Cabourg is my new favorite place and the future location of my (imaginary) vacation home.
This summer, with the weather suddenly gorgeous, hot and sunny, Frenchman and I were itching to get out of Paris for a weekend. Train ticket prices, however, had other ideas. Everywhere we tried to go, the prices were exorbitant, or if we could swing the train costs, there wasn’t a hotel or airb&b to be found. I had pretty much given up, but Frenchman, who this past spring started his own business and is therefore home by himself all day every day, was not ready to let the idea go.
Finally, we had a stroke of genius, in two parts. First, the destination: Cabourg. Second: the time. A beach town in Normandy just west of Deauville, Cabourg offers all the charm and beachiness and none of the overpriced drama of it’s neighbor. And if we left Thursday night, we could get both a hotel room and train tickets for cheap and already be on-location bright and early the next morning for the beach, beating the weekend rush. It was perfect! Tickets bought, Friday off requested.
A Day at the Beach in Cabourg
After leaving straight from work to Gare St. Lazare, we made it to Cabourg by about 9:45pm. We checked into our simple, but functional hotel, technically in Dives-sur-Mer on the opposite site of the little inlet from Cabourg. It seemed a waste of a beautiful evening to just stay in the room, so we went for a walk down a little path we saw next to the hotel.
It was fate.
I know where I’m moving when we win the lottery and buy a vacation home.
Down this little sandy path, along the calm inlet that heads out to sea, there it was. The most adorable cottages, one of which will be mine… eventually. This walk set the theme for the entire little trip, where Frenchman and I walk down the street pointing to practically every home exclaiming, “Cute!”
We walked for about an hour, until it started to get a bit too chilly in the Normandy air, even though it was still absurdly light out for 11 o’clock at night. We made our way back to the hotel, where Frenchman went to sleep and I went online to look at real estate.
In the morning, we set out to walk across the little bridge to Cabourg proper. Even though nothing was yet open, I already liked it more than Deauville. With a super cute main street, there are tons of little shops and restaurants. Radiating out on either side of this street are quiet residential streets with tons of quaint and beautiful old houses.
We made our way through town at a leisurely pace before emerging onto the boardwalk in front of the ocean. We admired the view and walked a bit before pausing for a coffee in front of the elegant grand hotel, which seems to spring from another era. Not quite ready to hit the beach just yet, we decided to explore the little residential side streets, continuing our game of “Cute!” house-spotting.
We spent the rest of the day eating seafood, laying on the beach, and exploring a bit more. Where the inlet splits Cabourg and Dives, there’s a rugged, beachy point of land that stretches out with the inlet on one side and the ocean on the other. We were all alone amidst really beautiful views and it was exactly what we needed for a chill little escape from the city.
Just as our day was winding to a close and we were getting ready to go back to the train station, suddenly there were way more people than there had been all day long. We were very happy with our timing as we swam upstream of these new crowds and headed home after our very crowd-less visit.