French Riviera City Guide

I have wanted to visit the French Riviera for so long, but for years it felt entirely out of reach. I knew of Cannes and the exquisitely beautiful Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc through the stream of images I saw annually around the time of the film festival. It’s no wonder I got the impression that only the 1% of the world could entertain visiting the area. But when a few girlfriends of mine headed to Antibes in the fall, the area started to take on a new life and possibility. So last weekend I booked a small hotel along the coast of Antibes and was determined to make my Côte d’Azur dreams come true…and so they did! Here’s how to experience the best of the area without breaking the bank…

What to Pack:

  • I had so much fun styling outfits for this trip. Off-the-shoulder tops and dresses, in a color palette of whites and sorbet yellows, took me from touring the ancient streets of Old Town Antibes to drinks overlooking the water at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc. The only time we really needed to dress up was visiting Cap d’Antibes and Cannes. Otherwise, walking through the old town and through Juan-les-Pins was entirely casual and comfortable. If anything, we mostly felt overdressed in these areas. I think a nice mix of your finest fits and boho beach casual looks will help you fit right in! And don’t forget your bathing suits and sunblock because it gets hot, hot, hot!

Where to Stay:

  • Hotel Josse: situated between Nice and Cannes (a 20 min drive in either direction) and right across the street from a beautiful public beach, is a perfect abode for a long weekend in the French Riviera. The rooms are contemporary, cool, and spacious which was exactly what we needed, and the price is reasonable.
  • Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc: if you are looking to splurge a little on this holiday and want a front row seat to the best of Cap d’Antibes, then stay a night at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc. The property is by far one of the most exquisitely beautiful hotels I’ve ever seen and has the most spectacular view of the Mediterranean.
  • InterContinental Carlton Cannes: an iconic landmark on the prestigious Boulevard de la Croisette, the Carlton is an institution. A stone’s throw from the famous Palais des Festivals, it also has an incredible view of the azure Mediterranean waters and a private beach club too.

What to See:

  • Old Town Antibes: we started our tour of the area here, walking through the cobblestone streets past the Picasso Museum, the markets, and the delicious outdoor terrace restaurants.
  • Cap d’Antibes: at the tip of Antibes is where the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc rests, and absolutely encapsulates the glamour and luxury of the destination. Going here for drinks at sunset was one of the highlights of my trip.
  • Juan-les-Pins: a fun beach town lined with gorgeous private beach clubs, cute boutiques, and classic Mediterranean style restaurants turns into a lively entertainment hub by night. We got a couple of beach chairs at Plage de la Jetée and loved it there.
  • Cannes: was everything I hoped it would be! Absolutely glamorous and a passage back in time. Walk down la Croisette to see all the designer boutiques and luxury hotels and then hop in a cab down to Tamaris Plage for lunch by the water!

Where to Eat:

  • Tamaris Plage: pictured above and situated on the water in Cannes! It is a perfect late lunch spot where you can easily head down to the beach after for a swim and enjoy some people watching.
  • La Guérite: this is an absolute must on either a Saturday or Sunday! Definitely on the pricier side but well worth it and make sure to book in advance since it fills up quickly. You’ll need to take the La Guérite boat out to the island where lunch will transition into daytime dancing and a swim.

Where to Shop:

  • Old Town Antibes: as I mentioned above, the old town has a fun market and quirky little boutiques selling beautiful hats, handbags, and more. This is where you’re sure to find something you can’t get anywhere else.
  • La Croisette: for all your designer dreams, take a nice stroll down this Boulevard to see some of the biggest collections housed under one roof. You’ll find exclusive pieces in each store.

Where to Play:

  • The View Restaurant Club in Juan-les-Pins is the perfect spot for dancing in the French Riviera. About a 15 min drive from Antibes, and just off the main strip of the New Orleans style cocktail bars, it provides a more elevated experience for sure.
  • Tamaris Plage: is not just a restaurant but a pool party too! If you are looking to have a fun day dance, then this is for you!
  • La Guerite: also not just a restaurant on the water. By midday (3 PM on) La Guérite turns into a fun dance party with costumes and lively music.

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