Why Shore I'd Like to Get Out of Paris for the Day!
June 30, 2013 2:05 PM   Subscribe

Help two American first-timers to France choose a town for our "Get out of Paris" day. The catch: it has to be a shore town, somewhere between Le Havre and Dunkirk.

My fiancee and I will be in Paris for five days in mid-July, and we'd like to jump on a train one of those days and get out of the city. We've narrowed it down to the area between La Havre and Dunkirk, but it has to be on the shore (fiancee looooves the water). The guidebooks all have their recommendations, but I'm interested in hearing what the hive has to say.

Quirky and unique to that town/region are much more important to us than touristy and familiar. Near a rail station would be great. Romantic is a plus, but not necessary. Really, we want to see how ordinary French of that area live, and experience something we won't in Paris.

I've purposely left out our specific interests because I don't want to limit the responses, but there is one caveat: we *don't* want to visit anything having to do with the WWII battle of Normandy.
posted by Rykey to Travel & Transportation around La Petite Pierre, France (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Of all the places we visited along that coast, my wife and I liked Le Touquet best. It has a reputation as a resort for the wealthy, I think, but for a day-trip, the town itself was perfect - lots of nice little shops and cafés, and an easy walk down to a very pleasant beach.

It's not really typical of the area though.
posted by pipeski at 2:21 PM on June 30, 2013

On our most recent French holiday, we spent a day in Honfleur on the opposite side of the Seine to Le Havre. It's a small port town stuffed with cafés and little shops. Small enough to walk round in a day.
posted by pharm at 2:56 PM on June 30, 2013

It's a little outside your guidelines but in 3.5 to 4 hours you could be in St Malo. Bags of history, beautiful walled old town and right by the sea.
posted by biffa at 4:26 PM on June 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

Definitely second pharn about Honfleur. Very cute coastal town; no D-Day memorabilia in sight.
posted by Alexdan4 at 5:57 AM on July 3, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks for the recommendations. We ended up going to Dieppe, which was adorable. It fit the bill as someplace at the water and east of Le Havre, and it had its own train station.

Dieppe is a harbor/seaside town that sort of reminded me of coastal Maine. It seemed to be a vacation spot for the French (as opposed to more of a foreigners' destination), because we didn't hear anybody speaking anything except French, and saw no signs in English. We had some great seafood--the place where we ate specialized in shellfish--and everyone there was really nice.
posted by Rykey at 7:49 AM on July 20, 2013

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