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Side Trips from Nice: No to St. Tropez, Yes to Cannes, St. Paul de Vence?

Side Trips from Nice: No to St. Tropez, Yes to Cannes, St. Paul de Vence?

Jun 10th, 2019, 08:33 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Apr 2008
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Side Trips from Nice: No to St. Tropez, Yes to Cannes, St. Paul de Vence?

Hello,

My husband and I (50's) will be spending 4 days in Nice in the middle of July. We don't like to be bored, and, to use my husband's words, "we like to pack it in" (although we are getting a little older than we used to be). We like shopping (not chain stores and not Rodeo Drive-type things that we can't afford or touristy souvenir type dime-a-dozen things, but more upscale home and art things). We like nicer restaurants. We like to ride bikes and people watch. We will go see the beach (but maybe for an hour only). We will go to a museum or church or two, but only well known ones, and we definitely do not need to see every little church or sculpture in every town. We like to see the highlights and what makes a place special. We are not renting a car because we hear that would be insanity.

Based on the research we have done so far, it sounds like Cannes is a definite yes due to La Croisette. Saint Paul de Vence is probably a yes because the art and the shopping sounds like our type of thing. St. Tropez does not sound like it has anything all that special that we can't see in Nice or any of these other towns. Am I missing something? What about Antibes? It sounds like Juan les Pain beach might be one of the nicer beaches? What does everyone think?

I have not done any research yet on anything East of Nice? I will start that research next.

Any advice would be appreciated!

Thank you!
lbaz95 is offline  
Jun 10th, 2019, 09:25 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 854
We took the train from Nice to Antibes for a half-day outing. It's a tiny little town, with a nice walk above the waterfront. Train was about 45 minutes, I think.

Last edited by MoBro; Jun 10th, 2019 at 09:28 AM.
MoBro is online now  
Jun 10th, 2019, 09:28 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
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Church: St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral, west of Gare de Nice Ville.

Museum: Chagall Museum Nice.

Restaurant: Merenda Nice.

I like to visit Beaulieu sur Mer/St Jean Cap Ferrat for the Villa Euphrussi.

You may try Galeries Lafayette Nice for shopping. They have a home department.

Thin☀️
Pepper_von_snoot is online now  
Jun 10th, 2019, 09:48 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
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I forgot to mention St Jean Cap Ferrat and Villa Ephrussi.
It's easy to take a city bus to the Villa, then walk down the hill to St Jean Cap Ferrat, and catch a city bus back into Nice.
MoBro is online now  
Jun 10th, 2019, 11:42 AM
  #5  
 
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Maybe check our Ile St. Honorat? Its one of 2 picturesque isles easily accessible from Cannes and makes for an excellent daytrip. The Monastery there makes its own signature wines and chocolates and more. The hike around the isle's periphery, punctuated with a meal at the cafe, makes for a wonderful day. One takes a ferry to/from Cannes.
Bon chance Ibaz95!
I am done. The daytrip.
zebec is offline  
Jun 10th, 2019, 12:04 PM
  #6  
mms
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I did two day trips from Nice. One day in Eze via bus and another day in Antibes via train. Both were very enjoyable.

In Nice, our two favorite restaurants were Lou Pistou and Bistrot Chaud Vin.
mms is offline  
Jun 10th, 2019, 12:38 PM
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Monaco gets short shrift here for good reason - but to see it is a novelty - the grand old casino - the yachts all over the harbor but little else.

But, if you like to do a few-mile stroll along an untouched stretch of coast with the signature Riviera Cypress trees clinging onto boulder tumbling toward the sea and the clear azure-hued sea itself then hwead to Cap d'Ail train station and walk the coastal path just a few miles into Monaco, coming in by the yacht club - then take bus to Eze and back down to Nice. Beautiful day IMO.
PalenQ is offline  
Jun 10th, 2019, 08:47 PM
  #8  
 
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Re:#5--'our' Ile St. Honorat. We certainly do not own the isle and I have no idea what distracted me to type the possessive!
I am done. The carry on.
zebec is offline  
Jun 10th, 2019, 10:11 PM
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If you want to go to a beach, go to Cannes. Juan les Pins has ok beaches, but there is not much else to do and it's not a pretty town.
If you're only going to the beach for an hour, you will still have to rent a chair for the day; it's expensive. There are public beaches as well, but you'd need to bring towels and a parasol.
Antibes is nice; you can stop there on your way to Cannes or on the way back. If you're only going to walk around town you can see it in an hour. Maybe do Cannes during the day and stop for dinner in Antibes before returning to Nice.

The good shopping streets in Nice are Rue Paradis, Rue Alphonse Karr and that area. The market on Cour Saleya is an antique market on Monday mornings.

It sounds like you might like Mougins; lots of art, pretty hill-top town, good restaurants. For St Paul de Vence and Mougins I would rent a car. Get there early (ie 9 am or so) before it gets too busy.
Do you have 4 full days? I'd say 2 days Nice, 1 day Cannes/Antibes, 1 day St Paul de Vence or maybe Mougins. Or go to Cap Ferrat and visit the Rothschild house
Tulips is offline  
Jun 10th, 2019, 10:14 PM
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Oh and no to St Tropez; not because it not a lovely place (and really different from the other coastal towns), but just too far and difficult to get to on such a short trip.
Tulips is offline  
Jun 11th, 2019, 07:57 AM
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I agree on St. Tropez, it is best reached by car. However, the Pampalonne beach nearby is great (but crowded). You can go to St. Paul de Vence and Vence (Matisse Chapel, a small walk out of the historic center) by bus, but it you take a car continue on to Tourettes sur Loup and Gourdon (and loop down to Mougins, the other art-centric town besides St Paul. Biot is known for its glass, Vallauris for ceramics).
There is a terrific hard carved olive wood shop in Tourettes Sur Loup. I'd add a further endorsement of the Villa Ephrussi and Villa Kerylos if you like grand homes and interiors, plus gardens.

