Hilly bike rides from pub to pub. Fireplaces and future-talks. Winter romance at its best. That’s where it first found us, Melbourne’s magic. It’s an awe that takes time to reveal itself–be patient. Don’t look for it. It’s not in one place, although it might follow you to one of the below ten.
🏃🏻♀️ 1. Run “The Tan,” a 3.8km track around the Botanic Gardens, or do the “anti-Tan,” that is, The Tan anti-clockwise. If you’re feeling particularly stubborn, go “anti-anti-Tan” and race inside the gardens instead (don’t miss Fountain Island).
🗞 2. Steal a sunny seat at Saluministi (Bourke Street location at Docklands), blackout a paper, draw a penguin, swallow a latte, choke a donut, and close your eyes in that self-indulgent kind of way. Then, do squeeze past the library for a walk along The Victoria Harbour Promenade.
📷 3. Hunt down the city skyline + Princes Bridge shot. Spoiler alert: it’s taken at the Southbank side of the Yarra river in front of the Hamer Hall. Bonus points and a slightly better view await you on top of HH. Once clicked out, come back down and walk the Southbank Promenade like a well-behaved tourist.
– Hat tip to Visit Melbourne for the coordinates.
🥐 4. Make your way to Tivoli Road Bakery. Have multiple cups of hot with various goods of baked (including at least one escargot). Strike up a conversation with the beautiful stranger sitting next to you. Laze.
– Hat tip to Amba from Finding Your Path for pointing me to G-street.
🍴 6. For dinner. Tell everyone to go to Chin Chin. Skip Chin Chin. Go to Embla. Be early. Like 16:53 early. Feast. Wine. Don’t forget to wipe the smug look off your face.
🍻 7. Crawl Mr. G’s and mine pub-prints and mingle with locals at Marquis of Lorne (“the roof, the fire” – sink your teeth into pub fare), The Tote (“it’s punk, baby” – check the gigs schedule), and The Gem Bar (“what about a pickle, y’all” – dig into Texas style BBQ).
– The post “Best Friends” was inspired by the evening Mr. G and I visited these pubs.
🌇 8. Watch the sun set over the city from Ruckers Hill and then roll down to The Terminus Hotel (Fitzroy North) for a flight of beer and your fix of sours.
– Approximate sunset-spotting coordinates: the bridge on High Street at tram stop Clark St in Northcote.
🌊 9. Run again. This time, from your hotel to the beach (towards any point between Port Melbourne Beach and the St Kilda Pier will do) while zigging and zagging through eerie Southbank neighborhoods. Optional pit stop: Magic.
Once eye in eye with the sea line, comment on how much cleaner the water looks here than in Sydney (yes, even if you’ve never been to the rival), and then proceed to the finish: the very end of St Kilda Pier. Log your run, stretch, snap a victory pic, and then walk back to the promenade and grab an oBike.
Take the vehicle to Miss Jackson and treat yourself to one fabulous brunch (think “beetroot & vodka salmon gravlax with blood orange, pickled beets, coconut crème fraîche” and “custard passion tarts”).
When recharged, get on the bike, and cycle back to town via Albert Park Lake (wow!). Just make sure to stick your tongue out to the people chilling at Greenfields Albert Park.
– Hat tip to Kate for spilling the secret on Miss Jackson.
🚃 10. Do one thing I didn’t do: come in summer and discover the city’s terraces and green patches, have “burgers & beers five stories up in a rooftop train carriage overlooking Melbourne”, book a workshop with work · shop, or visit the 12 Apostles further down under.