Soccer fans should set their sights on France this summer, and especially Lyon, where positive thinking in some circles holds that American women will clinch their fourth World Cup title in the final match on July 7.
Even if you can’t get tickets — or détestez le football — the city of half a million people and 4,000 restaurants is well worth a visit. This year Lyon plays host to one of four countrywide International City of Gastronomy projects, an indoor, one-acre exhibition that includes interactive workshops and conferences designed to showcase France’s cuisine and its contributions to health and pleasure. The exhibition fits inside the Grand Hôtel Dieu , a sprawling complex first founded in the 1300s that reopens after four years of renovations with shops, restaurants, public spaces and a five-star hotel. When it comes time to work off all those plates of pork sausage, hike in nearby Écrins National Park , where traditional working dogs protect herds of sheep. Book a stay at the Temple-Écrins hut, where workers recently wrapped up three years of renovations. TIM NEVILLE
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