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To Plan A Trip

April 2024
1min read


The French Government Tourist Office has a variety of material available for Americans traveling to Normandy, including maps and suggested driving routes for a tour of the D-day beaches. One free brochure, called Highways and Byways for Americans in Normandy , “brings together all the sites where Norman history can be linked with that of the United States,” according to the tourist office, and points out such vital Americana as the town where Walt Disney’s ancestors came from. The organization can be reached by phone at 900-990-0040 or on the Internet at www.fgtousa.org .

The audiotape D-Day—On the Normandy Beaches is first-rate, and it’s a good idea to listen to it as you’re planning your trip, for it offers some great suggestions on hotels and restaurants in the region. The three-hour program is well worth the $19.95 price, and it can be ordered through the Olivia and Hill Press, P.O. Box 7396, Ann Arbor, MI 48107, or call 313-663-0235.

We stayed in a renovated château in Bayeux, but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it. A better bet would have been the Lion d’Or, a classic old hotel in the center of town (telephone: 31-92-06-90). It is said to have a fine restaurant. For our part, we found the food to be both excellent and reasonably priced at local brasseries.

There are countless books on D-day, of course, and two proved particularly useful to us before and during our trip: Six Armies in Normandy , by John Keegan (Penguin Books, 1994), and Overlord: D-Day & the Battle for Normandy , by Max Hastings (Touchstone Books, 1984), which was especially helpful for this article. Finally, before we left for France, I rented The Longest Day , the classic 1962 film that stars everyone from Richard Burton to Henry Fonda. It holds up surprisingly well and provides some great background on D-day.

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