It's no surprise that people fall in love with St Ives when they see its top-notch beaches. These are one of the town's key attractions, with excellent options such as Porthmeor Beach which is popular with swimmers and surfers alike, Porthminster Beach with its stunning cresent shape and tropical style palm trees, and Porthgwidden Beach which is great for families with its sheltered waters.

The harbour is a great place to explore too, it has its own sandy beach (Harbour Beach) and lots of brightly coloured fishing boats. Watch the catch of the day brought in by the skilled fishermen here, then taste some at one of the top notch restaurants in the town the same evening.

St Ives is famous for is surfing conditions and Gwithian Beach (just across St Ives Bay) is very popular for sure surfing waves. There are several local surf schools offering lessons if you fancy braving the water! 

The town is also home to interesting museums and art attractions. Discover the Tate St Ives and Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden, or take a visit to the St Ives Museum which has a fascinating history of the local area and people.

The Leach Pottery Studio & Museum and the Wills Lane Gallery are also both well worth a visit.   

Walkers will enjoy exploring the South West Coast Path from St Ives, and also taking in the sights from The Island (previously known as Pendinas), which is a good spot for birdwatching and seal spotting. This interesting inshore island is just over 3 miles from the centre of town and well worth the effort. 

For something a bit more challenging, take the bus from St Ives to Zennor and then walk back. The route is strenuous, but rewarding.

Nearby, the bustling town of Penzance is a must-see, as is St Michael's Mount near Marazion and the famous open-air Minack Theatre by Porthcurno. You also can't really come this far without a trip to Land's End, the most westerly point in mainland Britain.

For more ideas, please visit our things to do in Cornwall pages.