Ventured beyond downtown: Brunswick St in Fitzroy has lots of little offbeat shops, restaurants, galleries, and bookstores, and is not at all glossy like the central business district. It’s fun to walk and browse here. If they could only lose a couple of lanes of the busy Brunswick St, and maybe add a few head shops, and it would look like Haight St in San Francisco.
St. Kilda is one of Melbourne’s beach suburbs. It’s fairly low-key – there are some restaurants, a couple of ugly hotels, a narrow beach, a long pier to a boat harbor with Melbourne’s skyline as a backdrop, and a quiet residential neighborhood. No souvenir shops or other annoyances. The place is quiet and pleasant. When looking out on the ocean, I had to think for a second to remember which ocean it is this week.
The Sofitel hotel downtown has the most scenic toilet I have ever seen. It’s on the 35th floor, and one wall is a huge picture window with a great view of Melbourne. Melbourne’s shops close down at 18:00, as if Melbourne was some small-time village. They need to work on that.