Updated: Dec 23, 2021
Just in time for the holiday season! This blog is for all of you looking for a day out and about Cape Town. We have been day tripping as long as we have been together. Our trips are primarily family focused as we have always had our kids with us. Not being born and raised in Cape Town meant it was always a new adventure for us and turns out we have seen more of Cape Town an surrounds than most the "locals".
We will start with one of the most iconic parts of Cape Town day trips - the winelands. This was, and in many ways still is, one of our favorite options. We decided very many years ago, not being much in the way of wine drinkers, we needed to understand this Cape Town heritage, we would now consider ourselves well educated. A day trip in any of the iconic winelands, with kids, is not only inexpensive (or very expensive by choice), but shows off the breathtaking beauty of this region. You have Constantia valley (close to home, lovely picnic gardens), Stellenbosch (so much choice, far more tourist and family friendly), Paarl, Franschoek, Somerset west and if you willing to explore past the tunnel, the gorgeous Breedekloof. The winelands are not just about the wine, they have exceptional high tea's, some unusual pairings, kids pairings, vintage car museums, gorgeous walks and nature.
Some of our favorites seen above include Jason's Hill (Breedekloof), Lourensford and Vergelegen for the choices, gardens, markets etc. (Somerset West), Anthonij Rupert, Boschendal, Zorgvliet for the incredible views and pristine gardens (in and near Franschoek), Spier and Vergenoegd which is of the most family friendly (Stellenbosch) and Spice Route for all the tasting and playground variety (near Paarl).
Fishing day trips have always been such fun. We have explored Kalk Bay harbor, Franschoek bass and trout fishing, rock pools at West Coast National Park and the odd dam or vlei :). West Coast National Park is such a under rated gem. It is an annual visit for us in flower season and throughout the year for the amazing beach lagoon, sea side braais and rock pools, walks and birdlife.
Packing a picnic and taking a drive around the peninsular can make for an awesome day out. With so much choice, a walk, hike or simple beach day can do so much to lift your spirits. Everyone has there own favorites, beaches and forests. We love Kirstenbosch (no surprises there), the Waterfront, Silvermine, Cape Point and Table Mountain National park in general. Another annual visit is the snow in the Ceres region, great with hot chocolate, soup and sandwiches.
Our stories and adventures give us so much pleasure. They don't have to cost you much but have a huge payoff. So what tips can we offer when planning your next day trip?
Check you weather report for the region, wind can be more unpleasant than rain.
Plan you food and drinks in advance - according to the venue and climate. You may choose to eat at a wine farm or stop on route. Picnics prepared in advance should require as little added preparation so that your day is not spent organising, but enjoying. Always take more water. We find a "luchbox" of treats very useful for the kids. Some places allow braais, but simpler is always better (don't forget the utensils, wood, lighters and grid if you do!)
Take your camera or take lots of pictures with your phone! These are sooooo wonderful to look back on, especially years later. This blog took us down such a fun rabbit hole.
Some venues and farms require pre-booking, please don't be discouraged, sometimes the effort is worth it. Google your options and Facebook for feedback from other visitors! Great tips are found in some trip advisor comments. I use these all the time for up to date information - especially with covid.
Take your time. We started doing so much in one day but have learnt that it is so much better to do "less" but enjoy more.
Think like a tourist. People pay a lot of money to enjoy Cape Town. We live here!
Keep a bag in the boot with basics, spare clothes for kids, emergency towels, baby powder (to get the beach sand off easily), sun block, hats and a spare ball or basic games.
Speak to people, weather at a wine farm or in the harbour, ask where is good to go, what is in the area. We have learnt so much from conversations.
Education Focus: Just Move!
Pain related to joints, muscles and nerves are almost always improved by moving. Sometimes you may need a bit of advice on how much and how too do so safely (depending on your pain/injury) but a general rule of thumb is if it does not hurt, it should not do harm.
There is boundless literature and evidence on the benefits of physical activity. Even as little as a walking for an hour a week offers cardiovascular benefit with the more you do, the greater the benefit and decreased risk of cardiovascular incident.
There are benefits of exercises to almost every condition, to name a few:
Mental Health - Routine physical activity is also associated with improved psychological well-being (e.g., through reduced stress, anxiety and depression). Psychological well-being is particularly important for the prevention and management of cardiovascular disease, but it also has important implications for the prevention and management of other chronic diseases such as diabetes, osteoporosis, hypertension, obesity, cancer and depression.
Diabetes Mellitus - Exercise interventions for persons with diabetes are beneficial in improving glucose homeostasis. Studies with adequate follow-up show a strong association between exercise and reduced rates of death from any cause and from diabetes in particular. Future research will need to concentrate on examining the effects of dose.
Cancer - There is compelling evidence that routine physical activity is associated with reductions in the incidence of specific cancers, in particular breast and colon cancer. Regular physical activity appears to confer a health benefit to patients with established cancer. However, further research is warranted to examine its role in the secondary prevention of cancer.
Osteoporosis - Routine physical activity appears to be important in preventing loss of bone mineral density and osteoporosis, particularly in postmenopausal women. The benefits clearly outweigh the potential risks, particularly in older people. Preliminary evidence indicates that regular physical activity is an effective secondary preventive strategy for the maintenance of bone health and the fight against osteoporosis.
Routine physical activity can improve musculoskeletal fitness. There is increasing evidence that enhanced musculoskeletal fitness is associated with an improvement in overall health status and a reduction in the risk of chronic disease and disability.
Exactly how much and what kind of exercise is not fully known. It is known that the greatest benefit is found with the person of the least fitness, just embarking on a wellness fitness program with benefit continuing thereafter as you become fitter. The moral of the story is that you need to start if you haven't and continue if you have. That ANYTHING is always better nothing, whether it is a small walk, or a hard workout. Exercise IS medicine.
JUST KEEP MOVING!
PS - The article below cites all the articles and evidence you will ever need and is open access.