Hi, I'm Donna.
I’m here to help you have the best possible Paris experience, just like you would if you were visiting your best friend in Paris and they were showing you around. I’ve been taking friends on tours and exploring the city for many years. I’ve got an adventurous spirit and lots of great stories to share and I love nothing better than showing people around and helping them see the Paris I know.
Scroll down to learn more about me and to look at some of my tour suggestions.
I moved to Paris in the Fall of 2006, and I don’t think I’ve stopped discovering things about this city since. I love wandering around with or without a purpose.
I was born in Texas and grew up in North Carolina. I graduated from Queens College in Charlotte, North Carolina with a degree in piano performance and later, while living in Washington, DC, completed an MBA from Johns Hopkins University. I’ve had lots of interesting work experiences and lived in some great cities including Asheville, Miami, Los Angeles, Geneva, even a few years in New York.
If you’ve ever met me or toured with me or maybe just followed me on Facebook, you’ll have heard or read something about my Mother, Mary Louise Briggs Morris Shuford. She died at the age of 88 on January 25, 2018. I was fortunate to get home and spend her last days by her side, for which I will be forever grateful. She had an enormous impact on my life and I miss her phone calls and visits. She left me with an adorable studio apartment so expect to see me spending the winter months recharging and enjoying the sun in Washington, D.C.!
Tours of Paris
Generally speaking, my city tours are pretty simple.
We’ll get together on what it is you want to see and I’ll make that happen. Here are some suggestions to get you started.
Just Follow Me
My most requested tour
Whether it’s your first time in Paris or your twentieth, tell me what you want to see and then put yourself in my hands. Just “follow me!” to food markets, cemeteries (something I particularly love to do), Montmartre (no, we don't climb the hill to get to the Sacre Coeur), one of a kind boutiques or "Les Grands Magasins", or maybe just explore a particular arrondissement you've read about. You name it, I promise I can find it.
Follow Me For Wine
Paris by the glass
Paris by the glass? Why not? France is one of the largest wine producers in the world. And the labels on the bottles often don’t tell you much about what’s inside. We may not get to visit the vineyards in person on this tour but we'll stop in some great wine shops and wine bars to learn about and sample some of France’s best wines. And you don’t have to break the bank to do it. This tour is available Tuesday – Saturday.
Flea Markets in Paris
Treasure hunting at the Flea Markets
Intimidated by the what you've heard about the flea market at Clignancourt? The "Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen" as it's known, is a fun and exciting place to visit. There's the junk side and the other side and I know them both very well. And every year, the market just gets better with new restaurants and vendors. You’ll need a good eye and cash to detect those special finds, but don’t worry if you don’t speak French, I’ll interpret. If you want to take a bit of old Paris home with you, come with me to the Flea Market.
Learning to Love the Louvre
It pays to visit with someone in the know
The Louvre can be intimidating because of it’s massive size and equally massive collection. And while I’m by far no expert, I do know my way around the building. Granted, you can do the Louvre on your own, but it’ll be less stressful and a lot more fun with me. We'll spend about 2 hours exploring this former home to the Royal families of France. We can see the pieces you've always heard talked about (Mona Lisa of course) and visit some rooms that hold delightful surprises. When we’re done, we’ll spend some time in the neighborhood around the Louvre and call it a half-day tour. There’s still lots more to see...
Wow! Surprising Sights of Paris
When you have limited time in Paris
Have you ever been somewhere and all you could think was, "WOW that's beautiful!" Happens to me all the time in Paris. Let me show you the most known and iconic sites in Paris. If your time is limited, this is the tour for you. Don’t forget to bring your camera and wear comfortable shoes!
World War II in Paris
Mont Valerian and the American Military Cemetery
I'm fascinated with the stories surrounding the Second World War and its impact on France and the psyche of the French people. It was a very complicated time and left deep wounds and scars – and not just on the land. There is a very moving memorial to French Resistance fighters at Mont Valerian (an old fort just on the outskirts of Paris) and around the corner, an American Military. This tour includes visits to both.
Paris: How it Works
You're in Paris, now what?
You’ve made it to Paris. But wait, how do the metro and bus systems work? How is the city laid out? Are the French really rude? (No, I think they are mostly misunderstood and I can explain.) Should I use the taxis? Where are the public toilets? Where are the best chocolate shops?
For all of this and more, book a half-day tour with me. We'll meet at your hotel, apartment, or a nearby café - as you like, and we'll take a look at the metro & city maps then take a walk around. We'll find a few key places in your "quartier", pop into a metro station, take a bus and see how it all works. Finally, I'll answer any questions you have about Paris, navigation-wise or otherwise.
Day Trip excursions from paris
There are lots of interesting towns and sites a short train ride from Paris. I’ve been to many of them. There's so much more than what I've posted here like Malmaison, Chateau Monte Cristo, Versailles (a lot more than just the chateau!), Maintenot, Saint-Denis, Rodin's Atelier. The list goes on!
If you’ve already been to Versailles, maybe you’d like to visit the original royal castle? It’s called Fontainebleau and fairly easy to access by train from the Gare de Lyon. Fontainebleau is not as modern as Versailles of course, but the rooms are quite magnificent. The property is immense and you can spend the afternoon walking the gardens.
Trains regularly depart from Gare Saint Lazare to the town of Vernon with an easy bus ride to the town of Giverny. And Giverny is much more than Monet's house and gardens. It's also where many of his family members lived and there was a vibrant art community as well. Don't miss a walk through town to visit the church and have lunch on a terrace.
1 – 4 people, 4 hours
Day Trip Excursions from Paris:
1 – 4 people, 6+ hours, varies according to where we go.
Prices do not include local public transportation costs (RER/metro/bus), guest entrance fees to museums or monuments, nor any food or drinks (except as noted under Follow Me for Wine). If used, chauffeured car or minivan service is charged to guests at cost.
What about cancellations?
Refunds, less fees and charges, are not provided for cancellations less than one week in advance or for “no-shows”.
What about inclement weather?
Sorry, there are no cancellations in the event of inclement weather. But the tour might get modified or rescheduled if we both agree.
If you need more information or have questions, please contact me!
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