Posts in travel
How to See the Charming Side of Los Angeles
 
 How to See the Charming Side of Los Angeles, California | Stylish things to do, from beaches and restaurants to cultural highlights and the best views. | What to wear in Los Angeles, what to see in Downtown L.A., What to the best food and most photogenic spots to see. 
 How to See the Charming Side of Los Angeles, California | Stylish things to do, from beaches and restaurants to cultural highlights and the best views. | What to wear in Los Angeles, what to see in Downtown L.A., What to the best food and most photogenic spots to see. 
 How to See the Charming Side of Los Angeles, California | Stylish things to do, from beaches and restaurants to cultural highlights and the best views. | What to wear in Los Angeles, what to see in Downtown L.A., What to the best food and most photogenic spots to see. 

Los Angeles had worked its way to the top USA destination of my 2018 Travel Wishlist, and I was so glad to be able to make the trip earlier this year. It was a wonderful escape from a muddy grey spring - even if it was still too cold for surfing lessons - and we were lucky enough to have some local recommendations (thanks, Evan!). We spent five days exploring from downtown to the Venice canals, finding our favorite views, restaurants, art, and shopping. Because I never seem to check everything off my list in any destination, there are a few spots below that I haven't tried yet - looks like time to schedule a return trip!

 How to See the Charming Side of Los Angeles, California | Stylish things to do, from beaches and restaurants to cultural highlights and the best views. | What to wear in Los Angeles, what to see in Downtown L.A., What to the best food and most photogenic spots to see. 
 How to See the Charming Side of Los Angeles, California | Stylish things to do, from beaches and restaurants to cultural highlights and the best views. | What to wear in Los Angeles, what to see in Downtown L.A., What to the best food and most photogenic spots to see. 
 How to See the Charming Side of Los Angeles, California | Stylish things to do, from beaches and restaurants to cultural highlights and the best views. | What to wear in Los Angeles, what to see in Downtown L.A., What to the best food and most photogenic spots to see. 

Eat & Drink

Bottega Louie: I think it's safe to say this is the prettiest restaurant in Downtown Los Angeles. It's bright and open with a bit of Ladurée flair, and is home to a macaron counter, a bar/café, and a full-service restaurant. Stop by for a drink or lunch, and pick up a box of macarons on your way out.

Porto's Bakery: With a few locations around the city, it's not difficult to add a stop at Porto's to your day. And you should - they just won an award for the best croissant in LA

Croft Alley: Hidden away on Melrose Place, this is a perfect spot for a relaxing patio lunch. They serve a fresh and artful menu, with another location at The Standard Hotel in Hollywood.

Alfred Coffee: This coffee & tea spot has a few different locations, but the cutest one is tucked into an alley on Melrose. They have just about any kind of caffeination you could need, but I stick with an oat milk cappuccino. 

classic & quick: In-N-Out Burger is an absolute must, with plenty of locations - double-single animal style, please! Guisados has a handful of outposts where they serve great tacos.

for sweets: Salt & Straw serves famously delicious handmade ice cream at a few different locations, while Proof Bakery turns out fantastic pastries in Atwater. If you're looking for doughnuts, California Donuts in Koreatown is the place. 

for brunch: Huckleberry Café in Santa Monica serves a beautiful brunch until 5pm, and the popular Sqirl in Silver Lake has breakfast until 4pm daily. 

for dinner: Ostrich Farm (Echo Park; make a reservation), Milo & Olive (Santa Monica; casual), Bäco Mercat (Downtown; global & fun), Alimento (Silver Lake; handmade pasta!), The Rose Café (Venice; also brunch & lunch). 

