French Cities in America

  • 01 of 05

    French America

    Overlord Arch
    ••• Overlord Arch, Nat. D-Day Memorial, VA. Getty/Dennis K. Johnson

    You don't need a trans-Atlantic flight to visit France. There are many cities, neighborhoods, attractions and other destinations throughout the Americas with a French flair. You just need to find French America.

    In one city, you visit a stunning gothic cathedral. In another town, you sip café au lait next to an outdoor market with abundant fresh produce and intense cheeses. Another stop boasts some of the world's finest French cuisine.

    Oh, and you don't want to miss that town with a row of boutiques, and shop owners all speaking French. Or the charming drive from winery to winery, sipping some of the best samples of this delicious nectar. You can even gaze in admiration at the Eiffel Tower.

    Sound like a whirlwind tour of France? Well, you never left the States.

    There are many spots around America that have the flair of France, minus the pesky trans-Atlantic flight. Perhaps you have a flying phobia, are simply nervous about traveling at tense times abroad, or even just lack the...MORE cash or time to go to the real thing.

    No need to do without! There are so many French-influenced spots in the U.S., you can probably find one close to home. Yes, you can visit "France" in the U.S.

    After all, the second largest French-speaking city in the world isn't even in France. It's Montreal, just a short drive from the U.S. border. New Orleans was settled by the French, and its influence is prominent even today. You might even be surprised by some French destinations right in your backyard.

    There are glimpses of France in some of the most unexpected of spots: Ohio, Florida, California, even Nevada. In the following pages, find out which faux French destination is closest to your home.

    Who says you can't take a road trip to France? You can with this tour of French America.

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  • 02 of 05

    French Eastern U.S.

    Washington Square Arch, New York
    ••• Getty/jasonlingo

    There are many spots in the Eastern U.S. that have the feel of France.

    In Washington, D.C., visit the National Cathedral, as elaborate and stunning as many French cathedrals. There are also many wonderful French restaurants in the city, as well as an amazing selection of French Impressionist art at the National Art Gallery. 

    Philly is filled with very French spots, including the serene Rittenhouse Square, which has a central park that is the perfect spot to relax, read a book and nibble a baguette.  This is also a serious foodie town, with two amazing food markets and an astounding selection of fine dining options.

    New York City's Greenwich Village feels very European. You might even be fooled into thinking you spot the Arc de Triomphe when you happen on the arch in Washington Park.

    Just steps from Boston's South Station, Les Zygomates has everything a true French wine bar and restaurant should: dozens of wines by the glass, fine cuisine, and a laid-back attitude. While you're...MORE in town, stroll down Newberry Street for small, locally-owned boutiques.

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  • 03 of 05

    French South

    New Orleans
    ••• New Orleans French Quarter. Getty/John Coletti

    The South is home to what is arguably the most French city in America: New Orleans. Settled by the French, it still has the atmosphere, food, and attitude of France in many ways. Nearby Cajuns still speak French.

    While in New Orleans, be sure to indulge in the most French of activities: sipping a café au lait and watching the world go by. The Cafe Du Monde is the ideal spot for it.

    Some of the world's finest French food can be found in New Orleans' restaurants. The architecture in the French Quarter is very (surprise, surprise) French.

    And this is the city for jazz, imported into France by American jazz musicians in the 1920s. No need to visit any of those great summer jazz festivals in France.

    At Epcot France in Florida, see imitation French buildings and a scaled-down Eiffel Tower, or indulge in a French pastry and wine. You can also shop for imported French gifts, cookbooks, and perfume.

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  • 04 of 05

    French Midwest

    Winter in Chicago
    ••• Getty/Henryk Sadura

    Many cities in the Midwest were settled by the French as well.

    Visit Wisconsin and tour a cheese factory. What could be more French than sampling several different varieties of cheese? There are even cheese festivals.

    There is another town that features a French Square, as well as historic properties where the Marquis de Lafayette once stayed. You might be surprised to learn it's in Gallipolis, Ohio.

    Chicago has some world-renowned French cuisine, as well as an Alliance Française. The city is filled with fountains and statues and street sculpture. In fact, squint a little as you wander through the city, along with bridges over the river, and it can almost feel like Paris.

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  • 05 of 05

    French Western U.S. and Southwest

    Paris Las Vegas Hotel
    ••• Getty/Stephane Lemaire/hemis.fr

    There is a spot in the Western U.S. where you can scale the Eiffel Tower, spot the Arc de Triomphe or nibble croissants from a brasserie. Believe it or not, you would be in Las Vegas.

    The Paris Las Vegas casino and hotel has recreated Paris in the desert. Be sure to dine at the gourmet restaurant atop the tower. 

    Pretend you are in Bordeaux as your travel the hills, hopping from winery to winery, in the Napa Valley.

    In Los Angeles, stay at the Chateau Marmont on Sunset Boulevard, designed in the French manner with ornate columns. A bonus here is that many famous celebrities have stayed there.

    San Francisco has several French restaurants and cafes and a wonderful Alliance Française. Find out more: French San Francisco.

    Portland has so many things to please a francophile, from wonderful cuisine to fabulous markets and French spa treatments. Find out more: French Portland

    Believe it or not, you can even find hints of France in Tucson.