Shops and shopping centres

Too busy to take a leisurely shopping excursion at home? Time is on your side here, with small shopping centres, little villages with upscale shops and handy high street shopping strips. Even better, there are none of the crowds or parking hassles of big city shopping.

Browse fashion boutiques, art galleries, gourmet food emporiums and designer homeware stores in seaside villages. Along Port Phillip Bay, try Mornington, Sorrento and the Dromana-Rosebud-Rye stretch of coastline. On Western Port Bay, visit Flinders and Balnarring. Then explore the hinterland, stopping at farm shops to stock up on just picked, just made and just delicious produce.

There are dozens of charming villages along our coastlines and scattered throughout our peaceful hinterland. So whether you want the quiet of the countryside, or the colour of the coastal high streets, you'll find it here. Boutiques for fashion, jewellery, shoes, books, and even find all your favourite chain stores. For such a compact region, the Mornington Peninsula has a remarkable number and variety of villages, each offering its own individual shopping experience. You could spend a few days exploring the more than 30 seaside and hinterland villages where you'll find cafes and restaurants, high street shopping or shopping complexes, and intriguing little shops, boutiques, galleries and local produce stores.

Frankston is the largest shopping precinct on the Mornington Peninsula. Frankston is a sizeable town, with everything from major supermarkets and large chain stores to little cafes and boutiques, plus a regular market. And there's a magnificent foreshore and beautiful beach for a picnic lunch spot.

Designer shopping can be found at Mornington, Mount Eliza and Mount Martha. Of these three villages, Mornington shopping offers the greatest variety. Main Street is the key precinct, with smart galleries, boutiques, eateries and day spas, but do check out the side streets too. Mornington is also very well known for its colourful weekly and fortnightly markets. Mount Eliza boasts the Mornington Peninsula's biggest private art gallery, along with a village centre that promises designer shopping in a relaxed seaside atmosphere. There are chic boutiques and others specialising in vintage chic, with plenty of cafes, restaurants and bakeries when you need an energy boost. The Mount Martha shopping mall is similarly appealing, with designer stores, boutiques, galleries and lots of choice for foodies.

Seaside shopping at the three seaside villages of Dromana, Rosebud and Rye (with McCrae and Tootgarook in between them) are each jewels in one long and enjoyably explored retail string right opposite the white sands of Port Phillip. Simply everything you need for a holiday is here in the shopping centres and supermarkets, along with all those delightful extras including boutiques, galleries, art and craft shops, cafes and restaurants.

Sorrento became Victoria's first British settlement in 1803, and it now has a winning blend of historic limestone buildings and 21st century style. Sorrento and Portsea are two of Australia's most expensive postcodes, with many multi-million dollar holiday mansions, so the retailers here cater for a most discerning market.

The Western Port villages of Flinders, Balnarring and Hastings each offer their own sense of style.