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One day in Paris, Champagne, and somewhere between Beaune and Nice

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Hello! I'll be traveling to France in August this year. We will be a group of 2 couples and will arrive to Paris at 8:00 AM local time. We will only be spending that day in Paris. I'm looking for a location and/or hotel recommendation that would be best suited for making the most of our short time. I think we may hire a car to take us around the city to efficiently visit the major sites. I'm looking for moderately priced hotels in the $150-$200 range.

Following Paris, we will rent a car and go to the Champagne region for another overnight. I'm in the wine industry and am working on appointments with our winemaker. I'm undecided if we should stay in Reims or outside the city. What's your experience? Recommendations appreciated. Again, moderately priced.

We will then drive to Beaune for a one week stay in an apartment. Would love daytrip ideas from this location. We'll do some wine tasting, but not everyday. Mostly we love to wander, look at architecture, visit churches, parks, eat, drink, take it easy...

From Beaune, we will drive to Nice and stay in another apartment. We do have the possibility to stop and stay in another town along the way to break up the drive. Any ideas for a quaint, picturesque village along the way or a site that should not be missed? We don't have to stop (we can add another day to Beaune or Nice), but we could.

Once in Nice, I think we'll give up the car and take trains and busses to neighboring towns - it seems like the traffic will be terrible and public transport is good. We'll be flying out of Nice.

Thanks for wading through this long message! Thanks in advance for your advice and recommendations!

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