Travel Two Ways: Cape Town or Cape Cod

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A view to Cape Town's Table Mountain.

Cape Town or Cape Cod?

Art galleries and botanical gardens face off against clambakes and canoes.

Colorful buoys on Cape Cod.
Classic Cape Cod sunset.

By Susan Hanson
Originally appeared in the April issue of Virtuoso Traveler.
Splurge: Cape Town
6 nights

STAY: A trip to South Africa’s Mother City promises bustling markets, inventive cuisine, and dramatic Table Mountain views. The city’s most upscale action centers around the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, where 131-room One&Only Cape Town commands a prime perch overlooking the marina and houses two of the city’s popular restaurants, from chefs Nobu Matsuhisa and Reuben Riffel. Settle into a one-bedroom Island Suite for the week, tucked away on the resort’s private island near the infinity pool. Island Suites from $1,070; Virtuoso amenities include a chef’s welcome gift, breakfast daily, and a $100 hotel credit.
PLAY: On the agenda for One&Only’s private, daylong Cape Peninsula tour: trekking through Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden’s tree canopy, spying on penguins at the beach, and searching for the “Cape five” (ostriches, baboons, zebras, bontebok, and tortoises) at Cape Point Nature Reserve.
SOUVENIR: Gallery-hop along the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront and pick out a painting to ship home – local artists such as Jen Adam and Mauro Chiarla depict African life through colorful oils and acrylics.
Steal: Cape Cod
3 nights
STAY: Long before the Kennedys built a compound there, Cape Cod was the chosen seaside retreat for Boston artists and families. One of their favorite places to stay: hundred-year-old Chatham Bars Inn, a former hunting lodge with its own quarter-mile stretch of beach. Spend sunny days tossing horseshoes, canoeing alongside harbor seals, and teeing off on the adjacent golf course. Seasonal offerings at the 217-room hotel include a children’s program and evening clambakes. Most of the cozy Deluxe Rooms in the main inn include a private deck or balcony. Virtuoso amenities include in-room welcome gifts and breakfast daily.
PLAY: Take the inn’s complimentary water taxi to the Cape Cod National Seashore (created by JFK in 1961) and explore its beaches, sand spits, swamps, marshes, and tidal flats. The 40-mile-long seashore is home to some 450 animal species, including box turtles and red foxes.
SOUVENIR: Pick up a jar of locally harvested Cape Cod Saltworks Sea Salt and feel good doing so: A portion of the proceeds supports Cape Abilities, a nonprofit that assists local residents with disabilities.
Will it be Cape Town or Cape Cod? Connect with an advisor to start planning.