Chamonix, France

My August visit found this bustling retreat high in the French Alps sweltering in 90 degree (30 Celsius) temperatures. Streets were filled with people and the place had the feel of being at a carnival. The "cool" factor for Chamonix on a 1-10 scale is a definite 10. It's a place where outdoor activities like hang-gliding, rock-climbing and hiking are on the agenda. Unfortunately I can't recommend any places to stay. Why? I made the big mistake of coming here without lodging reservations and of course, zilch was to be found.