What do you want on a vacation? A beautiful mountain to hike up, a beach to sunbathe on, a bustling and hip city, wine from a nearby vineyard, or a frenetic soccer game? Cape Town won't make you choose, as this diverse city has it all.
Outdoorsy-types should explore the city from the top, with a hike or cable car ride up Table Mountain, and a stroll around the national park of the same name. Then head to the numerous beaches for surfing, swimming, or even African Penguin watching. Don't miss the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, to see the unique (and endangered) flora of Cape Town. Sports fans would be amiss not to visit the new Green Point stadium that hosted soccer games during the World Cup. History buffs should sail out to Robben Island, the famous prison that held Nelson Mandela.
Where is it? Western South Africa.
Where to stay? There's no shortage of luxury hotels in Cape Town, but our favorite is the Table Bay Hotel. The waterfront location and views can't be beat—book a room with a balcony so you can see the harbor, Table Mountain, and the Atlantic Ocean. For the "just won the lottery" daily daydreamer, splash out on the Table Mountain Suite, which features a king size four poster bed, en-suite bathroom with a dressing room, a grand entrance hall, living room, dining room (with a table that seats eight), a baby grand piano, telescope, balcony with sun loungers, and butler service.
What else should I know? Time your visit according to the seasons—even though Cape Town is in South Africa, it can get quite cool and rainy in the winter months.
Who's it for? Urban hipsters, outdoor adventurers, sports fans, history buffs, wine lovers.