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A France Idea

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Join me in planning my trip to France during August/September and you could win a giveaway each month on my blog. www.thewanderfulltraveler.com This list is what I am thinking so far...
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50170 Mont Saint-Michel, France
This must-see spot in Normandy is a little city on an island just off the coast that gets cut-off by the tide on a daily basis. At the peak of the town (is nice walk up!) is the Abbey of Mont Saint Michel where you can see a view for miles, once...
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2bis Place Saint-Germain, 89000 Auxerre, France
You know Paris. You know Beaune. But do you know anything about Auxerre? Auxerre is a small town that resides directly in between the two aforementioned cities, and it's filled with a few cultural treasures. One such find is the Abbey of Saint...
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110 Rue des Rosiers, 93400 Saint-Ouen, France
I snapped this fantastic graffiti gate just outside of Marché Serpette, one of the four or five worthwhile antique and vintage flea markets in the area. These are world class markets with vintage Chanel and YSL to incredible art nouveau furniture...
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84800 L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, France
A short train ride from Avignon to L'Isle-sur-la Sorgue and an even shorter walk from the train station to the market, you'll find the linens, lavender and soaps of Provence, some good brocante treasures, local art and plenty of good food. Make...
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6 Rue de la Grange Batelière, 75009 Paris, France
Passages were designed in the 19th century to give Parisians protection from muddy streets and horse-drawn vehicles. Some 20 of these covered walkways remain today, including the Passage Verdeau; they are an excellent way to journey back into...
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6 Place de Paris, 27200 Vernon, France
After touring the village of Giverny, I headed down the road and across the river to the town of Vernon. Nice place. The nicest part was finding an antique-cum-book store. I cannot get enough of books! I actually collect Hemingway and Kerouac...
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178 Rue Henri Martin, 51160 Hautvillers, France
Peruse artifacts of Champagne’s viticultural history at this Hautvillers antique shop. Take home old corkscrews, wooden grape-picking baskets, and champagne buckets burnished with the patina of celebrations past. 33/(0) 32-659-3981. Read "A...
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29 Rue de Poitou, 75003 Paris, France
The area around the rue de Bretagne in the north part of the Marais continues to be a big draw with locals and visitors for a number of reasons: the Marché des Enfants Rouges covered market with food stalls, the wincingly bobo-chic Café Charlot...
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142 Rue Montmartre, 75002 Paris, France
Past the bouncer and down a black staircase 32 feet below ground is Paris's most buzzed-about semi-private club, Le Silencio. Housed where Molière was allegedly buried and Zola printed "J'accuse", it's of little surprise that the enigmatic...
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4th arrondissement, 75004 Paris, France
Wandering among the Renaissance buildings in the Marais district in Paris, this courtyard in the 15th-c. Hôtel de Sens gave me one of my favorite visual memories of the city--this corner balcony. You just have to love the irreverance of the...
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111 Boulevard Beaumarchais, 75003 Paris, France
It isn't uncommon to see large tour buses idling in front of Merci, one of the city's most popular home and design shops, as visitors alight, armed with canvas shopping totes and credit cards at the ready. The store's philanthropic mission brings...
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11600 Lastours, France
We booked a 300 year old villa for a week in Caunnes Minervois. Twenty minutes down the road we discovered the Castles of Lastours. Four independent structures built into the rocky formation, they were at the heart of Cathar activity, and ground...
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Giverny, France
The sun was warm and had a different illumination that came through this photograph of Monet's gardens. This father and child felt like a moment in time captured that could be 1811 or 2011.
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Paris, France
My wife and two friends were tired of "museums" so they mistakenly decided to go shopping while I went to the Rodin Museum alone. It was breathtaking, the flowers were all in full bloom, the art on display inside was rare and beautiful, but the...
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Hold forth with the French about coffee and you'll quickly understand its purpose. It's not meant to be consumed leisurely but rather serves to clean the palate after a hearty meal. They think of it as a digestif which they tend to down in one...
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107 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France
Paris is without question one of the best picnic cities. The only challenge is finding a park or garden that allows you to sit on the grass. To keep the land looking lush and pristine, guards mill about to police picnickers sprawled on off-limits...
