If you like your beaches to have long stretches of white sands and water warm enough to swim in then Muizenburg is the beach for you. While nowhere near as warm as the Med’ or the Caribbean the False Bay waters offer a welcome change from the chilly waters on the Atlantic Seaboard. Back in the day the town of Muizenburg was a very popular resort for the monied set in Cape Town, then it went through a period of decay and has now rejuvenated itself with hip eateries and cool sea front cafes. You can see many examples of the colonial architecture when Muizenburg and the False Bay Coast played host to the retreats and holiday houses of the late 19th, early 20th century magnates. The wonderfully vivid changing rooms are delightful throwbacks to those times.
Known for its consistent and not too challenging waves, Muizenburg is a haven for surfing and surf culture, specifically an area of the beach aptly named Surfer’s Corner. Many young surfers learn to surf here and the beachfront is home to many surf schools and surf shops. The warm water does attract sharks, though as the beach has a very well organised shark spotting teams with the latest technology including drones, attacks here are very, very rare. If it gets too busy you can head down the coast to the intimate St James beach and tidal pool or the larger Fish Hoek beach.
When in Cape Town, you’ll need to get that iconic shot of Table Mountain and one of the most spectacular views is from Bloubergstrand. It literally translates as Blue mountain beach. There is two beaches here, Little Bay and Big Bay and they both family friendly beaches that offer changing facilities, parking and many places to eat and drink nearby. Big Bay is also home to a boutique shopping mall, which allows you to combine your trip to the beach with some retail therapy. Blouberg beach is connected to a very long stretch of beach that extends from Milnerton onto Tableview, through Blouberg to Melkbos, meaning that it’s the perfect beach for jogging and dog walking. The wind conditions often make it perfect for wind and kite surfing and the coast line horizon is often a colourful acrobatic kaleidoscope of activity. Along Marine Drive which is the road from Tableview to Blouberg there are plenty of bars, cafes and restaurants all with incredible views that offer some of the most dramatic sunsets on the planet. Though like most of the beaches on the West Coast the water is too cold for long swims without a wetsuit, but great for a very refreshing dip on hot day.
Clifton has been compared to the French Rivera - sugar rich sands, beautiful views and of course beautiful people. Clifton is one of the most affluent suburbs in Cape Town and every year the beach plays host to visiting rock stars, models and Eurotrash working on their tans and social media profiles. Though it has the look and feel of an exclusive resort, it is open to all and you are just as likely to find locals playing volleyball as you are to see a starlet chilling out with an ice lolly. Here you are surrounded my magnificent views, the azure ocean in front of you, Lions Head to your right and the majestic 12 Apostles behind you. The only downside is that the water is cold, so unless you the most hardy of swimmers, a quick dip here is just that. Clifton is actually a collection of four beaches. Clifton 4th Beach is the more popular beach, a Blue Flag beach it’s the most people watching of all the beaches and in summer it’s nearly always packed. 1st Beach is the smallest and generally a locals beach and a good option if you don’t like crowds. 2nd Beach is mix of locals and tourists and a good place to bring the beach bats. 3rd Beach has a reputation for the being the LGBT friendly beach, but in truth all beaches are LGBT friendly and 3d Beach is great option that is just a little less busier than 4th.
All the beaches are accessed through steepish stairs and parking is very limited. The best option is to Uber or get the MyCiTi bus that passes regularly throughout the day. For a more accessible family option check out nearby Camps Bay beach.
