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Travel Tuesday: 4 Exciting Staycation Ideas for Locals in Cape Town

Every Tuesday of October, we are finding the best staycation activities across South Africa

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By House & Garden South Africa | October 3, 2023 | Travel Leisure

Why do we go on holiday? Perhaps to take a break from the stresses of work, to shift focus from responsibilities to leisure activities, or to explore more of our domestic and international surroundings. But vacations don’t always have to be overseas trips when South Africa has so many locations to reset, unwind, and explore. For the month of October, House & Garden SA will dedicate Travel Tuesday to different staycation cities throughout the different provinces.

For the first instalment, we are going to be exploring Cape Town and its meandering city-centre streets, swooping mountains, and unique activities to appreciate the natural beauty of this coastal city. While Cape Town does have a reputation for being too expensive for local budgets, we have found activities that span different price brackets to give you ideas to plan a Cape Town staycation.

How to Plan a Staycation Itinerary

First, a staycation is different from taking time off to do the things you would typically leave until the weekend like errands, time with your family, and chores. A staycation requires a little bit of a change in perspective in the city you call home. On one hand, to tap into the staycation mindset, it is easiest to plan from the perspective of a tourist who is coming to visit Cape Town and experience the city anew. On the other hand, a great way to plan the kind of vacation you’d plan as a visitor is to consider, “what would I recommend to a person visiting Cape Town for the first time?”

The other things to consider when planning your staycation is of course your budget, how long you’re planning to ‘stay’, and the season of your staycation because this can dictate pricing and locations of your activities. Your staycation can lean more into the realm of a luxury holiday filled with spa days, delicious dinner reservations, and experiencing an elevated version of your everyday life. Or, your holiday can lean more meditative and adventurous filled with walks through the city, tours, and time spent pondering life.

Cape Town’s unique Fynbos exists only in the Western Cape, making it a beautiful natural world wonder, just like the imposing Table Mountain. Image via Pexels.

Stay in a Luxury Airbnb or Boutique Hotel

There are few things as divine as an indulgent stay in a luxury hotel or AirBnb with something special. If your staycations are opportunities to treat yourself to luxury stays, spa days, and champagne then the first place to start is your base camp. The best part about indulging in a luxury stay in Cape Town like renting a luxury villa is all the bells and whistles that comes with it like butler services, private chefs, drivers, and concierge services that can assist with organising a truly luxurious staycation.

‘Round House’ is one of Africa’s most iconic architectural homes, situated in Clifton, Cape Town. Image via Pexels.

Attend Events that Celebrate Natural Beauty

The Western Cape is world renowned for its natural beauty seen in majestic mountain ranges, glorious coastlines, and unique flora and fauna. Not only do nature fanatics around the world flock to witness this natural beauty, but there are communities of enthusiasts who gather to celebrate it too. A great time to find outdoor experiences is between September and February when the weather gets warmer and the days are longer, and events are hosted in gardens, parks, and outdoor venues. In October, House & Garden SA are hosting a Spring experience in the wonderful gardens of Vergelegen Wine Estate in Somerset West to celebrate the flourishing garden that spans centuries.

To find more of these outdoor events follow community pages on Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook where events and gatherings are shared to its followers. Cape Town has a large community of mushroom foragers, aquatic life enthusiasts, and guided hiking groups.

The essence of community is important in Cape Town because if its nature to bond, preserve, and celebrate special activities in the city. Image via Unsplash.

Plan a Solo Picnic in the Arderne Gardens

Located on the boarder of Claremont and Kenilworth in the Southern Suburbs, Aderne Gardens are a hidden gem. This is a great spot for a staycation in Cape Town for those with a smaller budget because entrance to the Arderne Gardens is free, and this bucolic setting is a unique place to take in the natural beauty of the city. The park is home to over 400 trees that create shady nooks and meadows, that are perfect for afternoon picnics or solo dates. The gardens were established in 1845 and remain a South African Heritage Site to this day as it sits beneath the backside of Table Mountain.

On almost any Saturday or Sunday, visitors will see numerous wedding parties walking along the Arderne Garden’s shady paths and lawns while wedding photos are taken in celebratory moods. Feel like a local in the park where folk are celebrating one of life’s most joyful moments. In close proximity to shops, you can grab some of your favourite picnic goods like crackers, cheeses, and snacks to curate your own picnic in the park experience.

Like Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens (pictured), the Arderne Gardens just down the road boasts hundreds of trees that are perfect for picnics. Image via Unsplash.

Visit Important Historic Sites

Our cities are full of historic monuments, heritage sites, and museums that are steeped in national learnings, experiences, and landmark moments. A staycation is a great opportunity to reacquaint yourself with South African history so that when you reintroduce yourself back into your day-to-day life, you can gain new perspectives of the context of your life as well as appreciations for those who came before us today. If you have children, visiting historic sites and museums like the District Six Museum, the Castle, or Zeitz MOCAA are destinations that expose the history of certain areas, buildings, and communities that would be erased if not for historians, community leaders, artists, and journalists.

Green Market Square in Cape Town’s city centre is home to a uniquely bustling African market, cobblestone pavements, and lush trees. Image via Pexels.