Stretching more than 15 kilometres and welcoming around 7.5 million visitors each year, East Coast Park is probably Singapore’s most popular park.
But, if you’re only on the East Coast for the park itself, you’re missing out on other great things it has to offer. Neighboring Joo Chiat, Geylang, Paya Lebar and Bedok have history on their side, no more so than culture-rich Katong! In addition, nearby Kallang has plenty of free sporty and splashy activities to try, while Siglap is a exapt-friendly enclave.
What are you waiting for? Head out!
Since you’re here, take a stroll down Koon Seng Road in Joo Chiat to admire the multicoloured shophouses built by Peranakans before the second World War.
At this Michelin-recommended gelato shop on East Coast Road, the frozen treats include botanical flavours like Strawberry Basil, Pandan, fresh Mango sorbet and more. The made-to-order waffle cones are infused with rosemary, and taste like nothing around! Warning: There’s often a queue out the front door on weekends.
In Katong, Café Melba, a portmanteau of (Melb)ourne and (A)sia also serves a mean brunch.
Tip: There’s a grassy field facing the cafe, which usually has a bouncy house for kids and other outdoorsy fun. Meanwhile, The Artground, a free, super-cool space for kids, is steps away within the Goodman Arts Centre.
Back on East Coast Road, Alt. Pizza is a fuss-free, affordable option that’s great for groups. Go for the “Design-It-Yourself” option – it says there are more than 650,000 combinations!
Love a good wood-fired pizza, full stop? Then, you’ll want to check out our roundup of the best in SG!
Malls not your thing? A stroll down Joo Chiat Road will reveal lots of quirky retail options. Cat Socrates has both lovely and LOL-inducing finds that make great gifts. The WYLD Shop (pictured), which is run by one of our 2019 Expatpreneur Award winners, is a must-stop for cosy, chic fashions and lifestyle items, while The AC is beloved for its excellent curated collection of indie brands. You can even pick up some vinyl (records, that is) at Choice Cuts Goods + Coffee!
This mural – at the junction of Joo Chiat Terrace and Everitt Road – features two children play-fighting with a paint roller and a mop dipped in paint. It was done by Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic, the same artist behind the lively street art in the heritage city Georgetown, Penang!
Tip: Keep walking north on Everitt Road, and you’ll find the laid-back Smokey’s BBQ American Smokehouse & Bar and…
Nestled in a shophouse along Joo Chiat Place, this cosy beauty parlour offers nail services as well as facial treatments. Using only top-notch nail products such as Gellyfit, ORLY, Zoya and Bio Sculpture Gel, the manicurists here are extremely meticulous. Bonus: The salon has iPads so you can catch up on Netflix. Score!
Okay, okay – we would be remiss, if we didn’t cover some of the highlights along East Coast Park. Kids will love the 3,500 square metre vibrant playground with sensory play panels and loooong slides at Marine Cove.
Ditto Castle Beach, which is East Coast Park Service Road, Carpark E2 (and facing the East Coast Lagoon Food Village)! Every Saturday and Sunday from 3:30 to 7 p.m., families can do some free, fun sand building. Either BYOB (bring your own buckets) or borrow the ones provided.
Give wakeboarding a go at the Singapore Wake Park. Kids from 6 and complete beginners are welcome to participate, too.
While there, grab a bite to eat at the adjacent, open-air Coastal Rhythm cafe, or walk or bicycle east to Siglap along ECP’s recently renovated path, and get your hands messy cracking into Chilli or Black Pepper Crowd Crab and other local seafood delicacies at long-standing chain like Long Beach and JUMBO Seafood there.
By Sara Lyle Bow, The Finder (Issue 283) / Updated by Melodi Ghui, July 2019
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