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A weekend guide to the best things to do in Sorrento.

Sorrento is without a doubt, Victoria’s most historic seaside town.


Before European ships disembarked at Sullivan Bay in 1803, Sorrento was inhabited by the Boonwurrung people, the traditional land owners of the Mornington Peninsula region. The European convict settlement was short-lived, with a shortage of water one of the main reasons for relocating to Van Diemen’s Land a year later.


In the late 1870’s, Sorrento was transformed into a popular Victorian holiday destination. Led by local entrepreneur and visionary George Coppin, a pier and paddle steamer were built to transport tourists from Melbourne to Sorrento.

Today, Sorrento’s rich history lives on – from fresh local produce, antiques and collectibles, art galleries, hotels, bars and cafes along Ocean Beach Road provide the town’s old-world charm with modern luxuries, creating the perfect destination for a day trip, weekend getaway or summer holiday.

Sorrento, on the southern tip of the Mornington Peninsula is just a short drive of an hour and a half from Melbourne CBD along Eastlink.


As a local resident and business owner in Sorrento for over 20 years I would like to share some of my favourite places to visit and things to do if I was visiting for a weekend.


Starting my weekend at the Sorrento Hotel, getting there about 5pm for their Friday Raffle to catch up with friends, meet new friendly people, have a few drinks and buy some raffle tickets for a chance to come home with one of their prizes – been lucky over the years taking home a meat trays, vegie boxes or a slab of beer – more importantly it’s a fun night.

Friday night is usually take out night so on the way home depending on what the family feels like I’ll either pop into Fish Fetish for fish and chips, the Sorrento RSL for Thai or Italico for wood fired pizza.

Saturday we like to get out and about and would walk along the foreshore towards the Sorrento township and up the esplanade for some breakfast at Stringers and with a second coffee in hand stroll along Ocean Beach Rd. Having spent some time in Sorrento we would pop our heads into stores finding new additions and chatting with the store owners. You could spend hours rummaging collectibles in Marlene Miller’s Antique store, check out a cookbook at Antipodes Gallery and Bookshop, buy a new bennie at Cape merchant or visit Ross Nichols Furniture for homewares or that missing piece of furniture to add to your home.

On a sunny Saturday afternoon there is no place better than to visit the Portsea Hotel, sitting in the beer garden, overlooking Port Phillip Bay watching the Sorrento – Queenscliff passenger Ferry cross the bay and settle in for a bit of lunch. My usual go to dish at the Portsea Pub is either their chicken parma or prawn and mussels seafood pasta and always a bowl of hot chips with a glass of local wine – you can’t go wrong.


Portsea Hotel Portsea

With an array of restaurants in Sorrento you are spoilt for choice and cuisine for a pleasant night out for dinner. Bistro Elba a quaint eatery serving French food, Sardo Sorrento or Italico for Italian, The Baths for contemporary dining with bay views or the newly established Inter-Continental Sorrento Hotel offering fine dining to pub meals and late night entertainment in the Barlow Bar.

Continental Hotel Sorrento

Sunday we would work off the indulgent day before and head to Lentell Ave Sorrento the start of the Millionaires Walk and Artist Trail for leisurely walk. This stunning cliff top walk with breathtaking water views across Port Phillip to the Bellarine Peninsula, Melbourne and Mount Dandenong are amazing. Also, you will get an insight into how Melbourne’s elite spend time at their summer mansions along the trail.

For a more active day out head to Point Nepean National Park – walk or cycle through this rugged coastal landscape and enjoy panoramic ocean and bay views. Explore military forts and tunnels, learn about the people who passed through the Quarantine Station – and see fascinating artefacts spanning back over 150 years. View the site and memorial where Prime Minister Harold Holt went missing while swimming at the nearby Cheviot Beach.

Pt Nepean National Park Portsea Sorrento

By the end of the day, it’s time to sit back with the Sunday paper, ponder what to have for dinner and what a splendid place Sorrento is to live in.

If you need help with accommodation for a weekend getaway or summer holidays here in Sorrento and neighbouring townships including Portsea, Blairgowrie or Rye or advice on what to see and do, don’t hesitate to reach out.


We look forward to having you visit with us.


Danny and Heidi
The MyCoastline Team