Cape Town, South Africa

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Cape Town's spectacular setting on Table Bay, beneath the 1,082-meter (3,550-foot) Table Mountain and Lion's Head, seldom fails to take one's breath away, whether you are a local or a visitor. If Johannesburg is South Africa's New York, this port city of four million, settled by traders from the Dutch East India Company in 1652, is its San Francisco. With a rich array of restaurants, galleries, vineyards and countless beaches, as well as a Mediterranean climate, life on the Cape Peninsula, which stretches for some 70 kilometers (43 miles) from downtown to the most southerly point, Cape Point, is genteel and all about good, healthy living and staying outdoors as much as possible. The Table Bay side of the city, known for its luxurious seaview properties and bustling nightlife, is countered by equally intriguing False Bay, which lies behind Table Mountain and is home to quaint, cobblestoned fishing villages like Kalk Bay, as well as the city's famous penguin colony. There, too, you'll find the oldest (and some of the best) vineyards in Africa, such as Constantia Uitsig and Buitenverwachting. If you visit, though, be warned: Once might not be enough.