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Paris and the French Riviera

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Soo, we've booked a river cruise from Lyon to Arles and decided to take advantage of being in France, maybe the one and only time in our lives!
We are going to start our trip in Paris, stay for 3 days and then take the high speed train to ?? before our river cruise begins
We've heard we can easily "walk" Paris to see the sights and wonder if any of you have suggestions about where to stay. B&Bs work well for us or smaller, less costly, but still comfortable hotels.
We will be staying 1 night somewhere?? suggestions welcome in the countryside before boarding the ship- thinking of exploring Beaunne or other small towns not too far from Lyon
Finally, we will spend 3 nights on the French Riviera. We plan to rent a car and do a bit of exploring, would love some "sandy" beach time. We're flying home from Nice and thought a B&B or ?? not so far from Nice would work well.
We will disembark the ship in Arles and would love to take in a bit of Monaco before heading home.
Would love to hear suggestions on any or all of this itinerary:)

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