My husband, 4 year old son, and I are going to Germany and France this fall. We will be in Lyon the last week in September and are hoping to find a somewhat nearby town to stay in for a week or so. We would love to be able to hike, bike, and generally get away from the crowds. Is there a walkable small town with easy hiking access (we won't have a car), and easily accessible fresh food? This is our first trip to France and only our second time in Europe. Thank you for the help!
I lived in Dijon for a few months and absolutely adored it! On the north side of Burgundy. Plenty to do outside-hiking, biking ect. Kir Lake is very nearby to the city center and is beautiful. The centre ville has gorgeous evidence of Burgundian architecture and the Palace of the Dukes of Burgundy with the lovely colored/patterned rooftop. The city has lovely parks and squares full of outdoor dining, and it's own Église Notre-Dame
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Small towns in France are so charming, it is great that you want to include one or two in your trip.
Annecy is a great place to check out. There are many picturesque canals through by the brightly colored houses, reminiscent of Venice. Lac Annecy is right next to the main part of town and has a nice bike trail to ride around it.
Another place worth checking out is Chamonix. It's just a little further past Annecy from Lyon and is incredibly scenic, most noted for its views of Mt Blanc. While it is a town probably most famous for its skiing, there are some nice hikes in the warmer months as well. If you go, be sure to ride one of the many cable cars for the awesome views!
You could easily do both as they are not so far apart, or just relax in one of them and fully explore everything they have to offer.