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No red carpet, but 5 free things to do in Cannes

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 12, 2014 at 9:39 am •  Published: June 12, 2014
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CANNES, France (AP) — This jewel of the French Riviera was a sleepy fishing village when 19th-century English aristocrat Henry Brougham began encouraging his friends to visit.

These days the place is packed with millionaires year-round, though the famous Cannes Film Festival held each May is the designer-gowned cherry on top of that pricey sundae. But you don't have to be a movie star to enjoy this beautiful resort. Here are five ways to live like a blueblood on the Cote d'Azur without spending any green.

GET SET ON THE CROISSETTE

The Boulevard de la Croisette, pronounced kwah-SETT, is the curving street that stretches for just over a mile (1.6 kilometers) along the sea front. It is THE place to see and be seen. Joggers, mamans with strollers, young ladies with no apparent day job dressed to the nines - you'll see a wide variety of humanity strolling or puffing along the wide pathway. Beach cafes beckon with their million-dollar view (and millionaire-friendly pricing) while handsome hotels line the other side of the street. Look for the InterContinental Carlton's distinctive domes, said to be modeled on the bosom of a World War I-era courtesan. You may also recognize the place as a locale in the Alfred Hitchcock Riviera caper "To Catch a Thief." This is where heiress Frances Stephens (Grace Kelly) and her mother stayed.

(WINDOW) SHOP TILL YOU DROP

High-end boutiques like Gucci and Ferragamo line the Croisette. Running parallel to the Croisette is Rue d'Antibes, a pretty street decorated with hanging flower baskets and packed with high- and low-end boutiques. Heading west, Rue d'Antibes turns into Felix Faure, which takes you to the Cannes covered market, Marche Forville (head north on Rue Louis Blanc). The market, http://publicmarkets.com/marche-forville-cannes-france/ , features mountains of produce, flowers, cheese, olives and more and is a fun place to take photographs. Open Tuesday-Sunday, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. On Mondays it turns into a flea market.

REACH THE BEACH

Some beaches along the Riviera are private and you will pay a pretty penny for the privilege of sitting under a parasol. But there are sections of free beach in Cannes, including Plage du Midi on Boulevard du Midi Jean Hibert west of the old port. Along the Croisette, Mace is a municipally managed beach, which means you can rent chairs and umbrellas for less than at the private beaches. It also has an open section where you can lounge for free on the sand. Here's a link to Cannes beaches from the local tourism office: http://www.cannes-destination.com/going-out-in-cannes-cannes/beaches-cannes .

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