The first thing that comes to mind when you say Cannes is the Cannes Film Festival, with all its glitz and glamour. And yes, La Croisette is very much part of this, as this promenade is very much a part of the activities for the film festival.
Promenade de la Croisette (which, in English, means the 'Avenue of the Little Cross' is a famous boulevard that spans its share of the Mediterranean Sea. It is named thus because of the little cross that stood east of the bay. As it is fondly called, La Croisette is about 2 kilometers in length and is lined with chic hotels (some harking back to the Belle Epoque period), the most expensive of shops and restaurants. It starts from the Palais des Festivals to the point that juts into the Mediterranean. From here, you can have excellent views of the Lerin Islands and the gulf.
The palm-studded boulevard is an excellent place to go people-watching. You can sit in one of the many cafes as you watch life in Cannes pass by your very eyes. Here, you will find the elegantly-dressed citizens as well as the more laid-back locals who may be walking their dogs.
La Croisette and Cannes, in general, was first 'discovered' by Lord Brougham. He was a lord chancellor of England. He originally planned to spend some time in Nice, but he was turned away. So he ended up in Cannes, and he liked it very much, so much that he had a villa built there. He enthusiastically advertised the place to people he knew in London so that Cannes slowly became known to the rich. In fact, the Russian grand dukes were also drawn to the place.
La Croisette is perfect for an evening stroll, as there are fine sandy beaches and turquoise waters on one side and the romantic lights of hotels and boutiques on the other. What other way is there to build up an appetite for dinner at the many excellent restaurants along the promenade?
Here are some establishments you should consider looking into. First, there is La Malmaison, which is where you can find fine arts exhibitions. This was actually part of the Grand Hotel, which is Cannes' very first palace hotel. Then there is Espace Miramar, an art gallery where you can find some of the best up-and-coming artists. You should also visit La Castre Castle, which features a fortress-like castle. Of course, there is the Palais des Festivals, which is home to the Cannes festivals. This is also where you go if you want to see pop concerts and ballet shows. Other great examples of opulence and architecture include the Hotel Martinez, Hotel Majestic and the Hotel InterContinental Carlton.
If you have the means, try your hand at shopping at the illustrious boutiques, including fashion greats such as Chanel, Christian Lacroix and Hermes. At nighttime, La Croisette comes even more alive as it opens up a world of movie premieres, dancing, live music clubs and casinos. Yes, there is so much for you to choose from if you want to wile the night away in Cannes.