When you're looking for things to do and see in a town you've never visited before, your guidebook is, of course, a good starting point.
But a very under-utilized, and under-appreciated source is the town or region's office of tourism.
These little offices, located in nearly every town of any size, exist solely to help you enjoy visiting their town/region.
They'll have racks and racks of literature and information, where you can find restaurants, hotels, tourist attractions, historic sites, walking trails, bicycle or canoe rentals, movie theatres - a gold mine of local information.
There are always a few bad apples, but these offices are usually staffed by friendly people who *want* you to enjoy their town -- and a lot of them speak English - anywhere from enough to struggle through a conversation to downright fluent.
So how to find them?
They're usually in the centre of the town - look for a lower-case letter "i" -- it will usually say "office de tourisme" -- usually brown or blue.
Bigger towns and cities will have an office in the train station and possibly at the airport.
And on the web? Google "office de tourisme" and the name of the place -- it will be in the top results. Many will have an English-language option, or you can use Google Translate to get you through it.