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First family trip to France, 8-10 days in August

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Our family (one teen, one preteen) is going on a 8-10 day trip to France in August. This is our first trip there and were looking for some tips on where to stay; should we get a hotel in Paris, North, or South, and what are the must-sees for a first-time trip.

These are our guidelines so far:
-Would like to visit the beach
-Want to experience real French culture (not all tourist places)
-Nice boutiques, shopping
-Some historical sites (but not too many museums - castles, monuments, etc are good)
-Don't want to stay in one place the whole time

Suggestions on best places to stay for families are mainly what we are looking for! thanks!

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