Traveler's Fantasy at the Bottom of the World
Capetown is perhaps best known for its striking geography, which makes it an ideal vacation spot for two reasons: it’s both easy on the eyes and an exhilarating workout for the muscles. Climb one of four main trails to the summit of Table Mountain, a 3,200-foot-high plateau just inland of the city, for a bird's-eye view of ruggedly beautiful cliffs and beaches reminiscent of the Riviera. The entire surrounding area is a biodiversity hotspot as well, home to the unusual Cape floral region, which contains exotic plants in abundance. Enjoy a drink over an Atlantic sunset at any number of high-end European-style cafes on the coast before hitting up the Long Street nightlife in clubs offering a colorful mix of world travelers, live music, and some of South Africa’s best food await. Cape Point, a national reserve where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet and troublesome baboons are known to steal the occasional snack from humans, is a popular destination. Visitors can also take a ferry to Robben Island, once the political prison where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated. Today it is a museum, the facility displaying the staggering commitment to equality and organized resistance cemented there in the 20th century.