Once a quiet surf town, purely populated by those who lived there or those lucky enough to know of it. When it comes to escaping reality for a simpler life by the beach, Byron Bay is now one of Australia's most well-known vacay hotspots. Located in the country's most easterly point, The Bay (as the locals call it), is crowded with wetsuits, salty mermaids, hipsters and boho dreamers alike.
Populated all year round with out of town travellers and sun seeker's from across the globe, Byron can sometimes be a little overwhelming from the way it was meant to be enjoyed.
So, certified beach addict and one of our own Fortunate One girls Emma, gives us the locals only tour of what to do and where to go when heading to The Bay (and how to avoid every man and his dog).
When it comes to your accomodation, The Bay arguably has the best (and the most Insta worthy) locations in the country. Whatever your vibe may be, we can pretty much guarantee it's there.
RAES ON WATEGOS
You've seen the french windows on the 'gram and the infamous neutral colour palette with splashes of blue, Raes On Wategos is a beautiful photo waiting for happen. The property often reminds us of a magical Caribbean plantation. With washes of greenery throughout the space, don't blame us if you never want to leave either.
Made for lovers and dreamers alike, in our opinion the Atlantic is one of The Bay's coolest offerings. If the neat placements of surf culture throughout the property don't give you that fuzzy feeling inside, Byron perhaps isn't your vacay go-to.
Here at Fortunate One, we believe that good food can truly make a holiday. From taste, to quality of produce and of course the atmosphere - all of these elements come into play when judging the best of the best. So we put together the shortlist of The Bay's top spots, as loved by the locals.
When it comes to crowds, most people try to avoid them (with good reason). However, when it comes to food, this mentality becomes void. As the saying goes, never eat in an empty restaurant, as there's usually a reason why it's empty. Top Shop firms my rule quite like no other. Opening at the crack of dawn, this little coffee shop develops a crowd the moment the doors open. Serving the best coffee in town, this little corner coffee shop is well worth the wait.
Our recommendation: Try the burgers for the ultimate post swim feed.
If you think you've had great Italian food before, you haven't tasted Byron's The Italian. Located on the main beach, we're pretty confident that you'd be in the water if you were any closer. So, set yourself up for the afternoon and sip on a spritz accompanied by a bucket of oysters on ice. You'll thank us later.
Our recommendation: 12 hour braised beef ribs.
Get into the swim, spritz, snap and nap routine that the Byron Bay lifestyle has to offer. If you're starting the weekend early, head to the Mullumbimby Farmer's Market on a Friday between 7am-11am. Located just 15 minutes out of The Bay, you can source fresh, locally grown produce as loved by salty sweetheart Mimi Elashiry.
As the day warms up, escape to the beach (before the crowds do). Turn your out of office on, melt into the waves and bask in the sunshine (don't forget to slip, slop and slap).
And remember, just because you're on vacay, don't feel like you have to run 100m/ph. Have a break, take it all in and live like the locals do.