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Suggestions for 1st time 10 day trip to France: Paris, South France

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My husband and I are planning our first trip to France from May 1 - 12, 2013. I would love some input and advice for planning our first trip here. We've been to Spain before on a trip similar in length.

We arrive in Paris (CDG) from the US at 6:30 am on May 2 and leave Paris to fly home at 5:30 pm on May 11.
We were thinking of starting our trip in Paris for a few days and ending there too, but after reading some forums on here, now perhaps we will TGV from the airport to the south (Marseille) and work our way up?
Some places we are concidering:
Avignon, Cassis, Arles, St. Remy, Lyon, Aix, Roussllion, Chateauneuf de Pape

We would like to rent a car and explore the south and perhaps end our trip in Paris for 2-3 days.

Any must see stops along the way? We love to explore by car so driving is not a deal breaker, but would prefer to see as much as possible. Our interests are historic districts, food and wine, cafes, quaint villages, landscapes, seeing the country through the eyes of locals, not tourists...

Any help is much appreciated!

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