You could mistake the Château de Chaumont for being pulled straight out of Disneyland, except it was built 1,000 years ago to manage borders. After a turbulent history (it was dismantled and then rebuilt after a failed rebellion against King Louis XI), the grounds have bloomed into a horticultural dream.
Art comes alive at the Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire, where permanent installations and seasonal offerings intermingle and leave you with a sense of reverie.
After you've seen the château's interior and adored the adornments, then head outside. No visit would be complete without stopping by the late 19th-century stables, where you'll find harnesses made by Hermès (before they turned toward high-fashion).
While you explore the interior, keep an eye out for the Louis XV commode that's been repaired by the Japanese art of Kintsugi.
Tickets for Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire: Skip The Line