Utah Beach

Utah was one of the allied landing sites in Normandy, around 21,000 American infantry landed here on D-Day.

TravelCurious Tip

Watch HBOs’s excellent 'Band of Brothers': it follows the airborne who supported the Utah beach invasion, before moving on to Carentan and Operation Market Garden

Utah Beach was one of five beaches used for the D-Day landing in June 1944, as the Allies attempted to break Germany’s hold on the continent. Strategically, it was chosen to ensure the early capture of Cherbourg, which they hoped would prove a vital port for receiving the vast amounts of equipment and supplies needed for the forthcoming conflict.

The target beach was about three miles wide and the German fortifications here were weak compared to those on Omaha beach. The landing was scheduled for 06.30, but airborne soldiers were deployed at 01.30 to cause chaos behind enemy lines. The Germans did not know if this was the main force or if it was a decoy, and this confusion was exactly what the Allies wanted.

When 20,000 infantry landed on the beach five hours later they did not meet strong resistance. In part this was due to a stroke of luck: strong current meant they landed 2000 metres down the beach from where they had intended, and where they landed the fortifications were much weaker. For this reason, the casualties at Utah Beach were many fewer than those at Omaha Beach.

Beyond being able to walk along the shores where such a pivotal moment in world history took place, there is also a museum about the D-Day invasion. The museum has documentaries and exhibitions that immerse you in story of the day and the preparation that preceded it. A collection of objects, vehicles and oral histories make it very immersive. Most impressive, though, is the original B25 bomber, one of only six remaining examples of this airplane still in existence.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Paris
Versailles' Hall of Mirrors
The Hall of Mirrors reflects the height of French prosperity under Louis XIV.
Versailles Gardens
These gardens are a feat to match the palace's interiors, designed by King Louis XIV's royal gardener.
Monet's House, Giverny
Monet lived here with his eight children, he spent much of his time in his studio and cultivating his garden.
Monet's Water Garden
An inspiration for his work, he was particularly interested in the play of light and clouds onto the water.
The Clos Normand
The flower garden at the front of the house which Monet tirelessly worked on with his wife Alice.
Best known as Vincent van Gogh´s place of death, the pretty little town of Auvers-Sur-Oise on the northwestern outskirts of Paris, gained its fame as on 19th Century a number of painters lived and worked here.

Related Tours

Private Excursion to Historic Normandy
This day-long tour provides you with an all-encompassing experience of D-Day, the defining moment of WWII, with visits to key landing points, churches, museums and cemeteries. With over 12 nations involved in what was the largest-scale air and land mission in history, for the sake of depth, this tour explores the Americans’ role in D-Day. As there is so much to see, however, your tour guide will be happy to adapt your itinerary according to your interests. You will be transported from Paris to Caen to all of your destinations by luxury car, so the nature of your experience will not be weather-dependent and you will have the opportunity to frequently relax over the course of a long day. There will also be opportunities to stop off across Normandy’s wonderful countryside along the way.

  • Relive the key moments of D-Day with visits to Omaha and Utah Beach.
  • Visit the American cemetery, where all the American troops who lost their lives are remembered.
  • Explore the Caen-Normandy Centre for History and Peace and see a panoramic film of the landings at the Arromanches 360 Cinema.
  • Stop off for lunch in the beautiful city of Bayeux (not included).
  • Comfortable car-travel provided for the whole day. Your experience of Normandy will not be affected by rain or bad weather!
  • Adaptable, tailored tour experience: Work with your guide to get the most out of your time. Do what interests you - you are welcome to change your itinerary on the day.                                                                                                                                   
You will begin at the Caen-Normandy Centre for History and Peace, which will provide you with a good background to the events of ’44 for when you go on-site later in the day. Stop off for lunch at a quality restaurant of your choice, recommended by your expert guide, in the charming city of Bayeux before visiting the places that became legendary subjects of history and film. 

Go beyond mythology to learn about and relive the trials and tribulations the Allies faced in overcoming the Nazi forces. You will visit the church, Sainte Mère-Église, where paratrooper John Steele was caught on the spire and feigned death, hung from his parachute, defying all the odds to eventually escape capture. You will also see Pointe du Hoc, where 225 rangers climbed cliffs over 100 feet high to capture and wipe out a German artillery battery; the tour also includes a visit to Utah and Omaha Beach, the latter being where the Americans constructed an artificial harbour to supply its troops with equipment. There will also be an opportunity to pay your respects to the brave 9,387 American soldiers who were laid to rest in the American cemetery which overlooks Omaha Beach.

You will learn about the ins and outs of the war and D-Day from your expert guide who will be happy to answer any questions you may have. At the end of your tour you will be able to put yourself in the shoes of the brave soldiers who took part D-Day at the Arromanches 360 Cinema, where you can experience a panoramic view of the landings, complete with sound and archival footage.

Estimated return time to Paris is 9pm - 10pm 


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