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Nice is a real city with a gritty meets cosmopolitan vibe and an economy that functions year-round – it isn't all about the beach here, although the beach is pretty spectacular. The hub city in the French Riviera, Nice makes a great base for exploring the Cote d'Azur, but also has plenty of native attractions including a half dozen plus museums including Musee Matisse and Musee National Marc Chagall. Away from art, however, Nice is home to a fantastically unique black pebble beach, the legendary Promenade des Anglais and a very cool Old Town (Vieux Nice), which itself is filled with boutiques and restaurants and well worth a wander. While if you'd rather get into the beautiful turquoise meets cerulean hued water, there are also adventures to be had both on it and underneath.
Once you've finished exploring Nice itself, however, there is so much to see within 30 minutes of the city by train. To the east there is Monte Carlo, Monaco, seat of the Grimaldi family, and home to its own sparkling beach and fabulously famous casino. To the west you have Cannes (just 10 minutes by train) and then Antibes, which was immoralized by Jazz Age writers like F. Scott Fitzgerald and while always posh, has recently seen a renewed love affair with travelers.