The Mornington Peninsula officially begins after you leave Frankston, Melbourne's most southerly suburb. You'll feel the difference immediately. Even more touristic and built-up areas such as Rye and Rosebud seem beachier and more relaxed.
Still, if the summer crowds get too much for you, it's easy to escape to quieter rural areas such as Flinders, Merricks and Red Hill to have a spa day, play a round of golf or find your way out of a hedge maze. These areas are also home to dozens of outstanding wineries, which should be at the top of your list to visit. The Peninsula is known for its chardonnay and pinot noir in particular.
A Guide to Frankston