Fodor's Expert Review Cité de La Mer
Cherbourg is a major submarine base—more than 90 have been built here since 1899. One, the nuclear-powered Redoutable, was launched in 1967 and now, 50 years later, is on display at the Cité de La Mer. You can tour the 420-foot submarine thanks to an audio tour and admire the barrage of designer fish tanks while plumbing the depths of submarine history. The converted maritime rail station, a supremely elegant Art Deco edifice designed by René Levasseur, houses an expansive gift shop and Le Quai des Mers, a brasserie-type restaurant, as well as a snack stand (open July and Aug.). It's spectacularly illuminated at night, when the restaurant stays open long after the museum has closed.