 

 How to See the Charming Side of Los Angeles, California | Stylish things to do, from beaches and restaurants to cultural highlights and the best views. | What to wear in Los Angeles, what to see in Downtown L.A., What to the best food and most photogenic spots to see. 
 How to See the Charming Side of Los Angeles, California | Stylish things to do, from beaches and restaurants to cultural highlights and the best views. | What to wear in Los Angeles, what to see in Downtown L.A., What to the best food and most photogenic spots to see. 
 How to See the Charming Side of Los Angeles, California | Stylish things to do, from beaches and restaurants to cultural highlights and the best views. | What to wear in Los Angeles, what to see in Downtown L.A., What to the best food and most photogenic spots to see. 
 How to See the Charming Side of Los Angeles, California | Stylish things to do, from beaches and restaurants to cultural highlights and the best views. | What to wear in Los Angeles, what to see in Downtown L.A., What to the best food and most photogenic spots to see. 

Do & See

The Broad: The Andy Warhol collection here would be enough to lure me in on it's own, but there's also plenty of Jeff Koons and a couple of Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Mirror Rooms. The Broad is a wonderfully digestible museum where you can see everything in a couple of hours. Admission is free - except to special exhibits - but you'll want to reserve tickets well in advance. 

Angel's Flight: While you're downtown, hop on the newly reopened Angel's Flight funicular train and pretend you're in La La Land. It will bring you up to Grand Avenue near The Broad, or down to Grand Central Market on Hill Street.

The Venice Canals: Between a visit to Venice Beach and shopping on Abbot Kinney Boulevard, take a stroll around the Venice Canals. Small houses are built along the water, lined with sidewalks and moored boats - not so unlike Venice, Italy. You won't have the place to yourself, but it's still a perfect spot for some relaxing wandering and filling up your camera roll.

Olive & June: Skip any pre-vacation manicure you may have been contemplating, and book one here instead. This pretty salon is known for their chic nail art, luxury experience, and reasonable pricing. 

for views: Don't miss a sunset view from the beach, whether you're in Santa Monica, Venice, or down at Hermosa Beach. Griffith Observatory is always busy, but the views - from downtown L.A. out to the ocean - and the art deco details are worth your trouble. If you're looking for a good photo spot with the Hollywood sign, see the map below!

for more art: The Getty is home to fantastic art and fantastic views, so be sure to see both. At LACMA, the Urban Light installation on Wilshire is worth a visit even if you don't have time to see the full museum. For an evening show, check what's on at the L.A. Opera

 

 How to See the Charming Side of Los Angeles, California | Stylish things to do, from beaches and restaurants to cultural highlights and the best views. | What to wear in Los Angeles, what to see in Downtown L.A., What to the best food and most photogenic spots to see. 
 How to See the Charming Side of Los Angeles, California | Stylish things to do, from beaches and restaurants to cultural highlights and the best views. | What to wear in Los Angeles, what to see in Downtown L.A., What to the best food and most photogenic spots to see. 
 How to See the Charming Side of Los Angeles, California | Stylish things to do, from beaches and restaurants to cultural highlights and the best views. | What to wear in Los Angeles, what to see in Downtown L.A., What to the best food and most photogenic spots to see. 

Shopping

The Last Bookstore: In an old bank building downtown, this shop is an expansive maze of books and records, both used and new. Any book lover could spend hours browsing here, feeling like you've fallen into this magical short film

The Los Angeles Flower Market: Picking up a fresh bouquet while traveling is one of my favorite ways to feel more local, and downtown L.A. has an entire flower district where you can buy just about any blooms under the sun. 

Melrose Place: The main avenue is lined with plenty of designer brands - perfect for window shopping - but this little street has a few hidden gems like beauty brand Violet Grey, The Apartment by The Line, Alfred in the Alley for coffee and Croft Alley for lunch. 

Abbot Kinney Boulevard: Definitely not a secret, this street in Venice is lined with plenty of shops and restaurants. For me, the shopping highlights are Huset, Cuyana, Salt, and Chariots on Fire.

for gifts & stationery: Sugar Paper (Santa Monica), Yolk (Silver Lake), Soap Plant (Los Feliz), The Social Type (Silver Lake), Poketo (Little Tokyo),  Brentwood Country Mart (Santa Monica), Arcana Books (Culver City), Heath Ceramics (West Hollywood). 

 

P.S. Rent a car in Los Angeles. If you're debating between driving or using public transit and ride-shares, here's my thinking: The cost may be about the same in the end, but having a car is so much more convenient. Plus, you'll be in crazy traffic either way, and you might as well be the one in charge of the music.
 

