This thoroughly modern Juan-les-Pins is the resort town mirror and foil to Antibes’ historical beauty, and is located only three miles away. Walking the beach – if you can without stepping on sun-worshipers – you’ll see thousands of vacationers walking up and down the promenade or lying close to one another to sunbathe on the wide stretches of sand. And resting here during the day may be ideal, considering how much there is to do in the evenings.

Casinos, discos, strip clubs to go to after enjoying the day’s topless beaches, and then the jazz festival in July keep you busy all night. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender Is the Night was set here in Juantibes (Juan-les-Pins and Antibes), and after experiencing the very different glamour of each, it’s easy to see why.

Where to eat and stay in Juan-les-Pins

There are brilliant restaurants and excellent hotels throughout Juan-les-Pins, but the two best are probably Belles Rives and Juana. Belles Rives is a landmark, and was a home away from home for F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife. The décor is still Neoclassical, and the young set have reclaimed this hotel as one of their favorite spots. The classic cuisine of the hotel restaurant is served perfectly, and dining on the terrace on a summer night, with the sea lapping at the shore below you and the velvet-set stars above you, is the perfect romantic evening.

Juana is built in perfect 1930s Cote d’Azur style. It’s been run by the Barrache family since its opening day in the 1930s, and still retains its white balustrades and striped awnings. The pool is set in white marble, the balconies offer a perfect view of the sunset over the red Esterel mountains, and the rooms are decorated in cool pastels. It’s two blocks away from the sea, but it still has its own private sand beach. Juana’s restaurant, La Terrasse, was the first home of chef Alain Ducasse, but he’s been replaced by the also-talented Christian Morisset. You’ll find only the best in French and Corsican cuisine here, as well as modern décor.

For a cheaper hotel that still has wonderful atmosphere, consider Le Mimosa, with its own enclosed hilltop garden of palms, mimosa, and tropical plants. It’s a hike to the beach, but still beautiful. Try to ask for a room with a balcony that overlooks the garden for the best deal.

The nightlife

Juan-les-Pins is all about nightlife. The Eden Casino is glassed-in splendor, with restaurants, bars, and dance clubs sharing space with the casino. And in July, the Festival de Jazz d’Antibes-Juan-les-Pins has one of the best lineups of any jazz festival in Europe; Miles Davis and Ray Charles had their European debut performances here.

Map of Juan les Pins in France