Clifton is an exclusive residential area and is home to some of the most expensive real estate in South Africa, with dwellings nestled on cliffs that have sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean.
The area has a set of 4 beaches which are frequently used destinations for both locals and tourists. The beaches, which are named from 1st to 4th, are separated by falls of granite boulders and have almost pure white granitic sand. The four beaches of Clifton are well protected from the notorious south-easterly wind. A fifth beach, before First Beach, called Moses Beach, appears and disappears as the sand is washed in and out with the seasons.
The water, although chilly (12–16 °C), plays host to many water sports, mostly surfing, both board and body. The strongest surf is at First, diminishing to Fourth, where it is the weakest. Fourth beach (to the South), is the most populated and glamorous venue; attracting families. Yachts anchor off Fourth beach, especially on summer weekends. Third beach attracts gay men. Second beach is populated by students playing beach volleyball and beach bats. First beach, to the north, the smallest beach, draws a mixed crowd of locals and surfers.