Out of the many countries I’ve been to so far, there aren’t too many places I’ve wanted to stay long-term. Manly Beach is one of the few. Why? It truly has one of the best lifestyles in the world. Australia as a whole is all about lifestyle, but Manly is even more exceptional. There’s a reason people call it the “Manly Bubble” – because people living there never seem to leave. And there’s a good reason for that.
It has the best outdoor activities.
I used to think Californians were the most active. Then I lived in Manly. Every morning starting even before sunrise, the beach is full of people surfing, playing beach volleyball, running, swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, and participating in beach boot camp. Last week I even participated in a free SUP yoga class in the Manly Wharf. These types of activities go on all day until after sunset, when lights shine onto the beach volleyball courts, and games continue well after dark. Walking along the many scenic coastal walks is also popular, as is wakeboarding the Harbour, and if it’s too windy to surf, everyone heads out instead with windsurfing gear to enjoy the waves. It’s a pretty great feeling when you realize you don’t even need to join a gym because you’re literally living in one, and you get all the exercise you need just by doing your favorite outdoor activities.
The social life is well above par.
While the city has an awesome social scene, Manly is far from lacking. With a plethora of buzzing bars, delicious restaurants, and charming cafes, there’s always somewhere fun to meet up with friends for a meal, drink, or live music. Every day from around 5pm, Wharf Bar fills up with professionals getting off the ferry from work as they enjoy the rest of the day’s sun with a few drinks in hand. And on weekends, everyone heads to “The Office” (the local term for the grassy area by the wharf) for drinks, snacks, and beautiful sunsets over the wharf. After living in Manly for a full year, I can safely say that Manlysiders never take sunsets for granted – we enjoy each one just as much as the last.
The daily commute is a tourist attraction.
People from all over the world visit Sydney and ride the ferry between the city and Manly. But for many professionals in Manly, that’s just the daily commute. What better way to start every off each weekday than with fresh sea breeze a healthy dose of Vitamin D? When stunning views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge become the norm, you really can’t complain. Remember those days sitting in bumper-to-bumper city traffic? Yeah, I don’t either.
It’s seven miles from the city, but a million miles from care.
Essentially it’s a laid-back beach town with all the benefits of a normal city. You can walk around in a bikini and flip-flops and grab a coffee with sandy bare feet, yet only 15 minutes away (by fast ferry) is a CBD with just as many great job opportunities as any other cosmopolitan city. You have a major international airport at your fingertips, and you can go for a crazy night out at city clubs but wake up and head to a secluded beach like Collins to escape from the world. While Manly Beach is technically Sydney and features all the benefits of the city, it’s its own laid-back paradise a million miles from care.
It has everything you need. And more.
From banks, grocery stores, a post office, shops, outdoor activities, dining, nightlife, beautiful beaches, and sunsets over the wharf, Manly Beach truly has everything you could possibly need… or want. And you don’t even need a car, since it’s all within easy walking distance.
After traveling to 37 countries in 2015 and immersing myself in the lifestyles of so many different cultures and people, I can safely say that the Manly lifestyle is my favorite. People warn against getting “stuck” in the Manly Bubble like it’s a bad thing. But I’m not sure what’s so bad about being stuck in paradise…
As always, keep on livin’ pura vida ✌