St. Tropez

You know, one of the things I love about travel is you get to go to some amazing places. Take the French Riviera. How cool is that? And the famous port of St. Tropez, famous for Brigitte Bardot, pastel-colored houses and the most expensive yachts in the world.

The French Riviera is one of the most famous resort destinations in the world. Its warm climate and location on the Mediterranean has made towns like St. Tropez and Monte Carlo the European hotspots for more than 100 years.

And today it continues to attract some of the world’s most celebrated figures. Sir Elton john, Joan Collins and Tina turner have all been lucky enough to call the Riviera home. How can you blame somebody for wanting to drop their anchor here?

There’s beauty at every turn, and in no place is this truer than in the southern port town of St. Tropez. The streets are filled with people eager to take advantage of the sun, food, water and fun. In St. Tropez, the outdoor cafés offer tasty treats complete with spectacular views of the Mediterranean. There are great places to grab a bite, chat and watch the sailboats move in and out of the harbor.

And since you’re that close to the water’s edge, why not make your way down to the harbor and see for yourself the lavish toys of the rich and famous? The good news is you don’t have to admire these boats from a distance. You can climb aboard and take a tour on the Mediterranean. Let your hair down, relax and unwind as the sea breeze cools you off.

St. Tropez became increasingly popular after Bridgett Bardot’s role in the film, And God Created Woman. The city’s cobble stone streets and pristine sands continue to keep it in the spotlight. You can actually see Bridgett Bardot’s house. Now that’s living in the lap of luxury. I think I can get used to this place.

Everybody told me before I got here that the shopping in St. Tropez is really good. So I said, “well, what does good mean?” and they couldn’t tell me. So here’s what I found out. Three things. One, good design. You’ll find designers and one-of-a-kind pieces here that you’ll never see anywhere else. Two, good quality. The construction, the materials, everything is the best. And three, great, not good, variety. There are so many shops here, you will be busy all day. SO get going.

You can find the world’s top designer brands in St. Tropez. But don’t expect to load up on fake goods here. Cheap knockoffs are not only illegal, they are poorly made. While here, take advantage of the quality materials and fine detail. Leave with a dashing European addition to your wardrobe. I know I will! And I’ll be sure to keep my eye out for great shopping as we work our way north towards Monte Carlo.

Our next stop, the town of Antibes. Located between the cities of cannes and nice, Antibes is the gateway to one of the most luxurious areas in France, the peninsula of Cap d’Antibes. From here, you can take day trips to explore the entire Cote d’Azure. The town of Antibes is an incredible medieval village with an amazing history and waterfront location. It also has one of the largest yacht harbors in the south of France.

A medieval fortress faces the sea and serves as the center of old town Antibes. Here you can spend the day shopping for fresh produce and authentic antiques. What impresses me is, these are real antiques. This stuff is really and truly old. You’ll really find some good stuff. If I had to give you a tip, I think it would to bring a lot of small bills and coins. I mean, unless the vendor’s associated with the shop, they’re not going to take credit cards. There’s nothing like passing time while shopping for relics from time past. But be warned, you will work up an appetite. The good news is the market is never very far away.

At Marché Provencal, you’re invited to get up close and personal with your favorite fruits and vegetables. Touch them. Squeeze them and take them home to your hotel. And of course, it wouldn’t be France without the fine wine and cheese. In open air markets like you find here, shopping with the locals is half the fun.

Just inside the city walls, you’ll find all the outdoor cafes. Now this is where to come for lunch and dinner, because the atmosphere is fantastic. You walk along, you see somebody eating something you like, you pick a table and you sit down. All the menus are always posted outside. You can order à la carte and there’s pizza and pasta on all the menus for the kids. You can order the special of the day. But I find the best value is what they call the menu of the day, where you get three courses for one price. A starter, a main course, and a dessert. Grabbing a bite to eat also allows for a perfect opportunity to regroup and reassess your day’s schedule. If you’re like me, you’ll want to make the most of your time in paradise.

Ah, the French Riviera! This place sparkles with natural beauty. The Mediterranean provides the perfect backdrop for a lifestyle of luxury and leisure. Our next stop is Juan les Pins, to enjoy some more of the sweet life. Juan les Pins is a busy town driven by a pursuit of life’s finer things.

Of course, you’re never far from the beach, where you can work on your tan while napping in the sand. But if you’re looking to kick up your feet in style then make your way to the Cap d’Antibes, where luxury villas and world class hotels dot the area on the azure blue coast.

In fact, it’s where I discovered one of the loveliest small hotels in the south of France, the Hotel Imperial Garoupe. A privately gated Mediterranean villa resort, the Hotel Imperial Garoupe is perfect for those who want a quiet getaway and five-star service. Just a five minute drive from the town of Antibes between Cannes and Nice, it’s close to everything you’ll want to do on the Riviera. Surrounded by private villas, the hotel’s grounds are walled and gated, creating a quiet oasis here on the Riviera.

While here, you can enjoy the gardens, heated pool and private beach surrounded by the rich and famous. You’ll never know who’ll you see in the restaurants, cafes or on the beach, so keep an eye peeled. Just remember to wear sun screen and go easy on the tanning, as that sun up there can burn you!

Your time in Antibes and Juan les Pins is sure to be a mixture of leisure, luxury and excitement. Each day is promising and each night has the potential to be explosive. The French Riviera is simply majestic. The water, the sun, the people and fun. I just can’t get enough, and I am sure you’ll agree once you visit.