Situated about 40 minutes’ drive outside Cape Town, the Helderberg Basin has a whole treasure trove of activities for young and old. There are plenty of outdoor activities for the adventurers; galleries and museums for the history boffins; restaurants for the foodies; bars and clubs for the party animals; and child-friendly activities for families.
Here is a list of the best 100 things to do in Somerset West, Strand and Gordon’s Bay – all for under R100!
1. Take a stroll in the Helderberg Nature Reserve: The entrance fee is R20 for adults and R10 for children, students, and pensioners.
2. Have drinks at Bossa.
3. Go for a walk or jog at Radloff Park.
4. Visit the Cheetah Outreach in Somerset West – R10 gets you in.
5. Go mountain biking: There are MTB trails on Helderberg Farm, Helderberg Nature Reserve, Lourensford, and Southey Vines.
6. Visit Spook Hill in Parel Vallei Road to see its optical illusion: When you drive or walk down this hill, it looks like you’re going uphill.
7. (Window) shopping at Somerset Mall.
8. Go dancing at Plattelanders: Entrance costs R30 per person from 21:00 onwards.
9. Do a yoga class at Life Retreat: A drop-in class costs R100 per person.
10. Visit the Lourensford Market: Open on Friday at 17:00-21:00 and Sunday 10:00-15:00.
11. Enjoy the view from the top of Sir Lowry’s Pass.
12. Hike to the top of the Helderberg Mountain.
13. Have breakfast or lunch at the child-friendly Mondeor Garden Restaurant.
14. Beer tasting at Triggerfish Brewery.
15. Go birdwatching at the Helderberg Nature Reserve.
16. See animals such as monkeys, lemurs, meerkats, foxes and alpacas at Monkey Town: R95 per adult and R65 per child.
17. Have a light meal at Locomotion Coffeatery.
18. Have some Mexican food at Senor Onion Mexican Deli.
19. Party at Nu’Bar in Main Road.
20. Take your kids to Helderberg Farm: There’s a playground and a coffee shop.
21. Have a look around Chelsea Village, a boutique shopping centre in the heart of town.
22. Have a yummy gourmet burger at Fred and Max (most of their burgers range from R75-R99).
23. Join a yoga class at the World’s View Yoga Studio.
24. Have tea at Fiore Garden Centre and browse the plants for sale.
25. Visit the Winery Road Forest, a picturesque event venue located in Winery Road.
26. Have a latte at Merkava.
27. Browse through the Art Curator Gallery’s large selection of South African Old Masters and Contemporary and African art.
28. Take a walk at the Shady Glen Forest – dogs welcome!
29. Go for a walk at the dam in Paardevlei.
30. Have a truly German experience at Im Eimer Restaurant & Biergarten.
31. Eat either pizza or pasta at Giovanni’s at Waterstone Village or Eikendal.
32. Wine tasting at one of the Helderberg’s various wine farms: Avontuur, Flagstone, Journey’s End, Longridge, Lourensford, Morgenster, Vergelegen, Waterkloof, Yonder Hill…
33. Play pool, dance or have a few drinks at Amics.
34. Go swimming or rock jumping at Blue Rock: The entrance fee is R55 pre-season and R60 in December-January.
35. Coffee date at Lorenzo Marx in Paardevlei.
36. Go bird watching at the Dick Dent Bird Sanctuary to see birds such as Peregrine Falcon, Olive Woodpecker, Sacred Ibis, Kingfisher, etc.
37. Go on a self-guided walking tour of the town centre.
38. Do a functional fitness class with Bodyweight Fitness Crew: A drop-in class costs R80 per session. In addition, if you decide to sign up, you’ll get the first class free.
39. Trail running at either Helderberg Farm, Lourensford or Somerset College.
40. Visit Pet World to see adorable pets such as guinea pigs, bunnies and tropical fish.
41. Take a long walk on the Strand Beach with a loved one.
42. Have a cocktail at Casa Del Sol opposite the beach.
43. Have a piece of cake at the massively popular Pajamas and Jam eatery, winner of the Best Coffee Shop award at Eat Out Best Everyday Eateries 2018.
