St Kilda began life as a seaside holiday destination, so separate from the city that on the sandy track that was then St Kilda Road, travellers ran the risk of a run-in with a bushranger.
Fitzroy Street is a long line of shoulder-to-shoulder cafes, restaurants, bars and pubs. Straight ahead is the palm-lined foreshore and the beach, and around the corner is the much-loved St Kilda Pier with its historic kiosk that offers great views and quality food.
The path along the foreshore goes from Port Melbourne in the north to beyond Brighton in the south and is often busy with cyclists, rollerbladers and walkers. The Esplanade Hotel is an integral part of Melbourne’s live-music scene, and The Palais, a grand, French-style theatre, is the venue for concerts. Luna Park (see next entry) is next door to The Palais, and there is an arts and crafts market on The Esplanade every Sunday (see Markets, p. 137).
Just around the corner from The Esplanade are the continental cake shops that have made Acland Street famous.
South from St Kilda is a string of swimming beaches, including Brighton Beach with its trademark colourful bathing boxes and views of the city. Rippon Lea Estate, on Hotham Street in Elsternwick, is a grand Romanesque mansion set in beautiful gardens and open daily.
A stroll along the St Kilda foreshore
- St Kilda Beach, Beaches, Beaches