Win a Winner!
Writers & Photographers
Berlitz Summer Camp
by Jim Graves
If you want a quick side-trip outside of San Francisco, Half Moon Bay may be right for you. It’s located 25 miles south of the city. It has a quaint harbor, beautiful beaches and tide pools, kayaking and paddle boarding, a variety of farms that welcome visitors, hiking and biking in beautiful wilderness settings and historical sites. I took my wife, Carol, and daughters, Claire and Shelby, ages 5 and 6.
We stayed two nights at the best hotel in the area, The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay. Located on the south end of town on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, it has a grandeur that made me feel like I was staying in a castle. More than a hotel, it is a resort with many built-in activities for both adults and kids. With so much to do at the Ritz, we spent most of our time in Half Moon Bay there.
The Ritz is surrounded by an expansive golf course, and has an upscale spa, exercise facilities, hair salon and indoor pool. The attentive staff was ready to cater to our every need.
To my surprise, I found the Ritz was not at all stuffy, but kid-friendly. There were many families like us there, with small children and even babies. There were many nice touches that helped our kids enjoy the experience. The bellman, for example, brought up DVDs of kids’ movies. One hostess brought up marshmallows the kids could roast in the hotel’s fire pits outside, plus chocolate and graham crackers so they could make s’mores. The pool has a shallow kids’ section, with kids’ toys available.
We had Club access, which meant we could enjoy a catered buffet throughout the day: breakfast, lunch, snacks, desserts and drinks. My kids are finicky eaters, and the wait staff was very accommodating in bringing them out things they were willing to eat.
We did go out to dinner one night, to Sam’s Chowder House. This is a casual family restaurant with a great view of the harbor and Pacific Ocean. Some of our favorite foods were the roasted garlic chili prawns and the New England clam chowder soup (they hit the clams just right, they melted in your mouth). There’s a wide variety of seafood, much of which was caught by local fishermen. The wine selection and desserts were excellent. We have a bit of a weakness for good desserts in my house; try the lime pie or the warm dark chocolate cake.
They have a kids’ menu, too. Our kids usually won’t touch seafood, but they did enjoy the spicy popcorn shrimp. After dinner, sit outside by one of the fire pits on the oceanfront patio. If you go on weekends, you can enjoy live music.
Half Moon Bay is a great San Francisco side trip and worth placing on your itinerary next time you’re in the Bay area.
Quiet Family Fun in Loreto, Mexico|
Since my children, Claire and Shelby, are 5 and 6 now and past the baby stage, my wife and I decided to celebrate our newfound travel freedom with a family trip to Loreto, Mexico, in southern Baja California.
Chicago Family Tour|
Chicago is one of America’s great cities. Despite its cold winters and hot, humid summers, it is a center for business and commerce, as well as a great destination for vacationing families.
Things To Do For Families In San Francisco|
Take the family to San Francisco and explore the city, visit Golden Gate Park and the California Academy of Sciences Museum.
Things To Do With Kids In Sausalito|
From the Bay Area Discovery Museum to sea lions to family-friendly French dining, Sausalito offers lots of family fun.