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Table Mountain National Park

Cape Point
Cape Town , South Africa www.sanparks.org/parks/table_mountain
27 21 701-8692

From its 3,500-foot summit, this flat-topped mountain that looms above Cape Town offers truly mind-blowing views: the entire city peninsula, including the Atlantic coast, False Bay, and the easterly valleys of Winelands, all stretch out shimmering below as far as the eye can see. There are various ways to reach the top; if you want to hike, the easiest of the several routes is up Platteklip Gorge, which allows you to ascend via zigzagging stone steps cut into the side of the mountain, amid Cape reeds and heathery Erica shrubs (fit folks can summit in just over an hour). Even easier, though, is the 10-minute ride up the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway (tablemountain.net), where the glass-enclosed gondola has a slowly revolving floor that allows everyone to savor the views.

Insider Tip: Dress in layers, as even on warm days it can be cold, averaging 59° F in summer. And if you’re not a confident hiker, consider hiring a mountain guide through the Mountain Club of South Africa (http://.cap.mcsa.org.za).

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Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

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