The Best Beaches in Cape Town – A Local Guide

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Nestled alongside the rocky coastline of the Western Cape, the mother city boasts some of the most beautiful beaches globally. From sandy white beaches to histrionic cliffs and crystal-clear water, Cape Town offers a varied range of coastal scenes to enjoy and explore. Whether you’re seeking a secluded escape, adventure-packed water sports, or simply a beach to soak up the sun, there is something for everyone. In today’s guide, we will share our list of the best beaches in Cape Town, each with its own allure, ambiance, and experiences for locals and visitors alike. 

The Best Beaches in Cape Town – A Local Guide

Clifton Beach

Clifton offers four beaches, each with its own characteristics and attractions. Located in Cape Town’s most coveted and exclusive suburbs, Clifton’s beaches remain a popular choice among tourists and locals. However, because of its popularity, parking is scarce during summer. If you are traveling by car to spend the day at Clifton, be sure to arrive early to secure a parking spot. Most people prefer taking an Uber because you can’t park at the beach. Access to all the beaches is via staircases and stepped pathways. 

  • 1st Beach

Mostly visited by holiday-makers and locals staying in luxury apartments nearby. This beach is perfect for escaping the hustle and bustle of the city to spend a peaceful day at the seaside. Off-leash dog walking is allowed, and the current is perfect for board surfing. 

  • 2nd Beach

This beach is frequented by mostly students and active young beachgoers who enjoy throwing frisbees, playing volleyball, or playing beach bats. 

  • 3rd Beach

The beach is open to everyone; however, it is a well-liked spot for gay men. It is a less crowded spot with a merry atmosphere and weather conditions are always ideal for soaking up the sun and working on your tan. 

  • 4th Beach

4th Beach is a classic family-friendly beach with its Blue Flag status, eco-friendly initiatives, great amenities, and holiday atmosphere. It is the perfect spot for kids to build sandcastles, picnicking while watching the yachts on the shoreline, and soaking up the sun. 

The water temperatures at Clifton average 10 degrees Celsius, which means it’s not ideal for swimming, except for really hot Summer days. However, it remains popular amongst tourists and locals. You can catch some sun, picnic, grab a bite at the Bungalow Restaurant at 04th Beach, or enjoy an ice lolly or cold drink sold by local vendors. Just take note: alcohol is prohibited at Cape Town’s beaches and many of them are policed. Remember to pack light because you’ll need to carry all your possessions down from the parking lot and back up again.

Camps Bay Beach

Just down the road from Clifton, Camps Bay is one of the best-known beaches. Visitors and locals enjoy people-watching underneath the Palm trees, walking their dogs, soaking up the sun, or enjoying a stunning view of Table Mountain’s Twelve Apostles range. The Camps Bay strip offers access to trendy bars, local restaurants, and cafes where you can feast on local delicacies and try some of the best wines the mother city offers. During the busy Summer months, it tends to get very busy, so if you’re looking for a more secluded beach, you can visit Glen Beach or Clifton Beach. Camps Bay Beach is best for sunset cocktails, a family fun-filled day, or playing volleyball

Muizenberg Beach

Muizenberg is perfect for long walks, surfing lessons, and swimming. The water temperature is warmer and the beach is one of the most popular family-friendly beaches. The stunning stretch of coastline is often visited by dog walkers, surfers, and families. The colorful Victorian batching boxes make the location a stand-out choice, plus the beach has a Blue Flag status. Various businesses operate from Muizenberg, offering surf lessons, wetsuit, and surfboard rentals. 

Bloubergstrand / Blouberg Beach

Bloubergstrand’s coastline stretches about 20 kilometers outside the CBD and features several beaches, including Small Bay, Dolphin Beach, and Big Bay. These beaches are best for watersports, including kitesurfing, admiring beautiful views of Robben Island and Table Mountain, and windsurfing. Big Bay Beach hosts an international kitesurfing competition each year and is one of the most popular kitesurfing spots worldwide. Small Bay is not as busy and is a more suitable option for sunbathers and families. 

These beaches are not simply stretches of sea and sand – they are the perfect blend of activity, natural scenery, and relaxation. Each beach offers a unique experience that contributes to Cape Town’s magnetism. But don’t take our word for it – book a trip and see what the city has to offer. It is a one-of-a-kind experience guaranteed!

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