What to Wear:

bon voyage!

 
Five Essentials That Will Make You an Organized Traveler
 
 Five Essentials That Will Make You an Organized Traveler | Whether it's for a long vacation or a quick getaway, I always use these five things for packing an organized suitcase and keeping things in order while I travel. | My 5 Essentials for Packing an Organized Suitcase

photo by Molly Carr Photography | Sézane blouse, J. Crew skirt, Steamline Luggage suitcase.

There was a time, many moons ago, when I was a haphazard packer traveling with too many rolled-up clothes and always forgetting some little thing. With more travel experience, I've gradually developed my own method for packing well, and today I can prepare for a trip almost mindlessly with the help of these five essentials. Here's what I use to keep everything in order, from pajamas to charger cords: 

 

1. A Hard-Sided Suitcase

It might not seem like the material of your suitcase would make such a big difference, but I promise that it does. Hard-sided luggage gives a bit of resistance that helps you to pack more, keep things in place, and protect what's inside. And - unless you're opting for vintage-style leather luggage - these bags tend to be more lightweight than their soft-sided counterparts. 

2. Packing Cubes

I get enough questions about these that they may need their own post, but here's the gist: packing cubes > rolling your clothes. The zippered cubes effectively turn your suitcase into a dresser, with each cube acting as a drawer. I fold most of my travel capsule wardrobe into packing cubes, freeing up tons of space and keeping my suitcase super-organized throughout the trip. I have and love this set, but have you seen these pretty ones by Paravel?

3. Pre-Packed Vanity Case

You may already have a dedicated makeup or toiletry bag for travel, but do you dart to and from the bathroom to re-pack it for each trip? I found a vanity case that has plenty of space and pockets, and I keep it packed with travel-sized versions of my daily products and makeup brushes. It's always ready to toss into my luggage, and I don't need to worry about leaving anything behind.

4. Quart-Size Bag for Liquids

If you never seem to have a 'quart-sized zip-top bag' around - or simply don't want to burn through plastic bags each trip - get one that you can use over and over. Pre-packing your vanity case goes hand-in-hand with this one: keep your travel-size liquids ready to go in their reuseable bag.

P.S. If you don't need to remove liquids at security (i.e. TSAPreCheck or GlobalEntry), you can put one bag of liquids in your carry-on suitcase and sneak another one in your 'personal item' or tote bag. Shhh, it's one of my best packing secrets!

5. A Tech CAse

With all the technology we're carrying these days, it's helpful to have one place for all the accessories that come along, too. My earbuds, portable charger, and cords of every kind travel together in a tech case. You can use a regular cosmetic bag or one that's specially designed to keep cords and electronics organized. I'm adding this one to my wish list!

bon voyage!

 
The Best Destinations of My Summer in Europe
 
 The Best Destinations of My Summer in Europe | Wether you're building your travel bucket list or just stoking your wanderlust, here are my top five cities and places to visit after three months of traveling in France, Switzerland, and Italy. | The Best European Destinations

One of the most common questions I'm asked about our three months of traveling Europe is what places were our favorites. After making our way through France, Switzerland and Italy, which destinations were most memorable? Where would we return in a heartbeat? I generally don't like choosing favorites - and we pretty much loved everywhere we went! - but here are the five places that first come to mind when we're remembering the best of the best. 

 The Best Destinations of My Summer in Europe | Wether you're building your travel bucket list or just stoking your wanderlust, here are my top five cities and places to visit after three months of traveling in France, Switzerland, and Italy. | The Best European Destinations

The Amalfi Coast, Italy

I think it would take some concerted effort to not enjoy this place. We stayed in Positano - the most popular town - in August - the busiest time of year - and still loved every minute. There are plenty of fancy hotels and restaurants around, but the best things about the Amalfi Coast are the simplest: riding ferry boats from town to town, taking in the mythical landscape everywhere you go, swimming for hours in the clear blue water. Our best day trips from Positano were to glamorous Capri and the hilltop town of Ravello, and we can’t wait to return someday with friends!

