Sunset views from Semiahmoo Resort will make you feel like you’re officially on vacation. (Jennifer Bardsley)

Sunset views from Semiahmoo Resort will make you feel like you’re officially on vacation. (Jennifer Bardsley)

Glorious beach getaway is only a couple of hours away

Semiahmoo Resort near the U.S.-Canada border proves to be an idea mother-daughter destination.

This June my daughter and I kicked off summer vacation with a mother-daughter trip to Semiahmoo Resort in Whatcom County. It can be pricey, but I made our reservations midweek to save money. We packed up the car and drove up I-5 to Blaine.

Located at the very top of the state, Semiahmoo is so close to the Canadian border that you can see the Peace Arch from the beach. In fact, I switched my cellphone over to airplane mode so that I wouldn’t accidentally incur international roaming charges. The resort is located on a spit that was once the location of a salmon cannery. It has beautiful views of Mount Baker, Twin Sisters and skyscrapers in White Rock, British Columbia, across Semiahmoo Bay.

After a disappointing experience at Suncadia earlier this year, I was curious if our room would live up to its marketing, and boy did it ever. The view and the balcony were worth the extra money, especially since my tweenager and I had different bedtimes. I’d drink my coffee on the balcony and watch the waves roll in every morning while she slept, and she’d enjoy the scenery at night when I went to bed early.

Beachcombing was one of my favorite activities at Semiahmoo, as well as bird watching. There was so much shoreline to explore that my daughter and I borrowed bicycles at the front desk and set off on wheels. We rode all the way to Semiahmoo Park at the end of the spit where the Alaska Packers Association Museum is located. The museum was closed the day we visited, but looked like it would have been an educational spot.

At night, we reserved the resort’s movie theater for a private showing of “A Knight’s Tale” with Heath Ledger. Both the bike rentals and the movie reservations were included with our stay, but we brought our own helmets. Other perks included s’mores kits every evening for the community bonfire.

One of my daughter’s favorite parts of the resort was swimming in the heated indoor-outdoor pool. I also went to a water aerobics class in the morning while my daughter slept. My classmates, locals who belonged to the resort’s fitness club, said that the pool is open year-round and that winter is also a great time to visit.

Almost all of our vacation was perfect except for our failed whale-watching experience. We drove down to Anacortes and joined a tour that set off for Lopez Island. Four hours later, we had seen one humpback whale off in the distance, but that was it. In retrospect, I wish we had stayed in Blaine.

If you’ve ever traveled with a tweenager girl, you know they can be very hard to impress. Luckily, Semiahmoo wowed. The best part of the vacation was spending time with my daughter, who now thinks I’m a hero for whisking her away to the beach.

Jennifer Bardsley publishes books under her own name and the pseudonym Louise Cypress. Find her online on Instagram @jenniferbardsleyauthor, on Twitter @jennbardsley or on Facebook as Jennifer Bardsley Author. Email her at

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