Cape Town with is unique geography is bestowed with an array of beautiful beaches across the Peninsula and beyond. From the West Coast down through the Atlantic Seaboard around the Cape Point to False Bay you spoiled for choice. There is secluded romantic coves, kid friendly promenades, water sport play grounds and acres of golden sands to just sit back, tan and relax. Each beach has a unique personality from family to jet set pose and preen, though one thing they all have in common is they free and welcoming to everyone. The locals like to pack a picnic, a cooler box and umbrella and make a day of it. The majority of beaches have toilets and changing facilities and many have some form of coffee shop or kiosk near by. Though if you too lazy to move, the beach vendors will always be nearby hawking their wares, everything from beach caps, inflatables and arts and crafts. Their sales patter alone is worth a visit. You have to try the Granadilla lolly at least once on your trip to Cape Town. It is always good to check the weather before you head out, as the wind in Cape Town is very localised and some beaches are better protected than others. Just a heads up, alcohol is banned on Cape Town’s beaches, though you never that far from a bar with a view to end your beach day with a sundowner cocktail or beer.
Of all the numerous Blue Flag beaches in the Western Cape, none are more beloved than Clifton 1st through to 4th! For a properly busy beach with perfect sands, many swimming spots and all manner of beach and ocean activity, Clifton Beach is the way to go.
On perfect summer afternoons you will see luxury yachts dropping anchor in the bay, which is uniquely sheltered from the frequent Capetonian winds (specifically the south easterly ones).
After a dip (or two) and maybe some beach volleyball, why not head over to Bungalow for their signature pomegranate mojito mixed with Bacardi rum muddled with fresh pomegranate, lime quarters, pomegranate syrup and mint leaves (amazing!).
Location: You’ll find Clifton on the far right of Camps Bay (facing the ocean) stretching below Bantry Bay on the way to Sea Point.
Bakoven beach is a fantastic little shelly beach to take kids to, the ample rock pools and kelp forests are great fun to explore and the water is a lovely deep blue. You have greater privacy on this small beach, but a lack of amenities, so make sure that you bring everything you need.
If you need a good caffeine fix or (as we discovered) and amazing veg burger, Bootleggers is around the corner (have the Quinoa Veg Burger with a beetroot, quinoa and flax seed patty topped with avocado, coriander and served with sweet potato chips).
An excellent beach that feels out of the way, while still being quite central.
Location: The far left side of Camps Bay (when facing the ocean), follow Victoria Drive in the direction of Hout Bay, turn off into Beta Road.
Picnics on the beach are a holiday staple that everybody needs to experience. For soft sand lovers there is the iconic Camps Bay beach with its’ one-in-a-kind view of the ocean and majestic mountain backdrop. If the sand is not what you’re looking for there is always the rocky outcrop between Camps Bay and Glen Beach which affords all the same views (some say better).
Things you will need:
A nice big blanket
Drinks and snacks (please remember, open alcoholic beverages are illegal on our beaches)
Frisbees, beach bats etc etc.
For snacks we would highly recommend Kleinsky’s Delicatessen in Sea Point, especially their Bada-Bing Bagel (Beef bresaola, provolone cheese, rocket and lemon Dijon vinaigrette). You could also pop by Giovanni's
in Green Point, and browse their fantastic selection of cold meats, freshly baked breads, fine cheeses and jams to stock up for your excursion.
Grab your sunscreen and your hat, you’ve been indulging in all the finer things that Cape Town has to offer, now it’s time to pay some of that decadence forward :-) Bring the kids, there is something for every age at the Green Point Urban Park. Tucked between the Cape Town Stadium grounds and the lighthouse marking the border between Green and Mouille Point the park is a truly South African take on a European style common. Rolling green lawns, outdoor exercise equipment, a massive biodiversity garden, several play areas with all kinds of things for kids to climb on, run around in and crawl over. The park is divided into three areas, People & Plants, Wetlands, and Discovering Biodiversity, with many information boards that make the stroll informative as well as beautiful. The fact that all the water you see comes directly from springs and rivers on top of Table Mountain only adds to the magic. Seeing as you’ve done your bit to burn some calories, maybe you could allow yourself a little reward, perhaps in the form of an ice-cream? The Creamery Café in Mouille Point is artisanal ice cream at its finest. Try the classics, such as the Sea Salt Caramel or the Rosetta Roastery Coffee flavours, and pop over the road to have a look at the last remnants of the RMS Athens which was wrecked on these rocks on the 17###sup/sup### of May 1865.