ANCHORED: Europe’s Ultimate Week Long Festival Cruise

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My summer plans just got a whole lot better. With the rise in popularity of throwing music festivals at sea, Unique Cruises announced their brand new 7-day nautical adventure called ANCHORED, and it looks almost too good to be true. From June 11th – June 18th, over 2,500 people will embark on the European vacation of a lifetime.

10 Amazing Things To Do in The French Riviera

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The French Riviera is one of the classiest, elegant, and beautiful destinations to travel to in all of Europe.  Walking the streets of Monaco, it’ll be fun to pretend you are a billionaire who just had to find a place to park your yacht.  A visit here will definitely be a highlight of your time in Europe.  So without further ado, check out my 10 amazing things to do in The French Riviera.

1.  Explore Nice

Nice is the best place to call your “homebase” during your stay in the French Riviera.  It’s one of the biggest cities in the area, and has a ton to offer.  As well, it’s perfectly located in the middle of Monaco and Cannes for perfect day-trips.  As well, I would say that Nice has the best nightlife in the French Riviera, as well as the most affordable.  There’s a lively bar scene, and some really fun clubs.  For a fancy club experience, check out HIGH club which is just a 15 minute walk from Old Town along the beach.

2.  Promenade des Anglais

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Nice has one of the nicest stretches of water and a great stroll along the Promenade.  There’s a ton of great restaurants and cafes along the Promenade, and the beach is a great place to spend a day.  It’s not a “sandy” beach whatsoever, but it’s still a great spot to kick it.  A trip to the French Riviera would not be complete without strolling along the Promenade des Anglais.

3.  S-E-A-F-O-O-D

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The French Riviera is known for having some of the best seafood in Europe.  There’s tons of restaurants to choose from.  If you enjoy seafood, then definitely take advantage of being in this area, and indulge in a great meal.  This area is pretty expensive, so you might want to shop around and look for a restaurant that fits your budget.  Definitely try some oysters, mussels, and fresh fish.

4.  Wayne’s Bar & King’s Pub (Old Town Bars)

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In downtown Nice there is an area called Old Town, and it has a really vibrant bar scene.  There’s tons of small bars and clubs to choose from, places that stay open late to eat, and a few large squares to hang out as well.  Wayne’s Bar & King’s Pub are two of the best, and they are conveniently located on the same street.  Head to one of these, then bounce over to the other.  There’s live music and a great atmosphere, and is definitely one of my favorite things to do in Nice.  Don’t miss out on these two bars.  *One other bar just a short 5 minute walk away is called THOR, and is also worth seeing.

5.  Explore Monaco

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Yachts.  Expensive Cars.  World Famous Casinos.  Monaco is is the second smallest country in the world, and definitely the fanciest place I have ever visited.  This is just a short 20-minute train ride from Nice, and only cost around 8-9 euros round-trip.  Make sure you head up to the hill to check out both sides of Monaco.  Take a look at all the massive yachts.  Food and drink prices can get expensive here, so I always recommend going to the grocery store near the train station, and getting drinks and snacks and put them in my backpack.

6.  Gamble at the Monte Carlo

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What would a trip to Monaco be without doing some gambling at the Monte Carlo?  There can sometimes be a strict dress code, so it’s best to wear a nicer outfit when going inside.  As well, sometimes the require you to bring your passport, but I have gotten in once or twice without it.  One last note is sometimes they do ask for an entrance fee.  For those who might not be as well dressed, forgot their passport, or don’t want to pay; there is a a free casino called Cafe Paris in the same plaza.  This entire area is also amazing to explore, with amazing streets, ritzy shopping, and beautiful gardens.

7.  Oceanographic Museum of Monaco

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This is an amazing combination of an aquarium and a museum that is definitely worth a visit while in Monaco.  It’s beautifully located right against the sea, and is a stunning building.  There’s tons to see, amazing fish, and you can learn a lot.  If you want to see a lot of fish that will remind you of “Finding Nemo”, definitely stop here.  Also, if you have a student ID- bring it.  It will save you about 50% off here.

8.  Cannes Beach Day

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Going to the place of the famous Cannes Film Festival is a must during your time in the French Riviera.  There’s a great sandy beach that’s perfect for swimming, tanning, and relaxing.  Bring some booze, music, and you’re ready for a nice day.  I’d also walk along the entire promenade in Cannes as well.  There’s tons of amazing hotels, beautiful people, casinos, and beachside restaurants.

9.  St. Tropez

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Now, I only really recommend checking this place during the touristy season, because it’s not really worth it to go during the colder months.  The famous hotspot for celebrity spotting, bottles of champagne, and luxury living.  It can get rather expensive to get to, but it’s definitely one of the highlights of the French Riviera.  Nice – St. Tropez directions can be found here.

