My husband and I will be traveling to France in a few weeks. We are staying 5 nights in Paris then renting a car and driving to Beune, where we will stay for an additional 2 nights. Looking for places to stop on our drive from Paris to Beaune. We are adventerous types and like to find hidden gems. We also enjoy the large touristy stops...
We're making a similar trip next month. After reading "Life in a Medieval City," see http://www.amazon.com/Life-Medieval-City-Joseph-Gies/dp/0060908807/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1378496350&sr=1-1&keywords=life+in+a+medieval+city, we decided to stop in Troyes, one of the major towns of medieval Champagne, whose center is apparently well preserved. We're also staying a night in Reims, with its great coronation cathedral and champagne tours, but that's well off the direct Paris-Beaune route. Not far east of Troyes is Colombey-Les-Deux-Eglises, where deGaulle lived, is buried, and has a museum. I think we'll skip it but if you're especially interested in le general you could stop there. Dijon is close to Beaune, has a very good art museum, could be a stop on the way down or back, but it's a bigger city. We'll probably take the train from Beaune instead of driving there. Finally, the chateau at Fontainebleau, just SE of Paris, is well kept and historic (Francis I, Napoleon), worth a stop if you like chateaus. Those oughta hold you....;)
Vézelay, France is exceptionally beautiful.
Fontainebleau is a great idea, we loved it. Look in a RS France guide and find the scenic drive he recommends from Beaune which goes north of Beaune, maybe you can get on it on your way into Beaune. That scenic drive was a highlight for us.. it includes Chateauneuf-en-Auxois, the most charming village I have ever seen.
We might be able to make more-intelligent suggestions if we knew what your plans were after Beaune, as well as before. However: Vezeley is a great suggestion. You might consider taking the train to Auxerre and renting your car there, if only because Paris to Beaune via Vezeley is a lot of time on the road. A different possible plan is to stop at the Fontenay Abbey and then perhaps on to Semur and/or Flavigney. Again you could take the train to Montbard, near the abbey, if you can arrange to pick up a car there. Vezeley and Fontenay are both top-rated sights, popular but justly so. Unfortunately it is not practical to catch both, from Paris to Beaune, on the same day.
After Beaune, we will heading back to Paris to stay last night before flying home.
Well, you could visit Fontenay and Semur coming, and Vezeley and environs going. But also if your flight home is in the afternoon, consider taking the early train the morning of and spending your last night in Burgundy. Use the extra day to explore parts of Burgundy.