Houlgate on the Sea
"Houlgate is a pleasant day trip from Caen"
There is a wide, long sandy beach fronted by "cottages" in the half-timbered Norman style. In season this is a bustling little town and the beach is full. Out of season when we were there, it is lovely for walking on the beach and very quiet. Many of the cottages were closed for the winter but there were still people on the beach and the downtown was full of citizens shopping.
"Out of Season the Beach is Quiet"
There weren't many people about but it was a lovely brisk autumn day. Parking is not a problem out of season and you can pick your spot on the beach. We saw wind surfers and painters on our walk.
"Yes, you can eat there!"
This is not recommended for lunch, but it certainly was a stunning display. We found a very nice restaurant across from the town market, but this would be excellent for dessert.