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Dinard can trace its history back a good few centuries, but it is only in more recent times that the elegant resort has come to the fore. It is rather like a typical Victorian upmarket seaside holiday destination – long stretches of sandy beaches, coves, cliffs to explore and seemingly endless esplanades with continental style cafés, architectural street lamps and gardens full of flowers and shrubs. The waters are superb for sailing, and as such a number of marinas and mooring bays have emerged, complemented by facilities to enjoy water sports. Dinard offers a fine dining experience, with countless à la carte restaurants offering fish and seafood dishes – often a speciality - along with grills, traditional French cuisine and dishes from around the world. Shoppers delight in the many designer items available in Dinard’s excellent specialist shops – everything from fashions and leather goods to jewellery can be found. Wine shops sell great selections of wines, while delis are a must for unusual food items and markets offer an experience of lively French life as well as the chance to to shop for antiques.
Dinard's most attractive site is the Promenade du Clair de Lune, a pleasant seaside walkway that stretches all along the shoreline, passing through the beaches (plage) du Prieuré, de l'Écluse, and, finally, Plage de St-Énogat. Beaches are another major draw - as a seaside resort, Dinard is primarily known for its excellent sandy shoreline teeming with vacationers all through the high season. Many visitors to Dinard also write a trip to neighbouring fortified town of Saint-Malo into their itineraries.
Dinard’s residents and visitors tend to follow the French tradition of eating out at every opportunity – and it’s something to be taken very seriously. A la carte restaurants serve fine French cuisine as well as fresh fish and seafood, which is a speciality on many restaurants’ menus. Most of Dinard’s restaurants have impressive wine lists. For a lighter meal, the city has a good choice of creperies and fast food establishments.
Regional specialties include the ubiquitous crepes and, of course, galettes - pancakes made with buckwheat flour, which come with a variety of (usually savoury) fillings. In both Dinard and Saint-Malo, creperies await at nearly every turn, some offering pleasant outdoor seating with a view.
Dinard’s nightlife tends to revolve around its restaurants, both in the city centre and on the beachside, where crowds of friends, couples and families can often be seen enjoying the atmosphere. There are a handful of lively bars and nightspots. Some are atmospheric little venues while others have a more modern wine bar style.
Dinard boasts an air of elegance which reflects in its range of shops. Larger stores to little specialist shops sell everything from designer fashions fresh from the streets of Paris to leather wear such as belts and handbags, along with silk scarves, jewellery and perfumes. Most of the shops are located around the Place du Marché Halles and the Place de la République areas. In true French tradition, Dinard has its share of markets that sell not only produce such as fresh pâtés and cheeses, vegetables, fruits and meats (Enthusiasts of fine wine and food will be spoilt for choice), but also flowers, crafts, and antiques. Of course, Dinard has its share of larger department stores and supermarkets, such as Auchan and Carrefour.
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