The good life in many forms is on conspicuous display in the sleepy French fishing village turned hotspot that is St. Tropez. We’re talking a major opportunity to shop for designer goods, eat great food, see beautiful people on the beaches, and observe the super-yachting set in a favored playground (actress Gwyneth Paltrow was among those in town on a recent visit).
What We Love
The Yachts: We’re talking really, really big yachts. Watching them maneuver into tight spaces at the piers is an event that draws a crowd. It’s not uncommon to see a group of people on land passing time by standing and staring at people on the yachts.
The Architecture: The town’s ochre-colored roofs pop against the backdrop of the blue skies and Mediterranean waters. See how the city looked in the early days at la Chapelle Sainte-Anne, which dates back to 1618. (It’s also where Mick Jagger married Bianca back in 1971.)
Best Known For
Beaches: This is where actress Brigitte Bardot first wore a bikini, setting off a worldwide trend. She later shed her top altogether, helping to put St. Tropez on the map of the fun-in-the-sun-seeking jet-setter crowd.
Food and Drink: You’re in Provence. Sit in a waterfront café and splurge on a tower of fresh cold seafood, mussels and French fries, or a big bowl of fish soup. Snack on a crêpe or crusty bread and cheese. Sip local wine. Don’t miss the local treat, La Tarte Tropézienne, a cream-filled sponge cake.
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Who It's Best For
Well-Heeled Travelers: The best way to enjoy St. Tropez is to splurge, whether on food and wine or a souvenir of French fashion.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
There Are Lots of Temptations: Shops galore sell swimsuits, designer goods (such as Chanel), the latest in Parisian fashions, colorful Provençal linens, and more. Go ahead and try not to take out your credit card. We dare you.
Fran Golden is a Cleveland-based contributor to ShermansCruise who also writes for USA Today.