As we approach the end of summer, it's wonderful to soak up the last of the heat on Perth's best beaches, cool off in the ocean and stay on for sundowners.
This is also the time to make the most of our outdoor markets, and go shopping to stock up on summer clothes at bargain prices!
This guide shows you around the best beaches in Perth to find cafes, restaurants and some chilled nightlife for Perth summer evenings. Scroll down further for info on the best markets and where to go for great shopping.
Best Waterside Hangouts
Everyone who knows Perth has their favourite beach, and the one you choose for a summer afternoon or evening will depend on your vibe. This guide lists the best beaches in Perth to find delicious food, sundowners and music. In the city itself, the Swan River is the place to enjoy waterside dining, with plenty of laneway and rooftop bars for al fresco Perth nightlife.
Perth Waterside & Nightlife
Leaving from the Barrack Street Jetty next to the Quay on Friday evenings and Saturday afternoons is the Boat Collective floating bar. What better way to enjoy a warm afternoon or balmy evening than cruising the calm waters of the Swan River Estuary?
The boat makes 20 minute loops around Elizabeth Quay and the Swan River, stopping for 10 minutes for guests to hop on or off. On board is a fully licensed bar, and tasty snacks are served, such as cheese plates, goats cheese and tomato tarts, and falafel wraps.
You'll need to book tickets and pre-order your food for the Saturday sessions, which run from 2.00-5.00pm. Friday cruises depart between 5.30 and 9.30pm, and are free to join with food and drinks available to purchase on board. This is Perth nightlife at its most relaxing! Go to boatcollective.com.au for more information and bookings.
The Point Bar and Grill or the Old Brewery are ideal spots to enjoy lunch, cocktails or dinner in late summer. The Point seems to float on the Swan River in Perth City with a rooftop bar overlooking Heirisson Island, giving you 180 degree views of the calm blue water.
The Old Brewery, on Mounts Bay Road right on the edge of the CBD, serves hearty meals and drinks on the riverbank in an impressive heritage building.
After your dinner, enjoy Perth's nightlife by making for a rooftop bar to savour a warm starry night, settling into a small bar courtyard in the laneways of King Street, or hunting down a welcoming cocktail bar.
Fremantle Beach & Harbour
As Perth's port city, you're never far from the waterfront in Fremantle.
Home grown music, DJs and drinks will be served up on the balcony from 5.00pm through sundown to 9.00pm every Sunday in February - entry is free! From there, keep on going at one of Fremantle's popular live music venues, such as Mojo's Bar or Clancy's.
A favourite spot to capture sunset photos in Fremantle is Bathers Beach House, the first venue in Australia to establish a licensed area on the beach itself.
Dropping into a sun lounge on this popular Perth beach and having your drinks delivered to you creates a real summer holiday vibe, and you can head inside after dark for a lively piece of Perth nightlife with stunning ocean views on a moonlit night.
Bathers Beach House marks the start of a string of cafes and restaurants along Fremantle's Fishing Boat Harbour. The best way to experience this relaxing spot is to meander along the boardwalk browsing the menus to the sound of lapping water and clinking boat masts.
Fresh seafood is the dish of choice here, at venues like Joe's Fish Shack, Kailis Fish Market Cafe and Cicerello's Seafood Restaurant. Another must is the famous Little Creatures Brewery, where you'll find a friendly welcome, easygoing atmosphere, delicious food and world class craft beers.
Perth's Best Beaches
If you haven't done enough sunset dining this summer, now's the time to book! Locals will tell you that Perth's beaches are the best in the country, especially in summer with the stunning contrast of the peacock blue ocean and soft white sand.
The most famous Perth beach is Cottesloe, a spot that never fails to deliver on great swimming, beachfront dining and sundowner venues.
On the beach itself is the iconic Indiana. It's all too easy to regard this historic building as just a photo opportunity, but make sure you head inside before the summer ends. Indiana works hard to keep locals and visitors coming back for quality casual dining with unobstructed views of the Indian Ocean, becoming a more formal cocktail bar and restaurant in the evening.
Other total beachfront eateries in Cottesloe are the Blue Duck and Barchetta, which both have airy oceanside balconies and friendly vibes, excellent for brunch, lunch or dinner. Along the beach cafe strip, Beaches Cafe is a great casual spot for a coffee, and Il Lido is a much recommended venue for coffee and casual dining.