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23 Avenue Duquesne, 75007 Paris, France
Located on the Left Bank, in the 7th arrondissement, Duquesne Eiffel Hotel is ideally situated to enjoy all that Paris has to offer, whether you prefer to take the metro or walk throughout the city. The hotel rates are affordable and the view from...
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44 Rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, 75011 Paris, France
We had only a few nights in Paris, and on the last, we followed Jim Mayer's lead, which he culled from a guidebook that called Restaurant Chez Astier's cheese plate the best in the city. Dinner was great; very traditional. And I remember the wines...
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34 Rue de Cîteaux, 75012 Paris, France
Perhaps the best way to experience the city’s gastronomic gifts is to go straight to the source. A team of Paris By Mouth expert docents lead neighborhood food crawls, from the historic Les Halles market district to Montmartre, offering visitors...
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Port de la Bourdonnais, 75007 Paris, France
One of the most surprising things to me about Paris is that Parisians are just as enthralled with the Seine as we tourists. To them the river is a long and winding park that beckons locals to bask along it shores. Even though the banks of the...
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17 Rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie, 75004 Paris, France
Serendipitous light on a September afternoon--a rainbow arcing over the Eiffel Tower and ending at the gold dome of L'Église des Invalides in central Paris. (Under that dome, emperor worship continues--Napoléon I lies buried in a...
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Route de Sorgues, 84230 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France
Every guest room in this 19th-century castle (whose name means “small rocks”) overlooks the vineyards of France’s famous wine region, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, just outside Avignon. The kingly decor includes canopied beds, and bathrooms built into the...
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1 Rue Théophile Roussel, 75012 Paris, France
During oyster season from October through April (any month with an “r” in it), locals flock to Le Baron Rouge, a lowbrow wine bar in the 12th arrondissement. Customers use just about any available space (the tops of recycling bins, the roofs of...
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17 Rue Montorgueil, 75001 Paris, France
So, you think you know Paris? There are hundreds of memorable streets and boulevards in the City of Lights. But, for my money, Rue Montorgueil is the best. It is compact, only three blocks long, with a metro stop at each end. In between, you have...
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6 Rue Victor Cousin, 75005 Paris, France
Context Travel offers history, architecture and culinary tours in various European cities. I went on the " foodie" tour that began on a beautiful fall Paris morning in the toney neighborhood of St. Germain- de- Pres by meeting our friendly English...
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97 Rue Saint-Antoine, 75004 Paris, France
A near-daily ritual was a visit to this nearby Marais fromagerie, featuring an outstanding selection of cheeses and knowledgeable help. In the U.S., one often sees Brie, Camembert, Boursin, and Roquefort, but most of the 350-400 kinds of French...
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37 Rue de Verneuil, 75007 Paris, France
The historic Androuet fromagerie has been sourcing and maturing exceptional cheeses since 1909. Their shop on rue Mouffetard is staffed by friendly English-speakers who will be happy to explain and vacuum-seal your selections, including the...
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37150 Chenonceaux, France
Along a most beautiful path way you first come across an emerald laden canopied moat, where you can imagine the gallantry of renaissance horse riding. To your left, as you draw nearer to the chateau, you pass the Italian maze created by Catherine...
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3 Rue Principale, 37510 Villandry, France
You can spend hours and hours walking through and photographing the phenomenal gardens in the Chateau de Villandry without even thinking about going inside the chateau itself. Changed four times a year to match the seasons the intricate designs on...
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4 Rue de la Herse, 68000 Colmar, France
An incredible French restaurant called Les Bateliers lies over the water just near the Rue Turenne Bridge in Colmar, France, providing a one of a kind view of the colorful historical architecture. If you had to choose one place to eat in Colmar,...
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Le Colombier, 71340 Iguerande, France
In a former stable tucked into the Burgundy countryside, chef Michel Troisgros turns out updated rural staples such as pan-fried veal with citrusy yuzu sauce. Troisgros’s modern flair is also evident in three houseboat-shaped cadole cabins where...
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156 Rue de Créqui, 69003 Lyon, France
This odd-looking blimp is actually a quenelle de brochet, one of the quintessential foods of Lyon. They're big dumplings made out of pike fish, covered in Sauce Nantua, a classic French sauce made with crayfish. Daniel et Denise, owned by an...
