ACCORDING TO JEWELLER AND GEELONG WEST SOCIAL CLUB OWNER MIA COOK
Geelong is bursting at the seams with good cafes, restaurants and bars; it’s big enough to keep you entertained but small enough to make you feel like you have a tight community. When I have friends in town, we’ll head down the coast to a local winery such as Basils Farm (basilsfarm.com.au), just outside Queenscliff, or hang at home for a backyard barbecue.
and BREAKFAST:pastries from Fresh Born croissants& Bread Bakehouse.
GROUP DINNER: Korean tapas at Donco. Order Korean black raspberry wine and fried chicken. donco-k.com
TRUSTY FAVOURITE: You can’t go past Lipari, an Italian pasta place tucked down a side alley. Get in early before the locals! liparigeelong.com.au
HOMEWARES: Goose in East Geelong will fill you with excitement over things like Mud bowls and Kip & Co goodies. goosestore.com.au
RECORDS: Head to Real Music Vinyl, where you can snag something new or second-hand – I recently bought Leon Bridges’ and Mac Demarco’s albums.
CLOTHING: Florence & Threads in Ocean Grove, or the Mill Markets to rummage for vintage. millmarkets.com.au
CULTURE HIT: Head to the old industrial area on Rutland Street where you’ll find cool places like Boom Gallery and Boom Makers, plus photographers, graphic designers and a yoga studio. boomgallery.com.au
CLASSY TIPPLE: Geelong Cellar Door is a cosy wine bar. Let the staff help you find your dream wine and matching cheeses. geelongcellardoor.com.au
BIG NIGHT: Start off at Little Creatures brewery for beer and a bite to eat, then move onto Union Street Wine for prosecco and a gossip. When you get too rowdy, wander down to Captain, an outdoor bar reliable for good tunes and a good vibe, then dance to a daggy cover band at underground pub Lambys. littlecreatures.com.au; unionstreetwine.com.au; lambys.com.au
FARMERS’ MARKETS: South Geelong Primary School has a lovely farmers’ market on the first and third Sunday of each month.
FOR THE LITTLE ONES: Let them run themselves out at the Botanic Gardens. SWIM: A paddle at Barwon Heads.
DAY TRIP: The Great Ocean Road is a stone’s throw away. Drive to Lorne and grab a burger, then make like a kid again at the trampoline park.