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Your Fool-Proof Guide to 72 Hours in Cape Town

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Photo credit: Stephen Koigi
Photo credit: Stephen Koigi

 

Cape Town is a dream travel destination. The bustling streets are packed with marketplaces and award-winning restaurants, while the sea and lush mountain peaks are just steps away. Planning a 72-hour escape to a city with so many must-see sites and must-try activities is daunting, and that’s why we’ve created this fool-proof guide to making the most of three days in the Mother City of South Africa.

Day 1

 

MORNING

 

Photo credit: Waterkloof Wines
Photo credit: Waterkloof Wines

 

Jumpstart your first morning with a refreshing taste of Cape Town from the valley – at the Waterkloof, take a one hour horseback ride in the early hours of the morning to avoid the heat, or opt for a helicopter ride to see the terrain from above. Settle in for a lunch after your adventure at the Waterkloof restaurant “Cellar in the Sky.”

 

AFTERNOON

 

Photo credit: Spier
Photo credit: Spier

 

The noteworthy Spier 1692 wine vineyard and farm is inviting for all – taste their concoctions with your choice of chocolate or charcuterie, with the option of grape juice tasting for the kiddos in the tasting room overlooking the Spier Dam. If that wine makes you hungry, just wander over to one of the several restaurants on site: my personal recommendation is the healthy, farm-to table option, called Eight.

 

 

LATE AFTERNOON

 

Photo credit: Animal Ocean
Photo credit: Animal Ocean

 

Enjoy your position on the Atlantic Ocean with an Animal Ocean adventure – the perfect way to kickstart your first of three days in Cape Town. You can snorkel alongside adorable seals, or go on a Cape Photographic Expedition for underwater photography. It’s up to you to decide which adventure sounds appealing.

 

NIGHT

 

Photo credit: Cellars Hohenort
Photo credit: Cellars Hohenort

 

Opt for a treat on your very first night at the renowned Cellars-Hohenort, a hotel villa meets cuisine specialty for an unforgettable Cape Town welcome in the heart of the Constantia Valley. Choose between their two high end restaurants on site: Greenhouse and the Conservatory, where their chef serves up authentic Cape Town dishes. Stroll through the neighbouring vineyard in the Cape of Good Hope and sample fine wines, and take a brief walk to the Saturday farmer’s market at Hout Bay. This location provides easy access to the finest destinations

 

Day 2

 

MORNING

 

Photo credit: Bootlegger Coffee
Photo credit: Bootlegger Coffee Company

 

Get pumped for day two at the quirky Bootlegger Coffee Company, with Guatemalan and Costa Rican coffee. You’ll find these stores all over Cape Town, as it has become a hit over the past couple years. If you don’t opt for breakfast at your hotel, order some poached eggs, hollandaise, and sourdough bread to accompany your coffee.

 

Photo credit: Clementina Ceramics Shop
Photo credit: Clementina Ceramics Shop

 

You’ll likely want a refill – the coffee’s that good. So, coffee in hand, head over to the Clementina Ceramics Shop, which features ceramics made by Clementina van der Walt – a notable South African artist. You’ll immediately fall in love with the bowls and cups – their fascinating shapes and textures will add them to your “must buy” list.

 

Photo credit: SMAC Gallery
Photo credit: SMAC Gallery

 

Or, visit the SMAC gallery to view the art of contemporary South African artists who are up and coming. These works of art are often featured in international art festivals.

 

MID MORNING

 

Photo credit: Newlands Cricket
Photo credit: Newland’s Cricket Ground

 

Authentically South African: A game of cricket. Head over to the Cape Cobra’s game spot at the Newland’s cricket ground, situated under the gorgeous view of the Table Mountain. So much history has happened here, it’s worth a tour. I recommend you call ahead to book – they’re quite popular.

 

LUNCH

 

 

Photo credit: Savoy Cabbage
Photo credit: Savoy Cabbage

 

You’ll be hungry after a morning chocked full of adventure – and here’s the perfect opportunity to try a restaurant like Savoy Cabbage. Its typical guests include the likes of politicians and movie stars, and for good reason – its champagne bar and authentically South African menu make it a must-try in your 72 hours.

 

AFTERNOON

 

Photo credit: Benguela Cove
Photo credit: Benguela Cove

 

Head over to the Benguela Cove to discover all they have to offer – such as premium olive oil from their 10 olive groves, a pontoon tour aboard the Lady Bonnie pontoon boat on neighbouring waters, or one of their many events – such as the Three Wine Men tour with featured wine experts including Oz Clarke. Check out their calendar to see what’s on tap for your 72 hours.

