Cheltenham includes one of the early estates in the parish of Moorabbin developed by Josiah Holloway from 1852. Named Two Acre Village lots were sold between 1853 and 1854 and the township was renamed Cheltenham. Sufficient population had settled for Cheltenham Post Office to open on 1 August 1857, although the major growth of the township was in the 1880s.
Cheltenham Park dates back to 1872, and is used for cricket and other recreational activities.
Much of the residential development was built in the 1940s and continued into the 1980s. Cheltenham also has a large industrial area on the eastern edge and a smaller area at the far western edge. The western area is noted for Melbourne's only lift test shaft.
In 1993, the landmark 7-storey 1230 Nepean Highway office tower was built. The City of Kingston leased spaced within the building for use as its main office before purchasing it in 2010.
There are six schools in the suburb of Cheltenham; five of which focus on Primary education with the remaining one focusing on Secondary education. They are:
- Cheltenham Secondary College, (1959)
- Cheltenham Primary School, (1855)
- Cheltenham East Primary School, (1956)
- Le Page Primary School, (1994)
- Kingston Heath Primary School, (1976)
- Our Lady of the Assumption Parish Primary School, (1951)
The Cheltenham Community and Education Centre is located at 8 Chesterville Road, Cheltenham. They offer English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, courses, childcare facilities and workshops.
Cheltenham is home to sporting facilities and clubs. Sports played in the area include soccer, golf, cricket, Australian Rules football, lawn bowls, baseball and swimming. There are a number of golf courses in Cheltenham; Cheltenham Golf Club on Victor Avenue which has nine holes however can be played as an eighteen-hole course from different tee boxes, Sandringham Municipal Golf Links on Cheltenham Road, and the Victoria Golf Club on Park Road.
There are plenty of shopping options in the Cheltenham area. At Westfield Southland there are over 400 stores and not far away there's DFO in Moorabbin and Kingston Central Plaza.