5 Fun and Surprising Outdoor Activities in Paris

July 17, 2009 | By | Reply More
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Beach It In Paris – yes, Paris!
Each July and August since 2002, Paris creates its own beaches right along the banks of the River Seine (by the Pont Neuf, Notre-Dame and Pont au Change).  Industrious crews bring in over 3,000 tons of sand to create an urban beach right along the city’s beloved Seine River, for all Parisians (and visitors) to soak up some rays and participate in (my favorite activity) – eye popping people watching!  But it doesn’t stop with sand – we’re talking palm trees, chaise lounges, umbrellas, hammocks, wifi, games and books, grassy lawns and raised decking – a sun lovers paradise for sure!  Find all the details at Paris Plage
Swim The Seine, really – no pollution involved
A number of giant swimming barges (floating swimming pools) have been anchored along the banks of the Seine creating the illusion of being able to swim in the river.  Perhaps the most notable is the Josephine Baker, where a 25 meter pool can delight 375 swimmers at once.  After your refreshing swim, relax in the cafe, on the sun deck, or work out in the gym facilities.  Their sliding roof makes this spot perfect on any day, in any weather.  Here’s where you can find all the info on the Josephine Baker Swimming Pool.
Rollerblade down famous Avenues and Boulevards with the locals
Rollerblading on a balmy Friday night (9:45 pm onward) in Paris has quickly become a summer tradition.  A touring group of roller-toting adventurers gather at the Esplanade of Gare Montparnasse to begin a 3 hour circuit through the city.  Each week the course through the city varies and is coordinated by the non-profit group Pari Roller, who publishes the route each Thursday, interfaces with the Police (who provide motorcycle escort at busy portions of the route), sets the standard policies and procedures and provides excellent safe skating advice on their website.  For families who like to skate together, Sunday afternoons will find lots of famil groups of skaters on Boulevards that have been closed for the afternoon and turned into pedestrian parks.
Hike, Stroll or Meander atop historic viaducts as you traverse a 4.5 km secret garden
This highly successful Paris urban-renewal project has Eco-friendly, earth sensitive, and recycled stamped all over it.  The Promenade Plantee has become a model for cities around the world to emulate (New York City most recently). Not long ago this promenade was an abandoned rail bed that roamed over overgrown brick viaducts, over foot bridges and through tunnels.  Today it is a lovingly crafted garden scape leading you along elevated walkways and curving paths, offering stunning and unusual views of the city.  The 70 brick archades running under the viaduct have been converted into shops for local artisans, craftsmen, furniture makers, and of course, a cafe or two.  You can find great info at Paris-Walking-Tours.com
Take a Romantic Spin on a Vintage Carousel
One of the great whimsical delights of walking through Paris is unexpectedly coming upon a vintage carousel twirling a dance and pumping out carny music.  It instantly transports you back to the golden giggling days of childhood – magical.  Paris has more lovingly restored carousels than any other place I’ve encountered.  Here are the locations of some of my favorites – Place du Trocadero, Jardins du Luxenbourg, near Hotel de Ville, base of Montmartre, and of course, the Tuileries Gardens near Rue de Castiglione.

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Category: France, Paris Travel Tips, Paris Travel Tips, Unique Vacations

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