Provence is such a relaxing escape. With small towns that are easily connected to each other, you'll have a great time spending your time there relaxing with great food, gorgeous weather and lazy trips between the small towns of this beloved picturesque region.
ST. REMY DE PROVENCE: This small town is the town that Van Gogh featured in his legendary painting, "Starry Night." The tiny town has a small Wednesday market that floods the streets, as well as plenty of family run restaurants that will give you an authentic taste of the region. It's location within Provence is ideal for soaking up the true experience, and it's proximity to Arles and Avignon make it a convenient for seeing more of Provence.
DOMAINE DE FONTENILLE: This hotel will meet and exceed any dreams you have for a Provence retreat. With exceptional customer service (as in the Michelin starred chef personally making my children dinners to eat in the room each night before we ate in the restaurant) and fabulously designed spaces, this is the place you want to go to get away. The spa is limited, but the lone treatment room is worth enjoying during your stay. Breakfasts are understated and perfect. Don't miss the apricot and lavender jam with the homemade croissants. Read my full review here.
JAMES VILLAS: We stayed in this villa just outside of St. Remy de Provence. We had a great experience with James Villas, and I highly recommend staying in one of their comfy (and reasonably priced!) properties while in Provence.
AIX-EN-PROVENCE: Aix-En-Provence ticks all the boxes for what Provence feels like it should be. With pedestrian streets, like the Cours Mirabeau who is gorgeously jeweled with mossy fountains and adorned with classic bistro chairs full of locals meeting throughout the day, Aix is a Provencal dream. Don't miss the Atelier Cezanne for a peek at Cezanne's workshop (take a taxi!).
AVIGNON: I really need to stress that a trip to Provence without going to Avignon is a tragedy. This town offers a great balance of historical sites (Papal Palace, Pont D'Avignon, and historic city walls) with small town French charm.
PALAIS DES PAPES: Unless you're a big history buff or debut Catholic, you may not know that the Papacy was moved out of the Vatican for a brief stint in history. And where was it moved to? Avignon, France! Visit the Papal Palace for a remarkable tour of this period of the church's history.
HOTEL IBIS, AVIGNON: I won't pretend that this hotel is a luxury getaway, but it is, literally, out site the TBV station making it really easy to find. The rooms are decent- but the prices are extremely affordable. The buffet breakfast is a nice way to start the day, too. This is a good hotel for those on a budget or wanting to keep the travel plans easy.
CHEZ GINETTE ET MARCEL: If you're looking for a picturesque place for lunch in Avignon, Chez Ginette et Marcel is a great stop. The hip eatery has a menu limited to "les tartines" (read: open face sandwiches). I recommend the rosette and cornichons for a very French treat, though Tyler would suggest his favorite: goats cheese baked and drizzled with local honey. You can't go wrong with the food... especially, if you order dessert. Sit outside in the square if the weather is nice for the ultimate experience.
LE PETIT GOURMAND: This cozy (read: tiny) restaurant has a small kitchen that sits alongside the dining tables. With daily specials and homemade fare, this is a cozy place to tuck in for a bowl of truffle pasta or homemade cassoulet. The atmosphere is many things- cozy, inviting, local... definitely not high-brow or stuffy. We stumbled in there on a day that couldn't have been warmer than 20 degrees, and the smell of mulled wine and truffles immediately melted off the chill for us.
L'ATELIER DES THES: If you're looking for a great value for a dinner out, this is your spot. With a prime location sat on Place des Corps Saints, this tiny restaurant has fabulous daily menus and friendly service. While I wouldn't exactly say that this is a "family restaurant," we brought our one-year old and were happy to see another toddler in the table behind us being treated like a prince. As the restaurant only has 5-6 tables, it would be advantageous to book ahead.
*images original to Aspiring Kennedy