Birch Bay – Blaine
Not Just a Border Town
As a well-known gateway to Canada, Blaine’s many attractions are often overlooked by visitors simply wanting to get from A to B. Located a hop, skip and a jump away from British Columbia and just an hour’s drive from Vancouver, this quaint little beach town is not only convenient for border crossings, but also has plenty to offer tourists and travelers interested in history, gastronomy, wildlife, gardens and leisure sports. So why not linger a little longer?
A little bit of Blaine history
Founded in 1890, Blaine mainly served as a seaport for logging and fishing industries, although it was also a handy jumping off point for gold prospectors hoping to unearth riches in the ‘Great White North’. Once home to sawmills and salmon canneries, this charming harbor town now has a population of just 5,160. Nestled between Lummi and Semiahmoo Bay with unparalleled views of the San Juan islands, Blaine is a lovely place to spend some quality time.
Not just a border town
Here is a brief rundown of what Blaine has to offer:
Peace Arch Park
With the southern half of the park owned by Washington State and the northern half by BC, the park’s unique appeal attracts 500,000 visitors a year. The impressive white arch and beautiful landscaped gardens commemorate the peaceful border established between the US and Canada in 1814.
Ride the ferry
Originally built to shuttle cannery workers between Blaine and Semiahmoo Spit, the Plover offers a free service to foot passengers and cyclists Friday to Sunday, and runs weekends from Memorial Day through to Labor Day. Enjoy an interesting commentary on the ferry’s restoration and keep an eye out for seals, eagles and herons on the short crossing.
For fabulous food and exquisite views, take the ferry to Semiahmoo Resort and dine on the patio, where you can choose between Packers Oyster Bar for burgers and fish & chips, or the more upmarket Pierside Kitchen. Seafood lovers can buy shucked oysters by the dozen at the Drayton Harbor Oyster Company, and the famous C-Shop candy store is also worth a visit.
The first weekend of August is a great time to visit Blaine, when the town is out in force celebrating Drayton Harbor Days, a waterfront festival harking back to the days when fishing fleets and canneries captained the economy. Residents celebrate with steamboat displays, homemade raft races, pirate crafts and rides on the Plover.
With Loomis Trail Golf Club and Semiahmoo Golf & Country Club nearby, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy a round of golf in Blaine and the surrounding areas. If you fancy exploring a bit further afield, Grandview Golf Course is six kilometres from the city centre and makes a great day out.
Birch Bay, with its charming ambiance, can make you pause your footsteps in the wonder of the beachside, and a beautiful half-moon bay near the Canadian border.
Fun Things in Birch Bay
Below are some of the activities you can enjoy in Birch Bay:
- Enjoy the bay at high tide, or on the beach at lower tide
- Bike along the bay to Birch Bay State Park — a 194-acre camping park with 8,255 feet of saltwater shoreline on Birch Bay and 14,923 feet of freshwater shoreline on Terrell Creek.
- Hike through the forest and down to the beach at Point Whitehorn County Park
- With all facilities provided in Birch Bay, you could picnic along the beach at the Bay’s State Park
- You can hike the Terrell Marsh interpretive trail at Birch Bay State Park
- Harvest shellfish (license required)
Lodging in Birch Bay
Rental homes which make up the lodging structures of Birch Bay have ultimately, options to offer you regarding hotel-like service. These include:
Sandcastle at Birch Bay
Sandcastle at Birch Bay provides one- to three-bedroom, beautifully designed to give you comfort away from home. This exposure is without Gas fireplaces, full kitchens, private decks, and washers and dryers including a spacious club room, a fitness center, and casual dining, exclusive of Birch Bay.
Attractions and recreation opportunities near Birch Bay. Below are some of the highlights:
- Semiahmoo Spit
This County Park is suitable for walking, birding, and rock picking.
- Peace Arch State Park in Blaine
Walk on both sides of the US/Canada border within this international peace park.
Birch Bay, known for its relatively warm water and its park offers proper stance for crabbing, sailing, and paddling.
There is a reservable picnic shelter that could contain at least 150 guests with facilities like kitchens etc. It can be reserved online or by calling 888-CAMPOUT (888-226-7688).
Birch Bay - Blaine Homes for Sale
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