44. Drive a few golf balls at the Strand Golf Club Driving Range for R40 per bucket of balls.
45. Go surfing: Son Surf School rents out surfboards for R100 for up to two hours.
46. Drinks at Bart’s Tavern, a cosy pub that almost makes you feel like you’re on a boat – it’s that close to the sea.
47. Go on a self-guided walking tour of Strand.
48. Get ice-cream at one of the three N’ Ice parlours in town.
49. Eat an authentic Belgian waffle at The Belgian Waffle House, owned by a Belgian.
50. Go fishing on the beach – Strand’s coast is popular with beach fishermen and rock anglers.
51. Go for a swim at the Olympic-sized public swimming pool in Beach Road.
52. Visit Dam Park located opposite Strand High School in Sarel Cilliers Street.
53. Eat a Flameros Chicken Burger – a favourite in Strand!
54. Swim at Strand’s Melkbaai Beach, one of the safest bathing areas in South Africa.
55. Shopping at Friedman & Cohen, Strand’s famous 116-year-old department store.
56. Tea at the Friedman & Cohen Tea Room.
57. Have a drink at Fat Cats Cocktail Bar and Lounge.
58. Watch live music by local bands at The 80s Bar in Michau Street.
59. Get takeaway fish and chips from Oceana Fisheries and eat it on the beach.
60. Play a round of putt-putt at Strand Golf Club’s putt-putt course (R30 per round).
61. Have fish and chips with a twist at Goldfish Eatery.
62. Go back in time and explore the variety of antique shops in Main Road: 101 Auctions, Die Wakis, Strand Huis Antiques…
63. Play tennis or squash at the Charles Morkel Stadium.
64. Have a milkshake at San Francisco Spur.
65. Visit the beachfront stalls, fondly known as Die Stalletjies, on a Saturday or Sunday.
66. A cocktail, craft beer or glass of wine at De Brasserie.
67. Shopping at Strand Square: There’s a Crazy Store, PNA and Pick ‘n Pay Clothing, so you’ll certainly find something under an R100.
68. Play pool with the locals at Seafarer Pub and Grill.
69. Grab a coffee from Hello Coffee.
70. Sing kareoke at EJs on a Thursday evening.
71. First of all, sun tan on the beach. 😉
72. Have a picnic underneath the shady Milkwood trees next to the Main Beach.
73. Go swimming at Bikini Beach.
74. Drinks at Talla’s Tavern & Restaurant.
75. Hike up to the GB sign on the mountain in Gordon’s Bay. (Did you know that the GB stands for General Botha, and not Gordon’s Bay?)
76. Play board games with friends at Cape Café; and it’s pet-friendly, too.
77. Beer or gin tasting at Red Sky Brew, G-Bay’s very own microbrewery.
78. Go on a self-guided walking tour of Gordon’s Bay.
79. Cocktails or drinks at Berties Moorings.
80. Go kayaking on the sea: 47 Gypsies offers kayak hire at R100 per hour.
81. Enjoy a Spur burger at Sunset Bay Spur: If you sit outside, it feels like you’re almost sitting directly on the beach.
82. Get lost in Bikini Beach Books, the Helderberg’s most Instagrammable book store.
83. Take a look around Aladdin’s Cave next to Bikini Beach Books: They sell all kinds of interesting shells, ornaments, bric brac, clothing and more.
84. Have a piece of 47 Gypsies Backpacker’s legendary carrot cake.
85. Explore Gordon’s Bay’s fully-operational Old Harbour.
86. Have an oyster shot at The Thirsty Oyster Tavern and seafood restaurant located inside the Old Harbour.
87. Have a vegetarian/vegan lunch at Mary-Ann’s Emporium & Eatery.
88. Swim in the tidal pool in Harmony Park.
89. Go plant shopping at Mountain Streams Nursery.
90. Drive to the Steenbras Lookout Point.
91. Visit Gordon’s Bay’s second harbour, Harbour Island, a marina development with a hotel and a selection of restaurants.
92. Happy Hour drinks at Amigos Taverna: Amigos’s Happy Hour is from 17:00-19:00 on weekdays with specials on drinks such as draughts, brandies and ciders.
93. Visit the Lwandle Migrant Labour Museum.
94. Enjoy some takeaway fish ‘n chips on the beach: Choose from either Ooskus Fisheries, Trawlers or Gordon’s Bay Fisheries.
95. Have a few drinks at Melt’s Tavern.
96. Have an ice-cream at Uncle Barry’s Ice Cream.
97. Work out at the public outdoor gym.
98. Enjoy dinner and live music at Legends Pub and Grill.
99. Pizza at Mia Bella Pizzeria: Their wood-fired pizzas start from R60 and their pita bread from R25.
100. Do an angel or tarot card reading at Amber Moon.
Ta da! That‘s how much there is to do in the Helderberg for less than R100. Can you think of any other activities to add to this list? Please leave a comment below.