Cape Town, South Africa

Photo: vivekchugh via stock.xchng
Photo: vivekchugh via stock.xchng

Heading to Cape Town? Finally! The Mother City of South Africa, already known for its dramatic scenery and adventure activities, has been named the World Design Capital for 2014. Add in gorgeous beaches, exciting wildlife, and nearby wineries, and you’ll be trying to figure out how to extend your trip before it even begins.

A trip like this starts with a great hotel. After hours and hours of flying, you need a place where you can relax while the jet lag wears off. The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa will anticipate your every need. Breakfast no matter how early–or late–you arrive? No problem. Popcorn to go with your movie? No worries. Transportation to and from the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront? Already scheduled.

Photo: The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa
Photo: The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa

Located on coastal Victoria Road, the hotel is in between the Twelve Apostles and the Atlantic Ocean Marine Park. Basically, it’s on the edge of the world. And it’s an ideal location to watch for dolphins and whales. Or perfect sunsets. Make that a message, in a spa gazebo, at sunset. Go hiking in the wilderness trails. Eat an ostrich burger by the pool. Have a picnic in the Cape Floral Kingdom. Relax in a hammock in the Fynbos garden. Have Tea by the Sea at the Leopard Bar. Champagne and oysters at sunset–if you aren’t in the gazebo. Dine at Azure, where pan-seared abalone, Bea’s double-baked cheesecake, and local wine highlight the seasonal menu. Recovered from jet lag yet?

Photo: The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa
Photo: The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa

When you can finally drag yourself away from the hotel’s infinity pool, catch a ride to the center of the city. Ride the cable car to the top of Table Mountain for spectacular views of Cape Town and the ocean. Visit Robben Island, the former military base, hospital, and prison, where Nelson Mandela was held for 18 years. Stroll through the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens and the South African National Art Gallery. Eat Cape Malay curry in Bo-Kaap. Shop the De Waterkant boutiques. Party on Long Street. Have a sundowner.

But that’s just the beginning. Visit the Boulders Penguin Colony. Cage dive with great white sharks. Go kitesurfing or windsurfing. Relax on the beach: Clifton, Llandudno, or Camps Bay. Spot a zebra at Cape Point. Drink Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc in the Constantia Valley. You’ll be exhausted again, but this time, for all the right reasons.


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