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

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

Old Jun 16th, 2012, 05:01 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2012
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First family trip to France, 8-10 days in August

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!
triptofrance is offline  
Old Jun 16th, 2012, 07:12 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
Well it's good you don;t want to stay in one place since Paris is nowhere near a beach. You might consider fluing into Paris, staying 5 days there , then moving tothe Riviers (mobbed) or cost near Deauville (also mobbed and cooler) for 3 days before returning.

that is assuming you have 10 days. If you only have 8 days (and does this assume the day you arrive and depart? if so, you really only have 6 days) then I would just stay in Patis and make 1 or at most 2 day trips to see the countryside. (And I believe they make a faux beach on part of the Seince during the summer - have no idea what it is like.)
nytraveler is offline  
Old Jun 16th, 2012, 09:29 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,997
The aspects of France that made you choose it would be your must-sees. Get a guide book and do some research and then come back with questions that are a bit more specific.
grandmere is offline  
Old Jun 17th, 2012, 12:00 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,310
For beach time consider areas consider some of the areas on the west coast. Even areas as far north as Brittany have some lovely beaches. If you are flying in and out of Paris I would head to the beach directly from the airport and would choose a location where I could train directly from the airport as you have limited time. Then head back and spend the rest of the time in Paris then fly home.

Keep in mind the beach places will be packed in August!

jamikins is offline  
Old Jun 17th, 2012, 03:23 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 4,134

Paris Plages is on until august 19th this year. That's the faux beach, and let me assure you: it's absolutely brilliant. Paris will come out of its summer sleep in august , la rentrée, also fun, But be aware that if you come in early august some places, shops, bars, may not have opened up yet. So if your dates are before the 19th, I wouldn't bother with going west to a beach, I'd just use Paris Plages as the beach destination. I've done it with my son, and there's really something for everyone. Also a perennial hit is the science museum:


Museum doesn't really describe it: it's completely geared to young persons and usually it is the one "end" of Paris Plages, with sailing courses going on in the bassin de la villette.

Swimming pools in Paris can be equally nice: for instance Pontoise, which is in a lot of movies. Just make sure you wear the regulation cap and trunks and you'll be ok.

The 11th is nice, Canal St Martin, Voie Plantee, too.

The museum at Quai Branly, the new ethnographic place, can be interesting too, but is highly ideological, the one thing my son found absolutely irresistible are the walk in music boxes on the first floor and the building has a very intriguing design.

And for a completely off the beaten track park experience I recommend Parc Andre Citroen, on the site of the old Citroen auto plant. You can do a balloon ride (straight up and down) that will give you a better vantage point to see Paris than the Eiffel tower does, and I can guarantee you there will be almost no tourists there.
menachem is offline  
Old Jun 17th, 2012, 03:43 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 53,248
there you are, trip to France - doubt if you'll better menachem's plan.

with the time you have, and this being a new destination for you all, I would strongly suggest staying in one place that has enough interest for everyone for the whole time.

that means IMO Paris, or the absolute opposite - a family campsite somewhere which you use as a base for day trips.

personally i think i would go for and apartment in Paris with air conditioning, and as close as possible to the plages.
annhig is offline  
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