A Sydney suburb that is only seven miles from the city, and a thousand miles from care.
-Port Jackson & Manly Steamship Company, 1873
There is something sinfully magical about Manly. The interesting history here, the beautiful scenic walks, and the congregation of stunning foreigners and locals alike, create an aura that is hard to match. Personally, Manly is one of my favorite beach towns I have ever been to, and if you have a free weekend, GO!
Here are my recommendations if you get the pleasure of losing yourself in Manly for a weekend:
After the sun goes down, head to the Hotel Steyne for a cocktail, or seven. Don’t let the dull exterior fool you; inside is teeming with live music, a rooftop terrace, velvet lounges, multiple bars, and a night to remember (or forget)!
2. Get your adventurous shoes on and embark on the 1.5-2 hour scenic walk from Manly Beach to North Head Sanctuary. The North Head lookout behind the Quarantine Cemetery grants one of the most breath-taking views of the entire Sydney Harbour, and is definitely worth the eerie trek past the old Quarantine Station.
4. For the most amazing, fresh, and healthy meal head to PURE WholeFoods. They have a wide variety of organic brekkie options ranging from gluten-free & sugar-free muffins, acai bowls, and fresh juices to kale-ricotta pancakes, & quinoa-infused omelets. They really do have it all here.
5. Manly to Spit Bridge Walk. This was voted one of the most beautiful coastal walks in all of Australia, and deserves to be on the list. The walk is about 10 km, and takes approximately 3-4.5 hours. The walk leads you through parks, cliffs, dense forest, and deserted beaches.
Go to Manly to find yourself, to lose yourself, to immerse yourself in nature, to smell the pine trees lining the ocean, to feel the sand between your toes, taste the ice-cold cider, or to simply get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. The 30-minute ferry ride is a huge part of the experience, and the small hassle of getting there should not deter you from visiting. There is something for everyone in Manly. When you go, you will find your very own piece of paradise, whatever that may be.