With its plum spot on Port Phillip Bay – and sitting right on the way from Melbourne to the Mornington Peninsula – you’d be forgiven for thinking Frankston is home to a beach and not much more. But there’s plenty else to explore in the suburb. To help you plan your next day out, we’ve put together some of our favourite spots to explore.

Drink: Coffee and more at Commonfolk
Commonfolk Frankston is a reliable outpost of the popular Mornington roaster and cafe. The ethically sourced coffee is a big draw, but so are the robust cafe meals, which show off a real international flair. There are Cuban and Indian-inspired sangas, a Ugandan curry, and American-esque comfort food like beef brisket bagels and bacon cheeseburgers. Vegans will be equally looked after, thanks to a stacked falafel bowl and a pumpkin-driven sandwich. And every coffee sold is 20 cents toward the in-house initiative The Cup That Counts, devoted to sustaining the coffee producers behind those world-class cuppas.

See: Frankston Beach, Pier and Boardwalk
Dating back to the mid-1800s, Frankston Pier is not just a dramatic punctuation to the bustling beach but also home to Sight Line, an interactive art installation by Louise Lavarack. The piece responds to water and wind movement, with a secret message revealed in text form. That’s just one fun point of engagement in a 10-kilometre stretch of coastline that encourages swimming, sailing, fishing, cycling and canoeing alike. The easy parking options and timber boardwalk make for the perfect way to choose your place of entry, including the aptly named Landmark Bridge and nearby Sweetwater Creek Nature Reserve.

Eat: Produce and lunch from Bayside Centre
There’s nothing quite like sushi for lunch to reinvigorate you for the rest of the day. Momo Roto in Bayside Centre has both a sushi train and a deep menu of more substantial options. Think larger rolls, stacked sashimi boards and assorted gyoza. You can also have the rolls takeaway and enjoy them on the beach or on the go if you’re pressed for time. While you’re at Bayside Centre , stock up on fresh produce, deli and bakery goods from Henrys Mercato, an in-demand greengrocer flourishing on the peninsula. Keep an eye on the Henrys Mercato Facebook page as well, as the team regularly posts daily specials.

Do: Holey Moley Bayside Centre
Holey Moley takes a timeless game of putt putt to the next level, adding cocktails and other bevvies to an immersive course of playfully themed holes. It’s an ideal group activity, especially after a day of shopping or as a pick-me-up before dinner to debrief from a busy day. Holey Moley also has plenty of booze-free options, plus shareable comfort eats like pizza, burgers, cheesesteaks and sliders.

See: Frankston Arts Centre
There’s no shortage of programming at Frankston Arts Centre, from classic opera and popular musicals sitting comfortably next to comedy, dance and family-friendly theatre. The second half of 2023 will bring Human Nature, Pseudo Echo and Soweto Gospel Choir, along with tribute shows to the likes of Fleetwood Mac, Buddy Holly, Bette Midler and Neil Diamond. There are also classes and workshops on offer, and selected dinner-and-show options. Designed by architect Daryl Jackson, the venue complements its 800-seat main theatre with five galleries, a creative arts hub and other diverse spaces, all sitting just half a kilometre from the centre of Frankston.

Drink: Beer at The Hop Shop
More than 200 varieties of craft beer await at The Hop Shop’s in-house bottle shop on Playne Street. And it’s not just hop lovers who will feel at home here, but wine and spirit fans as well. The hours are well-suited to fitting a quick stop into existing plans, with doors opening at midday and staying open until 11pm on Friday and Saturday. Alongside the drinks, Bang Bang Eats is on hand, slinging hawker-style street food. And if you’re around on a Tuesday, the weekly pub trivia offers up sweet prizes.

This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Bayside Centre. Uniqlo opens at the Bayside Centre soon. See the full range of stores to plan your next visit.