Just 35 km outside of Cape Town, Simon’s Town, one of South Africa’s oldest towns and a naval base, is a charming and historic town where many happy memories are waiting to be made. Simon’s Town is occasionally spelled incorrectly as Simons Town or Simonstown. Here’s how to schedule your day in Simon’s Town, including visits to the Toy and Navy museums, restaurants, and shops.
Start the day with a walk and a bite to eat, to prepare for the day ahead.
DO THE AUDIO TOUR
To get a sense of the terrain, start the day with an audio tour. The tour begins at the train station, passes by the “historic mile,” and concludes in the village center, where all activities are centered. Local author Maureen Miller serves as the tour’s narrator. This trip is incredibly inexpensive, costing less than R30 ($2).
COFFEE, PASTRIES, AND SOMETHING SWEET
Two favorites to grab a bite at are close to where the audio tour ends, so you can get there on foot. Exceptional cakes, pastries, pies, and other sweet treats are available at The Sweetest Thing, which is proud to be local. Visit Monocle and Mermaid for a warm cup of coffee, pastries, or a wrap, and peruse the locally produced art and music they have for sale while taking in their charming setting.
Everyone has an African Penguin colony on their must-see list when they visit Boulder’s Beach, and you can’t leave without saying hello to our monochromatic friends. As a part of the South African National Parks, Boulders offers visitors the chance to see penguins in their natural habitat along the entire penguin viewing path. You can swim with the penguins at Foxy Beach as well.
You should have some time to look around the village once you get back from Boulders before lunch.
EXPLORE THE MUSEUMS
The most reasonably priced entertainment in Simon’s Town will whet your appetite for lunch. You’ll be transported back in time by the collections at the Warrior Toy Museum, SA Naval Museum, and Simon’s Town Museum. By visiting the Heritage Museum in King George’s Way, you can delve into the core of the Muslim community’s heritage.
SALUTE JUST NUISANCE
The statue of the local legend Great Dane Just Nuisance can be found on Jubilee square. Just Nuisance, a dog who joined the Navy in the 1930s, is its most well-known member. His grave site on Red Hill is also a popular destination for tourists, and the Simon’s Town Museum has a special exhibit dedicated to him.
At Bertha’s, a neighborhood favorite, you can eat while admiring the harbor while enjoying a seafood platter, oysters, prawns, or the catch of the day. Across the street in Wharf Street is the Salty Sea Dog, where you can get traditional fish and chips. If you’re traveling to Cape Point, make a stop at the Black Marlin for some fresh seafood, great views, and a laid-back atmosphere.
Depending on your interests, there are a few options for what to do in the late afternoon. These are my recommendations.
GO DIVING OR KAYAKING
Kayak along the coast and let your arms do the paddling to see the penguins at Boulders Beach. If you want to see how beautiful the waters of Simon’s Town are from below, go diving with the professionals of Pisces Divers.
SHARK CAGE DIVING
You have a wide range of options in False Bay if you want to see the renowned great white shark up close. With activities ranging from cage or scuba diving to breaching and predation tours, there are many service providers who can take you on an adventure into shark-infested water.
Accredited businesses offering a range of shark-related activities include African Shark Eco-Charters, Apex Shark Expeditions, Pisces Divers, and Shark Explorers.
For all types of crafts and mementos, go to Jubilee square, and stop by the Little Shop on the square. for more. Keep an eye out for a deal or ten as there is a great selection of vintage, used, and charity shops along the main road.
Awaken your inner sailor and take to the seas to go whale watching (between June and November) and take in Cape Point’s beauty from the water. The most breathtaking view of Cape Point from offshore is available on a cruise to Cape Point with Simon’s Town Boat Company. Other highlights include seeing whales (during the right season) and exploring ocean caves.