Ah, Freo – our beloved city to the south. It always feels like the sun’s shining a little brighter, and time moves a little slower… Which is lucky, because there’s just so gosh darn much to do! From top-tier eating and drinking, to exploring the city’s history or giving the wallet a workout with a bit of retail therapy – we’re always happy for an excuse to visit Walyalup.
Wander The Streets And Enjoy Freo’s Spectacular Architecture
Freo is a magical part of WA to wander around at the best of times, but it becomes even more charming during those cool winter days with spots of rain broken up with glorious sunshine. Filled with stunning historical architecture, charming homes and leafy green streets, it’s a visual feast for any visitor. If you prefer to travel on two wheels, you can even take advantage of the City of Fremantle’s Free Wheeling Fremantle initiative, which allows you to hire bikes seven days a week for FREE. It almost sounds too good to be true, but we reckon that’s just how idyllic Freo is!
Give Your Best Wishes To Best Wishes’ Ace Coffee
With all this wandering, you could probably use a coffee, right? Best Wishes opened back in 2017, but has maintained its reputation as one of the best places in Freo – nay, all of WA – to pick up your daily coffee. While their branding and vibes are too cool for school, the attitude stays super friendly and welcoming – plus you’ll find it hard to resist those Holy Bagel Co. bagels.
Peruse Through Fremantle Arts Centre
A behemoth in WA’s arts scene, Freo Arts Centre has been a cultural hub for the state since the 70s. Built by convicts in the 1860s, the building itself has a storied history, being used as the Convict Establishment Fremantle Lunatic Asylum, a Women’s Home, wartime accommodation for American servicemen in World War Two, and then a technical school before its transition to an arts centre. The program of exhibitions is always intriguing and exciting, whether it’s showcasing emerging Indigenous talent or an exhibition exploring our relationship with the ocean.
Between October and March, you can also catch some of Perth’s best musicians bringing the vibes to the lush gardens, with free concerts every Sunday afternoon. FOUND, the resident gift shop, is also packed to the brim with unique wares from local jewellers, textile designers, potters, woodworkers and other artists. Whether its minimalist jarrah spice grinder from timber artisan Mark Nagtzaam, a stunning silk scarf from Many Peaks Assembly, or a hand dyed and woven vessel by basketry artist Siân Boucherd – the store truly showcases some of the groundbreaking artisans WA has to offer.
If you haven’t filled your creative cup then continue your artistic journey of discovery with a visit to PSAS. This heritage listed project space was built in 1907 and presents a highly curated program of exhibitions and events, ranging from intimate music performances, to object and lighting design group shows, to photographic work. Their Studio 7 Residency Program also supports emerging WA artists, promoting experimentation and growth by providing a free studio space for a year, as well as a performance or exhibition season.
Wolf Down One Of Peggy’s Legendary Sammies
Just around the corner from PSAS, you’ll find one of Freo’s latest (and greatest!) additions. Causing quite a stir in the Perth Is OK! offices when it first opened in 2021, Peggy’s has maintained its status as one of our favourite sandwich spots. This writer is a particular sucker for a sausage and egg muffin (hot tip: it’s only $12 for a muffin, hash brown and coffee, every day before 10!), but some of our colleagues may never recover from the disappearance of the Cubano.
Give Your Wallet A Workout At These Unique Boutiques
Find a truly special memento of your easy breezy weekend in Freo at one of its many delightful boutiques. Find something beautiful you’ll use every single day from Compendium’s refined range of design-conscious goods (pictured below), or brighten up your day with a visit to the oh-so-charming Kate + Abel. Around since 2001, Remedy’s ethos is all about buying less, but buying better, and their shelves are packed with a stunning selection of ethically-conscious homewares, gifts and accessories. New Edition is a booklover’s institution, and is packed to the brim with great fiction and non-fiction titles (plus staffed by some super-knowledgeable and friendly bookworms).
Time Travel At Capri
Stepping into Capri’s dining room feels a little like stepping back in time – evoking the bustling streets of ‘50s Freo and its Italianate glory. The family run restaurant is part of the fabric of Fremantle; now helmed by the fourth generation of Pizzales, it’s as good as ever – if not getting better by the day.
