Most visitors to Cape Town visit the Waterfront, Camps Bay, Robben Island, Cape Point and the Stellenbosch/Franschoek winelands. However there are many other superb places to visit provided you have a rental vehicle.

For the very best view of Cape Town you must drive the short distance north of the city to Blouberg (which includes Bloubergstrand and Big Bay areas along the coast). The beaches here provide an almost endless walk with the view that appears on almost every tourist brochure and postcard. Ideally, head there in the early morning and have breakfast at one of the lovely cafes/restaurants, or dinner at night as the sun goes down over Robben Island while the Kite surfers are still out, finishing up for the day. Absolutely stunning.

The drive to Blouberg takes you along the R27, through Milnerton past it's (very pretty at dusk) lagoon bordering Woodbridge Island-and then directly onto the costal road into Blouberg. Once in Blouberg, one could walk southerly, to Milnerton, and further if the heart desired, almost into Cape Town. For the best experience though, keep heading north, on foot, or by road. You'll take in the main road, with its few beach bars and shops, Bloubergstrand, with its older style houses and few restaurants/cafes, from the era of when it was a small seaside village, and then on to Big Bay, where families take to the beach, the surfers are out, and there are lots of wonderful beachside restaurants and bars, (and a small shopping centre set back from the beach). Carrying on northerly from here, things quiten down, and one can walk for miles along an almost deserted beach, with just a few other walkers enjoying a stroll, past Atlantic Beach, Koeberg nature reserve, and eventually upto Melkbosstrand - the next coastal town, some 7km away.

From Blouberg head over the hills to the suburb of Durbanville. On your way visit some of the wineries that are equal to any in the Stellenbosch/Franschoek area. For some of the best shopping in Cape Town visit Tygervalley shopping centre, (very close to Durbanville) or a little closer to the city, the huge Century City shopping mall - the largest in Africa.

For some of the best swimming beaches visit Gordons Bay and Strand, near Somerset West. Clifton, Camps Bay and Big Bay all have lovely beaches where one could happily take a dip, but the water tends to be colder here, so the False Bay coast tends to win that argument, although not as spectacular. 

Chapmans peak drive, along the atlantic seaboard, through Clifton, Camps Bay, Llandudno, Hout Bay, Kommetjie, Noordhoek, Misty Cliffs, without a doubt is the most scenic drive in the city, and is reputdely one of the most beautiful in the world, although in recent years has spent much time closed for repair. The drive down through Kalk Bay, Simons Town, past Boulders and on towards Cape Point is also very scenic and well worth a drive. One could easily incorporate the two in a round trip, especially if planning a visit to Cape Point. Another very scenic drive is that along the N2, out towards Somerset West and the Garden Route. As the road starts to wind uphill, going over Sir Lowry's Pass, it offers panoramic views of False Bay - with several stopping points for those golden photo opportunties. Another hidden gem is Clarence Drive that winds along the coast between Gordon's Bay and Betty's Bay with its African Jackass penguin colony that is worth a visit. A short drive further is Kleinmond lagoon, where wild horses may be seen. The road circle's back to the N2 and the Elgin valley with several wine estates on the way back to Cape Town. If driving the winelands, the pass between Stellenbosch and Franschoek - another one going up through the hills offers stunning views - and with use of a map, there are many many beautiful drives through the winelands to choose from.

For the most beautiful mountain walk (not hike!) drive to the top of Ou Kaapse Weg (above Tokai and Constantia suburbs) and enter the nature reserve through the gate just beyond the view-site. Drive as far as the road allows and then walk from there. You will be rewarded with the most beautiful views of the Cape Peninsula. On the same note, most people just walk along the top of the mountain, but if you purchase a map of the mountain (available from Kirstenbosch easily, amongst other shops), there are many detailed walks along the mountain, from all angles of the mountain, all offering stunning scenery, with many hidden gems (including waterfalls) along their routes. Walks can be tailored from short, to all day walks, of different abilities. All come highly recommended.

For another hidden gem, Noordhoek beach, no good for swimming but beautiful for long walks, or even horse riding, available through the many stables in Noordhoek. Certainly off the beaten tourist track, but well within the cities boundaries and a favourite of local youngsters.

If you can bear the hours drive north, along the R27, past Blouberg, there are a few hidden villages, which are delightful for a beachside stroll, but the real hidden gem lies in Langebaan - the West Coast National Park, a real favourite of locals, but almost completely bare of tourists. Here you'll find a beautiful, warm, shallow lagoon, absolutely perfect for swimming, very safe for children, with braais(BBQ) ready for you to cook, should you like, although  a beach picnic goes down well, but if you'd prefer, there is also an excellent restaurant, serving everything from quick sandwiches, to 3 course meals for those after something more - and very reasonably priced too. Whilst there, take the time to drive to some of the viewing points, as they also offer stunning costal scenery. If visiting in Spring (August-October), you'll also find the stunning wild spring flowers that the Cape is famous for - and Langebaan does it very well, with a section of the park open just at this time of year, specifically for this (and with many antelope, ostriches etc also living here too for the animal spotters). The West Coast National Park is stunning, but the town of Langebaan too has access to the lagoon, and itself if very pretty.