Listen up, friends! If there is one place to add to your wanderlust-wish list, make it Cape Town. Not only does the South African "Mother City" boast some serious eye candy (striking mountains, a gorgeous coastline, ridiculous sunsets), but there is so much to do, see, eat and drink.
Cape Town feels just as familiar as it does exotic; killer farmers markets, awesome restaurants, vineyards (yeahhhh wine!), hiking, beaches and boutique-lined streets are juxtaposed with rich African culture, colorful art, music and dance.
Fresh, healthy food is abundant and there are so many great hikes and other activities, so you won't skip a beat with your healthy routine.
But unless you live in Botswana, Cape Town is a bit of a trek, so before you book your long haul here are a few tips:
If you’re traveling with friends, Blue Views in Camps Bay has some incredible (and I mean INCREDIBLE) vacation rentals. Fitted out with a large deck and pool overlooking the ocean and mountains, an awesome sound system, a fully equipped kitchen and BBQ (or as they call it in Africaans, a braai), you won’t want to leave. If you do decide to venture out, the location is great—you’re just steps away from some of the city’s best hikes and only a 10-15-minute drive from the city center.
Thirty minutes outside of Cape Town in the wine region of Stellenbosch, there is a magical place called Babylonstoren. No joke. It’s literally magic. The perfectly-manicured, freaking gorgeous farm is home to more fruit, veg and succulents than you can name (I dare you). The best part: you can eat whatever you can pick. Accommodations are nothing short of dreamy (think plush four-poster bed and free standing bathtub are just the beginning). Common areas are great for lounging; read a book from the library, hit the pool, sauna, steam or salt room (yes, I said salt room-it's lined with 100% Himalaya salt and is great for your skin and respiratory system, lowers inflammation and can even improve your mood). Don’t leave without tasting their yummy AF rosé and snagging a bottle of their house olive oil. It’s worth checking a bag for.
Hit the mountain! Lions Head and Table Mountain are the most renowned hikes in Cape Town and despite their popularity, are not for the faint of heart. Prepare to climb over some pretty legit rocks. Get up bright and early to beat the crowds and the heat. And if you’re really motivated, try to catch the sunrise from the top.
If you’re in Cape Town on a Saturday, you absolutely must check out Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock. Once a week, this little village turns into the most incredible marketplace. Delicious food stalls, artisanal products, locally-designed clothing, jewelry, bags and other awesome stuff are all for the taking. Sit in the sun, enjoy an acai bowl and chill.
At Old Biscuit Mill, look out for WeWe—super cool African clothing designs ethically handcrafted by local women working from home.
And don’t leave the continent without a colorful painting. Talented local artists are abundant. I found a piece I loved at the V&A Waterfront, which will hang prominently in my home and bring back so many great memories.
Cape Town is oozing with super cool restaurants and cafes. Chefs Warehouse on Bree Street offers a nightly tasting menu that highlights local produce and South African flavors, and Kloof Street House feels like dining in an old Victorian home and is a hangout for all cool kids of Cape Town.
For a healthy bite, Sexy Food on Bree Street is fermentation heaven. Their gut-friendly bun-less burgers and keffir'ade taste just as good as they are good for you. Scheckter’s Raw in Sea Point will satisfy all your plant-based desires. The raw snickers bar is perhaps the most delicious bite of food I’ve ever had. Period.