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Getting tourist board information right before and even during your vacation in Chamonix, France can really help you benefit from the most up-to-date details about the region you are visiting. Perhaps there is a festival occurring that is new on the calendar that a tourist board can help you with.
The United States Government has a Consular Information page for France, full of facts and advice which is good to check out. Checking with the government or the host country's embassy is always a good idea before traveling to make sure you meet all of the entry-requirements. The U.S. government provides a list of requirements online. If you are staying longer than three months you will need to apply for a Visa; visit the embassy's information page on Visas for further information.
France has a great online tourist board that is full of advice for travel within the county. They can also provide a magazine with an event calendar and maps. Chamonix also has a great online tourist board stocked with tips. You can visit them when you arrive as well; they are located at 85 place du triangle de l'amitie.