 

 

EVENING

 

Photo credit: Mojo Market
Photo credit: Mojo Market

 

Stop by the MOJO Market on your way to dinner. Take your pick from the MOJO Coffee Collective, shop the vendors’ unique products, and settle in for some live musical entertainment. If you really like it, visit again tomorrow morning – then you can really go crazy on the coffee and bakery treats.

 

DINNER

 

Photo credit: Hotel Verde
Photo credit: Hotel Verde

 

Grab dinner at the Hotel Verde, known for its fine dining atmosphere and healthy cuisine. If it’s a Wednesday, join them for their weekly Earth Hour, starting at 7pm. Lit only by solar energy, all appliances and electronics are turned off – providing for a romantic and fun environment with an emphasis on eco-friendliness. It’s a powerful experience to top your delicious meal.

 

 

LATE NIGHT

 

Photo credit: Club Lenin
Photo credit: Club Lenin

 

Hit Club Lenin on the Blouberg Beach Front to meet fellow travellers and the Cape Town locals who are official Club Lenin members – with two floors featuring a sports bar, a cocktail bar, a cigar lounge, you’ll be set for a night of delicious drinks and dynamite dancing with South Africa’s finest. You have to register as a tourist to get in – which adds to the mystique and allure of the highly exclusive club.

 

NIGHT

 

Photo credit: Delaire Graff
Photo credit: Delaire Graff

 

Now that you’re falling more deeply in love with South African culture and views, spend the night at one of the four romantic Delaire Graff Lodges. Ogle at the views of Stellenbosch Valley and the vineyard, and relax in the spa or your bubble bath after a long, exciting day of exploring. Still feel like wandering? Take a look at the estate gardens and the gallery.

 

Day 3

 

MORNING

 

Photo credit: Stevenson Gallery
Photo credit: Stevenson Gallery

 

Stroll through the STEVENSON Gallery – there is one located in Johannesburg and one right here in Cape Town. The art is unique, refreshing, and representative of international taste. Expect the unexpected as you peruse the gallery’s treasures.

 

MID MORNING

 

Photo credit: Boschendal Farms
Photo credit: Boschendal Farms

 

Head over to the Boschendal farm and experience the quaint hospitality on a gorgeous landscape, with opportunities for mountain biking, horseback riding, wine cellar tours, and a stroll through the Boschendal Gardens. There is much to explore on this beloved farm, guided by the on site hosts who know and love it best.

 

AFTERNOON

 

Photo credit: Fairview Wine and Cheese
Photo credit: Fairview Wine and Cheese

 

The Fairview Tasting Room boasts treats in addition to its incredible wines – settle in with friends or visiting strangers to bond over exquisite tastes. Try the cheese, yogurt, and cheesecake, paired with refreshing wines within your designated pod, led by knowledgeable hosts.

 

 

EVENING

 

Photo credit: Babylonstoren
Photo credit: Babylonstoren

 

Learn more about the Cape Town’s animals and farmland at the Babylonstoren – one of the oldest Cape Dutch farms. You’ll see a number of vegetables, indigenous plants, ducks, and berries at this serene sight. Take a workshop on a topic that particularly interests you (such as herbs for health, or the purpose of bees) and, if you can’t get enough of the relaxing atmosphere, book a night at the hotel. Make sure to purchase some farm-fresh produce at the Farm Shop on your way out.

 

DINNER

 

Photo credit: Cape Point
Photo credit: Cape Point

 

It’s time for some wilderness exploration. Visit Cape Point for dinner at the Two Oceans restaurant – the view will nearly knock you out, as its situated in the Table Mountain National Reserve overlooking False Bay – a double win during sunset. Your mouth will be watering over the view and the food. Take the Dutchman Funicular for an easy ride up.

 

NIGHT

 

Photo credit: Welgelegen
Photo credit: Welgelegen

 

Have one last night before you catch a flight. Settle in for a cozy evening at the Welgelegen Boutique Hotel – comfortably situated nearby Table Mountain and other classic Cape Town landmarks in case you want one last peek in the morning before you go. Take a dip in the pool, stroll through the gardens, and relax with a good book to soak up the last few hours of this glorious Cape Town vacation.

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About the Author: Rachel Gross

Rachel Gross is a nationally-recognized author, women’s voice advocate and proponent of self-improvement. Her work can be found in several niche-interest lifestyle publications, blogs and more. A life enthusiast and natural creative, Rachel is driven by the strength within each of us. She believes in the power of exploration, travel which excites, and a good cup of coffee.

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