If you are a travel junkie like me, you are always planning your next vacation. Sometimes it’s a real-life vacation, sometimes it’s just a “maybe someday” kind of vacation. I have a list of dream places I would like to visit and enjoy researching different things to do when I’m there. I’ve been known to peruse street-view in google maps so often it’s embarrassing. What can I say, I’m curious! I also love finding out about the so-called hidden gems that aren’t on everyone’s dream vacay list.
Considering all this, you can imagine my excitement when I came across this NY Times article of the 52 Places to go in 2014. My imaginary travel planning wheels kicked into overdrive. That’s a new destination a week!
What was even more exciting was to see that Cape Town was listed as the #1 place to travel to in 2014! Fellow travel blogger The South AfriKhan contributed a beautiful writeup about the town’s impending renaissance and called it “a place to meditate on freedom.” With Nelson Mandela’s passing, the city was boosted from a top 10 contender to the #1 place to travel in 2014.
Well, guess who is visiting Cape Town for the first time in 2014? THIS GIRL RIGHT HERE!
After hemming and hawing over dates, my husband and I have decided on a visit the first week of February! (It’s coming up quickly!)
My girlfriends Jessica and Emily have booked their tickets to visit me in March and a trip to Cape Town is on their to-do list also! Two trips to Cape Town in two months? Sign me up!
Finally, my real-life travel planning has begun. And please, if you have been to Cape Town, suggestions are welcome!
Here are the top 5 things I’d like to do in Cape Town:
1. Take a cable car or hike up Table Mountain (and maybe abseil down?)
Photo by: Irene2005 via Flickr
Table Mountain is the stunning mountain that is the backdrop of the Cape Town skyline. I can’t wait to get to the top of this baby! You can either hike or take the cable car up to the top. The photo opportunities are out of this world. To get down, you can either take the cable car or abseil. The abseil down Table Mountain is the world’s highest commercial abseil and of course my adrenaline junkie hubby is set on doing it. I’m not all that sure about it, but who knows, maybe I’ll be feeling brave and want to join him?
Price (for cable car return trip): R200 or approx. $20. http://www.tablemountain.net/
Price (abseil): R800 or approx. $80.Details here: http://cape-xtreme.com/product/adventure/abseiling/
Price (guided hike): Varies by route. Details here: http://www.hiketablemountain.co.za/hiking-routes-table-mountain/
2. Take a drive on Chapman’s Peak, overlooking Hout Bay
Photo by: Jonohey via Flickr
Photo by: 126 Club via Flickr
Consistently rated as one of the best scenic drives in the world, a drive along Chapman’s Peak looks like an amazing place to take in Cape Town’s natural beauty and snap a few photos!
Price: Priceless 🙂
3. Visit a vineyard and sample some wine
Photo by: slack12 via Flickr
I can’t think of anything better than touring a beautiful winery, learning about the different wines, and capping off the evening with a glass of red and a cheese platter while watching the sun set over the mountains! Heaven!
The Stellenbosch Wine Routes is the oldest wine route and the heart of wine country in Cape Town. It boasts over 200 wineries and the town itself is known for it’s quaint small town feel and University. Here is a great guide on how to plan your wine route through Stellenbosch.
For those without a car, an all-day wine tour is a great option. Your guide will pick you up from your hotel and take you on a getaway to three different locations in wine country. You’ll get to sample many different wines and not have to worry about who will drive!
Price for the all-day tour: R600 or approx. $60. (includes lunch, wine, and transport)
4. Tour Robben Island
Photo by: mosilager via Flickr
A tour of Robben Island is at the top of many tourists to-do lists. This 3-hour tour gives visitors an inside look at how life was during the apartheid and is a history lesson that is vital to understand South Africa’s past and future. A highlight of the tour is seeing the jail cell where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 year prison sentence before becoming South Africa’s first democratically elected President. It is said to be an incredibly humbling experience.
Price: R250 or approx. $25.
5. Boulders Beach
Photo by: stevec77 via Flickr
Serious cuteness overload! I’ve been to many beaches in Florida, but the closest I’ve ever gotten to a penguin was at Seaworld at Orlando. At Boulders Beach cute little penguins run free and you can’t beat the view!
Price: R40 or approx. $4.
Photo by: andavis86 via Flickr
Want more? Here are 50 photos of Cape Town that will make you wish you lived there!
Featured photo of Table Mountain by: Dietmar Temps via Flickr