Aaah Cannes. Best known for its blockbuster film festival, Cannes is a busy tourist destination nine months out of the year when warm sunny weather abounds. This south of France escape in the Alpes-Maritimes department is highly coveted for its opulent wealth, star-studded guests and rich arts scene. The Cannes Film Festival in May is an invitation-only event to preview new films of all genres from around the world. If you happen to make the guest list or just want to take a Cannes retreat, here's where to go and what to do in the French Riviera.

Photo Credit: Chris Yunker

Take a Day Trip to Iles de Lerins

Two islands a short 10-20 minute boat trip from Cannes, Ste-Marguerite and St-Honorat are covered by eucalyptus and pine forests perfect to get lost in for a day. Home to Fort Royal and a fortified Cistercian monastery, the entire area is a dreamy setting completely under the radar.

Photo Credit: Roger W

Shop on La Croisette

This famous promenade running along the shoreline of Cannes is chalk full of high-end boutiques and cute cafes to people watch. With distinct Mediterranean flair, most of the upscale hotels are also located here. The area is listed in the cultural heritage general inventory of France.

Photo Credit: Ştefan Jurcă

Explore Le Suquet

One of the best neighborhoods to explore on foot, Le Suquet is the Old Quarter. Originally a fisherman's residence, the winding, cobblestone lanes are now marked by the famous clock tower and church on a hill. The morning market is a must-see, but the entire area is great to shop and dawdle with a French pastry.

Photo Credit: Chris Yunker

Soak up the Sun

Carlton Beach at the Hotel InterContinental is one of the best private beach escapes for swanky terraces and well-appointed cabanas, but if you're looking for public access, give Plage du Midi, Plage Mace or Plage du Martinez a try.

Photo Credit: Neil

Play the Tables at Carlton Casino Club

If you're feeling like a high roller or baller, shot caller, the Carlton Casino Club is a swanky, new-age gambler's paradise. Meander among European elite in an atmosphere that's a cross between the James Bond and Mad Men era.