Sea Point is one of the most accessible and dynamic suburbs along Cape Town’s famous Atlantic Seaboard. It’s home to a wide selection of restaurants, bars and hotels, but its true charm lies in its scenic beauty, anchored by the famous Sea Point Promenade.
As beautiful as the pedestrian-only promenade is, though, there’s a lot more to the area than just a long walk or ride along it. Sea Point residents are diverse and involved in their neighbourhood like few others in the city, and writer Nadia Krige, who has lived in the area for years, has made it her mission to explore the very best that the area has to offer.
Whether you’re a visitor or a local, the suburb is always delivering new surprises, and with a few of these truly local tips in your arsenal it will become a destination that is worthy of more than just a short visit.
As close as it is to the Atlantic, Sea Point is not a big swimming destination. The ocean here is fairly rough and the shoreline rocky, and aside from a few brave local surfers, most avoid venturing too far into the water. But for those eager to cool off, Krige has a favourite spot, hidden at the very end of the Promenade.
“Cool down on a hot summer’s afternoon by taking a dip in Saunders Rock Tidal pool in Bantry Bay,” she says. “It’s particularly beautiful at sunset and you’re bound to encounter some interesting regulars.”
One of the most welcome legacies for the region from the 2010 edition of the FIFA World Cup is the Green Point Urban Park, a new public space in Cape Town, located in the shadow of the city’s stadium. It’s free to enter and immaculately maintained, and has several points of interest to explore, including an urban gym, a playground and an educational nature walk for young members of the family. But if need of a quiet moment to contemplate life, Krige has a suggestion: “Head to the labyrinth in Green Point Urban Park,” she says. “It’s tucked away in a western corner of the park.”
Summers in Sea Point can be warm, and there’s no better complement to a slow walk by the ocean than an ice cream. Fortunately, the neighbourhood isn’t lacking in this department – even for those with very high standards.
“If you love ice cream, you simply cannot miss tucking into a bowl or cone of The Creamery’s delicious honest-to-goodness, home-made ware,” says Krige. In particular, she recommends those items on the menu with “peanut butter, salted caramel and anything with chocolate”.
Sea Point is increasingly becoming known for its growing yoga community, and there are several studios along Main Road that offer different varieties of the practice for locals and tourists to enjoy. Krige’s personal recommendation is to unwind with an energetic vinyasa flow or a relaxing yin yoga class at Hot Dog Yoga Studio on Main Road. “It has a lovely, welcoming atmosphere and a great range of classes.”
The primary physical activity to embark on in Sea Point is running or walking along the safe and scenic Promenade. You’ll get more than ten kilometres (six miles) of exercise if you walk it from end to end, and most locals have their favourite stretches and times of the day to head here.
Krige recommends taking a walk at sunrise. “This is the perfect time of day, as the crowds wouldn’t have arrived yet, the world is still fresh and the ocean smells delicious!”
Although few tourists venture off the Promenade unless they need to, there are several notable attractions along the busy stretch of road that runs inland parallel to the ocean, called Sea Point Main Road. In particular, Krige recommends heading to SANS in the newly refurbished Artem Centre. “It’s amazing if you’re looking for organic veggies, small-batch local wines and spirits, beauty products and the like,” she says.
Another gem hidden in the bustle of Sea Point Main Road is one for the book lovers. Krige recommends “losing yourself among the shelves of CAFDA charity bookshop”. All proceeds go to charity, and there’s a selection there to fill any local bookshelf, or keep book-loving tourists busy for the remainder of their trip, especially on a rainy day.
There’s a growing thrifting culture throughout Cape Town, and Sea Point is no exception. “If you enjoy thrift shopping,” says Krige, “you’re bound to find a few (sometimes very hidden) gems at Bargains Galore in Regent Road.”