Caen’s Le Mémorial and Bayeux’ Musée Mémorial provide comprehensive overviews of the events of D-Day. Dozens of villages near the landing beaches have museums focusing on local events; all but a few are privately owned.
You can join a tour, but if you’ve got wheels, just follow the D514 along the D-Day coast or several signposted circuits around the battle sites – look for signs reading ‘D-Day–Le Choc’ in the American sectors and ‘Overlord-L’Assaut’ in the British and Canadian sectors. The area is also sometimes called the Côte de Nacre (Mother-of-Pearl Coast). A free booklet called The D-Day Landings and the Battle of Normandy, available from tourist offices, has details on the eight major visitors’ routes.
Maps of the D-Day beaches are available at tabacs (tobacconists), newsagents and bookshops in Bayeux and elsewhere. When visiting the D-Day sites, do not leave valuables in your car.