I was enchanted by Nice as soon as we were driving down the Promenade des Anglais on the way to my friends' apartment. The sheer laissez-faire attitude of the place was enough to get us hooked. We had our wonderful hosts show us around and take us out for day trips, but if you get a chance to rent a car and drive around or take a train to come of the less traveled places, you'd be beyond yourself.
Nice is a quaint little Southern town where every moves just a tad slower. To me, it reminded me a lot of Rio - water, mountains, history, culture and, most importantly, good food.
- Vieux Nice (Old Nice) - Scarcely changed since 1770's, this neighborhood offers the quintessential European feel.
- Promenade des Anglais - Walking along the Promenade (or the Prom, as the locals call it), you'll be able to see the legendary Hotel Negresco and simply immerse yourself in the Cote D'Azur living.
- Beach, beach and beach some more. A friend of mine said that if there is no sand, it's not a beach. I beg to differ. Nice's pebble beaches are certainly unusual, but the warm water is phenomenal. BONUS: They have water sports rentals. We rented a paddle boat for an hour and switched off so both of us could try.
- Day trips to Eze village or Monte Carlo are a must, especially since they're so easy to get to via public transportation, not to mention cheap
- Grasse is a place where Chanel picked her Chanel No. 5 perfume. We just drove by but the whole village smelled delicious
- The absolute must try is Fenocchio Ice Cream. Flavors range from the expected (vanilla) to completely baffling (cactus).
- During our first night we had a traditional Nicoise cuisine at Lu Fran Calin
- French cured meats, particularly pork products, are absolutely divine. Our hosts had a variety of different ones, one was from this magical place called Corsica ... and it was quite magical
- Since you're so close to water, any fish dishes are going to be fresh and delicious. Case in point, Chez Juliette's catch of the day was to die for
- La Cure Gourmand has the cutest candy and biscuits to take home. BONUS, they let you try them ANY of them before you purchase.
P.S. Don't leave any calories behind! I came back at least 10 lbs heavier but I loved every dish we tried and don't regret a thing.