Nantes (Loire Valley), France

Nantes (Loire Valley), France

Located on the Loire River, just 30 miles from the Atlantic Ocean, the city of Nantes was founded by the Celts in 70 BC, and since that time, has a venerable history. Today, with its many eco-friendly initiatives, biodiversity, great public transportation system and myriad of attractions—not to mention fantastic local wine, seafood and crepes—Nantes is regarded as one of the most livable and innovative cities in Europe. Visit the Jardin des Plante for one of the best botanical gardens in France, the Musée des Beaux-Arts for one of the finest collections of French paintings outside of Paris (with works by Chagall, Monet and Picasso), or the popular Musée Jules Verne, which includes a retrospective of the work of author Jules Verne, who was born in Nantes in 1828. At night, make your way to Hanger a Bananes for its eclectic group of restaurants, bars and clubs.

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