Okay, we’ll say it: Nice is nice. The largest city on France’s sun-kissed Côte d'Azur is also very visitor friendly, thanks to the European aristocracy who “discovered” the place in the 19th century. You can eat fabulous food, shop for local goods, and hang out on one of the most famous beach strips in the world. Head into the hillside neighborhoods for art museums and a more relaxed pace.
What We Love
The Art: It’s hard to choose whether to visit Musée Matisse to see the "Blue Nudes," the Musée Marc Chagall for the stained glass windows, or the Musée des Beaux-Arts for the Chérets and Monets. Make sure not to miss the local art scene, as several galleries are near the excellent contemporary art museum.
La Cuisine: Whether you choose a traditional or trendy spot or outdoor café, don't miss the chance to sample local dishes such as a real Salade Niçoise and ratatouille, accompanied by local Provençal wine.
Best Known For
Promenade des Anglais: This palm-lined seaside promenade runs between the city’s famous beach and grand palaces and hotels built during the Belle Epoque. The views are fab and so is the people watching.
Markets: In the heart of Old Nice, the Cours Saleya has stalls spilling over with flowers and fruit and a lively scene. The antiques market is also worth perusing — items include everything from Art Deco furniture to old Beatles records.
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Who It's Best For
All Ages: There’s really something for everyone in Nice, including summertime carousels for kids. Outdoor cafés tend to be particularly child friendly — locals come with the whole family, including dogs.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Beach Fees: The colorful umbrellas on the beach are a French Riviera status symbol. They also belong to private beach clubs, and you need to pay a fee if you want to hang out there.
Fran Golden is a Cleveland-based contributor to ShermansCruise who also writes for USA Today.