46km (29 miles) E of Cape Town
The charming town of Stellenbosch was founded in 1679 by Gov. Simon van der Stel, who, among other achievements, built Groot Constantia and planted hundreds of oak trees throughout the Cape. Today Stellenbosch is known informally as Eikestad, or "City of Oaks." The beautifully restored and oak-lined streetscapes of Dorp, Church, and Drosdty make Stellenbosch the most historic of the Winelands towns (it has the largest number of Cape Dutch houses in the region), but outside the historic center, much is suburban sprawl. But this is also a university town, site of the country's most prestigious Afrikaans university, with attendant coffee shops and student bars, and it also promotes itself as the cultural center of the Cape, with a number of great theater options. Contact the Tourism Bureau to find out what's on at the open-air amphitheaters at Oude Libertas and Spier.