Blaine is a city with a rich history, and there’s no better representation of that than the city’s iconic Peace Arch. Built in 1921 to commemorate the peace established between U.S. and Canada at the end of the War of 1812, the arch acts as a gateway between the U.S. and Canada, celebrating the shared history that makes Blaine special.
For decades in the 1800s, Blaine was one of the busiest seaports in the northwest. Salmon and crab were shipped between Blaine and Alaska while workers, mostly immigrants from Iceland, labored in the many canneries.
Today, Blaine is less reliant on sea trade, but the legacy of the fishing industry can still be seen in H Street Plaza, in the form of a statue called “Vigil,” depicting a mother and child looking out to sea waiting for the fishing boats to return to harbor.
More recently, Blaine has become known for its “restaurant row,” offering a wide selection of cuisines including steak & ribs, farm to table oysters, Italian, German, Thai, Mexican, American – it even has a wine bar. Most, if not all, offer dining with a view of the harbor as well.
As with all of its Waterside brethren, Blaine has some of the prettiest water scenery around and Marine Park is in a class of its own. Facing north on Semiahmoo Bay, with Drayton Harbor just behind it, the park offers views of White Rock, B.C. and the Peace Arch. Walk your dog and stroll along the beach and path to the fishing pier at the end of the drive. As you return along the south boardwalk, you will pass commercial fishing and marine businesses and the Blaine marina with its stable of fishing boats and recreational craft.
Peace Arch State Park offers more than just the titular monument. The grounds are meticulously groomed to make the best possible impression on Canadians and Americans crossing the border. From May to October, the International Sculpture Exhibition displays the works of artists both local and international.
Currently, the Canadian side is closed but the American side is still accessible to both U.S. and Canadian residents. It has become a popular meet-up spot for lovers, friends and family separated by the border closure. Numerous weddings have taken place here and tents dot the ground during daytime hours.
Across the harbor entrance is the Semiahmoo Resort, Golf and Spa resort which offers seaside restaurants, spa, golf, pool and beaches. Also located on Semiahmoo Spit is the APA Museum which tells the story of the Alaska Packers Association salmon cannery.
Blaine has long been a destination for birdwatchers. The city is located on the Pacific Flyway, a major north-to-south migratory path for seabirds. Birders frequently spot great blue herons, bald eagles, loons, mergansers, and brant and have the chance to catch a glimpse of much rarer birds flying along the coast. Pelicans make the odd appearance some years.
Each summer, Blaine hosts the largest Fourth of July celebration in Whatcom County, with street vendors, fireworks and live music bringing the quiet town to life. Although scaled down this year without its usual grand old-fashioned parade and car show, the fireworks and festivities should not be missed.
The Tall Ship Lady Washington is scheduled to dock in Blaine August 19–23. Energetic crews voyage along the coast in the tall ships providing rides, tours and maritime education. If the Lady looks familiar to you, that’s because she’s a movie star having appeared in Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Trek, Once Upon a Time and Revolution. Tickets can be purchased at historicalseaport.org or by calling 800/200-5239.
Every Saturday, the G Street plaza comes alive with vendors selling goods at Blaine’s Market by the Sea farmers market. Everything from embroidery to wall hangings can be purchased.
Blaine Chamber of Commerce
Peace Arch border crossing
Alaska Packers Association
Peace Arch monument
Peace Arch Park
Semiahmoo Resort, Golf and Spa
Semiahmoo Golf & Country Club
Blaine Welcome Center
Skye Hill Station
Vault Wine Bar
Blaine Marine Park
Blaine Harbor Marina
Drayton Harbor Maritime
Historic Blaine Harbor
Old Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration
Drayton Harbor Days
Wings Over Water Birding Festival
Rick Lawler Photography
Windermere: Ron Deboer
Windermere: Brooke Stremler
Blaine by the Sea
Paso Del Norte
Nimbus Real Estate
The Rustic Fork
Drayton Harbor Oyster Company
Peace Arch Real Estate
Peace Arch Sculpture Exhibition
MD Spa & Wellness Center
The Dream Boat Co.
Woodberry at Semiahmoo
Windermere: Mike Kent
Dank of America
Old Town Event Center