Melburnians, we have a little secret: you don’t actually have to travel far from the CBD to treat yourself to a lush micro escape. And after the unpredictability of lockdowns, we’re so ready to escape our four walls and throw our support behind local businesses once more.
Boasting a slew of winter pop-ups, creative exhibitions, foodie destinations and boutique stores—Port Phillip has all the makings of a memorable day out or winter staycation. Here are 5 reasons to rug up this winter and explore everything going down south of the CBD.
Get Among The Creative Scene
From legendary live gigs through to thought-provoking exhibitions and immersive theatre, prepare to feed your creative soul at Port Phillip. You can’t go past a live gig at St Kilda’s historical Palais Theatre, or a show at the new (old) kid on the block The Espy. Those looking to dive into culture and history should pop by the Carlisle Street Arts Space and take in their latest exhibition, showcasing works by Galiamble and Winja Ulupna Recovery Centre artists. And of course, there's always something exciting to witness at Gasworks Art Park, from incredible exhibitions to live performances.
If you’d like to take something home, swing by The Torch and support their Indigenous Arts in Prisons program by picking up a piece from their shop. Meanwhile, those keen on pure entertainment can enjoy a performance by Theatre Works, hit up a movie at The Astor Theatre or laugh out loud at the many local comedy nights around South Melbourne and St Kilda.
Strike Out And Stretch Your Legs
Whilst water sports might not be everyone's cup of tea during Melbourne winter, there’s a tonne of other ways to fill your cup in nature this season. You can’t exactly miss a stroll along the beach anywhere from Elwood to Port Melbourne—best paired with a coffee on a crisp Saturday morning. Walk 10-minutes north of the St Kilda Marina and get lost in St Kilda Botanical Gardens, where you’ll find seasonal collections of indigenous plants, a rose garden and ponds. Alternatively, take your trek urban and discover the artistic underbelly of the city with the Balaclava street art walk. Head north from William Street Reserve up to Inkerman Street and you’ll find creative pockets of art and history that make southside what it is today.
Fill Your Tote Bag With Local Goodies
There’s no better way to throw your support behind local businesses than treating yourself to a keepsake, or five. If you’re after homewares, hit up South Melbourne's Licorice Home and TheSuperCool, or Ripponlea's Mim & Friends for that special piece to refresh your crib. Bibliophiles are also well catered for with treasure troves like The Grumpy Swimmer bookshop and Coventry Bookstore bursting at the seams with your latest favourite reads.
And that’s just the beginning. You’ll also find independent fashion boutiques dotted around town, here to help you level-up your look. Pop by Camelia for a burst of colour to brighten that winter wardrobe or Flannel in Albert Park for that on-trend piece you deserve.
Dive Into The Delicious Foodie Scene
Sweet tooths assemble because an epic dessert festival is going down in Port Phillip this winter. There are 60 different dishes (including a slew of winter cocktails) to taste around town over the two-month event. Whether an experimental green pandan croissant from Agathé Pâtisserie tickles your taste buds, or a classic sticky date pudding from Cicciolina is more your speed, there’s something to satisfy everyone. And if you’re wondering where to kick off a mouth-watering night out south of the city, you’re in luck—we’ve rounded up where to find the best restaurants in St Kilda. Thank us later.
Splash Out On A Seaside Staycation
What’s better than escaping your routine with a day trip? Treating yourself to a staycation. When it comes to Port Phillip you’re in for a good time with ‘Gram-worthy accommodation at your fingertips. Park up at the Prince Hotel in St Kilda for a taste of history, creativity and of course, luxury. Enjoy an evening in their stylish modern suites, topped off with a tipple down at Little Prince Wine Bar.
For a weekend of pure indulgence, you’ll want to send a stay at The Coppersmith Hotel to the top of your list. This boutique hotel is on Clarendon Street in South Melbourne and boasts a rooftop with incredible views of the city skyline and a stunning restaurant and bar. Turns out perfection does exist.
Forget far-flung destinations, Port Phillip and St Kilda is where it’s at this winter. Pack your overnighter and head out to back our locals this season.
Image credit: Flynn Edwards