La Baule is a popular resort town that once rivaled Biarritz. Today it leans toward the tacky rather than the sophisticated, but you still can’t beat its breathtaking 5-km (3-mile) beach or the lovely, long seafront promenade lined with hotels. Like Dinard, La Baule is a 19th-century creation, founded in 1879 to make the most of the sandy strands that extend around the broad, sheltered bay between Pornichet and Le Pouliguen. A pine forest helps keep shifting dunes in place. All in all, this can offer an idyllic stay for those who like the idea of a day at the beach and an evening at the casino.
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