Why You Should Go to Paris This Fall

Water park lovers will find that this Midwestern getaway has it all: plenty of outdoor thrill slides in the summer and an ideal theme park-style escape during cold winter months. Intertwined body slides, multiple funnel slides and tandem tube rides are among the dozens of attractions enticing both hotel guests and day visitors to the 125,000 square foot indoor-outdoor water park. But the highlight comes by way of Master Blaster, an indoor water roller coaster that dips down and shoots back up for a fast-paced thrill. Once you dry off, you can board a six-story Ferris wheel, ride go-karts, or even test your skills on a ropes course or enjoy some upside-down thrill rides fit for kids young and old—all without having to step off-property.

Those who love Paris know there’s never truly a bad time to visit the city. But if art and culture are on your list of things to experience in the French capital, fall is the best time to visit, with a particularly exciting lineup of exhibits on the calendar this year. Added incentives: a colorful new hotel from a beloved food shop, the hottest cocktail bar of the moment, and a pedestrian-friendly initiative in the city center. 

Why You Should Go to Paris This Fall: The fall foliage in Paris is beautiful, and there are many other reasons to travel there this time of year.

Walk through the city center sans voitures

Parts of Paris have been car-free for the first Sunday of the month since Mayor Anne Hidalgo introduced the “Paris Breathes” initiative in 2016 to improve air quality in the city. Starting on October 7,  the four neighborhoods that make up Paris’s city center on the Right Bank (1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th arrondissements) began taking part. This means you can now walk, rollerblade, ride a bike, or scooter from Place des Vosges over to the Louvre and up to the Paris Opera between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. the first Sunday of every month without having to worry about traffic getting in the way. paris.fr/parisrespire

See Jean-Michel Basquiat and Egon Schiele at Fondation Louis Vuitton

From October 3, 2018, to January 14, 2019, the Fondation Louis Vuitton is hosting separate exhibitions from two of the 20th century’s most influential artists: Jean-Michel Basquiat from the later end and Egon Schiele from the beginning. Spanning four levels of the building, the Basquiat exhibit features 120 works from the New York painter, including collaborations between Basquiat and Warhol. The first show in Paris for 25 years solely dedicated to Schiele’s career includes around 100 drawings, paintings, and gouaches from the Viennese artist who helped define the early expressionist movement. One ticket gets you into both exhibits. 8 avenue du Mahatma Gandhi, Bois de Boulogne,  €16 (US$18), fondationlouisvuitton.fr

Sip cocktails at Cravan

This café that opened in the quiet 16th arrondissement in June 2018 gets its name from Arthur Cravan, the Swiss poet-boxer who was not only Oscar Wilde’s nephew but also hailed as a precursor of dadaism. Go in the evening to work your way through the extensive cocktail menu at the zinc-top bar, or grab a café table in the morning to admire the antique mirrors over coffee and eggs. It serves a simple menu of bar food every day from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., plus a weekend roast on Saturday and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. 17 Rue Jean de la Fontaine, instagram.com/cravanparis

Check into the new hotel from Fauchon

Fans of the Technicolor pastries and hot pink decor of the gourmet food store Fauchon can now spend the night in the first Fauchon L’Hotel, which opened in September 2018 in the company’s original 1886 headquarters just on the other side of Place de la Madeleine from its current store. Each room is decorated in a similar style to the shop and also includes a rose-gold mini bar stocked with Fauchon snacks and pastries customized to your tastes (salty, sweet, healthy, or all three, if you’d like). 4 Boulevard Malesherbes, hotel-fauchon-paris.fr

See Karl Lagerfeld’s debut sculpture exhibition

You may know Karl Lagerfeld as the creative director of the Chanel and Fendi fashion houses, but from October 19 to December 22, 2018, you can see his first foray into sculpture at the Carpenters Workshop Gallery in the Marais. Architectures features a series of fountains, lamps, and tables inspired by Greek antiquity and carved out of rare white and black marbles. 54 Rue de la Verrerie, carpentersworkshopgallery.com

Explore the Paris Photo art fair

Every November since 1997, collectors and enthusiasts alike congregate at the Grand Palais for Paris Photo, one of the world’s largest art fairs dedicated to photography, which takes place this year between November 8 and November 11, 2018. You can choose to wander through more than 180 gallery spaces and exhibitions on your own, or sign up for a free guided tour to get an insider’s look into the fair. Grand Palais Paris, Avenue Winston Churchill, from €30 (US$34), parisphoto.com

>> Next: Plan Your Trip with AFAR’s Guide to Paris

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