Central Brighton houses the city's most esteemed building, The Royal Pavilion. Central Brighton is defined as beginning near Churchill Square Shopping Centre and continues past the Pavilion toward Old Steine. The main tourist attractions are all here - The Lanes and the North Laines and Pier. Bordering this area is the gay Mecca of Kemptown and laid-back Hove and it's less densely populated beaches.
You could spend the entire day just walking around the centre of the city, especially if you like shopping. The Pavilion really is something to see, the rooms are breath-taking and there is a café on one of the top balconies that further takes you back to a more glamorous time. See the Pavilion and then completely change the mood by kicking back near the Pier.