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6 Overrated Tourist Destinations to Avoid This Summer

Summer has (unofficially) begun! As kids finish up the school year, everyone is getting eager to pack up and get out of town. With literally countless options to choose from, deciding on a destination (or activities once you get there) can be overwhelming. Everything has to hit the right balance of price, interest for everyone involved, not too many crowds, and fun. But if you have never been to a particular location, all you have are guide books (and blogs) to go by.

To add another voice to the mix, here are some tourist destinations and attractions that you might want to reconsider. Below each, you will find an alternative option. Happy travels!

1. Paris

This could be a hard one to convince you to skip, but hear me out. First, I lived in Paris for a year, so I'm not coming at this from some sort of Francophobic place. I love Paris and I love France. But Paris can get crowded, especially in the summer. You will have to be smart about booking museum visits ahead of time to avoid waiting in lines for hours (and even with reservations, you'll probably still wait a while). In the summer, it is hot and sticky, and you have to be prepared for lots of walking and Metro rides. More than anything, though, Paris isn't all France has to offer. It's beautiful and charming, but practically everyone has been there. If you're taking the time to cross the Atlantic, consider something slightly different.

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Try instead: Tours and the Chateaux of the Loire Valley

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Instead of Paris, look into spending a week in the Loire Valley. It is about an hour-long train ride from Paris, with the city of Tours at its center. If you stay in Tours, you'll have access to wonderful restaurants, parks, and everything a city has to offer. From there, you can take day trips to the various Chateaux in the Loire region. Visit castle after gorgeous castle and do a bit of wine tasting in the very popular wine country. (This is where Sancerre is made.) Some chateaux to consider include Blois, Amboise, Chambord, Chenonceau, and Villandry (for its magnificent gardens). Your pictures of France will be way more impressive than those of your friends who went to Paris and have the same old photo as everyone else does in front of the Eiffel Tower.