The "C" in Cannes begins words that typify the good life in this elegant resort city-cafes, casinos, couturiers, and cuisine. C also introduces the city's premier street, the palm-shaded, C-shaped Boulevard de La Croisette. Stroll along the boulevard and see the sun's rays shimmer on the sandy beach, on sails in the yacht-studded Mediterranean and on the Palais des Festivals et des Congres (where the International Film Festival convenes each May: www.palaisdesfestivals.com). Glance towards the city and see the rays glimmer on Malmaison (a museum), on grand, white "palaces"—Hotels Martinez, Carlton and Majestic—and on great fashion houses: Celine, Chanel, Christian Dior, and Christian Lacroix (and those are only the C's!).
Rue d'Antibes has its share of stylish boutiques—like Lalique, Apostrophe and Tissus Bouchara—plus patisseries and perfumeries. Rue Parisse-Coraille leads to Le Suquet, an historic fishing village that dates to the 5th century. Walk to Saint Anne's, a 12th-century chapel, Notre-Dame de l'Esperance (www.notredamedelesperance.fr), a 17th-century church, and the Musee de la Castre at the castle and tower, Tour Sarrazine. Ancient, narrow Rue St. Antoine winds upwards from the Vieux Port (old port). It's lined with tiny Provencal bistros in buildings where fishermen once lived—l'Auberge Provencal (#10), L'Echiquier (#14) or, a favorite, Le Maschou (#15).
Rue Meynadier, a pedestrian food-store-lined-street, is a destination for artisanal foods—regional olive oil, local tapenade, herbes de Provence, crystallized violets, and sweet chestnuts—and specialty food stores like the fromagerie (cheese) and charcuterie (deli meats). At Marche Forville, there's a morning produce market and, on Monday, the weekly flea market (brocante). Off shore, you can sail, cruise, fish, or visit Iles de Lerins by ferry. On Sainte Marguerite, after touring the ancient Fort Royal and the prison where the Man in the Iron Mask was detained, walk along fragrant, eucalyptus lined paths in the serene woodlands.
At lunch, enjoy salade nicoise (studded with local black olives) or le suquet (a local fish chowder) on the beach or by the pool. For dinner, order super grilled lobster or bouillabaisse at Tetou, haute cuisine at Palme d'Or (Hotel Martinez) and Belle Otero (Hotel Carlton) and regional gourmet specialties at Moulin de Mougins (Mougins) and l'Oasis (La Napoule). There are performances galore—opera, concerts, dance, and film—and, after midnight, clubs and casinos enchant.
Cannes is a convenient taxi ride or fascinating, six-minute helicopter transfer from Nice Cote d'Azur International Airport, and worth every minute.