St Kilda might be Melbourne’s closest thing to a beach town, but it’s also packed with plenty of things to see and do. The bustling Carlisle and Acland Streets meet with the pull of the ocean to create a suburb everyone wants to be in.

The Espy, The Palais, The National Gallery of Victoria, and Luna Park are all located in either St Kilda or nearby South Melbourne. That’s a big deal. Not only can you access some of Melbourne’s richest history in these venues, but you also can see some of the best local and international music acts, films, and art. Melbourne institutions, all these addresses boast A-list guests and unforgettable nights out.

St Kilda Festival is held every summer on the foreshore, and the St Kilda Film Festival usually runs during May. Both draw huge crowds and remind the city of the Bohemian vibe once so strongly felt there. Markets are also held on the foreshore in the summer, perfect for perusing with a gelato from 7 Apples.

Acland Street and Carlisle Street are both major hubs, but it’s exploring the streets and their surroundings that’s the best bit. While St Kilda institutions like Readings and Acland Continental Cakes are found on Acland, hidden gems like Purepop Records and Soul Mama are worth venturing off the main road for. Carlisle is a treat in itself, and is home to local favorite Galleon Café and its delicious Scrambled Tofu.

A little further out in Elwood you can find lesser-known venues the locals keep secret, like Jerry’s Milk Bar in Elwood, a heritage listed diner serving up Spiders and Pancakes.