read the post: My Complete Guide to the Amalfi Coast >>
 

 The Best Destinations of My Summer in Europe | Wether you're building your travel bucket list or just stoking your wanderlust, here are my top five cities and places to visit after three months of traveling in France, Switzerland, and Italy. | The Best European Destinations

Loire Valley, France

A trip to Loire Valley is like stepping inside a classic Disney princess movie. Surrounded by castles and lush landscapes, you never know when you might find yourself in a pretty garden with helpful woodland creatures gathering around. We spent three days exploring châteaux and sampling the local wine, and made our visit even more magical with a hot air balloon ride over Château de Chenonceau. It’s a perfect long-weekend escape that’s not too far from Paris.

read the post: A Three-Day Itinerary to the Best of Loire Valley >>
 

 The Best Destinations of My Summer in Europe | Wether you're building your travel bucket list or just stoking your wanderlust, here are my top five cities and places to visit after three months of traveling in France, Switzerland, and Italy. | The Best European Destinations

The French Riviera

There's so much to see on the Côte d'Azur that we easily could have spent a month hopping from place to place along the coastline. With two weeks to explore, we based ourselves in Nice aa many day trips as we could. Some of our favorite spots were Cannes & Île Saint Honorat, Èze Village, and Monaco. For a return trip, Villa Ephrussi on Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat and Hyères & Île de Porquerolles would be top of our list.

read the post: Ten Days on the French Riviera >>
 

 The Best Destinations of My Summer in Europe | Wether you're building your travel bucket list or just stoking your wanderlust, here are my top five cities and places to visit after three months of traveling in France, Switzerland, and Italy. | The Best European Destinations

Interlaken, Switzerland

Switzerland wasn't originally on our itinerary, but it turned out to be one of our favorite places of the summer. The landscape in Interlaken is incredibly beautiful and our visit was simultaneously peaceful, full of things to do, and remarkably easy to enjoy. The buildings, the food and even the tourist experiences are up to the Swiss standard of excellence. One thing we missed out on was paragliding - we would love to plan that for a return trip, along with visits to Geneva and Lucerne.

read the post: Three Days in Switzerland >>
 

 The Best Destinations of My Summer in Europe | Wether you're building your travel bucket list or just stoking your wanderlust, here are my top five cities and places to visit after three months of traveling in France, Switzerland, and Italy. | The Best European Destinations

Florence, Italy

Florence makes it easy to live an idyllic Tuscan life, even if only for a few days. The city itself is wonderfully friendly and walkable, full of fantastic art and food at every turn. Because it's home to so many foreign students and transplants, you'll find plenty of variety in languages and cuisines, and a generally friendly attitude from almost everyone you meet. From Florence, we explored a bit of Tuscany - Chianti, San Gimignano, Siena - and made out way past Pisa to Cinque Terre. 

read the post: Ten Days in Florence >>

 

bon voyage!

 
Visiting Versailles | How to Plan a Day Trip to the Palace & Gardens
 
 Visiting Versailles: How to Plan a Day Trip to the Palace & Gardens | My best tips for a self-guided tour of the royal chateau, with a custom google travel map and outfit ideas for what to wear. | From the Hall of Mirrors to Marie Antoinette's Petit Trianon, plan the perfect Versailles day trip from Paris, France.

On my first visit to Versailles, I got hopelessly lost in the acres of 'countryside' near Marie Antoinette's Hamlet. It was raining and, after a lot of wandering, we eventually stumbled upon the English Garden of the Petit Trianon and found our way back to the road. Versailles is not such a terrible place to wander, but it is a terrible place to lose time when you only have a day to spend.

For our return visit last fall, I determined to be prepared. I made a map of all the spots I wanted to see and researched the best days to go along with plenty of other tips. This time we were lucky enough to visit on a perfectly sunny autumn day, and didn't get lost once. Below, I'm sharing what I learned and how you can plan your own day trip to Versailles.

