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Marseilles

Bertrand Gardel/Hemis/Corbis

Marseilles, France

Why Go Now: Once known as a gritty seaport, this coastal city has recently spruced up its waterfront and is attracting a more sophisticated crowd from Paris.

The Details: Open-air cafés edge the Vieux Port, where street vendors sell ice cream cones and fish sandwiches. Just behind the Quai de Rive Neuve, in the newly posh district of St.-Victor, the artsy Casa Honoré (doubles from $213) has four simple guest rooms, a tapas bar, and a shop that sells furniture designed by owner Annick Lestrohan. For lunch head to Chez Michel (lunch for two $170) and order traditional bouillabaisse, then browse for artisanal olive oils at Place aux Huiles.

T+L Tip: Locals gather at Chez Jeannot (dinner for two $45) for crusty pizza and bottle of Chateau Plonk.

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