So you’re visiting France and you have already hit the obvious: Paris, South of France, Versailles. Now what? Rent a car and get going.
With so much to see and do in France, and so close together, renting a car and being able to pop over to different cities and sites will elevate your French excursion from great to incredible. Here are some stops you should absolutely make:
Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg: Built in the Middle Ages and passed on from different ruling families, this castle was reconstructed in the beginning of the 1900’s. Thanks to the incredible efforts of the restoration team, the castle is in the exact condition it would have been in when occupied, allowing visitors to truly see and feel what a middle age castle would have been like. From the castle, you are able to see the vast plains of France, villages, and mountains that spot the horizon.
Monkey Mountain: On the same mountain as Haut-Koenigsbourg is a one of a kind attraction, a sanctuary home to more than 200 barbary apes. Here you are able to walk amongst the monkeys, feeding them popcorn, and watching them interact. The monkey’s have free reign of the sanctuary, you, however, do not. Because of this, while you’re walking on the path, the monkey’s will jump over, run in front, tumble down, and swing all around you. This is an experience for all ages, and one you can’t find many other places.
Eagle Park: One more stop on the Haut-Koenigsbourg mountain excursion is the Eagle Park. This bird show occupies an old castle ruin and lasts about an hour and a half. The host shows you dozens of different bird types as you watch them soar in and out of the crowd. If you’re lucky, you might even be picked to have one land on your arm! Another stop for all ages, you’ll likely never see some of these birds this close up again.
Colmar: This small city was voted the most beautiful in Alsace, and for good reason. The flower boxes, the winding streets, the quaint buildings, and the colorful facades make it a charming stop like no other. In the summer, Colmar hosts the International Summer Festival of Classical Music. If you’re looking for a picture perfect site, Colmar is your best spot.
Baden-Baden: Although in Germany, Baden-Baden is just a short drive over the border. Situated in the mountains, this German city is quiet and vibrant, with traditional German restaurants, beer gardens, and cafes. Perhaps the biggest attraction of this city is the Caracalla Baths. Styled after Roman bathing culture and spas, the Caracalla Baths are operated by natural springs. The saunas, cold pools, hot tubs, jacuzzis, and relaxation tanks are worth the price of admission, leaving you feeling relaxed, refreshed, and requesting more.
Riquewihr: It is hard to put into words just how beautiful this town is. The colored shops and houses, with flowers and vines everywhere along the main street (which is only traversed by foot), is truly astounding and breathtaking. Shops, antiques, food, and music surround you as you walk through the town. Riquewihr is also home to several incredible wineries that deserve your taste buds’ attention!
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