For a relatively small city, Cape Town spreads out a long way, but I always find it remarkable how easily you can escape the urban sprawl and find yourself in wild countryside if you travel out of town on the R27 along the west coast. The West Coast makes for low-stress, high-reward travel, all within just an hour or two of the Mother City.
I remember one particularly purple afternoon driving around on the dirt roads of the west coast hinterland in early September. The world seemed to buzz with life and there was a delicious dry warmth to the spring air: weaver birds were busy building, raptors were etched against pure blue skies, craggy mountains loomed dramatically out of the veld, birds buzzed about in all directions and I could almost see and hear the fynbos growing all around me. I cannot, of course, guarantee the weather but I do recommend getting lost in this region!
Town-wise head through Darling (hotspot for wine-makers and for the desert flowers which bloom at the end of August and early September) and you'll quickly reach Langebaan, the wonderful West Coast National Park and the coastal villages typified by Paternoster and its bright white, low-roofed fishermen's cottages. Beaches are equally white and there are plenty of water sports on offer. More leisurely pursuits include superb birding and whale- and dolphin-watching, the Fossil Park plus some great seafood restaurants right on the beach. Many people regularly drive from Cape Town just for lunch. The West Coast links very well to the Springbok-Upington-Nieuwoudtville loop round the Northern Cape and then a return trip to Cape Town via the Cederberg Mountains.