Last Friday I shared my Amsterdam travel guide, and today (as promised)– I’m recapping the French portion of our vacation. We hopped on a quick flight from the Netherlands to Nice and enjoyed some time in the French Riviera…. Antibes, to be specific. This charming seaside town was my favorite. It’s quaint, charming, quiet, and so perfect- especially in the fall. When I say I want to renovate a beach house someday, this is exactly the kind of town I envision! Click through to see where we stayed, what we ate, what we did, and get my recommendations for all things Antibes.
Where We Stayed…
I found the cutest seaside cottage via Airbnb. I’m linking the listing for anyone who is interested! This place was perfect and accommodated four couples comfortably.
The decor and aesthetic was right up my alley- very well thought out and curated for the location. Speaking of location… that was the best part about this place! We were able to walk everywhere (my preferred exploration method when traveling).
We were a few walking minutes away from the beach, local restaurants, grocery stores, and about a 10 minute walk from Old Antibes. We walked everywhere, but there was parking available at the villa- it’s super safe and gated.
Did I mention this place also has a private pool? I didn’t want to leave! It was fun to relax out here with friends, charcuterie, and good wine. Ahhhh, is it possible to teleport back to vacation? I was living my best life there.
Don’t worry guys, I had friends helping me drink that bottle of rosé- they’re just on the other side of the pool. Ha!
Basically, this villa was incredible and a very lucky Airbnb find. We had an amazing time staying here and I hope someday we can return.
What I Packed…
Packing for this trip was kind of tricky because it was chilly and drizzly in Amsterdam, and France was on the warmer side (although still rainy at times). The weather in October is kind of unpredictable, so you really have to be ready for anything. As you can tell from the above image, my friends and I layered up, so we could shed layers as the weather warmed throughout the day. I’ll link my necessities below…
- tennis shoes
- a rain jacket
- a crossbody bag
- a maxi dress (plus another maxi dress)
- long pants
- a few light sweaters
- comfy tees
- an umbrella
- a hat
- a scarf
- flip flops
Remember my bestie and neighbor, Emily? Maybe her modern kitchen will jog your memory! She was on the trip too. It’s funny because everyone thinks we’re sisters because we kind of look alike. She is the queen of fashion and fun outfits.
What We Ate…
The food in southern France is literally a dream come true. You can find a little bit of everything… traditional French food, fresh seafood, Lebanese, Mediterranean, Italian, etc.
- Cafe Kanter // This place was so good, we ended up eating here twice!
- Le P’tit Cageot // The Google reviews did not lie about this one- it is 100% worth the visit. I’m already dreaming of going back!
- Cafe Clemenceau // To be honest, the cute bistro tables and charming facade led us to this place one afternoon. Therefore, we only ordered aperol spritz cocktails and shared an appetizer.
- La Phenicia // This restaurant is incredible! It was the most delicious Lebanese food I’ve had. I wish we would’ve discovered it sooner, so we could’ve gone once more before vacation ended.
- Marché Provençal // You can’t go wrong with an old world street market. I’ve never had better food! We stocked up on veggies, cheese, bread, and all of the local goods to make dinner at our Airbnb.
- Le Pimm’s // Emmett and I got caught in the rain and ended up at this place by accident. It ended up being the best place to have a drink, share a plate, and watch the rainstorm outside.
- Margot Coffee // This spot was conveniently located very close to our airbnb, so we ended up here for coffee and breakfast each morning. We loved conversing with the shop owner and her family each day!
- Royal Beach Club // This one was another convenient spot due to location, but most of all- I loved sitting right on the water. We had brunch here one day and the food and atmosphere were wonderful!
An Antibes travel tip… if you know French, use it! When shopping in Amsterdam a few days prior to our flight to France, a shop owner complained about people in the French Riviera not speaking English and sarcastically wished us luck. I was actually pretty excited to feel more immersed in French culture… and I speak French- so I was eager to brush up on my second language. I’m no expert, but I translated for our friends, ordered food, asked for directions / recommendations, held conversations, and felt confident speaking French with the locals. They obviously knew I was American (with a terrible accent), but I think they appreciated the fact that I tried. Everyone was incredibly friendly and I hate that this region sometimes gets a bad or rude reputation. That was not the case at all, in our experience!
There was no shortage of fun activities and things to do in Antibes…
- Picasso Museum // Per usual, I ended up finding an art museum! This one was beautifully curated and I loved seeing so many Picasso pieces under one roof- I’d highly recommend.
- Marché Provençal // I already mentioned this in the food section- but the open air market is worth a visit! You can find everything from food, art, baskets, soaps, wine, and all sorts of wonderful local goods. It’s just a fun shopping experience!
- Sail the Mediterranean // Our crew rented a private
sailboatyacht (complete with a captain, Frederick, to chauffeur us around) for an entire day! It was nothing short of magical. We prepped a picnic and plenty of food & drink to take along. I love the water (remember, I’m a Scorpio!) and we spent the day taking in the landscapes at sea. Our friends also got engaged on the boat while we were docked in between two 13th century castles! It was certainly a day to remember. Did I mention our pal DROPPED THE ENGAGEMENT RING OVERBOARD and dove in after it? There is a video, but I wouldn’t want to violate their privacy for the world to see. Haha! I’m trying to convince them they should have the wedding in France, so we can all go back.
- Archaeology Museum // Another museum we visited was the archaeology museum. It was packed with Greek and Roman artifacts and historic items from the people who left their mark on Antibes. It was pretty fascinating… then again, I’m a history nerd. For 3 euros, it was well worth it.
- Take in the View // One of my favorite parts of the trip was just sitting with my girlfriends, sharing a bottle of champagne while taking in the view of Old Antibes. The water was moody, the town was a beautiful sight off in the distance, we had our drinks in hand, and a picnic in our packs…. then a rainbow appeared! It was just one of those moments that I’ll cherish forever. Sometimes stopping to do nothing in a special place is better than anything else, you know? I’ll drop the photo below…
I gained a lot of design inspiration in France. From the doors to the moody color palette, I took many images and collected so much creativity from visiting this special place. Fall is the off season, but I think I prefer this time of year. There were no crowds, no waits, and the entire city was glistening from the rain. I also loved layering and rolling with whatever the weather dealt us. It felt like we had the seaside city to ourselves.
Sailing was another highlight for me- and not just because our best friends pledged their love to one another. I hadn’t been on the Mediterranean since living in Italy. I used to captain a boat for my friends and cruise around the Amalfi coast. I had forgotten how beautiful the rocky shoreline and water color is.
Last image, I promise… I told Emmett and his best bud Brant (Emily’s husband), that this photo felt like an advertisement. I snapped it of them while I was dangling my feet in the water and they were taking in the view.
My only regret is that we didn’t have more time in France on this trip. We’ll definitely be back sooner rather than later because there is so much more I want to experience and explore in this area! Has anyone visited Antibes or the French Riviera? Would you like to visit this region? I’d love to hear in the comment section below. I know travel guides aren’t the norm for me, but I’ll be back with interior and home-related posts next week!