Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Birch Bay, WA

  • Published 2022/02/15

The distinct crescent shape of Birch Bay made this small town known in Washington as a wonderful place to enjoy the calm waters of the Northwest Pacific.

Since it’s blessed with natural beauty, Birch Bay offers everyone a wide range of outdoor recreational activities for families, friends, and even lone travelers.

Birch Bay is also distinctively known to be closer to Canada than other major cities in the United States.

The town sits a few miles from the Canada/US International border, and it’s 35 miles away from Vancouver compared to Seattle, which is roughly a hundred miles away.

Historically, Birch Bay’s name came from Archibald Menzies, a known botanist who discovered the area’s abundant black birch trees.

Today, Birch Bay is a well-known suburban community with a peaceful atmosphere close to nature.

It’s well known for its parks, scenic bays, nature preserves, and laid-back appeal that draws a lot of city dwellers who want to take a time out from the hustle and bustle.

In addition, people visit this place as a stop-over during a long road trip to Canada.

However, they’re drawn to stay a bit longer because of its natural beauty, calmness, and vibrant community that warmly welcomes visitors from both countries.

Interested to know more about this place?

Here are the 15 best things to do in Birch Bay, Washington:

Enjoy the Breathtaking View of the Birch Bay State Park

Sunset view at Birch Bay State Park.

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The Birch Bay State Park is nestled on a blue cove between Blaine and Bellingham.

Its secluded location makes this state park an excellent place to relax and enjoy the peaceful environment away from the city noise.

One of the best ways to enjoy Birch Bay State Park’s beauty is hiking along its rocky beach and taking photos of the breathtaking sceneries of the Canadian Gulf Islands nearby and the North Cascades Mountains.

An evergreen tree at Birch Bay State Park.

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During low tide, Birch Bay State Park reveals its abundance of shellfish, crustaceans, and clams allowed for harvest seasonally.

It would be best to bring a bucket and shovel to dig clams and shellfish, which you can cook after.

In addition, you can also swim on the state park’s waters, which is surprisingly warm given the location.

A driftwood sculpture at Birch Bay State Park.

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Or perhaps, you can paddle on your kayak or do windsurfing and other waterborne activities.

The entire park, which covers 664-acres, also has campgrounds and other amenities.

Celebrate Birch Bay Day

For the past 40 years, locals have celebrated Birch Bay Day every September.

The celebration is more like the town’s way of appreciating everything in their community.

With that in mind, they spend an entire weekend every September with various fun-filled activities for the whole family.

Hosted by the Birch Bay Chamber of Commerce, the Birch Bay Day holds kids games, a crab derby, duck derby, crab catching contest, music, the golf cart and bicycle poker run, and other family-themed activities.

Celebrating this annual festivity gives you a perfect chance to immerse yourself with the locals and meet new friends along the way.

Indulge in Delicious Comfort Food at the CJ’s Beach House

People have always mistaken this restaurant as “Beach House” rather than CJ’s Beach House because of its signage.

However, it’s undeniable that this beachside restaurant serves delicious American comfort food from breakfast to dinner.

They serve burgers, pizzas, sandwiches, pasta, and meat.

In addition, they also specialize in seafood such as crab cakes, calamari, oyster, clams, clam chowder, cobb salad, salmon BLT, prawn, and lobster.

Aside from food, many people dine at this restaurant because of its scenic outdoor deck, which gives you an excellent view of the bay.

Commune with Nature at the Point Whitehorn Marine Reserve

The Point Whitehorn Marine Reserve is a great destination for nature lovers and casual tourists.

The marine reserve, which covers 54 acres of beach, forest, and bluff, is a well-known birdwatching spot and hiking destination.

It features a 3/4 mile trail with spectacular views of the San Juan Islands and the Strait of Georgia.

During spring and summer, the marine reserve is filled with various species of birds.

Bald eagles are also seen on its coastal forests and bluff areas, along with red-tailed hawks.

You can head to its tidepools teeming with various marine life during low tide.

It has a tranquil atmosphere where the sounds you’ll be hearing are those from birds and the crashing waves from the sea.

Appreciate the Natural Beauty of Semiahmoo Beach

Sunset view at Semiahmoo Beach.

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A ten-minute drive from Birch Bay takes you to Semiahmoo Beach, another outdoor attraction you need to visit.

Semiahmoo Beach is roughly a mile long, while its shores combine sand and rock.

One of the best reasons to visit Semiahmoo Beach is its scenic backdrop of the Twin Sisters Mountains, Mount Baker, and the Northwest Pacific.

With that in mind, you should bring out your hidden photography skills and take breathtaking photos of the sceneries in the area.

In addition, Semiahmoo Beach is also a popular birdwatching area where thousands of migratory birds flock there during the spring and fall seasons.

Lastly, you can bring your fishing gear to lure salmons that are abundant seasonally.

Shop at the Birch Bay Square

Despite its size, Birch Bay has a small but packed shopping mall named Birch Bay Square.

This shopping mall features around 20 retail stores, outlet shops, and a mixture of dollar stores, handicrafts, fast food, restaurants, and grocery stores.

So, whenever you need something or want to buy something, you can check out Birch Bay Square.

You can check out branded stores such as Hanes, Betty Be Good, Bass & Co, and Leggs.

If you’re tired and hungry, you can choose from a wide array of dining options from Bob’s Burger & Brew, Subway, Jack In the Box, among others.

If you have a Tesla car, you can charge it at the mall’s charging station and come back for it after pampering yourself.

Explore the BP Walking & Biking Trails

The BP Cherry Point Refinery, an oil refinery company based in Birch Bay, allotted land to the locals that became the BP Walking & Biking Trails.

