Manly has evolved dramatically since my days as a Nipper at the Surf Life Saving club. Historically visited because of its picturesque beaches and laid back attitude, today Manly boasts an array of cultural drawcards that attract a crowd above and beyond beachgoers. These days it gathers lovers of great food, coffee and a good night out.

Start the day right

For most, a typical day in Manly will kick off with an ocean based activity followed by a coffee. Those inclined to skip the ocean grab their dogs and/or strollers and cruise over to one of a handful of excellent local coffee shops for their morning fix. Assembly Label serves a great takeaway coffee from their immaculate store front on Pittwater Rd, whilst surfers flock to The Shop Next door to drool over Donald Takayama surfboards and sip delicious Will & Co. brews from the integrated coffee shop. For a sit down breakfast, superfood fans head to Bare Naked Bowls or to Whistler street’s Ora Organic where you’ll also find Showbox Coffee Brewers curing a few hangovers. Across the road is Manly institution Barefoot Coffee Traders – after nine years in the street, they’ve moved to a larger location just three doors down.

Following breakfast, there’s plenty on offer in the way of activities. Those looking to get the adrenaline pumping can head to the wharf to book a thrill ride with Manly Ocean Adventures. The 900hp, purpose built rib (inflatable boat) makes short work of huge swells as it rockets out beyond the heads to Bondi, before making the trip back to Manly in a mere 11 or so minutes, at speeds of up to 90km/h. For a more relaxing itinerary, EcoTreasures run a Snorkel Walk and Talk tour in the clear waters off Shelly Beach, educating participants about Cabbage Tree Bay’s native marine life.