Golden Gate and Clarens
GOLDEN GATE NATIONAL PARK AND CLARENS
2 1/2 to 3 hr from Sandton
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Clarens - a quaint village just 300 kilometres outside of Joburg - claims to be the jewel of the Eastern Free State, and after a visit to this unusual melting pot of arts, crafts and spectacular natural features, you'll have a hard time refuting this. For a number of years now, one of the biggest draw cards of the region has been the overwhelming feeling of peace and tranquillity that enshrouds it, thanks to its abundance of trees, inspiring mountains, abundant nature, well-maintained sandstone buildings, and laid-back, creative and always welcoming locals. The town has always been known for its numerous arts and crafts shops, each of which offer visitors an impressive array of curios, artwork and trinkets, all of which are authentic and one of a kind, and in recent years a number of equally unique coffee shops and restaurants have sprung up in between.