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Despite the palm-fringed promenades and golden stretch of sand, St Kilda’s seaside appeal is more Brighton, England, than Venice, LA. The kiosk at the end of St Kilda Pier is as much about the journey as the destination: the pier offers a knockout panorama of the Melbourne skyline.

During summer Port Phillip EcoCentre runs a range of tours, including urban wildlife walks and coastal discovery walks, and offers information on the little-penguin colony that lives in the breakwater behind the pier's kiosk.

On the foreshore south of the pier, the Moorish-style St Kilda Sea Baths houses a heated indoor saltwater pool, but, at $13 a dip, it’s really only attractive on frosty days. Behind it, the Esplanade is home to Sunday art-and-craft staple St Kilda Esplanade Market.