I would also add that Old Town Nice also has some nice little artist studios (watercolors, oils, photos) and home shops (including Tresors Public, a well curated shop of everyday stuff just made in France, of the highest quality and including vintage brands). Surprisingly, not all of it is mass produced tourist stuff like in the markets. The shops referenced above in the Carre d'Or (on Rue Paradis and Alphonse Karr) are mostly high end fashion boutiques. However, there are a few home shops on Rue de la Liberte (including Cobalt, and some branches of some French home decor stores) and a few galleries scattered around. I have a place in the neighborhood. There are also a few funky art/home shops near Place du Pin in the the Port/Garibaldi/Petit Marais area, with a small antique/flea market near the port (12 to 15 stalls) and a street of antique stores -- but you are just as fine going the Monday market.

Last edited by gooster; Jun 11th, 2019 at 08:02 AM.
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Jun 11th, 2019, 08:06 AM
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Here’s my take on the area:

St. Tropez.....too far away
Cannes....very high end, nice just to say you were there
Beaulieau/Cap Ferrat.....Rothschild House and Villa Keryolus, both wonderful villas & gardens
Juan Les Pins....fine if you are staying there and like to be at the beach all day
St. Paul de Venice....excellent, quaint, for antiques & art
Monaco/Monte Carlo.....loved touring inside the palace and looking at all the yachts. Lunch or dinner outside at Stars & Bars right on the water was great fun, even better to be inside if you like race car stuff. Not so good, the casino and extremely high end shops.
Eze.....one of our favorite towns ever. The cute shops, cobbled streets, outstanding views. We’ve been there 3 times and will go back anytime we are in the area.
Antibes.... favorite spot is Garoupe beach and Keller Plage resort/ restaurant.
From Garoupe beach you can walk along the rocks, beautiful walk described next:
https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUser..._Provence.html

TPAYT is offline  
Jun 11th, 2019, 08:10 AM
  #13  
 
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Here’s reviews of Keller Place Beach Club
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaura...te_d_Azur.html

TPAYT is offline  
Jun 11th, 2019, 08:56 AM
  #14  
 
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We loved the old Nice neighborhood’s little streets, overall atmosphere, and cute shops. We found the Restaurant la Tapenada, 6 rue St. Reparate and had a very nice dinner. It was probably about 60EUR for the two of us, on their fixed price menu, with a bottle of house wine. Very nice little place, with friendly and attentive service. They even let my daughter trade her dessert for a salad. So she had two salads to start, one after the other, and they timed the arrival of our main courses perfectly. We were completely happy with our meal there.
MoBro is online now  
Jun 11th, 2019, 09:06 AM
  #15  
 
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I went to Antibes for a day trip from Nice and it was okay for a change, but I wouldn't call it a must see. The main claim to fame is the Picasso Museum, I think, but I didn't think it was very good myself. I've been to several Picasso museums (at least 4) and I thought that was the worst. There is nothing unique there that I can think of taht you'd be missing out on.
Christina is offline  
Jun 11th, 2019, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Christina View Post
I went to Antibes for a day trip from Nice and it was okay for a change, but I wouldn't call it a must see. The main claim to fame is the Picasso Museum, I think, but I didn't think it was very good myself. I've been to several Picasso museums (at least 4) and I thought that was the worst. There is nothing unique there that I can think of taht you'd be missing out on.
Other than being in the place where Picasso worked for years, perhaps? We though the museum very special, and the views over the Mediterranean are wonderful. The pottery exhibit is particularly good. The one drawback is finding parking nearby if you're driving.

Underhill is offline  
Jun 11th, 2019, 03:26 PM
  #17  
mms
 
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I did not go to any museums in Antibes. I went to two markets and just wandered and enjoyed every minute of it.
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Jun 11th, 2019, 05:36 PM
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Italy for a day! You can easily take the commuter train from Nice or elsewhere to Ventimiglia, which has a famous market some days and is a typical Italian town but San Remo is just down the line.
PalenQ is offline  
Jun 11th, 2019, 08:34 PM
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The middle of July is apt to be HOT and will certainly be very crowded along the Côte d'Azur--I doubt that you'll be able to see and do as much as you would like. St-Tropez is too far for the amount of time you have, and I don't find Cannes all that interesting. However, the Bonnard museum above the town is very much worth a visit: it's located in an old mansion, has wood floors for standing comfort, a glass elevator and a collection of a reasonable size. Excellent gift shop, too.

Definitely head over to St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, with perhaps a short stop in Villefranche-sur-Mer. Antibes could be a half day (by train); St-Paul will be VERY crowded. Instead, visit the perched village of Mougins, an art center with some excellent restaurants. Finally, try to make time for the International Art Glass Museum below Biot, where you can also visit a glassblowing studio and watch the artisans at work. Best in the morning. The nearby restaurant is very good.
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Jun 11th, 2019, 10:11 PM
  #20  
 
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We also enjoyed visiting Antibes and the Picasso museum, the town has a more laid back feel compared to the bigger «names » like Nice and Cannes. The walk along the Cap is also something we always love.
geetika is online now  

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