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Spend a Day in Decadent Deauville, France
Posted By Jen Westmoreland Bouchard On February 15, 2013 @ 6:34 am In Northwest France | 1 Comment
Located in northwestern France, the seaside city of Deauville is a lovely place to spend the day (or several). Known for its horse racing culture, grand casino, luxurious hotels, sumptuous villas, and breathtaking ocean views, Deauville has historically been the playground of France’s (and the international) upper class (think the northwestern French equivalent of Nice). The “look” of Deauville is unforgettable, with its half-timbered brown and white buildings, cobblestone streets, and well-manicured green spaces. There are plenty of ways to pass the time on the “Parisian Riviera.” Here are some places and activities you definitely shouldn’t miss.
If you enjoy watching thoroughbred horse races, then head to the Hippodrome de Deauville – La Toques for a truly elite horseracing experience. In addition to regular horseraces, the Hippodrome de Deauville also hosts top international polo teams on their two polo pitches during the summer months.
Hippodrome de Deauville – La Toques
45 Avenue Hocquart de Turtot
14800 Deauville, France
Tel: +33 2 31 14 20 00
The Hippodrome Deauville-Clairefontaine offers a bit lower-key horse racing scene. This is the less pretentious of the two racetracks, and is the host of a greater variety of races during the summer.
Route de Clairefontaine
Tel: +33 2 31 14 69 00
If you want to get in on the action yourself, head to the Poney Club de Deauville for a horseback ride on the beach! The Poney Club offers riding lessons for children age 4 and up.
Poney Club de Deauville
Tel: +33 2 31 98 56 24
Casino Barrière Deauville
One of the most glamorous venues in Deauville, the Grand Casino is a sight to behold. Constructed in 1912, the casino wears its 100 plus years well. Inside there is a theater designed in 18th-century style, inspired by Versailles. Here, casino guests enjoy floor shows, comedians, and concerts. Of course, you can always gamble, too!
Rue Edmond Blanc
BP 3240014802 Deauville
CedexTel: +33 (0)2 31 14 31 14
The luxurious Villa Strassburger is a historic mansion built in Anglo-Norman style. The expansive residence was built in the early 20th century for Baron Henri de Rothschild. In 1924, it was acquired by Strassburger (an American tycoon). After Strassburger’s death, his son gave the mansion to the city of Deauville. During the summer months, the mansion is open for guided tours.
2 Avenue Strassburger
Tel: +33 2 31 88 20 44
American Film Festival
If you’re lucky enough to be in Deauville near the end of August/beginning of September, you’ll experience quite a bit of glitz and glamour as international stars hit the red carpet of the annual (since 1975) American Film Festival. This year’s (2013) festival runs from August 31st-September 9th. If you’re not there during the film festival, you can still get your star fix by walking along “les planches”— the beachside boardwalk line with small bathing cabins featuring famous American movie stars’ names.
Naturally, most of the action in Deauville happens near the beach, which is considered by many to be the most beautiful beach in the Normandy region. The water in Normandy tends to be chilly, even in the summer months, but that doesn’t stop tourists from renting a colorful parasol and settling in for a day on the sand. People-watching is top notch along the beach— keep your eyes open for international celebrities. The beach also offers a variety of amenities such as seaside tennis, recreation clubs, a swimming pool (with water warmer than the ocean), a spa and a water sports center.
Avenue de la Mer
Deauville and neighboring Touville have wonderful markets along the harbor (days/times change seasonally— ask a local for the most up-to-date information). I recommend stocking up on fresh bread, cheese, fruit and olives and enjoying a picnic lunch looking out over the ocean.
Three of the most popular restaurants in Deauville are Restaurant La Flambée, Augusto Chez Laurent, and Le Spinnaker. Check out their websites for the most up-to-date menu information.
Restaurant La Flambée
81 rue du Général Leclerc
Tel: 02 31 88 28 46
Augusto Chez Laurent
27 rue Désiré le Hoc
Tel: 02 31 88 34 49
52 rue Mirabeau
Tel: 02 31 88 24 40
Written by Jen Westmoreland Bouchard for EuropeUpClose.com
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