We will have four nights in Burgundy starting March 16 -- what is the best place to base? Considering Beaune but open to other options. Will have rental car but would love to be in a central location with bakeries, grocery, restaurants, shops, wine bars, etc. close by. Also hoping for an Airbnb rather than hotel. Thank you, thank you for any advice.
We have stayed in central Beaune two times in hotels. Another time we stayed in the countryside outside of Beaune in a charming cottage and it was more difficult as far as dining out, walking places.
If you want a central location with everything you described, then Beaune is the place to be. We stayed there for 4 nights in airbnb and absolutely loved it. If you stay in Beaune, I would avoid having a rental car. You can pick it up on your way out of town if you are headed somewhere else. You won't need to drive anywhere.
We rode through the vineyards, took a half day wine tour, visited wineries, walked the walls, and had a wonderful time.
Stay within the walls of the city and you can walk anywhere within 10 minutes.
We loved Beaune. Perfect size small town. Super charming but authentic. So easy to walk everywhere. They have a great outdoor market that we really enjoyed, along with great shops, places to eat, and of course, the beautiful and fascinating hospital.
We spent a week in Semur en Auxois as a base and loved it.
It was just so beautiful.
We have also stayed briefly in Beune and it is too big a town for us for using as a base to drive to other areas. It is a nice place for a night or two however. Burgundy is gorgeous wherever you choose.
Our group of 5 adults and 1 toddler spent five nights in Beaune in November 2021, and all agreed it's a place we'd go back to in a heartbeat. The Airbnb we stayed at was magnificent (https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/50260358?sourceimpressionid=p31646838000uyMeJGYJIms5mv3O) - easily my favorite apartment we've ever rented. Close to everything, great kitchen, lots of space to spread out, easy parking, around the corner from Patriarche (also recommend their wine tasting), comfortable beds, gorgeous rooftop views. I cannot say enough great things about the apartment.
We also loved Beaune and found it to be just the right size - completely walkable, easy to drive to other villages and wineries, but with enough restaurants that we weren't every bored. We also loved being able to walk from Beaune through the vineyards to Pommard and wine tastings there. If you end up basing in Beaune, I'm happy to provide other recommendations!
I stayed in Avallon to explore that part of Burgundy by car in a kitchenette, only spent a half day in Beaune. I do remember there was a lot of traffic to get in and out of Beaune. I visited charming villages and small towns, a couple of chateaux, and a winery or two. Mostly I ate lunches at restaurants and ate food I got at the local markets for suppers.
There are nice and interesting places to visit between Beaune and Auxerre and think it wil be more practical to stay a bit halfway. Worth to visit are Vézelay, Noyers and the abbey of Fontenay to name a few. Auxerre is really beautiful too as well as Semur as Janet mentions.
We have stayed twice at a nice hotel in the edge of the Morvan near Avalon --- lovely place on a little stream where we could take walks into the park. Trout in the mill race for dinner. https://moulindesruats.com/en/
It is a great location for visiting towns like Vezelay, Auxerre etc in the region. When we want a base to visit sites in an area, we don't want to be in a city and deal with city traffic -- so a small town or a country hotel like this one work better.