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3 Solo Days in Paris: Summer 2021

For the last several years, I have been traveling with my kids A LOT. Apart from the occasional girls weekend getaway, I have not done any solo traveling for many years... dare I say it's been over a decade. Paris has always been one of my favorite destinations, so it was especially exciting that I was able to carve out a little trip for myself before meeting back up with my kids in Spain. The last time I was in Paris, I was traveling with friends and we had just finished an incredible trip to Morocco. Oddly enough. after a little time in Spain this summer, my son was headed off to Morocco. I can't believe he is already leading this exciting life as a traveler. 

But in order to feel young-ish and carefree, I decided to stay at the same little hotel that I had stayed in so many years ago. It is the darling Caron du Beaumarchais in the Marais. Are there cooler or fancier places to stay, definitely. But I love this quirky little spot and the location is perfect. The price is also great, if you know you just need a nice place to sleep but want to spend your time and money out in the city. 

Here's what I did:

1. Bicycle

  • I downloaded the Vélib app so that I could ride e-bikes all over the city. The bike lanes are amazing and the weather could not have been more perfect for three days of exploring every arrondissement by bike. 

2. Art, Architecture, and Gardens

  • Picasso Museum. This is one of my favorite museums in Paris. It is the perfect size for getting a great overview of this prolific artist's work without being overwhelmed. 

  • Musee D'Orsay. For a grander museum, I prefer this to the Louvre because again, it's not quite as overwhelming. Make your way past the line of people waiting to take the iconic photo in front of the clock, and you will find yourself lost in a sea of famous artwork by Degas, Van Gogh, Gauguin, and Toulouse-Latrec. It is perfect. 

  • Sainte Chapelle. The stained glass windows inside this church are spectacular. Spend some time marveling at them and then wander over the Notre Dame, which is a stones throw away, to see the massive renovations underway. 

  • Eiffel Tower. For this trip, I was content to ride my bike up to it, but I didn't get go up. It's a marvel no matter how you see it. And it sparkles at night. 

  • The Tuileries Garden. I love this place. I don't know what it is about the iconic little green metal chairs, the big round pond, all the people relaxing in the sun, and the pathways lined with perfectly manicured elm trees... but it makes me happy. 

3. Food

  • Since I was traveling alone, I ate a lot of casual meals, which are thankfully easy to come by in Paris. Some of my favorite places are: L'As du Fallafel and Les Enfants du Marché, both in the Marais. Take away food from the marvel, La Grande Épicerie de Paris in Le Bon Marche, makes for a great picnic at one of the parks nearby. 

  • Les Deux Magots and neighboring Cafe de Flore, are icons in St Germain. You can easily while away hours here people watching and eating classic french fair while thinking about all of the great artists and writers who spent many afternoons doing the same thing. 

  • Delicious crêpes and croissants are not hard to find. Macarons from Laduree are always delicious, though points off because I can easily get them in Los Angeles, now that it is a chain. 


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