United offers nonstop flights from Washington Dulles to Paris, with early June fares currently starting at $1,225 round trip.
WHERE TO STAY
Hotel de Bourgtheroulde
15 Place de la Pucelle, Rouen
Renaissance mansion with ultramodern amenities. Rooms from about $317.
49350 Chenehutte-les-Tuffeaux, Saumur
Former Benedictine priory overlooking the Loire River. Rooms from about $180.
65 Rue de Bellevue, Cognac
Overlooking the Charente River is and an ideal base for Cognac distillery visits. Rooms from about $148.
WHERE TO EAT
31 Place du Vieux Marche, Rouen
Classic French cooking (and a few regional surprises) at the country’s oldest tavern. Entrees start at $33. Nifty four-course prix fixe for about $46.
63 Boulevard Albert 1er, Fecamp
Chic and airy spot. Entrees from about $13.
Diane de Meridor
12 Quai Philippe de Commines, Montsoreau
Cozy, elegant small-town restaurant. Prix-fixe menus, from at about $22, are the way to go.
Le Bistrot d’Andre
5 Rue St-Jean du Perot, La Rochelle
Excellent seafood and people watching. Entrees from $19.
WHAT TO DO
Rue de la Richonne, Cognac
World’s leading cognac maker. As with most houses, hours of operation and types of tours vary by season. Reserve online. Adults about $11, ages 12-18 about $9, younger than 12 free.
2 Place du Chateau, Jarnac
See Napoleon memorabilia — e.g., a lock of his hair and his iconic bicorn hat — in the museum. Visiting times and dates, tours and fees vary, so best to call first. Tours start at $12.
20 Rue de la Societe Vinicole, Cognac
Wide selection of tours, including private candlelit evening dinner and cognac tastings. Standard visits from mid-April through September (except Sundays) 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. About $21. Reservations recommended.
7 Place Edouard Martell, Cognac
Tops others with a life-size gabarre — a traditional barge used to transport cognac to market — floating indoors. April-October: Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. By appointment November-March. Adults about $10, ages 12-18 about $5; younger than 12 free.
110 Rue Alexandre Le Grand, Fecamp
Visits from February through December. Hours vary. Adults about $10; ages 12-18 about $4; younger than 12 free.
Saint Barthelemy d’Anjou, Angers
Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. year-round. Guided tour about $8; with tasting session, about $13. Ages 12-18 (no tastings) about $5 , younger than 12 free. Reservations required.