ADELAIDE, Australia — You can't design a city better than this one. Favored with a Mediterranean-type climate, it's on a lush coastal plain and the banks of the River Torrens. In the piney hills to its east, from Barossa Valley to McLaren Vale, are some of the prettiest vineyards in this wine-crazy country.
Along the coast to Adelaide's west are miles of lovely beaches, some a short tram ride from downtown. Just offshore, Kangaroo Island teams with kangaroos, penguins and sea lions, and from June to October its waters are inhabited by southern right whales.
The city itself has wide streets laid out on a grid around pretty squares with handsome churches and buildings such as St. Peter's Cathedral, Parliament House, The Adelaide Festival Center on the banks of the river, the Adelaide Botanic Garden, The University of Adelaide looking like an Oxford college, and Central Market, a cornucopia of produce, cheeses, meats and wines.
Now the real genius of the town: Central Adelaide is surrounded by a broad, green belt of parks, gardens and playing fields. Green space is built around the city rather than the other way around. The pretty villages and suburbs only begin beyond it.
Adelaide is lovely, prosperous and quiet, if quiet is what you want, or not, if you come during one of its lively and famous festivals, which celebrate everything from the arts to music to literature to ideas to food and, of course, to wine.
The only unfortunate thing about Adelaide? It's far away. It's remote even for Australians, sitting more than 900 miles west of Sydney on the southern coast. And for us it's the other side of the world.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun