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Menton Lemon Festival French Riviera end Feb

I was in the French Riviera in May 2013, weather was lovely but water too cold to swim. I like to sunbathe and swim but can go to a great beach on Siesta Key in Sarasota FL so it isn't that important given the purpose of the trip. I did not get to Menton and have looked up the Lemon Festival which runs mid Feb to the first week of March. I think it would be something to see plus I love lemons and lemon products. Menton is supposed to have the best climate on the Riviera and supposed to be mid 60s by end Feb. At least it will be warmer than PA. So I am thinking of going to Menton, the casino in Monte Carlo (we got to the palace but not the casino or Cafe de Paris last time) then to Nice and a couple of perched villages - Eze, Peillon.

Hotels are reasonable - the Napoleon in Menton for $150 and even the Negresco in Nice for $200. I was thinking of 2 nights in Menton and 3 in Nice -flying in and out of Nice.

has anyone been to the festival, been to the area this time of year, or have other recommendations for a base? Other recommended hotels? Obviously a pool and beach club are not considerations but I am hoping for sunshine.

Although it is 9 months away I'm thinking the Menton hotels will fill up fast - and also I believe there is carnival in Nice around this time so I want to get hotels booked soon.

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