The seaside town of Portarlington is located on the north-eastern corner of the Bellarine Peninsula, 31 kilometres from the city of Geelong.
Portarlington is a popular holiday destination, offering sheltered swimming beaches and an attractive foreshore featuring a pier, BBQ and picnic areas, and a large camping area. The town's main commercial centre is on Newcombe Street and is dominated by the landmark Grand Hotel which was built in 1886. Parks and recreation reserves occupy the sloping foreshore between the shops on Newcombe Street and the beach, providing good views across the bay and towards the You Yangs mountain range north of Geelong.
An historical attraction in town is the old steam-powered Portarlington Mill, which was built in 1857 out of sandstone, and now houses artefacts relating to the history of the region. Located within the Rotary Childrens Park at Point Richards is a miniature railway which operates at various times throughout the year.
A scenic tourist drive is along The Esplanade which is a coastal route of around 10 kilometres in length that runs alongside the foreshore between Portarlington and the neighbouring beach towns of Indented Head and St Leonards.