10.  Villefranche-Sur-Mer // Antibes

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If you stay in Nice, you’ll be taking the trains to both Cannes and Monaco.  I always recommend getting off at one stop along the way, and checking out other cities.  Both of these are smaller and less touristy, but amazing to spend a few hours at.  Antibes has some incredibly massive yachts and some great restaraunts for lunch.  Villefranche-sur-mer has an incredible beach and nice areas to explore.  Definitely make the most of your time in the French Riviera, and see as much as possible.  [divider]

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10 Amazing Things To Do In Paris

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Paris is one of the most heavily visited cities in Europe, as well as the entire world.  It’s truly an enchanting city, and I’ve found myself here at least 5 or 6 times now.  Every time I find myself liking this city more and more. Having said that, what better way is there to start your adventure in the City of Lights than traveling via private jet ? If you’ve got money to spend, this is definitely the way to kick off your vacation. As well, there’s never a shortage of things to do in Paris.  Check out my list of 10 Amazing Things To Do.  Definitely a great starting point for your trip to France!

1.  Picnic at the Eiffel Tower

You’re obviously not going to go to Paris without awing at the beauty of the Eiffel Tower.  To make the experience better, go to a grocery store, and stock up on a ton of food.  I like to get breads, meats, cheeses, sauces, chips, snacks, and whatever else you’d like.  It’s also nice to go a local French bakery to get a few fresh baguettes.  Also, make sure you bring a couple bottles of some French wine, and buy a cheap bottle opener.  All around the Eiffel Tower there are large spaces of open grass that is okay to sit, relax, and enjoy the magnificent view.  How to make this picnic even better?  Bring a portable music player and lots of wine, and treat it as a pre-game.

2.  Visit the Château de Versailles

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This is probably my favorite thing to do in Paris, which is funny, because it’s not even in Paris.  It’s easily accessible by public transportation, and won’t cost you too much for a round-trip ticket. Anyways, Versailles is an absolute must-see while in Paris.  The Palace is a museum that is incredibly beautiful, filled with tons of interesting history, beautiful paintings, large ceilings, and much more.  You can spend tons of time in there, but the real beauty is getting lost outside in the gardens.  They seem to go on forever and ever, and is one of my all time favorite places in Europe.  I like to recommend taking a stroll all the way down to the lake, and rent a boat for a 1/2 hour or so.  It’s really fun to be out on the lake, and watch some people rowing back and forth along the long quadrants of the lake.  There’s also a restaurant right where you rent the boats.  So afterwards you can stop there for some French Onion soup and a cold beer.

3.  Hop On / Hop Off Bus City Tour

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I normally don’t recommend these to people, but Paris is such a large city, that if you want to see everything, this is your best option.  You could also take a walking tour to learn some more detailed information, but the tours tend to focus on more specific areas of the city.  The best value is to buy the 2-day pass, and spread out your sight-seeing over a couple of days.  These tours will really show you how big and amazing Paris is, and how much the city has to offer.  They have tons of drop off spots, and come very frequently.  You just get off when you want to explore a bit of the area, then get back on.  This is one of the only cities in Europe I recommend these kinda of tours!

4.  The Louvre

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The Mona Lisa isn’t the only thing this museum has to offer.  This place is incredibly massive, and you are bound to spend a couple hours in there.  I myself have never been too big of a museum guy, but I highly recommend the Louvre.  There’s a couple entrances to get in, so if there’s a long cue, try to check out some of the other entrances.  Also, make sure to explore the areas around the museum.  Bring your student ID for discounts.

5.  Trocadero Eiffel Tower Viewing Point

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I always tell people that the first time they really see the Eiffel Tower should be from the Trocadero view point.  There’s a metro there, and it’s pretty easy to get to.  I think it provides the best view of the Eiffel Tower, and gives you the best Kodak moments.  From there, it’s just a 10 minute walk across the river, and you’ll be standing right underneath the tower.

6.  Take a Stroll Along Champs E’lysses

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The most glamorous and ritziest place in Paris, Champs E’lysses is a very long street that has some of the best shopping in Europe.  This is not for anyone on a budget, because everything on this street is going to be about twice the price.  However, it is still an amazing street to walk along.  You can walk down some of the alley ways and find some cheaper restaurants to avoid the more expensive restaurants.  If you go from the bottom to the top, you’ll be looking at the Arc di Triomph, which leads me to #7.

7.  Go to the Top of the Arc di Triomph

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This one is pretty self-explanatory.  It’s free to go to the top of this amazing monument, and it gives some amazing views of the city by day and night.  Make sure you take the underground pass to get there, or else you’ll be playing frogger on one of the busiest streets in Paris.  Check out the history of Arc di Triomph, and make sure not to put out the fires at the top!

8.  Visit the Luxemborg Gardens

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These are massive and free gardens in the city center, and another amazing place for an afternoon picnic.  There’s tons of statues, fountains, bushes, flowers, trees, benches, and much more.  This is truly a beautiful place to explore, get lost, day-drink, and relax.

9.  Speak French

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Ever heard that the French are ass-holes?  Well, in my experience, that is not really true.  I have however had some bad experiences with the French, and it is because they appreciate their own language.  You will do much better in Paris if you attempt to speak some basic French.  For example, BONJOUR.  MERCI.  AU REVOIR.  A little bit can go a long way.

10.  Disneyland Paris

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I put this last on the list because it is was not that impressive, but it is on my bucket list  to go to all of the Disney parks in the world.  I have been here once, and actually had a great time.  However, I am from Southern California, and grew up going to Disneyland in Anaheim pretty often.  The size is much smaller, and the rides aren’t great, but it is still worth seeing.  Definitely try to research and find good deals, because it can get expensive.

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