Visiting Versailles: How to Plan a Day Trip to the Palace & Gardens | My best tips for a self-guided tour of the royal chateau, with a custom google travel map and outfit ideas for what to wear. | From the Hall of Mirrors to Marie Antoinette's Petit Trianon, plan the perfect Versailles day trip from Paris, France.
Visiting Versailles: How to Plan a Day Trip to the Palace & Gardens | My best tips for a self-guided tour of the royal chateau, with a custom google travel map and outfit ideas for what to wear. | From the Hall of Mirrors to Marie Antoinette's Petit Trianon, plan the perfect Versailles day trip from Paris, France.
Visiting Versailles: How to Plan a Day Trip to the Palace & Gardens | My best tips for a self-guided tour of the royal chateau, with a custom google travel map and outfit ideas for what to wear. | From the Hall of Mirrors to Marie Antoinette's Petit Trianon, plan the perfect Versailles day trip from Paris, France.
Visiting Versailles: How to Plan a Day Trip to the Palace & Gardens | My best tips for a self-guided tour of the royal chateau, with a custom google travel map and outfit ideas for what to wear. | From the Hall of Mirrors to Marie Antoinette's Petit Trianon, plan the perfect Versailles day trip from Paris, France.
Visiting Versailles: How to Plan a Day Trip to the Palace & Gardens | My best tips for a self-guided tour of the royal chateau, with a custom google travel map and outfit ideas for what to wear. | From the Hall of Mirrors to Marie Antoinette's Petit Trianon, plan the perfect Versailles day trip from Paris, France.
 Visiting Versailles: How to Plan a Day Trip to the Palace & Gardens | My best tips for a self-guided tour of the royal chateau, with a custom google travel map and outfit ideas for what to wear. | From the Hall of Mirrors to Marie Antoinette's Petit Trianon, plan the perfect Versailles day trip from Paris, France.
 Visiting Versailles: How to Plan a Day Trip to the Palace & Gardens | My best tips for a self-guided tour of the royal chateau, with a custom google travel map and outfit ideas for what to wear. | From the Hall of Mirrors to Marie Antoinette's Petit Trianon, plan the perfect Versailles day trip from Paris, France.
 Visiting Versailles: How to Plan a Day Trip to the Palace & Gardens | My best tips for a self-guided tour of the royal chateau, with a custom google travel map and outfit ideas for what to wear. | From the Hall of Mirrors to Marie Antoinette's Petit Trianon, plan the perfect Versailles day trip from Paris, France.

Planning Your Visit

Visit on Wednesday or Thursday. It can feel like a game of Tetris when choosing a day to visit Versailles. On Mondays, the buildings are closed, so you can only tour the gardens. Tuesdays, when many of Paris' major attractions are closed, are by far the busiest days. On Saturdays, Sundays, Tuesdays and holidays through the high season, an extra ticket is required to visit the gardens. Wednesdays and Thursdays are usually best - fewer people, no garden fee - but check the calendar to make sure a special event isn't planned.

Plan to arrive early. Try to arrive when the palace opens at 9am to beat the 10am tour groups. Buying tickets in advance will save some time, but not even the Paris Museum Pass lets you skip the long security line. A ticket with timed entry allows you into a priority line as long as you're there on time.

Don't schedule anything else. It's hard to overstate how vast and opulent Versailles really is - photos do not do it justice. Six hours should be enough to explore the palace and the gardens, but don't rush yourself and certainly don't schedule anything for the evening.

Be prepared. Between the sheer size of Versailles and the millions of visitors per year, being prepared for the day is sure to save you a lot of frustration. Get an early start and eat a filling breakfast. Pack your bag with water, snacks, and maybe a picnic lunch. Save the map at the bottom of this post to your phone, or download the palace's official app. If you're catching the RER C train to Versailles, be sure to buy round-trip tickets to avoid the long return-ticket lines - or take the 30-minute taxi ride from central Paris instead. 

