It's one of those magical cities that make you feel right at home and yet better than you've ever felt at home, even if you're not a city person. Every time I'm there I'm reminded I am a creative, passionate, spiritually fit human capable of every big goal I could dream up and then some. That history and the food of the world and theater should be enjoyed and consumed abundantly. And that there are good and smart and other crazy people in the world. I'd go so far as to say it's up there with New York on those feels.
And I love it.
I'd even consider living there. If the weather wasn't so damn confusing.
But I digress.
We're here to break down the 10 best bits about Australia's most versatile city, for all of my fellow Melbourne lovers and for all those needing one more nudge to book a ticket there pronto. Just because. And for everything in this list.
1. THE ARCHITECTURE
Striking versus old and equally gorgeous, there's areas in much of Melbourne where every inch of every building has had a designer's eye cast to create awe and wonder, grandiosity, personality and the coolest freaking skylines. You don't have to go far to see creative and beautiful architecture is embraced here.
2. THE ART & CULTURE
I remember a friend telling me before I'd even gotten there myself that they were only half way to the city from the airport and they already knew I'd love it for all the public and often big-ass art statements everywhere. They were right. I'm smitten with this wonderful and worthwhile pursuit of and portrayal of arts and culture fully on display and I wish more places would follow suit.
3. THE FOOD
This one I'm sure is not new to you, but if you've never been, we're not even kidding - it's so easy to find an awesome feed almost anywhere in Melbourne and whatever your tastes, you are well and truly catered for. It's a global palette for food (and wine, and coffee) lovers everywhere. I pretty much plan on continuing to eat my way around every visit with not an ounce of shame. Go hungry.
4. THE LANEWAYS
Yes, they can be seemingly seedy at first glance, but they're worth exploring (in pairs!) for housing more of the treasured things here listed. And the photo ops.
5. THE BIKEWAYS
Wow. OK, can every city, heck every damn town follow suit on the way Melbourne does bikeways. They are easy to use, super signposted and often a lane all of their own!! Genius! No-one gets hurt then. But fair warning, your butt might the next day if you're having too much fun cycling around to actually stop.
6. THE SHOPPING
And I'm not just talking about the big guys. This sartorial city takes shopping to a whole new level and you can get it anyway you want it. OK, that sounds wrong, but the shopping here is just so right. Be prepared.
7. THE STREET STYLE SHOPPING
And if you're one for people watching like I am (c'mon it's the best!) you will love the eyeball shopping off the backs of every second man, woman, child and pet. People here embrace all the aforementioned greatness of their city and dress to express. You'll spot colourful, quirky, dirty, elegant and costume...sometimes all on the same body!
8. THE FREE ENTERTAINMENT
Street performers, buskers, music from said seductive shops and the entertainment of ogling impressive put together shop windows, gardens and people makes this a must-mention. Not even counting the stunning and overflowing libraries, museums and art galleries. You will never be bored.
9. THE LIVABILITY
If I haven't already painted the picture for you of the most livable place on earth, let me re-confirm that fact. The cosmopolitan meets country landscapes, people and places of Melbourne carve out the perfect little spot on earth for every type of person imaginable. It's like a young adult doing well in life - smartly designed, still growing, full of ambition but not full of itself. Definitely an option for us one day and somewhere I can see myself completely immersing myself in my art.
10. THE LIMITLESS FEELS
We come full circle and it warrants to be said again - it's hard work not to feel amazing here. Everyone I speak to whose been says Melbourne inspires them, educates them and emboldens them to believe in themselves and go after that thing like it's totally possible...whatever that may be. So go, but be sure to take that feeling home with you as your biggest love for Melbourne. Because it's rooting for you.
Me. Loving a bike ride without being a pain in the butt, but getting a pain in the butt.
Casually strolling up Acland Street in St Kilda in search of my next meal...after I just ate.
I could clearly go on forever with this list...so tell me,
what's your favourite thing about Melbourne?
Food recommendations especially welcome!!
Drop 'em below, and if you haven't yet been - GO!