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charming small French city for weeklong stay?

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We are planning our French summer holiday and are looking for some Fodors inspiration. We are a family of 4 with two daughters aged 12 & 16. We're flying into Dublin then connecting into CDG. We will rent a house for a week in a smallish French city with plenty to do but some interesting side trips nearby. Then we'll head back to Paris, stay there for 4 nights, fly back to Dublin for 3 nights and then head home.

We are definitely city people rather than the small isolated farmhouse loving folks. At first we were thinking of driving from CDG to Normandy and finding a homebase there. But most of the towns are quite small and my girls might get bored after a couple of days. So we're thinking of getting a TGV from CDG to somewhere within a 3 hour radius and renting a car there. Ideally it will be the Lucca of France, a town we fell in love with during a previous trip. It's the perfect size town: big enough for plenty to do but small enough to give us some a respite from Paris. We're not big into wine so vineyards and chateaus aren't that important. A few thoughts: Dijon? Strasbourg? Besancon? Any others?

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