If you’re looking to cross Sydney off your bucket travel wish list in 2017, there’s no need to wait for the balmy summer as winters in New South Wales aren’t exactly renowned for its snowboarding attributes. The temperature in the city is pretty decent all year round and Sydneysiders (the locals) thrive off the nearby 100 beaches. For sightseeing, it’s absolutely a must to visit the Opera House, Luna Park, walk the Harbour Bridge (or take a yoga class at the top!) and tour the Royal Botanic Gardens. But Sydney is full of nooks and crannies and what better way to experience your travel adventure than veer off the beaten track, just like Sydneysiders do every day.  We’ve featured a few of these including some hidden gem hotels and by the time you return home from your trip, you’ll have experienced Sydney like a local:

Food, Glorious Food

The Richmond Good Food Market is a breezy one-hour drive northwest of the city. It’s a perfect way to check out scenery beyond Sydney so rent a car and head to the local market, operating each Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.. There are a multitude of food vendors, quirky health stands and if you’re lucky, you’ll see Mr. Arthur’s Puppets in action – he was featured in Australia’s Got Talent.

Centered and Aligned Auras

If your energy levels are low and the Chi & chakras need a serious booster, then reserve your ticket at the Sydney Crystal Show from 8-9 July. There will be hundreds of stands, with experts not only guiding you on the best crystals and rocks to purchase, but you’ll also be wowed by the huge minerals that can cost a few thousand dollars. NSW is all for spreading the love of good energy, karma, and positive thinking so what better place to restore yours, than at this show.

Buy, Sell and Explore

How about traveling light to Sydney and when you arrive, mosey over to the Suitcase Rummage. Regularly operating in major Australian cities, this is the place where people bring suitcases of clothes, accessories, memorabilia and anything else they can jam in, and sell it to locals and tourists. If you have items you’re looking to sell, wander down to the Rummage and by the time you leave Sydney, you could be adorned with a full, new wardrobe. Entrepreneurs also test their new inventions out at the Rummages so don’t be surprised if you’re asked to be a guinea pig for a new innovation trial.

Pillow Talk Options

When it comes to resting your weary head but you’re budget conscious about hotels, we have a few alternatives to the typical, overpriced downtown accommodations. One of Sydney’s oldest hotels, Cremorne Point Manor is a four star, AAA rated boutique heritage building with sensational views of the Harbour skyline. Just a 10-minute ferry ride from the hotel and you’re at the Opera House. A short walk and you’re at the famous Maccallum Pool. And if you’re lucky, you’ll hear the lions roar in the evening at the nearby Taronga Zoo. For those looking to seriously splash out, check the hotel’s five-star Penthouse Suite with panoramic views of the city.

Now if trendy and achingly hip is your cup of tea, Glenferrie Lodge in Kirribilli will be your best bet. On the same street as the Prime Minister’s residence, this 3-star hotel is also a short ferry ride to Circular Quay. Guests love the hotel garden, secluded from the city streets, where it’s been known that visitors bring in guitars and have a sing along while everyone enjoys dinner and drinks on the patio. The rates are lower as some rooms have shared bathrooms.

If you’re one of those that prefer to be further away from the city noise, want to have great walking trails, yet be around 20 minutes from downtown, Dalziel Lodge is probably going to fit you like a glove. There’s a communal kitchen so you can make meals at any hour, a gorgeous guest-only garden to chill out in and shared bathrooms, accommodating the lower nightly rates. It’s right by St. Leonards Park, Cammeray Golf Club, and the business district. But if you’re looking to spend a night away from sightseeing, the large lounge with flat screen TV and a movie library simply has your name written all over it.