Simons Town is found alongside the warm waters of False Bay, just south of Fish Hoek.
It’s connected to the rest of Cape by road and by rail. One of the loveliest ways to get to and from Simons Town is by train as the tracks are built right alongside the sea and also wind their way past the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, quaint Kalk Bay, through Fish Hoek and Glencairn. Cape Town’s Metrorail operates every day; however, every second week on a Saturday, there is a special treat. An authentic, old steam engine pulls carriages filled with passengers from Cape Town to Simons Town and back again. This scenic journey cannot be done in greater style!
Now that we’ve mentioned the best train ride in Cape Town, here are the top attractions in Simons Town!
- The Penguins at Boulders Beach.
- Scratch Patch and Mineral World.
- The South African Naval Museum.
- Simons Town Museum.
- The Warrior Toy Museum.
- Able Seaman Just Nuisance.
- The Simons Town Waterfront.
- Simons Town beaches.
- The Simons Town Golf Club.
- Sea kayaking, boating excursions and deep-sea fishing.
- The Roman Rock Lighthouse.
Simons Town has several beaches that are family-friendly with warmer water than that of the other side of Cape Town. Naturally, with a large colony of Jackass penguins roaming the area, Boulders Beach is a huge favourite. In fact, because its little coves are so well sheltered from breakers and are so safe and child-friendly, it is perhaps the most popular beach of the city. It’s best to simply watch the penguins from a reasonable distance and not disturb them. They don’t worry much about visitors but can peck if they feel threatened.
Other lovely beaches in or nearby Simons Town include Millers Point, Fisherman’s Beach, Glencairn Beach, Long Beach, Seaforth Beach, Smitswinkel Bay Beach and the Water’s Edge Beach. From any of these beaches you may be lucky enough to spot a whale or two. Those that have been seen the area include the Southern Right Whale, Bryde’s Whale, Humpback Whale and Killer Whale. Sea Kayaking trips to get nice and close to the marine life are very popular, and the sea is also great for kite-surfing, windsurfing, scuba diving and snorkelling.
Some fantastic boat cruises are available from Simons Town. They take visitors out to engage in some deep-sea fishing, to visit Seal Island, to Cape Point where the Two Oceans mix or to the Roman Rock Lighthouse at the entrance of the naval harbour. This is the only lighthouse in South Africa that is built on a rock out in the ocean. This rock can only be seen at low tide as it is otherwise completely submerged. The lighthouse therefore often appears to be ‘swimming’. The tower, sent from England, took four years to construct, and the first light shone in September of 1861. Still today and every six seconds, the lighthouse emits its flash to guide South African naval boats home.
The several museums in Simons Town depict the town’s wonderfully interesting history. Between the Simons Town Museum and the South African Naval Museum you can get completely up to date with the happenings of the past, and see many lovely exhibits, such as the inside of a real submarine and extensive collections of photos, charts, weaponry and naval equipment. Outside the Simons Town Museum is a statue of Able Seaman Just Nuisance. Just Nuisance is a famous and inspirational beer-drinking Great Dane that was the only dog ever to be officially enlisted in the Royal Navy. His story is amazing, from how he boarded trains on his own to follow the sailors to how he served as a morale booster to the troops, and can be found in detail at the Simons Town Museum. This huge and much-loved dog was even buried with full naval honours.
The Warrior Toy Museum is quite a unique experience and can be found in St George’s Street, Simons Town. 1000’s upon 1000’s of model cars are available for viewing, as well as hundreds of teddy bears, the cutest miniature doll houses, Mecanno masterpieces and beautiful ships. There are also two toy railroads with trains that chug around their tracks. This museum is a wonderful outing for everyone.
You cannot go home without visiting Scratch Patch and Mineral World! This is a world-famous Simons Town attraction with an amazing variety of beautiful gemstones, some of which you can take home with you. South Africa is the location where almost half of the world’s gemstones are found, and is therefore considered as the ‘gemstone capital of the world’. This Scratch Patch in Simons Town was established in 1970 and has thousands of lovely, polished stones. Here you will literally wander through the stones collecting the ones that you want. Some varieties you may come across include Jasper, Agates, Rose Quartz, Tiger’s Eye and Amethyst. Mineral World has some super things to purchase, ranging from home décor items to bracelets and pendants. The friendly staff is most willing to help you find any gemstone item your heart desires. A visit to the Topstones Factory to see how the gemstones are tumble-polished and crafted is also highly recommended.
In Simon’s Town one is never too far from a lovely restaurant, so between your sightseeing trips you certainly won’t go hungry! There are also some intriguing little shops throughout the town selling a great variety of things you may well like to add to your belongings.
Without a doubt Simons Town will provide you with some of your fondest memories whilst visiting Cape Town. A small town with such beautiful beaches and a picturesque Harbour, a fascinating history and several famous attractions has to be the perfect place for a seaside holiday. If you would like to stay for awhile in Simons Town, let us find you the ideal accommodation and help plan your holiday in Cape Town. Our excellent rates and itineraries will certainly make your time in Cape Town even more splendid.