 Visiting Versailles: How to Plan a Day Trip to the Palace & Gardens | My best tips for a self-guided tour of the royal chateau, with a custom google travel map and outfit ideas for what to wear. | From the Hall of Mirrors to Marie Antoinette's Petit Trianon, plan the perfect Versailles day trip from Paris, France.
 Visiting Versailles: How to Plan a Day Trip to the Palace & Gardens | My best tips for a self-guided tour of the royal chateau, with a custom google travel map and outfit ideas for what to wear. | From the Hall of Mirrors to Marie Antoinette's Petit Trianon, plan the perfect Versailles day trip from Paris, France.
 Visiting Versailles: How to Plan a Day Trip to the Palace & Gardens | My best tips for a self-guided tour of the royal chateau, with a custom google travel map and outfit ideas for what to wear. | From the Hall of Mirrors to Marie Antoinette's Petit Trianon, plan the perfect Versailles day trip from Paris, France.

A Day at Versailles

It's easy to know which way go when you arrive in Versailles; just follow the signs and other visitors up to the gilded gates. The experience truly begins once you're through security and making your way through the many ornate rooms of the palace. Each space is so extravagant, it's no surprise that this place incited a revolution. The famous Hall of Mirrors is incredible to see, but always crowded with everyone reaching their phones up into the air - and you'll probably do the same for a moment. I personally enjoy the side rooms and royal apartments most, finding a glimpse of a gilded hallway or a view over the black-and-white marble courtyard. 

You'll notice things getting busier around lunch, which is the perfect time to head out into the gardens. There's a patch of grass along the Grand Canal that's a great spot to roll out a turkish pestemal towel for a picnic with wonderful views. Nearby, the restaurant La Flottille has a lovely terrace next to the water. You can also escape to the hidden courtyard of La Petit Venise, or dine inside the palace at Angelina.

After lunch, spend the rest of your visit exploring the gardens, the Trianon Palaces, and Marie Antoinette's Hamlet. It's about 30 minutes by foot out to the Grand Trianon, but you can rent a bicycle, a golf cart, or catch the Petit Train if you'd rather not walk. Tour the refined Grand Trianon Palace and take in the wonderful views outside. Take your time walking through the gardens on your way over to the Petit Trianon - these gardens and their tiny buildings are my favorite part of Versailles. 

 Visiting Versailles: How to Plan a Day Trip to the Palace & Gardens | My best tips for a self-guided tour of the royal chateau, with a custom google travel map and outfit ideas for what to wear. | From the Hall of Mirrors to Marie Antoinette's Petit Trianon, plan the perfect Versailles day trip from Paris, France.
 Visiting Versailles: How to Plan a Day Trip to the Palace & Gardens | My best tips for a self-guided tour of the royal chateau, with a custom google travel map and outfit ideas for what to wear. | From the Hall of Mirrors to Marie Antoinette's Petit Trianon, plan the perfect Versailles day trip from Paris, France.
 Visiting Versailles: How to Plan a Day Trip to the Palace & Gardens | My best tips for a self-guided tour of the royal chateau, with a custom google travel map and outfit ideas for what to wear. | From the Hall of Mirrors to Marie Antoinette's Petit Trianon, plan the perfect Versailles day trip from Paris, France.
 Visiting Versailles: How to Plan a Day Trip to the Palace & Gardens | My best tips for a self-guided tour of the royal chateau, with a custom google travel map and outfit ideas for what to wear. | From the Hall of Mirrors to Marie Antoinette's Petit Trianon, plan the perfect Versailles day trip from Paris, France.
 Visiting Versailles: How to Plan a Day Trip to the Palace & Gardens | My best tips for a self-guided tour of the royal chateau, with a custom google travel map and outfit ideas for what to wear. | From the Hall of Mirrors to Marie Antoinette's Petit Trianon, plan the perfect Versailles day trip from Paris, France.

The Petit Trianon was Marie Antoinette's estate, and the interior is just as beautiful as the gardens. Between this little palace and the Queen's Hamlet you'll find an English garden dotted with the beautiful Belvédère building and the Temple of Love. End the day in the quiet thatched-roof village where the young queen would famously escape to pretend a simpler life for herself, complete with farm animals and pumpkins. 

