I had the opportunity to make a trip to the beautiful Cote d’Azur and took these photos during some downtime. My overall impression was that southern France is much more laid back than the northern regions of France and it reminds me a lot of California, both the climate and the people. It is well worth having a car because there are so many fantastic drives and gems that you might otherwise miss if you stay only in the main cities. I spent a lot of time roaming around the beaches along the Promenade de Anglais and Vieux Port in Nice, enjoying the local wine and Provencal cuisine.
The second day was spent in Cannes, home to the Cannes Film Festival, beautiful models and famous celebrities and their yachts. Both cities are ridiculously expensive, so be sure to budget accordingly if you plan to come (€10 to €12 for a Kronenbourg 1664 beer).
If you have the time, rent a car and take the drive along the A8 to Marseilles which takes approximately two and a half hours. The scenery is amazing and reminded me of Napa and Sonoma counties back home in California because of the green hills and vineyards that you pass along the way.
The drive along the D1098 along the southern coast between Cannes and St. Raphael is breathtaking as well and is more reminiscent of Highway 1 along the California coast. On this drive you get amazing views of the snowcapped French Alps, steep cliffs dropping into the Mediterranean and green forests jutting from mountaintops.
This is a region that is well worth another visit.