October 2

Cape Town and California: A Tale of Two Coasts


October 2, 2023

Blend San Diego's lifestyle with a little of San Francisco's love for art and music, Los Angeles' rich cultural diversity and a drop of wine from Napa Valley, and what do you get? Our beautiful home, the magnificent Cape Town! Its unique blend of mountains, beaches, vineyards and a fun-loving culture perfectly meshes these Californian cities. And like California, Cape Town locals are often portrayed as outdoorsy, wellness-seeking and wave-riding laidback folk. So let's settle this... If you already live in California, why should Cape Town be on your bucket list?

Chapman's Peak is a scenic route in Cape Town, South Africa

Taking Flight

First things first, how are you going to get here? Well, it's almost as easy as tapping your flip-flop-adorned feet together and saying, "There's no place like home!" Or, in this case, your home away from home. 

When travelling to Cape Town, you have three options depending on your preferences and budget. You can catch a flight directly from San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Ana or San Francisco to Cape Town or add a layover in various European cities. You can also catch a domestic flight to an American city, like New York, and then fly to Cape Town.

Interested in heading to Cape Town but still wondering how exactly this South African city and your home state are in any way similar? Well, let's take you on a tour!

Vue sur Lion's Head, le centre-ville et l'océan Atlantique depuis Table Mountain

View of Lion's Head, downtown and the Atlantic Ocean from Table Mountain

Outdoor Activities Abound

Californians and Capetonians have been stereotyped as free-spirited wanderers and adrenaline junkies. In the case of Cape Town, this is because residents often prefer to spend the day outside (and it's easy to see why!). However, our dilemma is often what to do, as there are just so many options!

The diving board on the Kasteelspoort hike in Table Mountain

Hiking to New Heights 

It's time to swap the flops for some hiking boots! First up is a sunrise hike up Lion's Head, a must-do by Capetonian standards. Guests and locals alike try their hand at photographing the moment the sun rises over our Mother City. For an Instagram-worthy shot favoured by the more adventurous, we suggest embarking on the Kasteelspoort hiking route to take a photo from the heart-pounding "diving board" rock. 

For something a bit shorter and more beginner-friendly, Kloof Corner is one of the best short hikes in the city. Pro tip: pack some drinks and snacks to enjoy a sundowner while overlooking Camps Bay.

Disfruta de increíbles vistas desde el teleférico de Table Mountain

Enjoy incredible views from the Table Mountain cable car, Image Credit: Peter Stewart

Traversing Table Mountain

No article about Cape Town is complete without mentioning Capetonians' favourite subject: our precious Table Mountain. But if hiking up the mountain isn't your speed, there's good news! Instead of working up a sweat, you can take an aerial cable car up the mountain. Remember to pack a picnic and bottle of bubbles and watch the sunset in style! 


The iconic wooden huts on Muizenberg beach

When it comes to surfing, all roads lead to Muizenberg Beach! At this famous beach, you can rent a board and wetsuit from one of the many surf shops. Then, take a moment to pose for a photo in front of the row of rainbow-coloured beach houses before hitting the waves!

The African Penguins colony at Boulders Beach is thriving thanks to conservation efforts

African Penguins at Boulders Beach

If catching waves does not tickle your fancy, don't worry, we've got you covered! Boulders Beach allows you to work on your tan and spend the day charmed by the resident colony of African penguins on the beach. You can even have pizza delivered to your towel in Camps Bay – just give the nearby Col'Cacchio restaurant a ring, and all you have to do is sit back and relax.

Flowers in bloom at West Coast National Park

Flower Power

To let your inner flower child out to play, visit the West Coast National Park or Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. During the wildflower season, the West Coast National Park becomes a breathtaking field of vibrant florals. As far as Kirstenbosch goes, the possibilities are endless! From live concerts, trail exploring, sculpture hunting and even an open-air cinema, you're spoilt for choice.

Delaire Graff Owner's Villa Pool Deck

The Cape Winelands offers many winefarm gems, Image Credit: Delaire Graff

Wellness, Wine and Whales

Wellness and wine are not traditionally two subjects that go together, but when there's just so much to do, a little multitasking never hurts anyone. Hop on a bicycle and embark on a guided tour of the Cape Winelands, and by the time you get to the wine-tasting and lunch portion of the day, you've more than earned it. 

Spot whales in Hermanus, Image Credit: Marlin Clark

For a truly rejuvenating experience, trade the bike for a car and head to Hermanus to witness one of the most amazing land-based spectacles on earth – the southern right whales and their calves playfully breaching the waves. Nothing says wellness quite like disconnecting from the hustle of daily life and connecting to nature. 

Secret gin and bubbles bar, Image Credit: Secret Gin Bar

San Fran and LA Meet Kloof Street

Kloof Street and its surrounding neighbourhoods in Cape Town are where San Francisco's love for art and music meets Los Angeles' cultural diversity. On First Thursdays (a monthly event), watch as the city centre springs to life with art, music and a little something uniquely Cape Town. Sip on some wine, stroll from gallery to gallery and immerse yourself in our city's bustling nightlife.

If you find yourself craving something other than wine, detour the small hidden courtyard that houses The Gin Bar, now also serving bubbles.

Desfrute de um tour gastronômico por Bo-Kaap, na Cidade do Cabo, para saborear a culinária do Cabo Malaio

The famous Bo-Kaap neighbourhood with its multi-hued homes 

For some of the fusion LA is known for, visit our colourful Bo-Kaap neighbourhood. Learn all about the area's rich history from locals while you sample some delicious Cape Malay cuisine.

Pink Flamingo Rooftop Cinema at the Grand Daddy Boutique Hotel, Image Credit: Grand Daddy Boutique Hotel

California’s Body Double 

Not quite seeing those similarities yet? Hollywood already has... Did you know that Cape Town and its surrounding areas are often used as a California "body double" of sorts in movies such as Netflix's "The Kissing Booth"? And if you still need just a little touch of movie magic, you can catch a film at the Pink Flamingo Rooftop Cinema at the Grand Daddy Boutique Hotel.

Spend your evening watching the sunset from the Camps Bay strip

Camps Bay strip comes even more alive at night

Go from California to Cape Town

With San Francisco's climate, San Diego's hospitality and LA's glitz and glam all mixed together with some world-class wine, Cape Town really is a home away from home with an African twist. And don't forget, from Cape Town, it's just a plane, train or car ride away from your very own live experience of "The Lion King" on a luxury African safari. 

So, we guess the final question is: when are you coming? Our Travel Experts stand ready to tailor the holiday of your dreams. Reach out today, and let's start planning! 

X Rhino Africa Consultants

Plan your African Safari today

Let's explore Africa Opens our enquiry form

Opens our enquiry form


Based on 3000+ reviews


You May Also Like

Fine Dining

Fine Dining

Multi-National Cuisines

Multi-National Cuisines

Our Favourites

Our Favourites

About the author 

Xinay De Vries

Born and raised in South Africa, Xinay is no stranger to all the amazing possibilities Africa has to offer. She's a self-proclaimed bookworm and coffee addict with a yen for bubbles and rosé, so you'll often find her exploring the streets of Cape Town looking for the best cup of coffee or glass of wine. With a passion for travel and her home country, she's determined to get others to love Africa as much as she does!

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}