Don't get me wrong, I love the sights. I could spend all week in the Louvre and come home happy. But chances are your vacation memories will be made up more of the things that you did than the sights that you saw.

It's tough to tell an anecdote about simply seeing the Mona Lisa—but one about the great hidden view you discovered, or the fabulous meal you had, or the walking tour of the Latin Quarter, or that evening of wine tasting, or picnic in the park, or wonderful cooking class, or night at the opera—those are the stuff Parisian dreams are made of.