From mid-July to mid-August, the banks of the Seine river in Paris begin to resemble the south as 6,000 tons of sand is hauled in for Paris Plage, the capital's makeshift tropical getaway that spans 3 kilometers. Now in its twelfth year, 'Paris Beaches' attracts visitors in search of free, open-air activities and locals who are stuck in town either by choice or necessity. Each summer you can expect to see sandy beaches, over-sized lounge chairs, parasols, ice cream vendors, pétanque courts and a host of kid-friendly activities. Head to the Bassin de la Villette (19th arrondissement) to check out the sports complex with heaps of water activities.
Although I'm usually able to get away for part of the summer, I always make a point of strolling along the banks of the river during Paris Plage, one of the few moments of the year that such a long stretch is car-free.
Photo: Lindsey Tramuta
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Exotic Street Creature
This dandy was spotted on the Pont Neuf. He was very entertaining to watch and he seemed to be quite the crowd pleaser. He was like a wind up dancer on a kid's old jewelry box. He would stand stock still for several minutes, then twirl to a new position and stand motionless again. Whenever someone would give him some change he would graciously smile and bow.
Paris, that magical place that makes people’s eyes sparkle. Whether they’ve traveled there or not, the world swoons over this picturesque city. Maybe its love, maybe its good bread and cheese, or maybe its just that glittering tower that draws travelers in and keeps them coming back for more. With all of its fascinating architecture, glimmering lights, and bustling cafes, the city of Paris is dreamy and delicious and not to be missed.
One of the most relaxing and romantic ways to see Paris is to take a river cruise down the Seine. While travelers have many river cruise options, with a variety of companies to choose from, we recommend Bateaux Vedettes du Pont Neuf. Simply, we love how effortless they make the process. Buy your tickets at the dock or snag a discount when you purchase from their easy to navigate website. They don't lock you into a time so if plans change, there is no need to worry! You can use your ticket for up to a year! They even give you a paperless option, with digital tickets sent straight to your phone. Our tip: grab a seat on the 9:30pm boat and watch Paris light up as crowds of locals sing, dance, and picnic by the Seine, bridges illuminate, and the Eiffel Tower shines.