When the cold weather finally retreats and the first heat wave hits, the same ailment consumes everyone: spring fever! There’s no better way to treat this virus than to spend a week in Whatcom County, Washington. Whatcom County, one of our nation’s berry capitals, is known for its beautiful scenery and vast opportunities to enjoy nature. And because its borders reach into -Canada, you can celebrate the warming weather in two different countries!

Seafood Serenity

Cast your nets! Whatcom County covers the coastline of the northwest corner of Washington, providing excellent opportunities for reeling in seafood. The town of Birch Bay is famous for its crabbing sites that yield crab generously, so there’s no chance of going home empty-netted. To add to your catch, visit the neighboring town of Blaine for excellent deep-sea fishing and clamming. But make sure to bring some rain boots or other shoes that are easy to clean since clamming is a sandy and dirty business.

A local resident hauling in the day’s catch from a pier in Blaine.

Whale of a Time

Across the bay from Blaine lie the San Juan Islands and Vancouver, Canada, which are excellent places for whale watching. Tour boats dot the sea from March through October, when tourists can spot pods of whales that number in the hundreds. In the rare case that you don’t see any whales, some tours provide rain checks. Beyond whale watching, there is plenty of other wildlife that is fun to watch, including sea lions, dolphins, and various species of birds. If this still doesn’t suffice, Vancouver boasts the largest aquarium in Canada, which houses exotic and endangered animals like Beluga whales.

Land Ahoy!

On the return to shore, check out the beautiful trails throughout Northern Washington and -Vancouver that are available to hikers of all abilities. Many trails are renowned for their wooded scenery and magnificent waterfalls. Lake Troop Trail is an easy two-mile hike that carves through deep forest and loops around Canyon Lake. After a rejuvenating hike, you can spend the evening soaking in the cultural richness of Vancouver’s China Town Night Markets. These night markets run from May through September and give guests an opportunity to amble through the alleys, enjoying a night filled with exotic food, music, and shops.

A Mount Baker trail, one of the many scenic hikes available in Whatcom.

Tulip Tours

As your week in Washington and Canada continues, remember to take a peek at the Skagit Tulip Festival in Bellingham during the month of April. It is one of the most stunning and colorful tulip festivals in the West, with endless fields of tulips of every color. The festival is every photographer’s dream, so be sure to have extra memory cards close at hand. Fun concerts and salmon barbeques surround the festival, so leave plenty of room for food and plan some extra time to soak in the fun atmosphere of the Northwest.


For more information about fun and free ideas of what to do in and around Whatcom County, visit the following website:


—Kristen Hutchings