It could be the breath-taking beaches or the grand splendour of historical architecture but St James has always been a hot spot destination for locals and tourists alike.
The small town exudes a kind of tranquillity that can ease the tension of any holiday maker seeking a vacation. During my stay in St James I ate, relaxed and left with a weight lifted from shoulders. From my room at the St James Guest House to the long walks on the beach, St James delivered.
Why locals love St James
The drive to St James
After an exhausting week at work, my drive to St James from my work in Cape Town seemed arduous but a relaxing weekend was exactly what I needed. After an hour of driving, I finally reached my destination. I opted for the drive through Boyes Drive. The road runs above St James and provides scenic views of the False Bay coastline.
St James is located on the Simon's Town train line and the Main Road that runs down the False Bay coast of the Cape Peninsula.
Accommodation in St James
During my time in St James, I stayed at one of the St James Guesthouses. The Dutch inspired buildings are beautifully preserved and offers a taste of history in a town that was once a Port for travellers from around the world.
The Seaforth, set in a perfect seaside village location, has been extravagantly refurbished to create a modern guesthouse feel with an elegant yet casual atmosphere. This place is truly a luxury for travellers passing by. The alluring Arabic rugs, antiques and handmade South African furniture is what makes it so popular with locals and tourists.
Hiking in St James
St James sits perfectly snug between the ocean and mountain. It would be an injustice to the picturesque scenery not to hike and appreciate all that it has to offer. Regardless of your fitness level, St James offers a variety of hiking trails. A personal favourites is the Ou Kraal hiking trail.
Just above St James and off Boyes Drive you’ll find this gem. The hiking trail is frequented by locals, tourists and out-of-towners. The best part about it is the offerings of abundant fynbos and memorable views of the ocean. As it is one of the cheapest yet exciting things to do in St James, I do offer this to you as an introduction. Take this hike and you too will fall in love with the place. Depending on the time of the year you visit, once you reach the top of the hiking trail, you could spot a few whales.
Fish & Chips
One of the most popular local dishes in any seaside village in the Cape Peninsula is fish and chips. A deliciously battered and fried hake or snoek fillet, accompanied by chips drenched in a considerable amount of salt and vinegar. Just the way the locals do. Down the road from St James you’ll find Kalk Bay. Kalk Bay is home to the closest harbour to St James and offers fresh fish daily from the local fisherman. Kalky’s is known throughout the Cape Peninsula as the go-to spot for the best fish & chips as well as other fresh seafood options.
Next time you find yourself planning a trip along the False Bay Coastline, be sure to make a special stop in St James.
Travel tip shared by Anthea Adams