This month our family travel snap is from California, exploring Half Moon Bay with Lonely Planet’s Trade Marketing Manager Britney Van Burkleo Alvarez and her young family.

Britney and brood were blessed with a sun-kissed day at the beach © Britney Van Burkleo Alvarez

What’s the story behind this photo?

This is my three-year-old son playing at one of the many beaches of Half Moon Bay in Northern California. My husband and I had spent our honeymoon in Half Moon Bay, but this was our first time back as a family.

We were expecting the weather to be cool and overcast as it normally is there, so we dragged bags of blankets, scarves and sweaters down the slippery and narrow path from the parking area to the beach. As you can see from this photo, it turned out to be a stunningly gorgeous spring day with clear blue skies.

We had a picnic on the picturesque white sand. My husband took my son down to the tide pools to check out the tiny starfish and purple urchins, while I photographed them from atop the sand ledge where we had settled.

Kids’ perspective

The day was made extra special for my son when we stopped at the Lemos Farm which was established in 1942 and now has a hay ride, a kid-sized excavator that kids can safely operate and (my son’s favourite!) a train ride that goes around the farm. It was a lovely surprise to discover such a family-friendly place and the perfect end to our day.

Britney’s tips for visiting Half Moon Bay with kids

1) No matter the season, do dress in layers and bring extra clothes for when the kids get wet exploring the tide pools.

2) Grab a bite at kid-friendly Barbara’s Fishtrap. My British-raised mother was on the hunt for authentic fish ‘n chips, and she found it here, so I feel confident saying that this place is stellar.

Where’s next on your family travel bucket list?

We want to go to Boston, to visit Thomasland for our youngest son (now 14 months old), before our oldest completely loses interest. Plus, we want to see a Red Sox game at the wonderfully nostalgic Fenway Ballpark.

Lastly, complete the sentence:

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

… decide that from here on out, we are going to be in the moment for the duration of the trip. We are not going to worry about whether we left a light on, properly locked everything up or forgot some essential item like diapers. There’s no going back!