The local's Adelaide

Adelaide may be known as the City of Churches, but there's more to this city than steeples and spires. From secret beaches to underground cocktail bars, our local legend, Daniel Francis, has Adelaide's hidden gems covered.

Live it up at a local festival

Fringe may be the best known of the bunch, but South Australia didn't become the Festival State from a single celebration. Warm up your winter in nearby wine regions with events like Sea and Vines in June and Barossa Gourmet in August or, if you fancy yourself as a foodie, stick to the CBD. Ebenezer Place, Peel Street and Leigh Street host free food and wine festivals regularly throughout the year, so you won't have to go far to dig in.

See art displays at the Samstag Museum

Tucked away on North Terrace, this little-known gallery is one of Australia's leading art museums, with free and innovative exhibitions like Starstruck on regular rotation all year round. And if you need more than a single stop to satisfy your art fix, you're in luck, with the Art Gallery of South Australia located just steps away.

Go on a sensory experience at the Cube

Famed for its quirky architecture, this five-storey winery will take you on a weird and wonderful journey through the winemaking process with its 360-degree video room and virtual fermenter. Of course, if you just want to sip Shiraz and soak up vineyard views, the d'Arenberg cube still delivers in spades with a restaurant, museum and panoramic cellar door on site.

Discover the city's cellar doors

With hundreds of cellar doors within driving distance of the CBD, your self-guided wine tour doesn't have to stop at d'Arenberg. And while Adelaide's larger wine regions are busy for good reason, you'll find all the locals in the Adelaide Hills. Take in valley views at Pike & Joyce, book a tasting at Bird in Hand or trade Pinot Noir for pilsner at Prancing Pony Brewery – all without the crowds of McLaren Vale and the Barossa.

Feast with friends at Golden Boy

If you're travelling with family or dining with mates, it doesn't get better than Golden Boy's banquet menu – but this modern Thai eatery isn't the only place to snag gourmet fare at a fraction of the price. From Melt's wood-fired pizzas to The Loose Caboose's binge-worthy brunch, you don't have to skimp on flavour to find a budget-friendly feed in Adelaide.

Sip in style at Bank Street Social

Hidden in plain sight on Hindley Street, this secret basement bar is Adelaide's top hangout for hipsters. Take your pick from the ever-changing drinks board behind the bar or head next door to Pink Moon Saloon for a pint in their leafy courtyard. Prefer to sip above street level? 2KW is the go-to spot for sky-high cocktails with the city's socialites – just don't forget to pack some stylish attire to get your ticket to the top.

See the sunset from the summit of Mount Osmond

If you don't need 2KW's killer cocktails to accompany your view, head to the top of Mount Osmond to catch the sunset instead. Not only is it easier on the wallet, this local lookout takes in views from Tea Tree Gully to the southern beaches with uninterrupted views of the city in between. If you've got time to spare before sundown, make a pit stop at Morialta Falls and explore the network of walking trails before heading to the summit.

Take the plunge at Port Willunga

Whether you spend an afternoon in the sand or launch into the water from the scenic limestone cliffs, Port Willunga has every kind of beach day covered. And with local favourite Star of Greece just steps from the shoreline, you and your mates can feast on Mod Aus share plates before making your way back to town. After something more low key? Moana Beach is ideal for quiet arvos in the sun, with plenty of space for a picnic by the sea.

Snap a selfie at Lake Bambunga

You'll need to go further to find this Insta-worthy natural wonder, but Bambunga Lake is worth the trip for the likes alone. Not your average swimming hole, this pastel-coloured pink lake is better suited to walking than wading, with its unusual hue making it one of the best holiday snaps in the state.

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