City Center -- The central business district (CBD) is home to offices, shops, and department stores. It has a modest collection of 19th-century heritage buildings, especially the convict-built Government House and Town Hall. A good introduction to Perth's charms is to take in the views from the pathway that skirts the river along Riverside Drive. Within walking distance is Kings Park & Botanic Garden.

Northbridge -- Most of Perth's nightclubs, and a good many of its restaurants, bars, and cafes, are in this 5-block precinct north of the railway line. It's within easy walking distance of the city center. The Cultural Centre is here too, with the Western Australian Museum, Art Gallery of Western Australia, State Library, the stunning new State Theatre Centre, and Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts.

Subiaco -- This well-heeled inner suburb is on the other side of Kings Park. Take a stroll through "Subi's" village-like concoction of restaurants, cafes, markets, boutiques, pubs, and galleries. Most of the action is near the intersection of Hay Street and Rokeby (pronounced Rock-er-bee) Road, with the Subiaco Hotel and Art Deco Regal Theatre on opposing corners. Take the train to Subiaco station.

Fremantle -- Not only is "Freo" a working port, it's also Perth's second city heart, and a favorite weekend spot to eat, drink, shop, and sail. A 1980s restoration of Victorian warehouses and hotels turned Freo into a marvelous example of a 19th-century seaport, although a takeover of many buildings by Notre Dame University has taken away some of the old vibrancy. Take the train 19km (12 miles) to Fremantle, at the mouth of the Swan River.

Scarborough Beach -- This is one of Perth's prize beaches, 12km (7 1/2 miles) northwest of the city center. The district is a little tatty, with an oversupply of cheap takeout-food outlets, but if you like sun, sand, and surf, this is the place to be. You will find bars, restaurants, and surf-gear rental stores here.

Cottesloe Beach -- This is another great beach, quieter and safer than Scarborough, with a protective rocky groyne to one side. The surrounding area is very pleasant with grassy slopes, good hotels, and cafes, and the entire suburb is defined by towering Norfolk pines.

Burswood/East Perth -- These two areas are on opposite sides of the Swan River just upstream of Perth city. Both are on land reclaimed from earlier industrial use, and show enlightened development with parkland, pathways, and artworks. Burswood has major entertainment complexes, a public golf course, and superb gardens. East Perth is mostly modern housing, parks, galleries, and restaurants, based around a river inlet with walkways.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.