My husband and I will be staying in Paris for 3 weeks and I would like to go on a two night trip somewhere. I was thinking maybe Nice for the beaches or should we go up to Belgium? We are not sure where to go and might not go back to Europd for some time. Any suggestions.? We are 28, like to walk, eat and drink coffee.
How about Normandy, nearby and full of history, beaches, countryside? Maybe not in the colder part of the year. Two mights means only one full day of sightseeing but if you leave Paris early and get back late you can do a lot more. Caen or Bayeux would be a good base. Best to take the train to, say, Rouen and rent a car there. Only way to get to Nice for that short a time would be flying, it would eat up too much of your time ino. Haven't been to Belgium, but why go up there when there's so much France to explore?
Nice is six hours by train. You'd have to fly. Other weekend trips that you could take by high speed train are the Loire Valley or Beaune in Burgundy. I wouldn't try driving a car back into Paris after 4 p.m. on any Sunday of the year. You don't say what season you are going.
Just be aware that if you go to Nice for a nice sandy beach - it hasn't got much of one, certainly not in the non-paying areas. The beaches on the Flemish beaches of Belgium are much sandier. So are the Normandy ones. But, as said above, you haven't said when this outing will be. The seasons will make a dramatic difference in how the various beaches are received.
It really depends on what time of year you will be in Paris.
We are going in June. Normandy sounds nice but will it be hot enough for the beach? We are from Seattle.
Jess, Normandy could be warm and beautiful or cold and foggy and all in the same day. It was in the 50s the few days we were there at the end of July, a couple years ago. No guarantees even in July. It's definitely the same in Belgium. We turned the heat on staying at a nature center in Belgium in August about three years ago. We were there for a conference. Foggy and wet that week. So, it sounds like you are seeking sun. Edit: not THAT kind of nature center. It was a science center for school groups and visitors!
There's lots of options, depending on what you're looking for. Walking, eating, and drinking coffee can be accomplished almost anywhere, so you'll have to narrow it down. Belgium is easy logistically. Another "city break" that would work well is to go to Strasbourg on day 1 and spend the night, then go to Nancy (an underrated gem) on day two before returning to Paris. If you're looking for a beach, on the other hand, neither of these options is for you.
You could also go to Deauville, in Normandy. It's a very romantic town and the beaches are beautiful , also there are very nice restaurants and hotels !