Strand is mainly a residential area, but has a small industrial and commercial area along Main Road from Somerset West. Strand, Somerset West and Gordon's Bay are part of the Helderberg suburban region of greater Cape Town. Strand and Gordon's Bay are the recreational seaside area for this part of Cape Town. The beaches are generally large, clean and safe for swimming, but are exposed to the south-easterly wind which is fairly common in summer, and can blow more strongly along the shore than further inland. The coast on this area is also fairly exposed to the south-westerly swell which is the prevailing direction for most of the year, and there is usually some surf, but the seabed shelves very gradually, so the surf is usually not very strong and rip currents are not common.
From Cape Town follow the N2 highway eastwards and exit on the R44. (about 45km)
From Stellenbosch follow the R44 south.
MetroRail operates reasonably frequent trains from Cape Town to Somerset West and Strand. You may have to change trains in Bellville. The journey takes about 90 minutes. 1 Strand station is between Main and Altena roads, a short walk from Strand Pavilion.
There is not much to see in Strand besides the beach.
Strand is the Afrikaans word for beach and as the name says, Strand is all about a day out at a long beach. At weekends and during holidays in good weather you can be packed with people, but it is accessible at any time. It is best to avoid in strong south-easterly winds as the sand can be carried by the wind, and will sting exposed skin.
There are waterslides and play park on the beach for family fun as an alternative to the beach with a surf school for lessons or board rentals.
Scuba diving in False Bay — there are a few dive shops and dive boat operators in Strand and Gordon's Bay. Equipment is available for hire from some operators. Most will supply a full cylinder, regulator, buoyancy compensator and weight belt, and some will also supply wet-suit, mask and fins.
There is a golf club in Strand, and two in Somerset West, a short drive to the north. Further afield there are golf clubs at Stellenbosch and several in the suburbs of Cape Town, all within an hour's drive.
Somerset Mall on the N2 between Strand and Somerset West is the main shopping centre for the region, and like most malls, has relatively high prices and large parking lots. The original mall has several large chain stores and a large number of boutique style stores and restaurants, and a cinema. If you like malls, this is not a bad one. On rainy weekends, it can be quite full of people with nothing better to do. The associated commercial area extends to the south and west of the mall, with the more specialist vendors generally to the west.
There are number of restaurants, including KFC, Spurs and a very good fish restaurant at the pier.