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Getting out of Paris, Part I

The Merits of… the French Beach Vacation

We are back in Paris, and the summer is over –the ‘rentrée,’ or the mass return back to work and school after summer vacation, is in full swing. The weather coordinated perfectly with the end of vacation – starting September 1st, chilly fall weather blew in. Sweater weather is officially here!

Over the summer, we were lucky enough to go on several vacations. After two months cooped up in a tiny Parisian apartment, cravings for the outdoors were acute. And with work still being remote for the most part, we decided to take advantage and hit the road for the majority of the summer.

Two of the highlights were spending time at the beach, and also in the countryside. Paris is usually at the top of the list to visit while vacationing in France, but these two options are great for families, and offer a vastly different French experience! I wanted to take the opportunity in my next posts to acquaint you with why these two options could be a great addition to your next French vacation.

The French Beach Experience

I don’t think I really need to sell anyone on why a French beach vacation is great, but after talking to my parents, I did realize that there are some aspects of beach trips here that are unique.

Every summer, our extended family meets in the small coastal city of Pornichet, on the southern tip of Brittany. They’ve been going to the same spot since the 1950s, when the train lines were extended to the coast from Paris and my husband’s grandparents purchased a vacation home for them and their 9 kids (!!!). Generations later, the family still meets up in the same exact location!

Some cool aspects of the beach experience here :

--- Oftentimes, French beaches have cute little wooden cabins and cloth tents up for rent. If the beach where you’re going offers this, rent one or the other! Seriously, this is a beach game-changer. The wooden cabins lock, and you can store all of your beach towels and toys – no more traipsing to the beach loaded down with all your gear. You can also use the cabins for changing back into regular clothes after showering (often fresh water showers are also available) – no more post-beach sand all over your home! The tents are covered areas, perfect for keeping little ones in the shade while still playing in the sand.

Prices are usually around 15 euros / day; 70 euros / week – well worth it IMO!

--- Many larger French beaches also have restaurants available, right on the beachfront! I LOVE this – nothing says vacation like dining with your feet in the sand, or grabbing a quick apéro while the kids continue playing on the beach. Genius.

--- There are kids’ clubs! These are daily camps, with tons of organized activities right on the beach. Trampolines, swings, and play areas are the norm, plus there are plenty of games, singing, etc. This is a great way for parents to get some free time, and for kids to get to socialize. (This is admittedly better for the French speakers out there, but I love this concept and wanted to share:))

A typical Kids' Beach Club

Another tip - try to rent an apartment of home – chances are, all the beach gear you need like towels and toys will be supplied!

Also, feel free to contact me if you need help reserving a cabin or tent, or want guidance choosing where you would like to visit – I’m always happy to help!

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