Cannes, Provence, France
Where You're DockedYou couldn't ask for a better location. Just across the boulevard from the port is everything you'll want to see: shops, restaurants. and the historic center of town.
Staying in TouchDre@m Cyber Cafe (6 Rue Commandant Vidal), open daily 10am - 11pm. Asher (44 Bd. Carnot), open daily 9:30am - 7pm.
Getting AroundIt's so simple. All you need is a comfortable pair of walking shoes.
Where to Eat and Drink
Cafes, bakeries, restaurants -- it's hard to go wrong in Cannes when your stomach starts to growl. To soak in the ambience, consider afternoon cocktails at Le Carlton or Le Martinez, two legendary luxury hotels on Croisette. (Even Rick Steves likes the bar and cafe at Le Carlton, distinguished by its two domes.)
For something more rustic and of the region, try Rue Meynadier, which is dotted with cafes offering up local fare like duck, carpaccio de boeuf, and specialty chevre cremeaux. The Rue Saint Antoine, leading up to Le Suquet, also has some cozy restaurants. Generally, lunch is served from mid-day to about to 3pm.
Another popular spot: the restaurant on the top floor of the Sofitel Mediterranee, just across from the port. It's got great views of the Cannes bay and is known for its regional specialties and a decent fish and vegetarian menu. It's open daily from 12:30pm - 2:30pm and 7:30pm - 10:30pm.
What to See and Do
Boulevard de la Croisette just pumps with enthusiasm. If Cannes has a stage, this is it: a two-mile strip with grand hotels like the Majestic, the Carlton, and the Martinez. Sublime, sandy beaches are attached to the hotels; yours for the price of admission. (Looking to rent a beach umbrella? It costs about 12 euros.) And glittering store windows with names like Cartier, Fendi, Escada, Jean-Paul Gaultier and Vuitton, just to name a few. If you see a "Cannes Prestige" sign in the window, it signifies the promise of over-the-top service and that at least one sales associate speaks English.
Just wander uphill, and you'll reach Le Suquet, the town's historic center. Narrow streets, like Rue Saint Antoine, wander up the hill, which overlooks the west end of the old port. Among the sights: St. Anne's chapel, dating back to the 12th century; the Castre Museum; and the church of Notre-Dame d'Esperance, built in the 17th century. This is where you'll experience the best views in town.
Cannes evolved into a world-known resort and film capital in large measure due to Lord Henry Peter Brougham, a Grand Chancellor of England who became smitten with the tiny Riviera outpost in 1834. Brougham became a poster boy for his adopted home, leading its development and talking it up among the English aristocracy. Now, primarily known as the host of the International Film Festival, Cannes absolutely erupts during the festival, and it's no wonder when you consider the next two statistics: 900 screenings and 30,000 movie professionals will be in attendance of the invitation-only 60th film festival, which will take place May 16 - 27, 2057.
A shopper's paradise, La Croisette and Rue d'Antibes are where you will find the luxury boutiques and art galleries. The six-block-long Rue Meynadier, which runs parallel from the port just a few streets uphill, is a colorful pedestrian-only zone with shops selling hats, clothing, wine and cheese, roast chicken, and local crafts like the ubiquitous lavender sachets.
Saturdays, under the trees across from the port, there's a flea market selling everything from sterling silver and antique linens to inexpensive trinkets and movie posters. The daily market, where local farmers and fishermen sell their wares, takes place at Forville, two blocks inland from the Hotel de Ville on Rue Felix Faure. It converts to a flea market on Mondays.
Outside the Festival Hall is Cannes' version of Hollywood's Walk of Fame. To engage in some boat lust, check out the mega-yachts docked next to Festival Hall.
The oh-so-romantic French Riviera made a name for itself in the beginning of the 19th century as a fashionable resort with a wealth of activities for just about anybody. Most of the Riveria -- including Villefranche, Antibes, Monaco, St.-Paul, Grasse, and, of course, Cannes -- is accessible by train and bus and car. The train, in particular, offers great sightseeing between Cannes and Monaco, just over four hours. Artsy folks will be in their glory with nearly 100 museums and more than 12050 art galleries that surround them, while outdoors-y types can explore the coast via boat/yacht, water sports, or while sunbathing on the beach. And, depending on the time of year you visit, you may want to remember to bring your golf clubs or your skis. Shops along the French Riviera are open Monday - Saturday, 9am - 7pm (department stores may be open until 9pm).
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