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  >  Destinations  >  France  >  The French Rivera

Atsuko, Halia, Trang and I decided to take a weekend getaway to Nice.  The trip was centered around food, wine and sunshine.  Overall, it was a lovely trip and a beautiful place to spend the weekend.

We flew into Nice and made that our base – it provided for easy access both down the coast to Cannes and St. Raphael, as well as an easy day trip up to Monaco.

Hotel Westminster was on Promenade des Anglais. While not the best place for restaurants or bars, it was filled with French charm.  The rooms were large and the views of the ocean were nice.  Most importantly, each morning, we could just walk across the street and enjoy a croissant and cappuccino right on the beach.  It was also a short walk over to the pedestrian walkway, where there were plenty of restaurants to choose from.

The drive down up and down the coast was gorgeous.  Cannes and San Raphael were great places to relax on the beach as well as (window) shop.  Monaco, on the other hand, was a bit less exciting.  It was worth the visit to see Montecarlo and visit the casino, but a few hours is sufficient.


– Le Grill at Hotel de Paris (check name): This restaurant has an amazing view of Monaco and is worth a visit on a sunny day.  Skip the main course and opt for champagne and the soufflé.

– Nice’s pedestrian walkway is a nice place for an evening stroll and the spot for dinner.  Be sure to pay it a visit, but make sure to start early – the city seems to turn into a pumpkin at midnight.  Also, the hotels seem to provide terrible directions.  This was a 15 minute walk from our hotel, yet we couldn’t find it on our first night due to the lack of willingness for the hotel concierge to provide clear directions.

– Rent a car: the drive along the coast is gorgeous and worth doing.  There is a train as well, but you’d miss all the views.  If you are short of time, there is a 7-minute helicopter ride from Nice airport to Monaco.