Ditch the coastal crowds for the afternoon and head slightly inland to Knysna’s Main Street lined with elegant Victorian-era buildings housing restaurants, boutiques, and galleries. Bypass the kitschy open-air market —unless you’re on a hunt for painted ostrich eggs—and head to The Live Art Gallery at the Knysna School of Art and Design. This rambling old pile is brimming with colorful canvases and mixed media installations that are all for sale (check their Facebook page for the scoop on live demos by local artists). Pop across the street to the pretty African Bean, a family-owned boutique and café. Search for souvenirs amid the hand-painted cushion covers, hand and body lotions by local brand Moya, or scarves screen-printed with ostriches, giraffes, and rhinos. Settle in with a coffee and a scone and catch up on the latest gossip as locals chat over iced mochas and fresh baked pastries.
Main Street is a 15-minute drive from the hotel in Knysna.
KNYSNA SCHOOL OF ART AND DESIGN: 28 Main Street, the Oaks, Knysna
AFRICAN BEAN: 29 Main Street; 27-(0)44-382-2845