When I ask my students if they have been to France, most of them say they have been to Paris and I have to admit that I love Paris too. However, the rest of France is also truly amazing with a wide variety of landscapes, regional food specialities and distinctive architectures, monuments and parks. The history and also the weather is so different from one region to another.
I come from Rouen in Normandy and there are a lot of medieval half timbered houses in the old town centre. The food includes a lot of dairy products (Yes, camembert cheese is from Normandy) and apples with the famous 'Tarte Tatin' (upside down caramelised apple tart) and in our drinks like Calvados and Cider. The history and name of the region is linked to the Vikings, the men from the north: 'Nortman'.
If you go to Nice in the South of France, you will get much more sun and food is usually lighter with fish and sea food and vegetables. If you go to Alsace, at the border with Germany, you will definitely feel the influence of Germany in the food and also the street signs and names.
Each region has its own identity and you do not have to stay in the capital to enjoy France.
From a linguistic point of view, Paris is not the best place to practise your French as many more people speak English. You will find it hard to actually speak French as people will reply in English as soon as they hear the slightest English accent. Better to visit remote villages where you will definitely have to use your French skills (and maybe also your body language depending on your level of French) to communicate.
My current photography project is to travel all around France to take pictures of the different cities, landscapes, dishes and all that could be of interest to give you an insight of the different regions and what you could see and try there.
Keep checking my website to see more of France and get some extra tips.
Have a lovely week ahead.