Biarritz, the French seaside, a mere 15 miles north of the Spanish border, the Basque retreat got a twist of California cool when stateside surfers first paid a visit to the Grande Plage in the 1950s. Now, locals trade their leather jackets and espadrilles for neoprene wet suits and bare feet.


Surf in Bidart and Guethary

Just south of Biarritz are two of France’s best surf breaks, Bidart and Guéthary. They have just as much shape as Biarritz’s Plage de la Côte des Basques with a mitigated crowd, follows up a surf session with lunch or dinner at Bidart’s bahia Beach for “fresh fish, of course!”


Lunch at Sunset Les Baigneuses

The restaurant of the eponymous beachside hotel , this is the local haunt for catching the sea breeze, rays, and sunset while refueling on both carnivorous and vegetarian-friendly fare. Insider tip: Ask to sit outside.



Dinner at Les Colonnes

Located in the center of the city, this late night brasserie, co-owned by French rugby magnate Philippe Bernat-Salles, is a standby for French specialties (duck rillettes, steak frites).  The thin, breaded Milanese with French fries is one of the stars of the menu