The calm, elegant coastal town of Beaulieu-sur-Mer has "only" two beaches--Plage des Fourmis and Plage Petite Afrique--but they are beauties. Both beaches are sandy and both have large public portions in addition to private beach-restaurants.
Even better, both beaches are protected by anti-jellyfish netting in summer. The beaches are centrally located just steps from the town center and each curls around a sheltered cove.
Plage des Fourmis
Plage des Fourmis is on the western side of the Beaulieu port on the Baie des Fourmis. The fine gravel beach has no shade but a pleasant promenade under the pines runs along the beach.
It's a great family beach as toddlers are safe playing at the edge of the shallow water and older kids will enjoy swimming out to the diving platform offshore. There's a lifeguard on duty during the season but the shallow waters and gradual drop-off pose little danger.
As for dining, their are two options: La Calanque beach-restaurant (tel 04 93 01 45 00) which offers everything from coffee to full meals and rents a beach chair and umbrella for €16; and Royal Riviera Plage affiliated with the hotel of the same name.
Parking is extremely difficult near the beach. It's best to look for a place in town.
Bus access is easy. Take the No. 100 bus from Nice or local buses Nos. 81 and 84 from Nice. See more on getting to Beaulieu-sur-Mer.
Plage Petite Afrique
This glorious stretch of beach is on the eastern side of the port. Most of the beach is public except for Zelo's Beach which offers fine dining and beach chair rental. The beach is on a protected cove with gravelly sand and there's some shade under the pine trees.
There's ample public parking on the eastern side of the beach which of course fills up rapidly in the summer.
The beach is easily accessible from bus No. 100 from Nice. See more on getting to Beaulieu-sur-Mer.