Travel Like a Local: Your Neighbourhood Guide to Simon's Town
Simon’s Town is one of South Africa’s oldest towns, situated 35km outside Cape Town. This town is famously known for its rich maritime history and is home to the South African Navy, which holds a festival in the town every April. Simon’s Town is really an attraction on its own you will need to set a full day to really explore this neighbourhood.
Where to eat and make merry
Salty Sea Dog
If you’re looking for takeaways or a sit-down meal, look no further than the Salty Sea Dog restaurant. Salties is Simon’s Town institution and conveniently located on the water’s edge at the Simon’s Town jetty and harbour. Pop in and enjoy your meal at one of the wooden tables, or dangle your feet over the edge of the dock.
Relaxed, warm, and informal with a cosmopolitan appeal, Bertha’s is a favourite place for visitors to pass a few leisurely hours. It’s bustling by day and a great place to enjoy a long, lazy lunch, cocktails at sunset out on the terrace, or be swept away by the sheer romance of the restaurant at night. Berthas Restaurant fronts the old Town Pier and boasts picturesque views of the yacht harbour and over False Bay.
This is a modern European-style eatery that serves mouth-watering seafood dishes, along with favourites like burgers and full breakfasts. It is accessible to the local market in a comfortable, contemporary setting and it also has an outdoor area with sea and harbour views.
Black Marlin Restaurant
The Black Marlin has earned a reputation for its seafood, award-winning wine list, attentive service, and incredible views. House specialities include Cape Rock lobster, Seafood platter, oysters, and mussels. This restaurant is located just outside of Simon’s Town on the road to Cape Point, but it’s well worth a slight detour.
Where to play
Don’t miss out on a stroll along and great views of this beautiful town. From hiking and animal spotting to the beach and cycling, here’s what you need to see while in Simon’s Town.
Just above the Boulders Beach and Seaforth area is a fantastic hike up to the blockhouse and further on to the top is Black Hill/Swartkop which is the big mountain above Boulders. This hike takes you through some gorgeous fynbos to the blockhouse, and from there it is signposted to Swartkop. The round trip takes around 2 to 3 hours.
The most famous Boulders Beach is home to a large colony of African penguins and a popular tourist attraction. Although there is an entry fee to this beach, it is worth paying to spend the day watching penguins or swim in the safe, sheltered, and gloriously warm waters (by Cape Town’s standards).
Whale View Manor Day Spa
Let time and the world pass you by while you spoil and pamper yourself in an oasis of tranquillity. Whale View Manor is conveniently situated on the main street of Simon’s Town and offers locals and visitors to the town a luxurious haven to relax and unwind.
Cycle Cape Point
Join one of Simon’s Town passionate guides to show you hidden highlights of the Cape’s beautiful peninsula. Trips are customizable and popular routes include Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope National Park. Be sure to watch for Penguins, Whales, Dolphins and free-roaming Ostrich, Zebra, Bontebok and Baboons.
The most affordable entertainment you’re likely to find is at the neighbourhood’s museums. The Simon’s Town Museum, SA Naval Museum, and Warrior Toy Museum have collections that will have you reminiscing about the area’s golden days.
Just Nuisance Grave
The grave of this very famous dog is at the top of Red Hill in Simon’s Town and a frequent stop for visitors. While it is a tough climb up the steps to the top, the view is well worth it. The mountain steps begin on Barnard Street and lead up to the Navy Signals area where the grave is located. You’ll also find an impressive bronze statue of the dog on Jubilee Square.
South African Naval Museum
The South African Navy Museum in Simon’s Town is managed jointly by the South African Navy and the South African Naval Heritage Trust. We recommend this museum it has a lot of Naval exhibits, collections, and very interesting facts and knowledge both for old and young. You can visit free of charge.
Warrior Toy Museum
Set in St George’s Street, this museum houses a permanent display of 4,000 model cars, 500 dolls and teddy bears, miniature dolls’ houses and rooms, two fully operating miniature railroads, lead soldier displays, Meccano, ships, and many other miscellaneous toys and models. The museum also has a sales section for collectors.
Simon’s Town is all about the outdoors. There are endless ways to fulfil your sense of adventure in Simon’s Town, but here are a few highlights.
Kayak Cape Town
A 2-hour long kayak trip around Simon’s Town is a perfect way to experience the picturesque coastline. We suggest taking this novel way to visit the penguins at Boulders, one of our city’s biggest drawcards and see other marine life while you’re at it. What better way to visit them than on a kayak?
Simon’s Town Boat Company
A cruise to Cape Point with Simon’s Town Boat Company offers everything from whales (in season) and exploring ocean caves, to stunning cliff faces and the most spectacular view of Cape Point from offshore. You will see many different bird species or may even meet up with a pod of dolphins.
Big Blue Fishing Charters
Join one of the dedicated and professional skippers and fishing guides from Big Blue Fishing Charters for the ultimate fishing experience. Enjoy a range of inshore game fishing, reef fishing, and of course, fishing for big game. These Charters are based in the beautiful Simon’s Town.
Shark Cage Diving in False Bay is a popular activity, an area made famous by the spectacular hunting behaviour of its White Sharks. We recommend a chance to experience cage diving, breaching, and predation tours, even for those who don’t want to dive, the viewing from the boat can be quite impressive as well.
Where to stay
A Boat House
A Boat House is set in the beautiful Red Hill Mountains overlooking False Bay in Simon’s Town and is perfect for a holiday. It offers superb views over the harbour, near the Boulders Beach, and is the ideal base for shark cage diving and whale-watching. It’s also only a short stroll from the village. This coastal hideaway is a tranquil retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Simon’s Town Guest House
Simon’s Town Guest House is a beautifully designed guest house taking full advantage of the sweeping views of False Bay. Situated in the quiet mountainside suburb of Cairnside, only 5 minutes drive from the centre of Simon’s Town, this haven offers complete relaxation close to nature yet within easy reach of the city.
Rocklands Bed And Breakfast
Rocklands Bed & Breakfast is set on a hill overlooking False Bay, approximately 150 metres from the sea, and ideally situated where you can enjoy the beauty of the ocean, do some bird watching, or explore indigenous fynbos. It is a peaceful getaway, allowing visitors a complete escape just a short walk from one of the best swimming beaches in the Cape Town.
Ask a local
Nobody knows Simon’s Town better than a local. When you’re in town, head to our Visitors’ Information Centre in Simon’s Town for tips on enjoying this lovely area.
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