One of the best Perth beach pubs is the Cottesloe Beach Hotel. Wander up there from the sand to enjoy an easygoing feel in the Verandah Bar, enjoy some delicious seafood in the Fish Bar, or prepare for some Perth beach nightlife as the semi-alfresco Beach Club ramps up at cocktail hour.
A little further up the coast in City Beach make sure you visit Odyssea at least once before the summer ends. Grab a coffee from the kiosk after your swim or book a table for a complete dining experience with uninterrupted beach and ocean views. Neighbouring Clancy’s Fish Bar is a more casual venue with great food and live entertainment in the evening.
On 9 and 10 February from 2.00-8.00pm, Scarborough Beach Reserve will host Sunset Wine and Brews, a chance to sample WA's finest wines, craft beers and ciders. There will be delicious food served and DJ music happening on the Sunset Balcony, where you can settle into the bar or a comfy couch and watch the sun go down. Get your tickets from wineandfood.com.au/sunsetwineandbrews
Late Summer Shopping
Where to Find Bargain Summer Clothes
It's sales time and a chance to refresh your summer clothes collection with some bargains. Perth shopping suits every style, from bohemian markets to vast shopping malls. Where to Go for a Perth Shopping Spree will help to guide you.
Perth City is the place to find major chains and department stores, quirky alternative clothing on the outskirts of the central malls, and upmarket designer shopping around King Street - who doesn't relish a designer discount?
Bargain hunters should also head to the factory outlet malls for some rock bottom prices on homewares, sports gear and end-of-season summer clothes.
Watertown is conveniently located on Wellington Street with its own carpark, or make the trip to DFO near the airport. Visitors can drop in there before flying home to fill spare luggage space. DFO has dining options and a play area to make your shopping spree more relaxing for everyone.
For a completely different shopping experience, hunt down some casual summer clothes at Fremantle Markets. In particular, look for Collab, which sells beautiful locally created and ethically sourced clothing.
Further down the coast in the holiday town of Mandurah, you can browse to your heart's content in Mandurah Forum. This large complex underwent a $350 million redevelopment in 2017, so if you haven't visited Mandurah for a while, now's the time! Make the most of the end of summer by spending a day or a taking a short break here to meander along the waterways and picnic on the foreshore.
Best Summer Markets
It's not too late to enjoy browsing Perth's outdoor markets for beautiful gifts, clothes and delicious food.
Markets by the Sea will set up in Whitford Nodes Park on 3 February from 9.00am to 2.00pm, serving Sunday brunch and selling quality, locally made jewellery, toys, artworks and clothing from more than 50 stalls. The reserve is just to the north of Hillary's Boat Harbour, one of the best Perth beaches for families with its own set of boardwalk shops where you'll find some great beachwear and summer clothes.
On 17 February from 4.00-9.00pm, Victoria Quay in Fremantle is the place to be for the Merchants' Mess Markets. These markets are all about European food, bringing together some of the tastiest snacks and treats alongside the Freo Harbour Bar. Among the eclectic mix of cuisine will be Greek kebabs, Dutch sweets, Italian pizza and pasta, and traditional Turkish dishes, as well as excellent coffee and vegan ice cream.
The Riverside Markets in East Fremantle run throughout the year at the shady Norm McKenzie Reserve on the banks of the Swan River. Catch the last event of the summer on 17 February from 9.00am to 1.00pm. Stalls are stocked with arts and crafts, and there's an amazing play area with bouncy castle and face painting.
Perth Makers Market is one of WA's exquisite artisan markets, selling locally crafted gifts, homewares, jewellery, artworks, gourmet foods and clothing - another chance to find some unique summer clothes! Kids will love the onsite pirate ship playground, and artist studios will be open on the day. The last Perth Makers Market for summer will be at Heathcote Reserve in Applecross on 24 February from 9.30am to 3.30pm.
Running monthly throughout the year are Markets in the Valley at Ugly Duckling Wines in the Swan Valley. The markets are a smorgasbord of locally made artworks, toys, woodwork, candles and soaps, homewares, and vintage items.
Enjoy some delicious food and wine from Ugly Duckling while you're there. Your last chance to visit during summer is on 24 February from 11.00am to 3.00pm.