As you head toward Reims, the landscape loosens and undulates, and the hills tantalize with French vineyards that—thanks to la méthode champenoise—produce the world's antidote to gloom. Each year, millions of bottles of bubbly mature in hundreds of kilometers of chalk tunnels carved under the streets of Reims and Épernay, both of which fight for the title "The Champagne City."
- Drink Champagne (obviously!) Sample some bubbly, see the vineyards, and visit the cavernous chalk cellars where bottles are stored by the million.
- Bask in Gothic glory No fewer than 10 Gothic cathedrals dot the region—don’t miss the biggest (Amiens) or the tallest (neighboring Beauvais).
- Look up in Laon With its cathedral towers patrolling the hilly horizon, the "Crowned Mountain" has a site whose grandeur rivals Mont-St-Michel.
- Drink now, pray later in Reims Beyond being a center for Champagne production, regal Reims is also home to France's great coronation cathedral.
- Get some exercise Hiking on one of Champagne’s fabulous, forested sentiers de Grandes Randonnées can be an intoxicating outdoor activity.