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72 Rue de la Paroisse, 78000 Versailles, France
Tobacco and dogs in restaurants--what could be more Gallic? A few blocks away from the gilded history of the château, this street-corner sign in Versailles caught my eye. "Au chien qui fume" has been around since 1839.
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21200 Beaune, France
Tucked away on a side street in Beaune, you will find the enchanting Caves Madeleine. It is a wonderful little gem that locals frequent because of its incredible food and wine selection. Seating is communal, which instantly gives an air of...
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1 Passage du Grand Cerf, 75002 Paris, France
It had been years since I last stumbled upon the Passage du Grand Cerf in the 2nd, a long and narrow gallery of creative shops. Though I wasn't the only shopper, part of me felt like I had happened upon an untouched jewel. If I share this spot...
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Rue du Dessous des Clos, 51160 Hautvillers, France
Ceramicist Mathilde Vernillet makes and sells her pottery in a tiny workshop and storefront just off the main square in Hautvillers. Choose among practical containers and dinnerware with lustrous glazes and meticulously perforated, lace-like art...
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24 Place de la Madeleine, 75008 Paris, France
Here at the très chic Boulangerie Fauchon, on the Place de la Madeleine in the heart of Paris, the loaves can look almost too good to eat. In French, the idiomatic equivalent for 'window-shopping' is "leche-vitrine," which literally means...
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116 Boulevard Haussmann, 75008 Paris, France
Paris wine shops routinely host free tastings, often led by the growers who make the wine. Paris by Mouth publishes a calendar of tastings, but two shops can be depended upon to have something interesting on the weekends: Les Caves Augé and La...
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6 Parvis Notre-Dame - Pl. Jean-Paul II, 75004 Paris, France
For a first-time visitor to Notre Dame, investing in the audio guide is essential to immerse in and understand this overwhelmingly significant Paris icon. There's a lot to see and absorb—history, architecture, artifacts,...
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75001 Paris, France
Everyone enjoys the shade on Paris afternoon in July. While taking a break before Notre Dame we watched the end of a match and cheered the men on.
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37 Rue de la Bûcherie, 75005 Paris, France
Located at 37 Rue de la Bûcherie, a stone’s throw from the Seine and draped in the shadow of Notre Dame, is what should be proclaimed one of France’s national treasures: the Shakespeare and Company bookstore. This is...
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Saint-Germain-des-Prés, 75006 Paris, France
When I visited Paris this past May, I stayed at the Hotel Saint Germain (http://www.hotel-saint-germain.fr), a lovely boutique hotel in the Saint-Germain-des-Pres area of the city. It is a wonderful, safe neighbourhood, full of little restaurants,...
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34 Rue Yves Toudic, 75010 Paris, France
Situated a block from the Canal St.-Martin in the 10th arrondissement, Du Pain et des Idées is your favorite corner bakery—only better. The owner, Christophe Vasseur, was named best boulanger in Paris in 2008, and for good reason....
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9 Carrefour de l'Odéon, 75006 Paris, France
Booking a room at Le Relais Saint-Germain, managed by the beloved chef Yves Camdeborde, is the only surefire way to score a table at his bistro next door, Le Comptoir. Each hotel room is dedicated to a prominent author who was inspired by Paris,...
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77300 Fontainebleau, France
A quick 40-minute train ride from the Gare de Lyon in central Paris takes you to one of the best day trips out of the city: a forest preserve surrounding a palace that dates back nine centuries. The Forêt de Fontainebleau offers a hundred square...
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102 Rue de Provence, 75009 Paris, France
The Eiffel Tower decks and Sacre Coeur Montmartre overlook Paris, but they are so crowded. One has to fight for a picture of the gray rooftops and spires of the Parisian skyline. The rooftop cafe at the Printemps department store in Paris has all...
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Guerville, France
A great one hour cruise led by a french tour guide ( tour is in both french and english) takes you to the sights of Paris with the unique perspective from the Seine. This is the third time I've been to Paris and I wish I'd done it sooner!
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22 Rue des Martyrs, 75009 Paris, France
After glowing stints at Fauchon and Le Bon Marché, pastry chef and author Sébastien Gaudard opened his own pâtisserie on rue des Martyrs, just south of Pigalle, 9 months ago; the speed of his ascent into the annals of traditional pastry-making...
