While Sydney and Melbourne usually claim the top spots as the cities to visit down under, dark-horse Adelaide was the only Australian city to be listed on the New York Times’ 52 Places to Go in 2015, and it’s popularity has skyrocketed well into 2016.

So what makes this city a must visit? Here are some of Adelaide’s biggest holiday drawcards:

Wine regions

Adelaide has been dubbed ‘the wine capital of Australia’ and it’s no surprise when you consider it has over 200 cellars to visit. There’s the Barossa Valley- known for its creation of some of the world’s best shiraz- the beautiful rolling landscapes of the Adelaide Hills perfect for a courtyard beverage, and the seafood hub of the Southern Flinders Ranges, where a little white wine doesn’t go astray.

The beaches

Of course there is more to Adelaide than tasty beverages. Adelaide’s pristine beaches and crystal clear waters also make this holiday hub a fantastic place to visit (especially with the kids!) and the great thing is most of Adelaide’s’ beaches are just a short drive away. So pack your beach towel and slip slop slap for some fun in the sun by stopping by Henley Beach, North Haven or Sellicks Beach…just to name a few.

Aboriginal history

Adelaide has a rich Aboriginal heritage and the best way to learn more about it is by visiting one of the museums that call the city home, including the South Australian Museum and Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute, which showcases a range of Aboriginal artefacts, including homemade rugs and artwork.

Atmospheric dining

The New York Times labelled Adelaide’s dining as “robust” with everything from street eateries (like food trucks) to posh restaurants – which really makes it perfect for everyone from those on a tight holiday budget to those looking to splurge on fine dining. Some of the top dining areas in Adelaide include Chinatown for some oriental cuisine, Gouger Street in the heart of Adelaide CBD and Jetty Road in Glenelg for some grub by the beach.

Range of entertainment

After you’ve enjoyed dinner in Adelaide, make it a night by taking in some of the great entertainment the city has to offer. The Adelaide Entertainment Centre is the perfect place to see everyone from international artists to home grown legends. For a romantic night out, the Ben and Jerry’s Openair Cinema will do just the trick, or if you’re simply looking for a night out on the town stop by Hindley Street or Rundle Street for a range of pubs and clubs to choose from.

Is Adelaide on your travel bucket list? Find the right Thrifty hire car for your trip here.