We rented a car for all these trips outside Paris, and I can't imagine doing it otherwise, though many others have. We took the train from Paris, stayed in one town and drove daily. We never drove back to Paris, but returned by train either to continue our visit or to fly home. You might consider the Loire Valley, even closer to Paris. I thought it was absolutely sensational. We have spent 4-5 in Burgundy, outside Beaune and loved it. This past September we visited Colmar and Alsace. Colmar is beautiful and there are many rewarding day drives ( as was the case in Burgundy as well). We have also spent time based in Arles and combined train and car for about 5 days. I didn't plan on becoming a Francophile, but I think it's happened. We also recently spent time in Normandy (Rouen, Honfluer, Bayeux) and a bit of Brittany, but I think that region might deserve more time, and it was one area where I absolutely would require a car. We visited the Loire, Burgundy, and Arles in late April/May and Alsace/Normandy in late August/September and had great weather and experiences everywhere. Safe travels.