This outdoor recreational area once served as its buffer land, dividing its plant and Birch Bay’s community.

Today, it’s a trendy place for locals to hike, bike, and do other outdoor activities, including hunting.

The BP Walking & Biking Trails is one of the green open spaces you’ll find in Birch Bay.

Unwind at the Bay Breeze Restaurant & Bar

Bay Breeze Restaurant & Bar is situated along the shores of Birch Bay, which boasts an unobstructed picturesque view of the Northwest Pacific.

One of the particular highlights of the restaurant/bar is the old photos of the town hanging on its walls.

Each image has its stories to tell about the town and its people.

Browsing through these photos is a perfect way to wait for your order at the restaurant/bar.

Bay Breeze Restaurant & Bar won’t disappoint you regarding food and drinks.

They boast the best New England clam chowder, steamed clams, shrimp, and surf and turf salad in Birch Bay.

Relax at the Birch Bay Leisure Park

The Birch Bay Leisure Park covers more than 80 acres of land that offers visitors scenic views of the Northwest Pacific and outdoor activities.

The park is perfect for nature photography and birdwatching.

Occasionally, animals such as waterfowl, bald eagles, and otters are seen in the area.

However, the best highlight of the park is its wonderful view of Mount Baker, White Rock, Lynden, and the neighboring British Columbia.

In addition, the Birch Bay Leisure Park is equipped with amenities, such as sports facilities, swimming pools, game rooms, saunas, and clubhouses.

However, this park is privately-owned, but that doesn’t mean it’s off-limits to the public.

You can check out its official website to arrange your visit there.

Check Out the Semiahmoo Golf & Country Club

Landscapes at Semiahmoo Golf & Country Club.

Rick Beauregard /

The Semiahmoo Golf & Country Club is a premier golf course and country club designed by Arnold Palmer.

Although it’s a membership country club, people can still visit the golf course and be amazed at its picturesque landscape.

The entire course spans 7,005-yards of tree-lined landscape, allowing those who play there to enjoy the beauty of nature.

Overall, this 18-hole 72 par golf course is not just for golfers; it’s a must-see place if you appreciate nature’s beauty and its sceneries.

If you’re done taking photos of the beautiful course, you can head to the Great Blue Heron Grill to treat yourself to scrumptious food at the golf course’s country club.

Do Horseback Riding at the Sunset Farm Park

The Sunset Farm Park is an equestrian facility that covers 70-acres in the heart of Birch Bay.

However, there’s a catch.

Those who want to use its equestrian facility need to bring their horses with them.

Nonetheless, horseback riding is just one of the many outdoor activities you and your loved ones can enjoy at Sunset Farm Park.

It has a vast green open space where you can picnic or perhaps hike at its scenic trails.

Currently, the park is being managed by the Friends of Sunset Farm Park, a non-profit organization.

You can check their website to learn about the proper arrangements to book your schedule at their equestrian facility.

Camp at the Birch Bay RV Campground

Many cross-country travelers stop by and spend the night or perhaps a few days at the Birch Bay RV Campground.

It’s one of Birch Bay’s most recommended places to stay if you’re traveling on your RV.

Aside from convenience, Birch Bay RV Campground is a stone’s throw away from Birch Bay’s popular attractions.

In addition, this campground has lots of outdoor activities, from hiking biking to swimming.

The entire campground covers 50 acres, so finding your perfect spot to set up camp won’t be a hassle.

So, if you’re looking for a cozy and convenient place to set up camp, you know where to go.

Have Extreme Fun at the Station 49

If you’re seeking a family-friendly attraction in Birch Bay that doesn’t entirely involve nature, you can check out Station 49.

This attraction is somewhat similar to a mini-theme park because of its activities, games, and amenities.

Station 49 has been entertaining locals and visitors in Birch Bay since 1950.

They offer visitors of all ages to have fun with their indoor arcade, miniature golf course, go-kart racing, and 10-acre miniature train ride.

Once you and your loved ones are done playing and having fun, you can proceed to their family bar that serves everyone delicious food and drinks.

Bring Home Exciting Souvenirs at Candles by the Bay

Candles by the Bay is a small family-owned business specializing in artisanal scented candles and other premium products in Birch Bay.

If you’re looking for a useful souvenir from your Birch Bay travel adventure, you can check out its store in town.

Check out Candles by the Bay’s wide array of scented candles, artisanal soaps, bath and body products, soy wax melts, and accessories.

In addition, all their products are sourced locally and made from organic ingredients.

You can visit Candles by the Bay either at their physical store or their official website for a unique souvenir from your Birch Bay visit.

Chug a Pint of Beer at the Beach Cat Brewing

Before you head back home, you should cap off your Birch Bay travel adventure with a well-deserved pint of craft beer at the Beach Cat Brewing.

This newly-opened brewery in Birch Bay boasts six taps of locally-brewed craft beer.

Aside from its top-notch craft beer, Beach Cat Brewing also boasts a scenic patio and a delicious short-order menu.

It’s also a wonderful place to see the sunset every afternoon.

The Beach Cat Brewing also has trivia nights and regular live music performances like any lively bar.

Final Thoughts

So, that’s the 15 best things to do in Birch Bay.

Which of these attractions and things you’ll be enjoying first?

Overall, Birch Bay is a perfect example of a sleepy town with a majestic view of the sea and mountains.

It’s a perfect destination for people longing for peace and relaxation.

If you’re looking for more travel adventure, you can proceed to Canada or head south and visit Seattle.

It’s up to you, but make sure to bookmark this post for your instant itinerary.

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