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Spend a Day in Decadent Deauville, France

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.

Deauville Architecture
Deauville Architecture

Enjoy the Equestrian Culture

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.
Hippodrome Deauville-Clairefontaine
Route de Clairefontaine
14800 Tourgéville
Tel: +33 2 31 14 69 00

Deauville Clairefontaine
Deauville Clairefontaine

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
Rue Reynolds-Mahn
Tel: +33 2 31 98 56 24

Take in the Glitz and Glamour 

Casino Barrière Deauville

Deauville Grand Casino
Deauville Grand Casino

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

Villa Strassburger

Deauville Villa Strasburger
Deauville Villa Strasburger, showing the typical architecture of the area

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

14800 Deauville
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.

Deauville Boardwalk
Deauville Boardwalk

Lounge on the Beach

Deauville Beach
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
14804 Deauville

Sample Local Fare

Sunday Market
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.

Augusto Chez Laurent
Augusto Chez Laurent

Restaurant La Flambée
81 rue du Général Leclerc
14800 Deauville
Tel: 02 31 88 28 46

Augusto Chez Laurent
27 rue Désiré le Hoc
14800 Deauville
Tel: 02 31 88 34 49

Le Spinnaker
52 rue Mirabeau
14800 Deauville
Tel: 02 31 88 24 40

Written by Jen Westmoreland Bouchard for

Debbie @ European Travelista

Friday 15th of February 2013

I would love to spend a day in Deauville! Actually I love this area and would really like to spend quite a bit of time exploring it.

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