Visiting France: 4 Places that aren’t the City of Love

When it comes to visiting France, it’s hard not to have the City of Love at the top of your itinerary.  However, France is full of so many diverse places that deserve a little love themselves!  We have compiled a few of our favorite cities to give you a taste of what each has to offer.

Grasse may not sound familiar to you, but the smells of it will.  Grasse is located in the heart of the South of France, better known as the world’s Capital of Perfume.  Located north of Cannes and an easy drive from Nice, it has grown to be a popular destination for many visiting the region.  You can tour through endless fields of flowers to smell the scents that will be made into famous perfumes. In the main town, museums are abundant and will help you understand the history behind perfume making. Galimard is Grasse’s oldest perfume marker and will allow you to tour the laboratories to see a full breakdown of the process of creating perfumes. Make sure to take a class before leaving on making your very own perfume to take home the very smell of Grasse! 

Have you ever wanted to feel like you are in a real-life fairytale?  Alsace, France will give you that feeling and more! While much of France has modernized over the years, Alsace has preserved its lifestyle.  Located right on the border of Germany, a perfect blend of French and German culture exists in this idyllic area! The best way to see this culture in action is to take a visit to the Two Shores garden!  This lovely garden is split between Germany and France and is connected by a bridge in the middle. For the car aficionado’s there is a museum dedicated to Ettore Bugatti holding 122 of the only 8,000 original Buggatis ever made.  If you are visiting during the holidays, you can venture to Strasbourg, the self-anointed Capital of Christmas. Starting in November until the new year, the city transforms into what feels like the North Pole.  The city center features a Christmas tree surrounded by Christmas stalls, perfect for checking everyone off your list!  

When it comes to Bordeaux the name says it all. Bordeaux is known for its top-tier wine, which has dominated the wine market for years.  You will find the world-renowned wine museum, Cite du Vin where even the building is in the shape of a wine decanter. It’s impossible to leave and not feel like a wine connoisseur! If you aren’t sick of wine yet, you will find wine bars around every corner of the city! However, if that is not what you are looking for you are just a short drive away from amazing vineyards! You can’t leave without visiting the world’s biggest reflecting pool outside the Place de la Bourse; a popular place for that perfect picture! At night you will see the lights from the city reflecting endlessly onto the pool, creating the perfect ending to your day!  

The Eiffel Tower is the number one visited attraction in France, but do you know what the second is? Take a trip to Normandy to visit a UNESCO world heritage site; and a place of geographic (some even say magical) wonders. Mont-Saint Michel resides on a rocky islet surrounded by sandbanks with an extreme tide. These extreme tides allow visitors to see the islet in two different views; make sure you check the tide charts before venturing out! The best way to see the whole islet is at the top, where you can visit the Abbey. You will see a stunning display of medieval architecture and the best view of the islet and the channel! Don’t forget to grab the famous La Mère Poulard omelet, which is prepared in copper bowls with an ingredient they will tell no one!

Hopefully this gave you some ideas to refresh your travel plan to France.  Give us a call today so we can help you plan your vacation stress free!

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Thomas Hogan Vacations is the premier travel agency in Myrtle Beach with over 35 years in business, specializing in personalized travel experiences. Thomas Hogan offers travel destinations which includes a Spain & Portugal escapade, a cruise to Alaska, a Northern European cruise, a trip to Rome & Greek Isles, a Panama Canal Cruise, a cruise to the Southern Caribbean and a tour of Northern Italy. Custom vacation packages include roundtrip airfare, lodging & accommodations, dining, transportation and more. Thomas Hogan offers vacation packages for couples, groups or individual travel. Thomas Hogan Vacations is affiliated with Travel Leaders which gives us the best global travel contacts. Thomas Hogan's corporate office is located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.