Nice, Marseille + The Côte d'Azur

Things to do in Nice, Marseille + The Côte d'Azur

You'll get a glimpse of Marseilles's ancient Greco-Roman past at this garden, where, during the 1967 construction of the Centre Bourse (the Stock Exchange), archeologists unearthed the remains of the city's original port, dating back to the ancient Romans.

St. Tropez was a magnet for early-20th-century avant-garde artists, among them Matisse, Bonnard, Derain, Dufy, and Seurat, who were invited here by fellow painter Paul Signac.

The St. Tropez branch of Paris's high-wattage nightclub has just been renovated. The walls, covered with image-projecting LED-screens, thrum to the beat, as does the crowd.

The museum holds more than 120 of the artist’s works in a 14th-century château.

Never mind the fancy name, the "château" is actually a former prison—the Mediterranean equivalent of Alcatraz. Built in the 16th century, the island jail was the setting for Dumas's classic The Count of Monte Cristo. Today, the guards have been replaced with guides.

Study the basic botany behind fragrances, then follow the creation process from picking jasmit to bottling. You'll also tour the International Perfume Museum, in Grasse.

The museum devoted to butterflies presents more than 4,500 species, many of them rare or endangered; most have been collected by the artist Dany Lartigue. Tours available by advance request.

A high-octane dance club in a renovated bunker, Le Trolleybus's roster of musical genres ranges from techno to salsa over three dance floors.

Get some ice cream and stroll the five-mile Promenade des Anglais, the road fronting the Baie de Anges.