I don't know if it is possible to go to the French Riviera and not visit a different town every single day. There are so many unique places to see, so we had an incredible variety on a week long trip. We rented an amazing house, spent a lot of time relaxing there, but also got out and saw so much. Here are the 8 things we left the couch to go do:
There are some lovely and colorful streets to explore in Nice, I wish we had seen more! And a walk along the Promenade des Anglais is a must do. It is jam packed with people, but also with colorful umbrellas, which my camera always appreciates. The last photo is from the house that we rented up in the hills. I would include a link and tell everyone to stay there, but they removed it as soon as they rented it for the whole summer.
The Verdon Gorge has been a bucket list item for me since I can remember, and it did not disappoint. The water seriously looks like paint. I was a fraidy cat with Julian and the water, and I never expected I would take him out on a paddle boat, but the woman just handed me a life jacket for him like it was totally normal and I'm so glad we took him. I think that was his favorite hour of life.
It's a climb to get up here (and if you have a baby, leave the stroller behind!!), but you MUST go have lunch at the Château de La Chèvre d'Or. You won't find a better view, and I can't confirm any other place where you will see Leonardo DiCaprio. Oh and that mille-feuille was TDF (is that an abbreviation people use?).
Saint Paul de Vence
Here's another place you should leave the stroller behind. Saint Paul de Vence is the oldest medieval town on the French Riviera, and it is filled with art galleries and lots of stairs. Nearby in Vence was one of my favorite sights, the Chapelle du Rosaire de Vence, which was designed by Henri Matisse, MY FAV. The drawings on the wall were in his rather simple style, but they were just black and white, which is pretty uncharacteristic of his work. The stained glass windows and priests' vestments more than made up for that lack of color, though. We weren't supposed to take that photo so don't tell anyone there that we did.
Monaco was the least charming of all the places we saw, but the most over the top. It was super fun to walk around the yachts and google them to see how much they cost to build and how many people work on them. There was a complex of futuristic (but gorgeous) designer boutiques, a beautiful casino that required men to have a jacket on to walk inside, and a Maserati covered entirely in VELVET. Mind blown.
Saint Jean Cap Ferrat
This is a place we came back to multiple times because it was just so beautiful. Highlights included Paloma Beach, and this unreal view across the water of the colorful buildings and boats of Villefranche.
Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild
Wow. I just can't believe this was someone's home. When Béatrice de Rothschild passed away, she had her home donated to be accessible by the public, and how lucky we are. I don't know if I have ever been so blown away by a home's setting. Walking around the top floor and looking out the windows was jaw-dropping again and again. Out one side you could see the views of Villefranche, out the other side you could see the cliffs of Eze, and looking straight down, you could peek into the multi-million dollar villas on the water (that were tiny compared to the Rothschild Villa).
Menton was a TREAT (and not just because we found a McDonald's there that made their McFlurries with chocolate ice cream). The buildings looked like an assortment of candy, and the water was even comfortable enough for me to get into! And Julian! He had his first swim in the ocean there and Chad (who likes to get in ANY body of water, including those in the Canadian Rockies...brrr) was so proud of both of us.