Best Beaches in France
If there's one thing the coastline of France has going for it, it's a glamorous reputation. A chosen getaway for members of high society since the 18th century, this strip of coastline is dotted with resort towns big and small backed by alluring beaches. Picking which town to visit first can be a tall order, so U.S. News considered sights, reputation and traveler sentiment to bring you the Best Beaches in France. Got an opinion? Vote below to influence next year's ranking.
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St. Tropez#1 in Best Beaches in France
Why go: From Brigitte Bardot to Jay Z and Beyoncé, St. Tropez has courted celebrities and the well-heeled for decades with its colorful Mediterranean waters and charming squares. Once a quaint fishing village, the coastal town now sees more luxury yachts than fishing boats. The most famous stretch of sand is Pampelonne Beach, but to indulge in seaside fare and drinks head to one of the restaurants along Plage de la Bouillabaisse.
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Biarritz#2 in Best Beaches in France
Why go: If the French Riviera isn't your style, consider a visit to Biarritz. Located about 30 miles northeast of San Sebastian, Spain, the resort town is part of the Basque region. While it has posh roots as a vacation spot for royalty in the 19th century, today it's known for long beaches and prime surf conditions. When you're not soaking up sun, venture to the Rocher de la Vierge to see the statue of the Virgin Mary and snap photos of the dramatic views.
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Why go: If you're seeking a quieter beach getaway, Antibes might be the right town for you. Nestled between Nice and Cannes, Antibes is more laid-back than its neighbors, but no less glamourous. Many resorts stake out private stretches of beach for their guests, but there are a few public beaches, such as Plage de la Gravette and Plage de la Salis, available to those staying away from the shoreline.
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Why go: Known for its pebbly beaches and chic nightlife scene, Nice is the glamourous gem of the French Riviera. Stroll along Promenade des Anglais and people-watch or lounge along the shore. To up the luxury, lounge on one of the private beaches, such as Castel Plage or Ruhl Plage, that require an admission fee. Away from the shore, you can take in cultural sites, such as the Chagall Museum and the St-Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral.
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Why go: Each May, famous movie stars descend on this French town for its annual film festival. However, Cannes boasts plenty of sophistication and natural beauty year-round. You'll find the La Croisette promenade backing the sandy shores and plenty of high-end designer boutiques along Rue d'Antibes. Plus, you can try your hand at Lady Luck at the Casino Croisette.
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