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France see + do

Planning a trip to France? Whether you're a gourmand or a history buff, a sun seeker or a shopper, everything in this country seems to derive from or end up in Paris. It's the starting point for most trips, and with its world-class museums, ever-renewing neighborhoods, and cavalcade of classic and new restaurants, it'd be easy to spend your whole trip there. However, the rest of France provides an equally staggering embarrassment of riches. Hop a train south to Provence where Roman ruins sit among medieval villages and pine-covered mountains, and the Côte d'Azur, where celebs and socialites pack sunny beaches and swanky nightclubs.

Art lovers will want to reserve significant time for classics like the Louvre, Musée Rodin, and Musée d'Orsay in Paris, and then head to the many small Impressionist museums in Provence and along the coast. For architectural grandeur, explore the Gothic cathedrals in Reims, the Champagne region, and Normandy, as well as Paris's Notre-Dame, Sainte-Chapelle, and Saint-Eustache. Or head to the Loire Valley to tour (or spend the night in) the region's grand châteaux. And if you'd rather a feast for your stomach than your eyes, head to Lyon, the center of France's butter-and-cream culinary culture, or to Bordeaux, a revitalized city at the center of one of the world's most prestigious wine-growing regions. Any short visit will tend to excess, mais c'est la vie.

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Quartier du Panier, Marseille

Explore the crooked, narrow streets of the Quartier du Panier north of the Vieux Port, the oldest part of the city where the original Greek settlers built their...more

see the Marseille guide
Editors' Pick
Semaines Musicales, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc

The concerts of the Semaines Musicales du Mont-Blanc fill the Grande Salle of the Majestic with jazz and classical favorites from mid-July to August. Built in...more

see the Chamonix guide
Editors' Pick
Skiing, Megève

This enormous family-friendly ski area covers some 276 miles of prepared trails that stretch east across rolling mountainside to the ancient spa town of St....more

see the Megève guide
Editors' Pick
Skiing in Chamonix

While it's possible to learn to ski in Chamonix—Le Tour at the head of the valley, has beginner slopes and there are other isolated novice lifts and...more

see the Chamonix guide
Editors' Pick
Ski Schools in Megève

Both the state-funded Ecole du Ski Francais and the independent Ecole de Ski & Snowboard are recommended. Ecole Freeride and Summits are vibrant...more

see the Megève guide
Editors' Pick
Snowshoeing and dog sleighs in Megève

Alternatives to skiing include snowshoeing excursions organized by the Bureau des Guides and Evolution 2. If you haven't tried dog-sleighing then this is a...more

see the Megève guide
Editors' Pick
St. Paul de Vence

The archetypal Provençal hilltop town, St. Paul de Vence calls itself "the most beautiful village in the world." This is debatable—there's plenty of...more

see the Côte d'Azur guide
Editors' Pick
St. Rémy-de-Provence, St. Rémy-de-Provence

This is that small French town you always dreamed of, a mix of pristine Beaux-Arts and medieval buildings set among plane trees with peeling bark. Arriving from...more

see the Provence guide
Editors' Pick
Tennis Club de St-Tropez, St. Tropez

Whether you're a debutante in need of lessons or you just want to get in a quick morning match, this welcoming, well-equipped tennis club is perfect. The staff...more

see the St. Tropez guide
Editors' Pick
Hotel Photo
Tournus, Burgundy

On the southeastern edge of the Côte Chalonnaise wine district in southern Burgundy, Tournus is a handsome town on the Saône River that was founded by...more

see the Burgundy guide
Editors' Pick
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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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