Featured Blog: My Itchy Travel Feet
Paris. It’s the carefree city of love where tree-lined avenues meet lazy outdoor lunches and breezy boat trips across the Seine. As the capital city of France, Paris has its fair share of famous landmarks. What boomer traveler hasn’t heard of the Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Élysées or the Notre Dame? There are lots of things to do if you want to stay on the tourist trail; but if you’re a boomer who is keen to see a more authentic side to the city, you might want to look a little further afield. Here are five of the best off the beaten path experiences Paris has to offer. Bon appétit!
1. Parc des Buttes Chaumont
If you’re in need of a break from the sights and sounds of the inner city, head to Parc des Buttes Chaumont for a brief rest. Situated at the top of a hill in the 19th arondissement, this park presents a dramatic landscape of sky-scraping cliffs and towering trees. It’s hard to believe that Parc des Buttes Chaumont was literally built from the rubble of a disused quarry. Sit by the beautiful lakeside and enjoy a midday picnic before wandering over to watch the cascading waterfall.
2. Claude Monet’s Gardens
If you’ve had enough of exploring the city center, venture a little further afield to explore the house and grounds of the famous French artist Claude Monet. A 45-minute train journey takes you to the town of Vernon where you can either catch a taxi to Giverny or take the shuttle bus which runs from spring to autumn. If you’re feeling up to it, and you’ve got a good map in hand, consider walking to the house. Keep in mind that it takes around an hour. After arriving at the gardens don’t miss the walk across the Japanese bridge which Monet famously depicted in his ‘Water Lily Pond’ painting.
3. Pâtisserie Sadaharu AOKI
France is famous for its delicious macaroons, and no trip to Paris would be complete without a taste of these sweet treats. If you’re watching your weight, head to the quirky Japanese/French Pâtisserie Sadaharu AOKI to enjoy some mouth-watering macaroons without the hefty calorie content. For something a little out of the ordinary, buy a bag of green tea macaroons, which are made from authentic Japanese green tea and cannot be found anywhere else in the city.
4. The Eiffel Tower at Night
Paris’ most famous landmark is a hot-spot for tourists during the day. For boomer travelers who don’t want to get caught up in the crowds, wait until the evening to see this iconic tower shine. From mid-June to late-August the Eiffel Tower is open until midnight, so it makes for the perfect après-dinner entertainment. A lift to the top costs around $18, but if you’re not willing to splash the cash, you can always wander over to the Palais de Chaillot to see the tower in all its illuminated glory.
5. Jardin du Luxembourg
Jardin du Luxembourg is the perfect place to enjoy an afternoon stroll in the heart of the city. The park presents around 55 acres of wonderfully well-kept gardens and beautiful statues depicting both Greek goddesses and Parisian saints. Sit on one of the many lawns and watch the local chess players battle it out or wander over to the Northern end of the park to see the magnificent 15th century Palais du Luxembourg.