A fairly short hop from Beirut is Jbeil where the ruins of Byblos are situated on the coast.
The Phoenician ruins here show evidence of an alphabet that was influenced by the trade with Egypt.
As well as the old ruins there is a lovely harbour with fish restaurants overlooking it, an old Souk selling tat and a wax museum! (We gave that a miss)
We missed out on seeing the grotto at Jeita - but as someone wise once said, always leave something to come back for your next trip!