Sun, sand, bars, restaurants, waterslides, a ferris wheel and more ice-cream than you can poke a popsicle stick at can be found at Glenelg. Home to a relatively safe swimming beach that features low waves and an area patrolled by surf life savers in summer, Glenelg is Adelaide’s playground – where the wealthy park their boats and the not-so-wealthy take their Sunday drive. There’s a main street with plenty of shopping choices for those who forgot their swimsuit or sunscreen, beauticians for those who forgot their tan and a string of reasonably priced restaurants, ice-cream and fast-food outlets.
Get a coffee in Moseley Square, take a walk on the jetty, play beach volleyball and, in autumn, catch a movie at Ben & Jerry’s Openair Cinema. Rain or shine, kids can run wild at The Beachouse, a family entertainment centre with waterslides, bumper boats, carousel, ferris wheel, mini golf and dodgem cars. If arcade games and fairy floss aren’t your thing, head north to Marina Pier. There’s a strip of cafes and restaurants with a beach or marina view, where you can eat oysters and sip beer as the sun goes down.
South Australia’s most popular stretch of beach is a 20-minute drive or half-hour tram ride from the city. Head here for public transport details.