Though our bus full of school groups had been traversing France for seven days, when we reached Nice, everyone pressed their nose to the window to get a glimpse of the gorgeous new city. The sun was setting over the Mediterranean; natives were taking an evening walk; tourists were snapping pictures of the fleeting seconds. Nice, a French city with Italian twists, was new, exciting, and breathtakingly gorgeous.
We made our way to our fourth and last hotel on our eight night stay in France. The Hotel Artemis in Beaulieu was by far the best hotel we stayed in the entire trip. Our beds were like a heavenly cloud; the views from floor to ceiling windows were gorgeous; the bathrooms were quaint and included adorable little soaps; and the hotel as a whole was comfortable and cozy. On our first night in Nice, we all crashed right away.
Before we could explore Nice, we stopped at Monaco and visited the Fragonard perfume factory. (Both places are interesting and should be visited.) In the early afternoon, we boarded a perfume and lavender (we visited Provence a few days earlier) incensed bus and set off for our final destination of France: Nice.
Immediately upon debarking the bus, our tour guide took my friends and I on a fast paced journey down the slightly sketchy parts of Nice in search of socca. Socca is a pancake like food native to Nice; you can't go to Nice without trying socca. After roaming down graffitied, shut down streets, we found a vendor selling sandwiches and socca. (The sandwiches looked good, the socca, however, not so much.)
Roaming through Nice is an adventure. There are shops and markets and cafes. Other than our sketchy adventure, the streets are small walkways with towering, colorful buildings. The entire experience of Nice tasted sweet and new (much unlike the socca). Everything was worn from wear but active and bustling. People were outside selling in a vendor fashion, stores were set up in mishap, and everyone was awestruck by everything Nice had to offer. Nice can only be described as utterly French. The best part is an ice cream shop with fifty or so flavors (including cactus). While I can't remember the name, it's in a square of other cafes. It was the best ice cream we had in France (the best ice cream we had on the trip was in San Sebastian, Spain).
After wandering the streets for an hour or so, my friends and I retreated to the stone beaches of the Mediterranean. The Mediterranean Sea is unbelievably blue. The sea is beyond description gorgeous. We were all taken aback and kept commenting on how blue the water was. After dipping our toes in the water and collecting sea glass, we sat down to take it all in. I believe that whenever you travel, you have to do two things to get to know a city: get lost, and sit quietly to feel the city. As we sat quietly with the waves crashing and French flying around us, we all fell in love with Nice.
Dear Reader: This page may contain affiliate links which may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Our independent journalism is not influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative unless it is clearly marked as sponsored content. As travel products change, please be sure to reconfirm all details and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.