It's considered one of the best times to visit the City of Light: Springtime in Paris has achieved iconic status as perennial dream vacation destination, conjuring up images of impeccably dressed couples wandering romantically amidst the most famous Parisian landmarks. If you're one of the lucky ones heading there in the next couple of months, here are 5 ways you can enjoy the season of renewal in Paris.
1. Picnic by the Louvre
My all time favorite spot for a Parisian picnic is the lawn just in front of the Louvre, right before you go down the stairs that lead to the Jardin des Tuileries. The grass is lush, the scenery is second to none, and watching all the tourists and Parisians stroll by provides endless entertainment. Bonus: you don't need much to create the perfect picnic. A baguette, some cheese, a bit of fruit, and a bottle of wine will do the trick.
2. Visit the gardens at Versailles
Inside Versailles it's cramped and hot...if even you manage to survive the incredible wait line that keeps tourists on their weary feet for much too long. Save the interior for bad weather. A better bet is to arrive early and visit the chateau's sprawling gardens instead. You’ll wander among all manner of flora and fountains as you imagine what it must have been like to attend outdoor parties with the King and Queen. Make your way to Marie Antoinette’s Hameau - a secluded farm and modest home built especially for her - to see where the queen escaped when she wanted to play peasant.
3. People watch from a café
Saddle up to a café table and sit like the French do: facing out to the street. Enjoy the never-ending parade of characters that will rush and saunter by as you sip a Sancerre in the Parisian sun. Life doesn't get much better than this.
4. Walk or bike along the Seine
On Sundays the city of Paris blocks off its river-hugging roads to cars, making way for pedestrians and bicyclists to take in the view. What a treat to enjoy the Seine without the noise of those crazy Parisian drivers careening along its banks.
5. Take a trip en Province
Not to be confused with Provence – the southern French region that conjures up images of sunflowers and lavender – en Province is what the Parisians use to describe any area of France that’s outside of their beloved Paris. So while springtime in Paris is magical, why not flee the hustle and bustle of the French capital for one of the quieter but no less romantic/historic/scenic parts of the country? You could soak up the Mediterranean sun in Nice, discover new bottles of bubbly in Champagne, or find excellent off-season deals on vacations packages in the Alps.
Whether you spend springtime in Paris or springtime en Province, you're sure to find La Belle Vie in full, glorious bloom this time of year in France.