The St Kilda foreshore.
On the palm-lined foreshore you can walk, cycle and skate or just to sit and take in the views of Port Phillip Bay... often with a coffee or a glass of wine. The beach is a magnet for long-time locals, backpackers, European tourists and families.
Start your day at the historic pier and head south and you can follow the beach walk for 6 kilometres, past the St Kilda Marina, past Port Ormond and Elwood all the way to elegant Brighton. The views of the city skyline are quite magnificent and you can watch the yachts and sailboarders out on the bay.
Elwood Beach is popular with families. The beach is safe and clean, there's lifesaving, sailing, a seaside restaurant, beach house cafe, kiosk and changing pavillion.
Brighton is the home of the renowned bathing boxes. Its also one of Melbourne's safest and sandiest beaches. Stroll along the pier, relax in the historic gardens and visit the Sea Baths. There are many galleries, antique shops and heaps of seaside restaurants and cafes.
You can also head north along Beaconsfield Parade. The Middle Park beach can get very crowded in summer with swimmers, windsurfers and sunbathers and there's the picturesque Kerford Road pier along the way.
And finally there's Port Melbourne, the closest beach to Melbourne's CBD, with it's narrow grass lawns dotted with palm trees. Nearby Bay Street boasts an array of hip pubs, restaurants and specialty shops.
Footnote: You can also catch a ferry across the bay to Williamstown on the weekends and public holidays. The return trip takes you up the Yarra through the port and Docklands.