Things To Do In Simons Town

Must-See Things To Do In Simons Town: Your Ultimate Guide

Simons Town, located on the eastern shores of the Cape Peninsula, South Africa, is a charming coastal town that is rich in history and culture. This picturesque town is surrounded by the stunning ocean on one side and rugged mountains on the other, making it an ideal destination for tourists looking for a peaceful and scenic getaway.

Simons Town is known for its naval base, which is the headquarters of the South African Navy, and its famous Boulders Beach, home to a colony of endangered African Penguins.

In this article, we will explore the top things to do in Simons Town that are sure to make your visit a memorable one. From historical attractions and beautiful beaches to hiking trails and water-based activities, there is something for everyone in this charming town.

Explore the Historical Attractions in Simons Town

Simons Town is steeped in history, with a rich naval and colonial past that is reflected in its many historical attractions. Here are some of the must-visit historical attractions in Simons Town:

  • Simon’s Town Museum – Located in the center of the town, the Simon’s Town Museum is housed in a building that was once a church and is now a national monument. The museum showcases the history of Simons Town, including its role as a naval base and its diverse cultural heritage. The exhibits include historical artifacts, photographs, and interactive displays that provide visitors with a glimpse into the town’s fascinating past.
  • Simon’s Town Naval Base – The Simon’s Town Naval Base is the headquarters of the South African Navy and has been in operation since the 18th century. The base offers guided tours that take visitors through its various sections, including the submarine dockyard, naval museum, and the dockyard craft and souvenir shops.
  • Just Nuisance statue – Just Nuisance was a Great Dane who became a legend in Simons Town during World War II. He was known for his love of sailors and would often follow them to their ships. A statue of him stands in Jubilee Square and is a popular attraction among tourists.
  • The Residency – The Residency is a beautiful Georgian-style building that was once the official residence of the British governor of the Cape Colony. It is now a museum that showcases the colonial history of Simons Town and the surrounding area.
  • The South African Naval Museum – The South African Naval Museum is located within the Simon’s Town Naval Base and is dedicated to the history of the South African Navy. The museum has an extensive collection of naval artifacts, including model ships, naval guns, and submarine equipment.
  • The Blockhouse – The Blockhouse is a well-preserved fortification that was built by the British during the Anglo-Boer War in 1899. It was used as a lookout post and is now a popular tourist attraction that offers panoramic views of Simons Town and the surrounding area.
  • The Warrior Toy Museum – The Warrior Toy Museum is a unique museum that showcases a collection of vintage toys and model trains. It is housed in an old church building and is a must-visit attraction for toy enthusiasts and collectors.

Visiting these historical attractions in Simons Town will give you a deeper understanding of the town’s rich past and its significance in South African history.

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Enjoy the Beaches of Simons Town

Simons Town is known for its beautiful beaches, which offer a range of water-based activities and breathtaking views. Here are some of the top beaches to visit in Simons Town:

  • Boulders Beach Penguin Colony – Boulders Beach is home to a colony of endangered African Penguins and is a popular attraction among tourists. Visitors can watch the penguins waddle and swim in their natural habitat, and there are boardwalks and viewing platforms that offer great views of the beach.
  • Seaforth Beach – Seaforth Beach is a family-friendly beach that offers safe swimming and stunning views of False Bay. It has a large grassy area for picnics and is a great spot for sunbathing and relaxing.
  • Fisherman’s Beach – Fisherman’s Beach is a small, secluded beach that is perfect for those who want to get away from the crowds. It is a great spot for swimming, snorkeling, and fishing, and offers stunning views of the ocean and the surrounding mountains.

Visiting these beaches is a great way to enjoy the natural beauty of Simons Town and to experience its unique marine life. Whether you want to swim, sunbathe, or simply relax and enjoy the views, there is a beach in Simons Town that is perfect for you.

Find out more about Boulders Penguin Colony Cape Town

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Go Hiking in the Surrounding areas of Simons Town

Simons Town and the surrounding area offer some of the most spectacular hiking trails in South Africa. Here are some of the top hiking trails to explore in Simons Town:

  • Cape Point Nature Reserve – The Cape Point Nature Reserve offers a range of hiking trails that vary in difficulty and distance. The trails take you through stunning coastal landscapes, fynbos vegetation, and offer breathtaking views of the ocean and the surrounding mountains.
  • Silvermine Nature Reserve – The Silvermine Nature Reserve has a variety of hiking trails that cater to all levels of fitness and experience. The trails take you through scenic valleys, forests, and along mountain ridges with panoramic views of the ocean and the surrounding landscape.
  • Elephant’s Eye Cave – The Elephant’s Eye Cave is a popular hiking destination that takes you through beautiful fynbos vegetation and offers stunning views of False Bay. The highlight of the hike is the cave, which is shaped like an elephant’s eye and offers a unique vantage point for enjoying the views.
  • Simon’s Town Waterfall – The Simon’s Town Waterfall is a hidden gem that can be accessed via a short hiking trail. The waterfall is nestled in a beautiful forest and offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of the town.

Hiking in Simons Town is a great way to explore the natural beauty of the area, get some exercise, and enjoy some stunning views. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a beginner, there is a trail in Simons Town that is perfect for you.