Take In Some Tunes At Freo.Social
Party brewery, part live music venue, part outdoor disco… All vibe. Freo.Social has taken up in Fremantle’s Old Drill Hall (formerly Fly By Night Club) and is the place to be for music and performance lovers. Regularly hosting touring artists from around Australia and the globe, they also throw some mean parties in the front courtyard with DJs bringing the disco til late, all while serving up tasty Otherside Brewing Co. beers and new school pub bites.
Or Boogie The Evening Away At Ronnie Nights
A much adored Freo haunt, Ronnie Nights’ eclectic ‘70s decor will have you grooving all night long. Styled after an old-school Freo house party, the vibe is taken to the next level with some epic cocktails that’ll get you on your feet in no time.
Get A Taste Of The New Freo At FOMO
The much-anticipated arrival of FOMO Freo has lived up to the hype, with some epic eating and drinking options along their Street Alley precinct including Varsity and Smash Grill, SUKU, Dosukoi Fremantle Ramen, Little Seoul Korean BBQ and Get Chunky. Once you’ve fuelled up on great food pop over to the Funlab, home to Strike Ten Pin Bowling, Holey Moley Mini Golf and B. Lucky & Sons Cocktail Arcade!
Or Eat Around The World At The Sunshine Harvester
If a relaxed night of casual dining, a cheeky bit of BYO and good times is your poison, the Sunshine Harvester Works towards Freo’s east end is just the ticket. There’s a great variety of vendors in tow, all with a focus on huge flavours. From Two Stacks’ smashed burgers, Al Pastor Taqueria’s sizzling Mexican offerings, to Pantry 92’s beaut baos and Bumplings’ delicious dumplings – you literally cannot go wrong at the Sunshine Harvester, whether it’s date night or mate night.
Carb Load At Little Loaf
After a long night of boogying, you need one thing: a visit to Little Loaf, stat. The South Freo outpost to cult bakery North Street Store, they’ll have you feeling right as rain in no time – whether it’s with a truly breathtaking bacon and egg baguette, one of their signature cinny scrolls, or perhaps venturing out with one of their rotating specials. If you manage to wrangle a stool to soak up that South Freo sun, your day is truly off to a stellar start.
Dust Off For The Day In South Beach’s Tranquil Waters
Restore mind, body and spirit with a dip at Freo’s iconic South Beach. The crystal clear, tranquil waters are the perfect place to soak away last night’s sins – or just get invigorated for the day. If you don’t feel like the leisurely stroll from Downtown, you can also jump on the free CAT bus that’ll get you there in a jiffy – it runs seven days a week, year-round.
Take Your Salty Hair For Some Salty Margs At La Cabaña
Now that you’re adequately relaxed, head to La Cabaña. The popular taqueria will transport you to a Mexican beach, with some killer fish tacos and perfectly spicy, salty, refreshing margs. Make sure to get some of those crunchy crushed potatoes!
Make A Weekend Of It At One Of Freo’s Boutique Hotels
Well, with all this adventuring through Freo you’ll be doing, you’ll need somewhere to rest your tired self, right? Fremantle is home to a delightful array of boutique accommodation, including charming hotels the Hougoumont and its little sister, the Warders Hotel.
Small but mighty, Hougoumont‘s thoughtful design takes it to the next level. Constructed utilising stacked shipping containers, the interior makes the most of its small footprint. Finishes are luxurious, with thoughtful, understated touches that make the experience all the more enjoyable, like toiletries by Appelles Apothecary, luxury bedding, or the pillow menu – so you know you’ll be getting a good night’s sleep.
Just down the road, the Warders Hotel is the Hougoumont’s little sister – and is little both in age and in size. With only 11 rooms, the hotel truly showcases Fremantle’s unique heritage architecture. Occupying the limestone cottages that once housed Fremantle Prison Warders, rooms have been meticulously restored and luxuriously outfitted. Each room has features like rain showers and luxury toiletries, as well as in-room sparkling and still water taps, while ground level rooms enjoy a kitchenette and private street-side courtyard alongside the hustle and bustle of Freo.
Start planning your next Fremantle adventure via the Visit Fremantle Website.
Header Image Credit: Fremantle Port Authority
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