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Juan Les Pins, France: Too Chic For Les Enfants?

Juan Les Pins, France, is one of the chicest spots on the French Riviera.

Is the French Riviera too chic for a toddler? Emphatically non! This is the major vacation destination for the French, who are very family oriented. Families with small children are almost everywhere. And if you’re in the Bringing Up Bebe camp, then you believe that the kids are better behaved than you are, and that they eat everything at dinner but never snack. And it’s true that I didn’t witness any egregious behavior (probably because I was too busy minding my own toddler) when I was there last July, but I did witness snacking, a lot of snacking in all age groups. The French, they’re just like US!

My toddler had to take an extremely important call on his shovel in Juan les Pins -- confirming that he was on the  VIP list for the clubs that night?

My toddler had to take an extremely important call on his shovel in Juan les Pins — confirming that he was on the VIP list for the clubs that night?

We stayed in Antibes, which is a very family-friendly town, and one that I’d highly recommend for the littles. Part of what drew us to Antibes is that it has one of the few sandy beaches on the Cote d’Azur, and playing in the sand is one of the best activities for a two-and-a-half-year-old boy (and still is one year later). Juan Les Pins is next door to Antibes (technically it’s part of Antibes) and it also has sandy beaches. In fact, the beach there might be even better. But this is one of the pockets of the French Riviera that is too chic for a toddler. It’s full of lounge chairs and beach clubs, where they will bring you pizza or sandwiches with your champagne. But if you arrive at 10am and all of the party girls and boys are still asleep, your toddler can run around the shoreline between where the loungers stop and water starts. Because every single lounge chair will be empty for at least an hour or two, possibly longer. But by then, we were already leaving for the toddler nap, bidding adieu to the chicness.

Antibes has all of the old architecture — which I love — so I probably would have chosen to stay in Antibes even if my entourage didn’t include a toddler. Juan Les Pins architecture is more modern but nondescript, although the shopping more than makes for it. You can walk from Antibes to Juan Les Pins, if you don’t mind a 30-minute walk in the hot sun. There’s also the bus, but don’t rely on a cab or that cute trolley we would see everywhere except for when we actually needed it. A night out in Juan Les Pins would be fun though, as would day out. But leave the kids at home.

7 Responses to Juan Les Pins, France: Too Chic For Les Enfants?

  1. Gran Canaria Local July 24, 2014 at 4:33 pm #

    We went to Juan les Pins as a kid with our family. Would love to return with ours which now includes a nearly four-year-old. He never tells us who he’s talking to on his shovel phone.
    Gran Canaria Local recently posted..Five tried and trusted techniques to survive as a vegetarian on Gran Canaria

  2. Casey @ A Cruising Couple July 24, 2014 at 7:49 pm #

    Sounds great! I’ve been to the French Riviera, but not Juan Les Pins. Would love to go!
    Casey @ A Cruising Couple recently posted..How the Right Credit Card Can Help You Afford the Vacation of Your Dreams

  3. Valen-This Way Paradise July 25, 2014 at 4:15 am #

    I’ve never been there, but it sounds like a great spot!! Love that they have a sandy beach…

  4. Cat of Sunshine and Siestas
    Twitter: sunshinesiestas
    July 25, 2014 at 3:16 pm #

    I went to Southern France with my grandpa as a teenager. Perhaps not très chic, but man was it gorgeous! Your kids will love seeing the photos when they’re older!
    Cat of Sunshine and Siestas recently posted..Americana Overload: A Weekend at Road America

  5. Lillie - @WorldLillie
    Twitter: WorldLillie
    July 26, 2014 at 2:47 am #

    Glad to hear the answer! Yay for places that are ok for kids!
    Lillie – @WorldLillie recently posted..The Famous, Beautiful Forts of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

  6. Mary @Green Global Travel
    Twitter: GreenGlobalTrvl
    July 27, 2014 at 12:50 am #

    It’s good to hear that families are welcomed in the French Riviera. Thanks for sharing the tip about arriving early.
    Mary @Green Global Travel recently posted..Our Next Adventure: Our Favorite Place in the World

  7. elaine schoch July 27, 2014 at 9:58 pm #

    Heading there in a few weeks – no kids this time though.

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