Disclaimer upfront: I’m biased.
Disclaimer to my disclaimer: I’ve lived and travelled extensively across Australia, so I’ve experienced other coastlines…but I’m still biased.
In some parts of the West Australian coast, the Indian Ocean greets the land with a gentle kiss. In others it knocks it over with an enthusiastic thump on the back.
I’ve not seen the vigorous greeting in Fremantle, but I haven’t had a full winter here yet. That may still come.
So far, South Beach has been a place to regroup, to exercise, to drink coffee, to catch up with friends, and to simply enjoy the view.
There are two cafés at South Beach.
One is a beach kiosk with staff who are friendly and calm regardless of how busy they are. It’s a comfortable place to grab an ice-cream, hot chips or a coffee before, during or after a South Beach experience. You’ll be right at home in sweaty exercise clothes, or a swimsuit and towel with sandy bare feet, or in your best Going Out Thongs (aka flip flops). Kids can run around on the grassy foreshore, dogs can be on a leash at your feet.
The other café has delicious but expensive food (upwards of $25 for a lunch main). My experience is it’s really only worth it if you’re there early in the morning for a light breakfast or coffee on a weekday; on weekends it is packed and usually has a line-up. It’s not terrible, and clearly many people love it (hence the lines to get in), but lacks the right vibe for it to be a Favourite Place on Penny’s List.
That being said, South Beach as a whole is still a Favourite Place because of the views and the vibe – and the fact that really good coffee is only a short drive away.