Bonjour, y’all. We recently got back from arguably the most amazing vacation ever. We left the real world far behind and headed to the French Riveria for a week. Clear blue waters, rows of yachts, fresh seafood and plenty of rosé – can you blame us for almost missing our flight? Although we took a few day trips, home base was Cannes, and we totally fell in love with this beautiful beach town.
First thing’s first, we quickly learned after an awkward interaction with our Airbnb host, we’ve been living a lie and saying “Cannes” all wrong. Brief French lesson: apparently, it is pronounced, “can” (i.e.: can of Coke, can of beans…what else comes in cans?). We’d been saying “C-AH-n”. You may say, “To-may-to, to-mah-to,” but oh contraire, “C-AH-n” is a not very nice word for a woman. So now you know.As we like to do for most trips, we stayed in an Airbnb for the week, and as usual, it was a great decision. The hotels in Cannes were pretty pricey, especially considering we would need two rooms for seven nights. The Airbnb was a charming, spacious, three-bedroom chateau with incredible views. Oh, and two hot tubs. Score.
On the days we weren’t day tripping, we explored the town, soaked up the sun and ate more than enough delicious food. I’ve always been a beach girl, so lounging on the edge of water was top of my to-do list. Cannes has both private and public beaches, and they’re all beautiful so it depends on your personal preference which route you take. There are five different beach zones that comprise the Cannes coastline, and we stuck to the La Croisette area where most of the hotels are. We opted for private beach clubs since a) we knew we’d spend most of the day there and b) we didn’t have our own beach towels and chairs to haul to the public areas. Also, c) what’s better than having a burger and bottle of wine delivered to your lounge chair?
I’d suggest checking out this website if you’re interested in the private beaches – you can easily compare pricing, menus and locations!
Aside from being beach bums, we explored Cannes through our two favorite pastimes – shopping and eating. The shopping is incredible and totally caters to the frequent celebrity guests that flock to the south of France. Luxury stores like Chanel, Cartier, Dior and Louis Vuitton line the Boulevard de la Croisette. We did a little window shopping and wishful thinking, then walked to Rue d’Antibes to hit up the boutiques and Euro stores we love so much like Zara and Mango.One of our favorite parts of staying in an Airbnb is the ability to shop, cook and eat like the locals. There was an awesome open-air food market just a couple minutes’ walk from our apartment where we grabbed fresh fruit and veggies. Naturally, we couldn’t pass a cheese shop without stopping, so we stocked up there and made a little al fresco dinner accompanied by champs.Although we could eat cheese and crackers for dinner every night, we decided to make reservations at a restaurant in Le Souquet, the old quarter of Cannes, for our last night. There’s an uphill, winding cobblestone street, Rue St. Antoine, lined with local restaurants advertising prix fixe menus and charming candle-lit tables. We honestly had one of the best meals ever (like, lick your plate good), and I highly recommend making reservations at one of these adorable spots for a nice, French dinner!
If you continue upward on the winding streets of that steep hill (trust us, its worth the burn), you’ll find Notre Dame de l’esperance (which we had a perfect view of from our room at our Airbnb). Its a gorgeous gothic church, clock tower and lookout combined, with amazing views of the city. Look at this, y’all:Head up to the top of the hill during Golden Hour (two hours before sunset or after sunrise) for amazing pictures and the most Instagrammable views.Needless to say, it was nearly impossible to drag us away from that view at the end of the week.
Stay tuned, because Kelsie will break down our day trips through the Riviera and explain just how easy it is to hop from one beautiful beach town to the next.