The Atlantic coast of France is best experienced in the Summer, so I went to Normandy for the first time in the middle of June; for someone who has lived in Southern California, it was still chilly :) The most well known city is Deauville, where the film festival is held and rich city dwellers have Summer homes. The casino is a beautiful building on the edge of the coast.
The beach is laid out into sections with various services available along each section
including private cabanas named after famous actors and actresses, a bit like the stars on Hollywood Boulevard.
There is a long boardwalk along the beach
and various shelters from wind and sun on the beach itself,
which was empty in mid June,
as were the beachside cafes
and Summer homes.
Downtown Deauville was a bit more inhabited,
and even had a small train going from the center of town to the beach.
The center of town also had activities like shopping at high end stores,
sleeping in the grand hotel,
and strolling the city center park in front of Printemps department store.
Trouville is a much smaller city just north of Deauville and IMHO much more charming:)
There is a casino here but it was being renovated.
The main reason people came here was for the "Sea Cure" or as I would call it, "Fresh Air".
If you don't want to swim in the cold ocean, there is a heated pool.
The City Hall is as picturesque as the city itself.
Shops and restaurants line the harbor
offering seafood from Brittany and local catches like bulots (sea snails).
The beach amenities are built alongside the old bunkers from the war,
and as a symbol of how things have changed on the Normandy beaches, flowers now adorn the bunkers.
The beaches were almost empty,
as were the harbors,
but I saw Elvis hanging out:)