This month our family travel snap explores all the fun you can have at the beach on Lake Michigan with Lonely Planet’s Destination Editor for Mexico and California, Sarah Stocking.

Watching the sun go down on a lovely day © Gabriel Rovick

What’s the story behind this photo?

We are watching the sun set over Lake Michigan at the end of a busy day canoeing, watching otters and building sandcastles. Right after this picture was taken we roasted marshmallows over a beach fire, sang some songs, told my two-year-old daughter Freya’s favourite scary story, ‘The Big Hairy Toe’ and then paddled back to our cottage, tired and very happy.

I chose this photo because it captures everything I love about going to Michigan: the white sand beach, the watercolour sunset, Freya enjoying the sand – but also the sense that it was the perfect ending to a day of adventures.

The best thing about Lake Michigan is that it is fun for all ages: older kids will love getting good at paddle boarding and strolling through the little towns while younger kids are excited to play in the giant sandbox!

Kids’ perspective

Freya said she liked playing in the water with mum and dad.

Sarah’s tips for visiting Lake Michigan with kids

1) Just relax and let everyone (adults included!) play: stomp around in the woods, run down dunes, canoe in the lakes and hang out watching sunsets.

2) Find out what a petosky stone is and make a game of how many each family member can find during your stay.

3) Have plenty of indoor games ready in case the weather turns: you can have just as much fun getting cosy when it rains.

Where’s next on your family travel bucket list?

In a couple weeks we’re going to spend a long weekend on a lake in Arkansas. As recent transplants to the southern part of the US we’re trying to find as many new adventures as we can.

Lastly, complete the sentence:

When we shut the front door ready to go and travel as a family, we always…

…pack snacks, books, stickers and crayons. We also love maps. Freya likes to follow our path and then show everyone about her trip.

Follow Sarah for news and tips on Mexico, California and family travel.