Find out more about the Best Hiking Trails in Cape Town

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Experience the Local Culture in Simons Town

Simons Town is a vibrant and diverse community that offers a range of cultural experiences. Here are some ways to experience the local culture in Simons Town:

  • Visit the Masjid ul Jaamia Mosque – The Masjid ul Jaamia Mosque is the oldest mosque in South Africa and is a national monument. Visitors are welcome to attend prayer services and learn about the Islamic faith and culture.
  • Cape Malay Cooking Experience – The Cape Malay community has a rich culinary heritage, and visitors can experience this through a cooking class. The cooking classes are led by local Cape Malay chefs and offer visitors the chance to learn about the ingredients, techniques, and flavors of traditional Cape Malay cuisine.
  • Street Art Tour – Simons Town has a thriving street art scene, and visitors can take a guided tour to discover some of the town’s most colorful and vibrant street art. The tour is led by a local artist who provides insights into the art and culture of the town.
  • Simon’s Town Market – The Simon’s Town Market is held every Saturday and offers a range of local crafts, food, and music. Visitors can sample local foods, browse handmade crafts, and enjoy live music performances.

Experiencing the local culture in Simons Town is a great way to learn about the town’s diverse history and vibrant community. Whether you’re interested in food, art, music, or religion, there is something for everyone to discover in Simons Town.

Find out more about Cultural Tours In Cape Town

Enjoy Water-Based Activities in Simons Town

Simons Town is surrounded by water and offers a range of water-based activities that are perfect for those who love the ocean. Here are some of the top water-based activities to enjoy in Simons Town:

  • Scuba Diving – Simons Town is home to some of the best scuba diving spots in South Africa, including the kelp forests of the Cape Point Nature Reserve and the coral reefs of False Bay. Visitors can dive with experienced guides and discover the unique marine life that inhabits the waters around Simons Town.
  • Surfing – False Bay is a popular surfing destination and offers a range of surf spots that cater to all levels of experience. Muizenberg Beach is a popular spot for beginners, while more experienced surfers can head to spots like Kalk Bay Reef or Outer Kom for more challenging waves.
  • Kayaking – Kayaking is a great way to explore the coastline around Simons Town and to get up close and personal with the marine life. Visitors can kayak around Boulders Beach and watch the penguins in their natural habitat, or explore the kelp forests of the Cape Point Nature Reserve.
  • Whale Watching – Simons Town is a popular destination for whale watching, especially during the winter months when Southern Right Whales migrate to the area. Visitors can take a boat tour and witness these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.

Enjoying water-based activities in Simons Town is a great way to experience the natural beauty of the area and to discover its unique marine life. Whether you’re an experienced scuba diver, a seasoned surfer, or just looking for a relaxing way to explore the coastline, there is something for everyone to enjoy in Simons Town.

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Accommodation Options In Simons Town

Simons Town offers a range of accommodation options to suit all budgets and preferences. Here are some of the top accommodation options in Simons Town:

  • Boutique Hotels – Simons Town has a range of boutique hotels that offer personalized service, unique decor, and a range of amenities. Some of the top boutique hotels in Simons Town include The Grosvenor Guest House, Whale View Manor, and The Blue Penguin.
  • Guest Houses – Guest houses are a popular accommodation option in Simons Town and offer a range of rooms and suites to suit all budgets. Many guest houses offer stunning views of the ocean and are located within walking distance of the town’s attractions. Some of the top guest houses in Simons Town include A Boat House, Mariner Guesthouse, and Aqua Terra.
  • Self-Catering Accommodation – If you prefer to have your own space and the flexibility to cook your meals, self-catering accommodation may be a good option for you. Simons Town has a range of self-catering accommodation options, including apartments, cottages, and holiday homes. Some of the top self-catering accommodation options in Simons Town include Penguin Palace, Simonstown Penthouse, and Ocean Breeze.
  • Backpackers – For budget-conscious travelers, backpackers offer a range of affordable accommodation options. Backpackers are a great way to meet other travelers and to experience the local culture. Some of the top backpackers in Simons Town include The Happy Penguin, Simonstown Backpackers, and The Muize.

Whether you’re looking for luxury accommodation or budget-friendly options, Simons Town has something for everyone. It’s important to book in advance, especially during peak season, to ensure that you get the accommodation that suits your preferences and budget.

Find out more about Things To Do In Cape Town

CategoryKey Take-Away Points
Historical AttractionsNaval museum, Just Nuisance statue, Simon’s Town Museum
BeachesBoulders Beach, Fisherman’s Beach, Windmill Beach
HikingCape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, Silvermine Nature Reserve
Local CultureFood, art, music, festivals
Water-Based ActivitiesScuba diving, surfing, kayaking, whale watching
AccommodationBoutique hotels, guest houses, self-catering accommodation

Conclusion

Simons Town is a charming seaside town located on the False Bay coast of Cape Town, South Africa. With its rich history, natural beauty, and diverse range of attractions and activities, Simons Town is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.

Visitors to Simons Town can explore the town’s historical attractions, relax on its beautiful beaches, enjoy water-based activities like scuba diving and surfing, and experience the local culture through food, art, and music. The town also offers a range of accommodation options to suit all budgets and preferences, from luxury boutique hotels to backpackers.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing seaside getaway or an adventure-filled holiday, Simons Town is a great destination to explore. With its friendly locals, stunning natural scenery, and range of attractions and outdoor activities, it’s easy to see why Simons Town is one of the top tourist destinations in South Africa.

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