Fodor's Expert Review Cottesloe
Perth's poster beach is as beguiling as it is relaxing, what with its soft cream sand, transparent blue waters, and strip of beachy pubs and restaurants. Naturally, it's very popular, particularly on Sunday, when people of all ages picnic on grass beneath the row of Norfolk pines that also hosts masses of squawking birds. The water is fairly calm, though punchy waves can roll through, crashing mainly in shallow depths. "Sunday sessions"—afternoon beer drinking in two local pubs at the Ocean Beach Hotel and the swanky Cottesloe Beach Hotel, both of which have good, ocean-facing accommodations—are also held here. South of the Cottesloe groyne is a reasonable reef surf break, but it's often crowded. Time your visit for the annual Sculptures by the Sea event, a shore-side exhibition of huge sculptures each March. Amenities: food and drink; lifeguards; parking (free); showers; toilets. Best for: swimming; sunset; walking.