If you really want to avoid the crowds, plan your day in reverse:
Spend the morning out in the gardens, explore the Queen's Hamlet, then the Trianon Palaces as soon as they open at noon. Tour the Palace of Versailles at the end of your visit when the crowds are fading.

Back in  Paris, finish out the day with whatever you have the energy for, like a simple dinner and Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette or an evening stroll along the river.

 

what to wear: 

 

'star' the map below to access it from google maps on your phone.

 
Èze | The Most Charming Hilltop Village on the French Riviera
 
 A Day Trip to Èze: The Most Charming Hilltop Village on the French Riviera | Things to do, from shopping and exploring the Jardin Exotique to visiting the best hotels and restaurants. | Èze, France Travel Guide

Heya! This post was updated on  July 3rd, 2018.

A tiny medieval village perched high above the sea, Èze was perhaps my favorite town along the French Riviera. Right on the coast, midway between Nice and Monaco, Èze looks out over the Mediterranean and the neighboring towns below.  It's so small and walkable that you can explore the entire town in an hour or two. Wind through the web of stone streets, stairs, and hidden alleys - every turn holds an amazing view or a vine-covered stone wall.

A Day Trip to Èze: The Most Charming Hilltop Village on the French Riviera | Things to do, from shopping and exploring the Jardin Exotique to visiting the best hotels and restaurants. | Èze, France Travel Guide
 A Day Trip to Èze: The Most Charming Hilltop Village on the French Riviera | Things to do, from shopping and exploring the Jardin Exotique to visiting the best hotels and restaurants. | Èze, France Travel Guide
 A Day Trip to Èze: The Most Charming Hilltop Village on the French Riviera | Things to do, from shopping and exploring the Jardin Exotique to visiting the best hotels and restaurants. | Èze, France Travel Guide

As you make your way into Èze, you'll pass the busy local Fragonard perfume laboratory - your first indication that this little village is a bit more chic than you might have thought. This town is also home to two Michelin-starred restaurants, each part of a luxury hotel: La Chèvre d’Or (The Golden Goat, on the east side of the hilltop with private gardens and sea views) and Château Eza (on the west, with stunning views out towards Nice). You'll want to make reservations well in advance - for now these both remain on my 'someday' list! Luckily, the views from casual Crêperie Le Cactus let you peek at the sprawling La Chèvre d’Or gardens. 

You'll also find art galleries, gift shops, and cafes peppered throughout Èze. Deli' - a salad bar and olive oil shop - is a great spot for lunch, and I had an amazing pistachio ice cream sandwich from Le Glacier (6 rue Plane). 

 A Day Trip to Èze: The Most Charming Hilltop Village on the French Riviera | Things to do, from shopping and exploring the Jardin Exotique to visiting the best hotels and restaurants. | Èze, France Travel Guide
 A Day Trip to Èze: The Most Charming Hilltop Village on the French Riviera | Things to do, from shopping and exploring the Jardin Exotique to visiting the best hotels and restaurants. | Èze, France Travel Guide
 A Day Trip to Èze: The Most Charming Hilltop Village on the French Riviera | Things to do, from shopping and exploring the Jardin Exotique to visiting the best hotels and restaurants. | Èze, France Travel Guide
 A Day Trip to Èze: The Most Charming Hilltop Village on the French Riviera | Things to do, from shopping and exploring the Jardin Exotique to visiting the best hotels and restaurants. | Èze, France Travel Guide

The town is topped with the Jardin Exotique d’Èze, an exotic garden of cacti and succulents designed among ruins of an ancient castle. Follow the paths through plants and sculptures as you make your way to the top. It costs a few Euros to get in, but is worth it for the amazing views out over the sea and the surrounding hills and villages. 

The beach below the village is Èze-sur-mer, a 45-minute hike down the zigzagging Nietszche Path. If you want a full day in Èze, explore the village all morning and make your way down to the pebbly beach for the afternoon. If you don't have a whole day to spend, making a dinner reservation and exploring the village before you dine would be a magical way to spend an evening. Either way, Èze is an essential stop for your itinerary on the Riviera!

 

What to Wear: