The Beaches of Cape Town’s West Coast
Situated along the Atlantic coast line just north of the city, the Cape Town West Coast, otherwise known as the Northern Suburbs, offer an entirely different feel to the hustle and bustle of the city. Stretching from Paarden Eiland in the south to Melkbosstrand in the north, the West Coast benefits from an abundance of space not afforded to other parts of Cape Town.
The defining factor of the entire Cape Town West Coast are its beaches. Stretching the entire length of Table Bay (and beyond to Langebaan), the beaches of the West Coast offer pristine views of Table Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean, without the abundance of beach goers you get in Clifton, Camps Bay, or Boulders Beach. Our apartment is a short walk to Milnerton beach, just off Woodbridge Island, but our favorite spot to visit in Sunset Beach.
Travelling north along Marine Drive you come upon a nondescript pull off just before the turn to Blouberg. It doesn’t look like much from the road, just some sand dunes, but if you take the time to park and hike over the dunes you will be greeted with a seemingly endless private beach with unrivaled views of Table Mountain. We recommend coming here for sunset. Bring a blanket, a bottle of wine, and prepare to be awed by the stunning views of the sun setting over the Atlantic with Table Mountain in the backdrop.
An unmissable feature of the West Coast Beaches is the abundance of Kite Surfers. Blouberg holds the World Record for the largest number of Kite Surfers all surfing in the same location at the same time at over 400! On windy days (which is most days), Kite Surfers can stretch as far as the eye can see from sunrise past sunset.
Overall, the beaches of Cape Town’s West Coast offer the best views of Table Mountain and an entirely different feel from the more famous beaches of the area. If privacy and relaxation are what you seek, then check out any of the beaches throughout the Northern Suburbs.
Cape Town West Coast Neighborhoods
One of the closest suburbs along the West Coast is Milnerton, where we have chosen to call home. Beyond that there is Table View, Blouberg, and Melkbosstrand, with several smaller neighborhoods scattered throughout. Although we have been living in Milnerton now for about four months, it is quite a big area and we have not had adequate time to fully explore.
The Northern Suburbs do feel a bit like suburbia, but the open spaces, larger roads, and extensive public transport of the MyCiti bus system make it an ideal place to live.
One of our favorite aspects of the Northern Suburbs and West Coast is the abundance of natural spaces, such as Diep River and its lagoon, Riet Vlei Nature Reserve, Table Bay Nature Reserve, Blouberg Private Nature Reserve, Blaauwberg Nature Reserve, and Koeberg Nature Reserve. These wild spaces are within a 30-minute drive of Cape Town city center, and are a great escape from the busy city. There is also an extensive walking, running, and bike path extending from Lagoon Beach all the way north to Melkbosstrand, with beautiful natural views the whole way.
West Coast Restaurants in Cape Town
Although lacking the same quantity and quality of hip restaurants that Cape Town city offers, the West Coast still has its fair share of great eateries and hang out spots. Come to the Northern Suburbs if superior views, relaxed atmosphere, and an unassuming environment is what you seek. Our favorite restaurants in the area offer great drinks, and simple, affordable meals where we can relax and enjoy the views.
A brief ten-minute walk from our apartment on Woodbridge Island is Beach Tavern. The place can get quite raucous, and the atmosphere is nothing special, but the food is quite good and amazingly affordable. The craft beer list is surprisingly extensive and cheap, and the daily specials never break the bank. We recommend the pizzas and a Stellenbrau Lager, and keep an eye out for the live music nights. The Tavern spills out into the outdoors, with Milnerton beach only steps away.
Our go-to breakfast place, Petits Fours in Little Bay, near Blouberg, has a quaint beach house feel with stunning views of the Atlantic. The breakfast is among the best we’ve had in Cape Town, and the relaxed atmosphere can’t be beat.
Just down the street from Petits Fours is Ons Huisie, a great pizza bar with lawn seating and unrivaled views of Table Mountain. A great spot to go with friends during the day on the weekend, take time to relax and enjoy the views.
One of our new favorite spots, Jerry’s Burger Bar is a local craft burger & beer chain that is located throughout Cape Town. The Blouberg location offers the best views by far. The Sailor Jerry themed burger bar has fantastic burgers, great fries, and an extensive craft beer and whiskey menu. We haven’t yet been on a Friday or Saturday night, but we imagine that it probably gets quite rowdy here.
Overall, the West Coast and Northern Suburbs of Cape Town are often overlooked, but a beautiful and laid back part of the city that can’t be missed. If surfing, Kite surfing, hiking, or simply private beaches are your thing, be sure to check out the Cape Town West Coast.