12+ things to do in Blaine, Washington

Plan a visit to Blaine, WAYou know how sometimes you visit a town and it just feels like… home? To me, that town will always be Blaine, Washington. Blaine’s motto is “Where America Begins,” and for me it’s where my story begins. Family in Blaine, WAAlthough technically I’ve never lived there, I did spend lots of time there in my youth when both sets of grandparents lived 6 houses apart on the same street. Summers and holidays were spent running from grandparents house to grandparents house and it was the most idyllic setting. 

I remember being blown away the first time I realized that my peers’ maternal and paternal grandparents weren’t long-time neighbors and didn’t celebrate the holidays together. I always wondered how that would work if you had to choose which grandparent you would spend holidays and birthdays with because we never had to choose – Blaine was our official “home for the holidays”. Throwing Baby in air in Blaine

About Blaine, Washington

Even if you think you’ve never heard of Blaine, chances are that you have. Famous for the beautiful Peace Arch Park, Blaine has been featured in many films, books, and art pieces as well as being one of the biggest gateways in between the US and Canada.

The iconic Peace Arch stands 67 feet high on the border between Blaine, WA and Douglas, British Columbia in the middle of Peace Arch Park. The park celebrates the longest undefended boundary in the world and the peace between the nations – “children of a common mother”.11181307_10205794813045980_8471360870842542676_nSee that across the water from the Blaine marina? That’s Canada. Canada from Blaine Hello from Blaine, WaThe City of Blaine is located right on the international border in between the Cascade Range and the Puget Sound. Just 35 miles south of Vancouver, British Columbia and 110 miles north of Seattle, it’s an easy day trip or a stop on your journey to and from Canada.

Blaine Peace Arch with waterBaby in BlaineComing home

Right after the New Year we realized we had a very rare free weekend, so we quickly made plans to head up north to Blaine to meet up with my aunts, grandmother, and mom. As much as I love the feeling of “coming home” to Blaine, I love even more that my kids are now growing up with Blaine holding a big part of their lives, too. 

While we were in Blaine, we checked out the newest park, Marine Park Playground. The park has an amazing new play structure for kids, and stunning views for all of us who don’t slide anymore. The kids especially loved the ship, which they could play in and on for house. 

After the kids were tired from running around the park, we had a great breakfast at Big Al’s Diner. Although this building has changed quite a bit from my childhood when it bore an entirely different name, it still felt so familiar. Maybe it’s that it was filled with history and nostalgia that felt homey and fun. Or maybe it’s because it was a lovely diner breakfast, which is the key to our hearts. Whatever the reason, we will definitely be back.

After breakfast, we walked around town and I told the kids stories from my childhood. Blaine Big Al'sAnd, of course, we enjoyed some amazing sunsets over Drayton Harbor that took me right back to childhood. I have no proof of this, but it’s my belief that Blaine, Washington has the most gorgeous sunsets anywhere. This alone is reason enough to visit, but if you absolutely need more, here’s the full list of things to do in Blaine Washington. 

Sunset in Blaine
10+ things to do in Blaine, Washington:

1)    Visit a park.

Choose from the iconic Peace Arch Park, the brand new Marine Park Playground, or any of the smaller neighborhood parks. I’m partial to the Peace Arch mostly for nostalgia’s sake and my love of swings, but the new park has a HUGE pirate ship and a climbing wall that the kids went crazy for. They have been talking about it ever since we got home, so it’s definitely going to be added to the must-do list when we return.

Marine Park Playground

2)    Enjoy less rain.

When I was young, I made the comment one time about how it “never rained in Blaine”. My grandpa launched into a lecture about its lower annual precipitation of about 1,000 millimeters {40 inches} and its milder weather pattern. It was all over my head at the time, but I knew it meant more sunny days and a milder climate than neighboring communities. I’ve clearly purged most of that lecture, but the important part stayed with me: it’s less rainy in Blaine.  Marine Park climbing rock

3)    Take a cheesy picture at Peace Arch Park. 

Take your pick of a selfie by the Welcome to the United States sign or underneath the iconic arch. Or, just do both. I always do both. 11101870_10205794811725947_7682430100245000408_n

4)    Take a look back to the turn of the century.

Blaine has a rich history that can be explored with a simple stroll downtown. You can also stop by the visitor’s center to learn more about the area and its history or schedule a walking tour of historic locations.

One of my favorite things to do is take strolls through the neighborhoods and see all the gorgeous historic homes from the turn of the century. From turrets and towers to ornate millwork, there’s beautiful craftsmanship everywhere you look. 

5)    Visit Semiahmoo.

Located on a spit of land across the water from downtown Blaine nearly touching the Blaine marina, Semiahmoo is a beautiful luxury resort that feels worlds away. It’s one of my absolute favorite places to stay and I could spend days walking the trails, strolling along the docks, and exploring the surrounding beach.

To get to Semiahmoo, you can drive around the harbor, which is a quick and beautiful drive, or you can take a boat over. If you don’t have your own boat, you can take the Historic Plover Ferry across the harbor to visit Semiahmoo in milder seasons. 

Semiahmoo Blaine

6)    Grab a bite to eat.

Blaine has some great home town restaurants as well as national chains. See some of the many options here, from steakhouses to Mexican or Thai, they have quite the range of restaurants. They even have a new Starbucks with a lighthouse, which is a *really* big deal. 

Jack Neimann’s Black Forest Steak House is right on Peace Portal Drive and is relaxing and delicious. 

Big Al's in Blaine

7)    Pick up a copy of The Northern Light.

Once you secure a copy, flip to the Blaine police reports. I want to meet whomever writes the police columns and thank them for making my family laugh for decades. Want just a taste of the awesomeness that is the Blaine police reports? Here is a best-of Blaine Police reports list just for you.

Baby walking in Blaine

8)    Walk the marina.

The marina is a nice walk from downtown where you can pick out your favorite boat amongst the rows of gorgeous vessels, enjoy the wildlife, and you can see some stunning views of Drayton Harbor. Be sure to check out Semiahmoo right across the water, which you can find by its distinctive water tower.  Seagull in Blaine Semiahmoo

9)    Enjoy a small town celebration with big heart.

Plan your visit during one of Blaine’s many annual events. These range from birding festivals to concerts and car shows, and from art shows to big Fourth of July parades and the Drayton Harbor Days Celebration. Find out more about their annual events on the Blaine Chamber of Commerce calendar of events.

On dockin Blaine, WA

10)    Get out and enjoy the great outdoors.

Remember that thing about less rain and a milder climate? You can take advantage of that and enjoy water sports in the spring and summer months that include kayaking, boating, and fishing. Year-round you can hit the trails for biking and hiking, enjoy the skate park, or just a stroll along the waterfront.

Blaine, Wa

11) Get a cone at Edaleen Dairy

There’s almost always a line, but it’s definitely worth the wait. Edaleen’s cones are a delicious treat while enjoying the town, and they are plenty big for sharing. In addition to cones, you can find many other dairy items at Edaleen Dairy, so it’s almost a necessity to stop there, right?

12) Blaine Farmer’s Market

I can’t resist a farmer’s market, and the Blaine Farmers Market is one of the best. You can find local arts and crafts, beautiful plants, fresh veggies and fruits, and so much more every Saturday. Be sure to stay over on Fridays during the summer so you can wake up and enjoy the market from 9am-2pm on Saturday 

Bonus must-do: put one foot in the United States and one foot in Canada.

Because you pretty much have to, right?

Find out more about Blaine, Washington here and plan your visit today.

Leanne Signature

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