Birch Bay, Washington
Four Must Dos in Birch Bay
Birch Bay is a serene community, perfect for vacationers seeking respite from their busy lives. Nature lovers will have their hands full with the natural beauty of the bay, islands, and mountains in the area. The San Juan Islands, Lummi Island, and Mount Baker invite the casual or serious explorer to come enjoy the breathtaking views.
1) Mount Baker
You don’t have to be a skier or snowboarder to enjoy Mount Baker. This non-erupting volcano is home to glaciers and a beautiful ski area. With all the snow-capped mountains in the background, it makes for a picturesque day-trip heading east out of Birch Bay. Ski trails range from beginners (green circle) to expert only (double black diamond). Experienced skiers and mountain climbers offer ski lessons and guides for alpine climbing, rock climbing and ice climbing for the truly adventurous. But the casual observer can sit back and watch all the skiers and snowboarders while sipping on some hot cocoa in the White Salmon Day Lodge.
2) Dig for Clams and Oysters
A great place to go digging for clams and oysters is Birch Bay State Park. There are multiple species living in the tidal waters of the bay, including Pacific oysters and Butter clams. Just wait for the tide to go out about 1/4 mile, and then wade into the mud and shallows with a rake, and start digging! Be sure to bring a bucket with you so you can carry enough home for dinner. Don’t forget to get a shellfish license. Check the appropriate websites and signs for the legal sizes and number of shellfish you can keep.
3) Whale Watching
Whether you start in Blaine or Bellingham, you can choose between kayaks, charter boats, or sailboats. You’ll have the chance to see orca whales, humpback whales, porpoises, dolphins, seals, bald eagles, and other sea life. Trips last between one and a half to four hours, or even overnight for two or three days. Fishing trips are also available. If you choose the more luxurious cruises, you’ll be treated to a lunch of Northwest wild salmon and a full bar with a selection of Northwest beers, wines and cocktails. This is the best way to be introduced to whales; in their natural habitat.
4) Bellewood Acres
Just a 25-minute drive from Sandcastle at Birch Bay, Bellewood Acres boasts one of Northwest Washington’s largest apple orchards. Their Country Cafe serves “darn fine farm food.” The Bakery has a selection of pies and pastries, including apple turnovers and cider doughnuts. Be sure to stop by the 14,000 square foot Farm Market to buy locally-grown fruits and vegetables. Open year-round, the owners offer private tours of the apple farm, or, for those 21 and over, a behind-the-scenes tour of the distillation process, when they turn apples into hand-crafted spirits. Well worth the trip, Bellewood Acres is just the place for a casual day at the farm.
More on Birch Bay