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77 Avenue du Général Leclerc, 75014 Paris, France
Save up by staying away from carbs all year if you have to, but pastries are a must in Paris. The almond galette was my personal favorite, but they have so many varieties for breakfast and lunch.
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36330 Arthon, France
The Brittany region on France’s northwest coast is known for its oysters, cotriade (a fish and potato stew), hard ciders, crepes, and galettes. During private, customized trips with Paris-based Purple Truffle, local chefs welcome you into their...
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With the opening of this salon-de-thé meets pâtisserie in August, the left bank got a lot more interesting. Graduates of Ferrandi cooking school, Charlotte Siles and Guillaume Gil sought to create a contemporary environment where gourmands of...
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226 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France
Yes, Angelina on the Rue de Rivoli (around the Tuileries Garden and the Louvre) is a tourist spot, but it is still one of the best places in Paris for hot chocolate. Their menu of pastries and other small dishes is good, but don't miss out on the...
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18-20 Rue Coquillière, 75001 Paris, France
At first glance, this cookware emporium feels like a dusty relic. But dig a little deeper, especially in the basement, and you’ll find just about anything you could need for the kitchen, along with plenty of treasures you don’t—duck press, anyone?...
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251 Rue Saint Honoré, 75001 Paris, France
With a modern decor, inspired by the Camelia flower, this swanky, new Paris restaurant in the chic Mandarin Oriental hotel is the place to lunch for the fashionable business crowd. Men in bespoke suits with yellow cycling gloves sit next to...
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Boulevard Jourdan, 75014 Paris, France
Each morning I wake up at 5.30 from jetlag and since I don't need to leave for class till 8.45 i always make time for a walk to the shops in Montparnasse. There is a great bakery, a few restaurants and I particularly like the little newsstands -...
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Avenue de Paris, 94300 Vincennes, France
Built in the 14th century by Charles V, the Chateau is one of the most important castles in French history. The Sainte-Chapelle (Holy Chapel), on site was founded in 1379 and is well worth a visit. The chapel construction started just before the...
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2 Rue Claude Ramey, 21000 Dijon, France
If the ironwork throughout the Les Halles covered market in Dijon, France, reminds you of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, there is good reason. Gustave Eiffel, a native son of Dijon, designed the market in the 19th century. One of France’s largest and...
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Rue Saint-Dominique, 75007 Paris, France
if you like to enjoy Paris at its best, try to visit this city during the Thanksgiving weekend. November in Paris is amazing and the spirit of the holidays is all around the city. Keep exploring...
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47 Prom. des Anglais, 06000 Nice, France
This is the reason why people from all over the world fall in love with Côte d’Azur Nice, France--it is simply breathtaking. Walk up to Old Town Nice to get a photo and then enjoy the pebble beach, just watch out for the drop off if you get in the...
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31 Avenue George V, 75008 Paris, France
With the smallest room a sprawling 400 square feet, and suites and public spaces filled with original 18th- and 19th-century art and antiques, the George V, flagship of the Four Seasons chain, lives up to its billing as a palace, an official...
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73250 Saint-Pierre-d'Albigny, France
If you ever have a chance to visit the sleepy town of St. Pierre d'Albigny, do it. This is the quintessential French town. Just beautiful. Stay at Chateau des Allues.
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13550 Noves, France
Noves is a small commune just south of Avignon. It resides in the Bouches-du-Rhone department of France and, as we found out, provides very easy access to the entire region of Provence. Being first-timers to Provence we did not know what to expect...
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80 Quai de l'Hôtel de ville, 75004 Paris, France
Did you know that only 25% of French people buy their cheese from a fromagerie? And of that 25, only 3-4% go to an affineur (cheese refiner). Both are the sad realities of a dying tradition in France of sourcing provisions from neighborhood...
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25 Rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, 75011 Paris, France
Most locals point to Breizh Café in the Marais for the city's best crêpes but my loyalties lie with Chez Imogène, a tiny, no-frills restaurant in the 11th arrondissement. Traditional buckwheat galettes and sweet dessert crêpes take pride of place...