Where to go and what to do to have fun in the sun in Melbourne over summer

BEST BEER GARDENS

Riverland Bar
Great for: Stolen moments. Tucked under the Princes Bridge, this beer garden is a great place to escape the bustle of city life and sit back with a drink or two.
Details: Vaults 1-9, Federation Wharf. (03) 9662 1771; riverlandbar.com
The Workshop
Great for: Urbanites. This raw, industrial space is given over to the cool kids and their parties on weekends but is a chilled cafe during the day.
Details: Level 1, 413 Elizabeth St. (07) 9326 4365; theworkshop.com.au
The Mitre Tavern
Great for: After-work drinks in Melbourne’s oldest building (and largest beer garden). It’s a laid-back affair.
Details: 1 Bank Place. (03) 9670 5644; mitretavern.com.au
BEST ROOFTOP BARS
Madame Brussels
Great for: Garden parties with a twist. Kitsch and quirky is how we describe this country-club-meets-parlour-house themed bar.
Details: Level 3, 59-63 Bourke St. (03) 9662 2775; madamebrussels.com
The Red Hummingbird 
Great for: Outside opulence in a secretive inner-city drinking venue. Look for the tiny streetside sign and head upstairs past the hanging birdcages and bookshelves.
Details: Level 1, 246 Russell St. (03) 9654 2266; theredhummingbird.com
Siglo Cocktail/Wine Bar
Great for: Sophisticated sippers,
who will appreciate a stellar wine list and stunning views of the Princess Theatre next door. Cuban cigars are available too.
Details: Level 2, 161 Spring St. (03) 9654 6631;
BEST AL FRESCO DINING
Golden Money
Great for: Asian tapas enjoyed under the stars. After dinner, you can head upstairs to the bar, which is decked out like an opium den.
Details: Rear, 389 Lonsdale St, entry via Hardware Lane. (03) 9642 3866; goldenmonkey.com.au
Crêperie Le Triskell
Great for: Any kind of crepes. In
true French style, sit outside with your sweet or savoury crepe while perusing the latest French fashion and sporting magazines.
Details: 32 Hardware Lane. 0466 406 404.
Collins Quarter
Great for: Casual brunch in the shade of The Magnolia Quarter. Either settle into the outside dining area of this gastropub or start the evening off here before heading upstairs to Blind Alley Bar.
Details: 86A Collins St. (03) 9650 8500; collinsquarter.com
BEST PICNIC SPOTS
Flagstaff Gardens
Great for: Picnics filled with fresh produce from Queen Victoria Market next door (see right). Fill your belly then have a kip on the grass.
Details: 309-311 William St.
Treasury Gardens
Great for: Peaceful picnics. Relax in the shade of Moreton Bay figs right near Parliament House.
Details: Bounded by Spring St, Treasury Pl, Lansdowne St, Wellington Pde.
Royal Botanic Gardens
Great for: Family events. There’s plenty of space to spread out, so you can spend a whole day exploring the 36 hectares of gardens on the edge of the CBD.
Details: Birdwood Ave, South Yarra.(03) 9252 2300; www.rbg.vic.gov.au
OUTDOOR MARKETS
Queen Victoria Market
Great for: A one-stop food shop. Fresh fruit and vegies, seafood, poultry, meat and deli halls stock enough food to feed an entire city. Visit Wednesday nights and sample international cuisines at the Suzuki Night Market onsite.
Details: Cnr of Victoria and Elizabeth Sts. qvm.com.au
Federation Square Book Market
Great for: Second-hand finds. Search through more than 5000 new and second-hand books for that perfect weekend read.
Details: Every Saturday, 11am
to 5pm, Federation Square. fedsquare.com
The Sunday Market
Great for: One-of-a-kind designer pieces. Milliners, jewellers and sculptors are just some of the artisans whose stalls line Southbank and
the Victorian Arts Centre forecourt
on Sundays. Details: (03) 9281 8581; www.artscentremelbourne.com.au
WALKING TRACKS
Melbourne Golden Mile
Great for: History buffs will love this 4km Heritage Walk passing by the Immigration Museum, Melbourne Town Hall and Old Treasury buildings.
Details: Guided daily tours and maps available from Melbourne Visitor Centre, Federation Square.
The Bay Trail
Great for: Seaside strolls. This 6km walk winds from St Kilda Pier to Brighton Bay.
Details: St Kilda Pier.
The Tan Track
Great for: Gym junkies and joggers will enjoy conquering this 3.8km sand and rock track around the Royal Botanic Gardens.
Details: Birdwood Avenue, South Yarra. onlymelbourne.com.au