Add a few of these local favourites to your hit list of where to eat, drink and stay in and around Adelaide, writes Brian Johnston.
Don’t be deceived by Adelaide’s small-city charm: this vibrant city buzzes with experimental festivals and cafe-filled laneways, and offers superb dining, generous parklands, Aboriginal culture, great museums and other cultural attractions.
An expansive coastline and attractive wine country are just a few of the regional delights, and Adelaide is also the closest capital to the outback, making it a great gateway city to further adventure.
Here are eight top Adelaide experiences that we’ve matched to the six Oaks Hotels, Resorts & Suites in the city for the perfect match of activities and accommodation.
1. Leigh and Peel Streets
These two CBD laneways feature in Australian Traveller’s 72 hours in Adelaide guide because you simply have to experience the places that kicked off the city’s renaissance and now-vibrant laneway scene.
Here you’ll find the perfect hipster cafe for breakfast, a corner eatery for lunch, and trendy bars and restaurants in the evenings.
Your nearest Oaks property to this vibrant area is Oaks Adelaide Horizons Suites, which is just a five-minute stroll away and close enough to be able to nip into the laneways even for a cup of coffee. Barista-made, of course.
2. Rundle Mall
Anyone who appreciates the relaxed style and sharp lines of Oaks properties would surely be the sort of person keen to fit in some shopping.
Rundle Mall makes it onto Australian Traveller’s 10 of the Best Things to do in Adelaide list because it has been at the heart of Adelaide’s retail scene for some 45 years.
The pedestrian mall features 700 retailers, as well as many eateries – plus the iconic mirrored Mall’s Balls sculpture for the photography minded. Oaks Adelaide Horizons Suites is just a seven-minute walk from the retail action, making it a convenient base, even for those hauling shopping bags.
3. West End
The uber-convenient Oaks Adelaide Embassy Suites has the sleek, contemporary urban vibe (and Coffee Club) that anyone wants when exploring a city centre. Even better, it sits right in West End.
If you have 72 hours in Adelaide, then take time to explore this district.
Make your first stop the Jam Factory design centre, just a three-minute walk away, where you can see potters, jewellery-makers, woodcarvers and other local craftspeople at work, and buy their products.
The quirky West End is also home to street art in laneways, live-music venues, the University of South Australia’s Samstag Museum of Art, and a host of other dynamic cultural venues and eateries.
Few places in Australia can compete with Adelaide for festivals and music. And while not every event is free, there are enough to include in our 7 Free Things to Do in Adelaide guide.
The peak of the festival season is February and March, famous for the Adelaide Festival, Fringe Festival and WOMADelaide, but other festivals throughout the year showcase literature, movies, cabaret, food, beer and more.
Even when no festivals are scheduled, live-music venues and buskers provide plenty to enjoy. Events take place citywide, but a stay at Oaks Adelaide Embassy Suites gets you close to West End music venues and the parkland that hosts an assortment of festival acts.
Adelaide’s food scene will also be celebrated at Tasting Australia presented by Events South Australia and RAA Travel from 30 April – 9 May.
Headlining this year’s festival, which includes The Tasting Table, Town Square Kitchen and EEC Masterclasses, are local culinary ambassadors such as Maggie Beer and Duncan Welgemoed of acclaimed restaurant, Africola.
5. Art Gallery of South Australia
With an eclectic collection of art that ranges from paintings to sculpture, photographs and textiles, you’re bound to find something to your taste in the Art Gallery of South Australia (AGSA), which is why it is No. 6 on our 10 of the Best Things to Do in Adelaide list. There’s no entry fee to permanent exhibitions at AGSA, which means the cultural hub scores a slot in the 7 Free Things to Do in Adelaide article as well.
Nearby, culture vultures can also explore Indigenous art at both the South Australian Museum and Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute. You could pick any Oaks property as your headquarters, but Avani Adelaide Residences has a cinema and library for your added dose of culture.
6. Adelaide Central Market
Adelaide Central Market is one of Australia’s best. And it’s no surprise to learn that it features both in our 10 of the Best and 7 Free Things to Do lists, though if you can gaze at the goodies and not spend, you have impressive self-control. The market showcases fresh South Australian ingredients – from duchess pears to marinated olives and tempts with multicultural flavours: Korean noodles, paella and pasta.
If you’re a bona fide foodie, the new Avani Adelaide Residences is less than a kilometre away and – perfect for your market plunder – every room and suite has a kitchen. The onsite pool and golf simulator will help work off a few calories afterwards.
7. Parks and gardens
Among the top spots are Adelaide Botanic Gardens and the River Torrens Linear Trail, which stretches from Athelstone – where the Torrens emerges from the Adelaide Hills – through to the river mouth at Henley Beach, the hotels in Flagstaff are also great places to stay at.
With open green space wrapped around the city centre, any Oaks property will have you jogging (or strolling) in no time. Still, if you’re going all out, iStay Precinct Adelaide offers a spa and sauna where you can relax tired muscles at day’s end. It also has a swimming pool for those for whom one form of exercise is never enough.
8. Glenelg Beach
It’s easy to overlook the fact that Adelaide is fringed with superb beaches. Glenelg makes it onto our list of 9 of the Best Beaches near Adelaide, not to mention 10 of the Best experiences of any sort. The coastal suburb is a 20-minute tram ride from central Adelaide, making it a relaxed alternative to an inner-city stay for either romantic couples or families.
We love its long stretch of sand, historic jetty, breezy promenade and sunsets. The perfect sunset spot is Moseley Beach Club, which sits right on the sand, though ocean views from Oaks Glenelg Plaza Pier Suites are also stunning for a sundowner or two. Meanwhile holiday apartments at Oaks Glenelg Liberty Suites are great for families seeking a fun-filled beach escape.