Gold Coast

The local's Gold Coast

The Gold Coast may be known for surf beaches and theme parks, but there's much more that meets the eye. If you're planning a trip to the Sunshine State, check out Skip Sterling's tips in our local's guide to the Gold Coast today.

Grab a coffee at Alfred's Diner

Tucked away just off of the Gold Coast Highway, Alfred's Diner is a funky backyard café with coffee that's widely considered to be the best in town. Their house blend features a combination of local and international beans, which work together to create a sweet, buttery flavour that sets it apart. If coffee's not your thing, they also have a wide variety of organic soft drinks available to help you beat the heat.

Snack on something healthy at BSKT

From protein shakes to vegan ice cream, BSKT is the go-to spot for health food near Mermaid Beach. For a nutritious start to your day, give their Brekky Bowl a go, which comes fully loaded with fresh seasonal fruit and creamy coconut yogurt. Or, if you're on the move, juices and smoothies are available to take away and enjoy on the sand.

Catch-up with mates at Little Mermaid

For brunch with a view, round up your mates and grab a table in the beachside dining room at Little Mermaid. Their menu may be short and sweet, but with everything from smashed avocado to char-grilled barramundi, you'll be sure to find something that catches your eye. If you fancy something to drink, go for one of their signature sangria jugs, which are available with your choice of rosé, red, or white wine.

Unwind at Seascape Restaurant & Bar

Enjoy panoramic views without the crowds at Seascape Restaurant & Bar. Hidden in plain sight on the Surfers Paradise Esplanade, this fancy cocktail lounge offers an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city's hectic nightlife. Kick off your night in style with something fancy from their Signature Cocktail Menu, or if you're with a group, grab a bottle of bubbles to share on the balcony.

Get creative at Mo's Desert Club House

A community hub for local artists, Mo's Desert Club House doubles as a late night venue that plays host to some of the hottest live acts from across the Gold Coast. Between gigs, the team run a series of DIY workshops, where guests are encouraged to bring a bottle of wine and learn more about their chosen craft. From life drawing to macramé, if you're keen to try something new, stay up-to-date with their upcoming events to see what's on during your trip.

Discover the city's hidden bars

The Gold Coast may be known for its buzzing nightclubs and rowdy beach pubs, but in recent years, a growing number of hole-in-the-wall bars have popped up around the city. From Soho Place to The Cambus Wallace, these local hipster hangouts are where locals go for a drink in town. For the ultimate speakeasy experience, head to Lockwood Bar in Burleigh Heads – but beware, even when you find the front door, you'll still need to send them a text for the secret code.

Ride the waves at Burleigh Heads

Whether it's your first time learning to surf or you're a seasoned pro, Burleigh Heads is a versatile beach with good conditions to suit all skill levels. If you need some pointers, head down early for a beginners lesson with Paramount Adventures. Once you've picked up the basics, be sure to get in touch with Gold Coast Surfboard Hire who offer some of the cheapest rates in the city.

See the sunset at Snapper Rocks

SkyPoint may offer panoramic views of the city, but for sunset views, head south to Snapper Rocks. Nestled between Palm Beach and Currumbin, this local lookout point is one of the Gold Coast's best kept secrets. Before heading back to the city, be sure to stop by JFK Woodfire Kitchen & Bar for a bite to eat in their picturesque outdoor garden.

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