Cape Town, the mother city of the Western Cape of South Africa is one of the world’s most loved—and with good reason. It’s gorgeous topography is an irresistible treasure from broad beaches along False Bay to the soaring peak of Table Mountain (one of the 7 Wonders of Nature). Easy day-trips to the penguin-dotted Cape Peninsula, nearby wildlife reserves, and the picturesque Cape Winelands are just a few of the reasons why it’s the historic country’s most visited city.

The working harbor thrives as a commercial, cruise, and tourist mecca adjacent to the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, which features tour boats to Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 of his 27-year sentence. Here you’ll also find numerous restaurants, theaters, and galleries for perusing. Stop in spots like elegant steakhouse, Balthazar Restaurant ( or the locally-driven upscale Aubergine ( for a bite. Nearby, you’ll find the new Cape Town stadium (it was used for the 2010 FIFA World Cup) where sold out shows for groups like Coldplay and Kings of Leon have made it a destination for music minded visitors. Prefer your art in tangible form? Renowned galleries including Everard Reid and South African Print feature fine contemporary art from both South Africa and international artists.

Read more in Charlotte Observer