon out, we’ll head up Lion’s head to get a bird’s eye view of the city sparkling below. Warm jackets, water bottles, a flashlight and sturdy takkies are recommended. Just one of the many reasons locals love Cape Town.
2. Cycling by moonlight
We love that our city is cyclist-friendly, and you’ll see mass amounts of us out and about in the various suburbs at all hours of the day. If you thought we were crazy for hiking in the moonlight to get a viewpoint vantage of our fair Mother City, you’ll confirm it when you find out about our moonlight mass. It’s a cycling event that occurs once a month on the night of a full moon. Participants meet up at Green Point Circle around 21:00 and take a leisurely cycle through the streets and down to the promenade.
3. A beach culture to be proud of
Sunshine and perfect waves go hand in hand in summer. We love surfing in Muizenberg, and you’ll find frequent local kite surfers taking advantage of the strong ocean winds at Blouberg Beach. Families often take their children to play at Fish Hoek Beach and Kommetjie beach, or head out for a day trip to visit the African penguins of Boulders Beach and picnic on the beige sands. Trend setters are usually found bronzing it up on the sandy Camps Bay and Clifton beach stretches – and only a brave few souls will chance the icy waters here. Can you begin to see why locals love Cape Town?
4. Proper picnics
Picnics are a must when there so much scenic beauty around. We love Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens (and will stay for the sunset concerts that are held on weekends in summer); as well as Signal Hill for a sunset picnic with a view. You’ll also find us heading up Table Mountain in the cable car to get a buffet picnic at the top. Greenpoint Park and Biodiversity Garden are very peaceful, while the Company Gardens and De Waal Park have a friendly squirrel population who love to be fed peanuts by locals. The majority of the wine estates found along the Constantia Wine Route and the Cape Winelands, and the beaches and coves along the coastline are all favoured by locals as picnic sites.
5. Lazy Sundays
Lazy Sundays result in many of us going on long morning drives to appreciate the scenic beauty in air-conditioned comfort, before stopping off somewhere for a hearty breakfast. Many enjoy visiting Scarborough or driving along Baden Powell, but Chapman’s Peak is our clear winner. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful coastal drives in the world, and has several notable photography and picnic stops for you to enjoy the postcard-perfect view. During your drive, keep an eye out for the bronze leopard near the Hout Bay side, which was to commemorate the fact we once had a variety of species roaming the mountain folds, most of which have disappeared.
6. We love watching the game!
As Cape Town has a proud history of being home to many talented sports players, it’s no wonder that come a sporting weekend we’ll be crammed into Newlands Stadium (some opt for the luxury window boxes to skip the crowds) so we can cheer on our favourite teams. If you’d like to watch up-and-coming sports stars and local teams play, head to the False Bay rugby club in Constantia on Friday evenings.
7. The dilemma of choosing where to go for drinks
Going for a drink in Cape Town comes with its own set of problems. Not only in picking which drink to start with, but also when choosing which venue to head to! You can enjoy people (and celeb) watching in Camps Bay with a cocktail in hand, or get a view of Table Mountain from the grassy slopes of Blue Peter in Blouberg. Local sports fans after some class can opt to grab a cold craft beer at Foresters Arms in Newlands or at Peddlers on the Bend in Constantia, both of which have big screen televisions and fireplaces. Then there are speciality places with ocean views, such as Pilana’s in Kalk Bay and Harbour House in Hout Bay, along with vibey spots in town like Jekyll and Hyde, Planet Bar, and the Kimberley Hotel.
8. Ladies who lunch
When Capetonian ladies need to head somewhere classy with friends, we opt to enjoy a high tea at the Mount Nelson and One&Only in town, both of which have over 15 tea varieties, as well as buffets which are laden with a variety of treats. We also love the 12 Apostles in Camps Bay for its outstanding ocean views, Rhodes memorial for its classy and historic atmosphere, and if we’re southern suburb locals we’ll head to the Vineyard Hotel & Spa in Newlands for a fine brew followed by a walk in the lush grounds.
9. Seafood galore
Seafood is one of Cape Town’s foodie delights, as most restaurants serve freshly caught fish daily. Kalkies, in Kalk Bay is a great option if you’re after some local culture, while more refined dining can be enjoyed at places such as the Black Marlin in Millers Point. We also love the Sunday half-price sushi and cocktail specials at Beluga, in Greenpoint, while restaurant chains such as Ocean Basket and Cape Town Fish Market have a high standard at their many outlets around Cape Town, and they are family-friendly.
10. Quirky restaurants serving the best food
We like quirky restaurants as much as the next person, which is why we often have to wait for weeks to get a seat at the Bombay Bicycle Club, an off-shoot of the legendary Madam Zingara that is filled to the brim with eclectic, artsy decor. I Love My Laundry is another local gem which we love, not only for the quirky atmosphere of the laundromat, but for the coffee served during the wait.
11. The world’s best coffee
Speaking of coffee, some of the best coffee around can be had in Cape Town! You’ll find us queuing at Truth Coffee HQ, a steampunk themed restaurant in the CBD; or sipping it at chain restaurants like Vovo Telo in the V&A Waterfront, which has a superb view of the Cape Town observation wheel.
12. Local markets
Markets are a way for us to support our local community, and there are numerous to choose from. Our busiest markets tend to be the Old Biscuit Mill in Town, the Slow Market in Stellenbosch, the Milnerton Market in the Northern Suburbs, and the Hout Bay markets on the weekends. During the week you’re better off heading to Green Market Square and the V&A Waterfront, which both offer a variety of curios and street snacks for you to munch on as you browse.
13. Community theatre
Though professional theatre shows are beloved at the Artscape and Fugard Theatre in Cape Town, and the Baxter Theatre in Rondebosch, we also support our smaller community theatres scattered amongst the suburbs. The Kalk Bay theatre has crowds laughing up a storm on Tuesday with their theatre sports nights, the Masque Theatre in Muizenberg regularly holds outstanding performances, and the Barnyard Theatre in Tygerberg cater to music lovers with live shows and performances.
14. A fabulous nightlife
Friday and Saturday nights are when we get to dance the night away, and it’s something we do very well. From pub and club hopping in Long Street at places like The Dubliners, and dinner and karaoke at Stardust, to dinner and dancing in Claremont – with Deco dance a firm favourite for its ‘80s blast from the past. If we have some cash to splash after pay day, we’ll head to the trendy velvet-rope clubs in Camps Bay and hobnob with the rich and famous, while those who are skint on cash at the end of the month tend to head to Pirates in Plumstead (the restaurant side is fab) and the Tavern in Deep River.
15. The captivating wildlife
If we ever feel the need to commune with wildlife we can take our pick from the World of Birds in Hout Bay, Monkeyland in Somerset West, the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town, or go on a day trip to Aquila Game Reserve along the West Coast. You’ll also find many local nature lovers visiting Rondevlei Nature Reserve, to try to spot the local hippo population.
Ready to go?
You can see why locals love Cape Town – now come and see for yourself, you are almost certain to fall in love with it as well. Somak Holidays specialise in organising luxury holidays to South Africa. Speak to our experts to arrange your trip to South Africa!
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