48-ish Hours at Semiahmoo

Susan and I had been looking forward to staying at the Semiahmoo Resort for some time. We had both been putting in some long hours, so we decided to take an extra day and make it a long weekend.

When you drive up to Semiahmoo, you can’t help but to feel a rush of tranquility.

Located in Blaine, Washington, a small town adjacent to the US/Canadian border, the Semiahmoo Resort resides at the end of a meandering spit situated between Semiahmoo Bay and Drayton Harbor.  

The resort is beautiful, awash in a soft yellow with a large portico that greets you as you drive up to reception.

We were met by an incredibly accommodating member of the staff who checked us in, made all our dinner reservations and directed us to our room.

Our room was perfect – equipped with a king sized bed facing out towards the bay. Our balcony, which included two high top chairs, looked out towards the bay and down at the grassy area below.  

The grassy area is the collecting point for guests. Situated between the lodge and the beach, the grass offers up a place to play a wide assortment of games, such as bocce, bags (or Cornhole as some call it) and horseshoes.


Chairs also dot the area, especially along the beach, which we later learned, was the perfect spot to watch the sunset.

Long before the resort was built in the eighties, Semiahmoo was a salmon cannery. Many of the original cannery buildings still exist and are used throughout the resort. One example is the former bar for the cannery workers, now known as Packers.

Packers is a wonderfully casual place off the main deck with views of the water.

Susan and I went to Packers for our first meal and a well deserved cocktail. The bar once faced the water but now its on the opposite wall so that guest can enjoy the window seats. Off in the distance is Canada, the city of White Rock to be specific, and in the bay, sailboats and paddle boards make their leisurely way in and out of the bay.

After a delicious meal, we took our position in a couple adirondack chairs and enjoyed the sunset. The bay is calm and the sun nestles itself between the mountains off in the distance. This is, by any measure, a perfect end to any long day on the road, so we soaked it in.

The next morning we awoke, having enjoyed a restful night sleep. We took a long walk down the spit, something we ended up doing more than once. It’s a great walk and an even better way to see both sides of the water. We reached our destination, Semiahmoo Park and the site of the former Alaska Packers Association Cannery building. We opted to walk the beach back to the resort, which was equally as enjoyable. It was low tide, so we saw many people digging for clams out on the beaches.

We got back to the resort and then drove over to their sister property, the Semiahmoo Golf and Country Club for some lunch.

We hit a bucket of balls at the driving range and then sat out on the back deck, enjoying some lunch and taking in the views of the course and players making their way up the 18th hole.

This is an incredible course, one we will play next time…but we needed to get back, as for that night, we had booked a table at the weekly BBQ.

The BBQ, located on the lawn of the resort is something not to miss. Tables are spread across the grass, a band entertained diners and smoke billowed from the large barbecues attended by chefs.

The food was delicious. I returned for seconds, as the band continued to play and the sun slowly sank into the bay. It’s the type of summer evening one dreams of.

Afterwards we walked over to the s’mores area of the beach to make ourselves a bit of desert. They do this so well and it’s always great to watch kids make and then eat these delicious creations.

We of course followed suit.

The next morning, we again took a walk and then made our way to the spa, yoga for Susan and a workout for me. Great facilities that include a pool and Jacuzzi, both of which we enjoyed. We walked a bit more of the property which still has many of the original buildings.

After our walk, we drove over to Birch Bay to look for a Gray Whale that had been spotted there. This is a charming tourist town on the water which has an amazing State Park.

We drove into the Birch Bay State Park to scope out future camping sites and then look out at the bay hoping for a whale. Alas, a whale sighting was not meant to be this day. Though we did get a great walk on the beach and came across numerous creatures and clam diggers looking for clams and geoduck.

We grabbed a bite in town and headed back to the resort. We had some swimming to do before dinner.

That night we had a reservation at Pierside Kitchen, the more dressy of the restaurants at the resort. It sides off the main boardwalk with unobstructed views of the bay.

The food, from scallops to amazing starters, was just perfect.

We enjoyed another beautiful sunset after dinner, grabbed a drink and played a bit more bocce on the grass. You can’t help but relax here.

Sadly, the next morning we had to prepare to leave. But, not before one last swim and then breakfast at Pierside Kitchen where they put out an amazing buffet daily.

We ate at a leisurely pace and stared out at the bay discussing when next we would return to the Semiahmoo Resort.

Semiahmoo is a indeed a wonderful place to unwind and to enjoy great food and heart warming sunsets. Its close to Seattle and even closer to you in Vancouver. So, go and enjoy!

Important Travel Notes:

Directions to Semiahmoo:  From Seattle, drive north on I-5 towards Canada (really – it’s almost that far). Take exit 274 for Peace Portal Drive. Turn right on Peace Portal Drive and then take an immediate left onto WA-548S/Bell Road. Follow WA-548S to Drayton Road. Take a right on Drayton Road and continue on Drayton Harbor Road. In 2.4 miles, turn right on Semiahmoo Parkway. Take this parkway the entire length of the spit. At the traffic circle, the resort will be on your left.

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