Wedged between Melbourne’s CBD and the northern shores of the bay are suburbs that offer the best of everything.
When most people are asked about this area, they mention St Kilda and South Melbourne, but it also includes the wide, open spaces of Albert Park and the tiny, tranquil outpost of Elwood.
Many head this way for the beach, and if you’ve never done that before you won’t be disappointed. St Kilda Beach is a really popular spot — you’ll see kids paddling in the shallows, windsurfers skimming across the top of the water and groups walking along the sand before they head to Acland Street to hang out in the cafes. But there are much quieter areas too. At Port Melbourne, 12km away from St Kilda, you’ll find walking and bike paths, a wide stretch of sand, grassed areas and the chance to watch the Spirit of Tasmania set sail for Devonport.
The residents around here tend to like the finer things in life, so you’ve got a seemingly never-ending choice of places to eat and shop. Match cheese to wine at Milk the Cow in St Kilda, enjoy English-style pub grub at Middle Park Hotel or choose a bottle of wine at one of the best neighbourhood bars in the area, Port Melbourne’s Harry and Frankie.
Get your shop on at South Melbourne Market, where the locals have been buying their groceries since 1867. You can still get anything you might need for the kitchen in the huge variety of stalls, but there’s also an excellent food court and a newer section of the market, called SO:ME Space that features the work of local makers in both permanent and pop-up outlets.