Beautiful Birch Bay, Washington

The chill that sets in during the last few months of the year may inspire vacationers to venture to the warm beaches of the Caribbean, but they’d be remiss to overlook the fun that can be had at up north. For instance, Birch Bay may not be known as a popular late fall destination, but its mild weather and proximity to a diverse selection of activities makes it a great place to visit when temperatures start to drop.

Not only that, you can enjoy all of the sights and sounds of northwestern Washington State in its off season, which typically lasts from October through December, meaning you won’t have to fight the crowds to enjoy the area’s year-round activities.

Scenic views

Snow Sports at Mt. Baker

Skiing is one of the most popular fall and winter-time activities in northwest Washington State. That’s no surprise considering Mt. Baker, the tallest mountain in the region, receives an average of 701 inches of snow per year, the most in North America .

Sandcastle at Birch Bay is about an hour away from the mountain’s ski areas, some of which are free to use. Downhill and cross country skiing, snowmobiling, sledding, and snowshoeing are all great ways to experience winter sports in the area. Mt. Baker’s ski season typically begins in late November and runs through April, while the snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and cross country ski trails may not be suitable for use until the last half of December.

Keep in mind the timing may vary depending on weather conditions. For information on the condition of some of the area’s ski trails, please visit the Nooksack Nordic Ski Club’s website .
Click here to learn about trail locations and snow sport shops you can visit during your stay in Birch Bay.

Fishing Trips

Salmon fishing season in the Pacific Northwest starts in October and lasts until April, making it a popular activity for this time of the year. There are several companies located near Birch Bay that offer chartered fishing tours that allow you to see the San Juan Islands and, maybe, catch an elusive 30-pound blackmouth salmon.

Before you book one of these trips, you should be aware they may last as long as six hours. This is because the best salmon fishing locations are almost 40 miles from the coast, which is why these tours may not be ideal for first-time fisherman or young children. In most cases, fishing poles and other equipment is included in the cost of the trip, typically starting from $200 per person. Wildlife tours or trips to the San Juan Islands may also be available if you charter a private boat.

You can learn more about fishing near Birch Bay and Bellingham here.


Northwest Washington’s gorgeous scenery provides a compelling backdrop for the area’s numerous golf courses, and its mild fall weather makes it a great place to play in latter part of the year. Even better since the off season means competition for tee times is less intense than at other times of the year. Need more convincing?

Two of the area’s courses, Semiahmoo Golf & Country Club and Loomis Trail Golf Club at Semiahmoo, are among the best public courses in the state, according to They’re not the only game in town, though. For example, the North Bellingham Golf Course offers an authentic Scottish-style links experience, including gently rolling fairways and challenging gale winds. Five other courses, such as Dakota Creek Golf and Raspberry Ridge Golf Course, are located in nearby Lynden, Custer, Blaine, and Everson.

Shopping and Dining

Although many shops and restaurants in Birch Bay close in the fall, you can still find many great places to visit in Bellingham and Vancouver. The downtown districts of Bellingham, Ferndale, Fairhaven, and Lynden are also great places to visit if you’re interested in browsing specialty shops that sell locally made goods. These districts also have plenty of other things to see and do, including art galleries, antique shops, bakeries, and cafes.

Seafood may be a popular choice in Birch Bay, but there are plenty of other types of food available if you’re not in the mood for seared Ahi tuna or fried oysters. Vancouver and Bellingham have the diversity of restaurants you’d expect from large cities, including pizzerias, burger joints, steakhouses, and ethnic cuisine.

If you’re looking for a place to eat but don’t know what kind of food you’d like to have, take a look Vancouver Magazine’s 2013 restaurant awards and The Bellingham Herald’s dining guide .

About the resort:

Sandcastle at Birch Bay features one-, two- and three-bedroom condominiums. Amenities include a restaurant, pool, hot tub, and rooftop terrace. Each unit has a balcony with a view of either the bay or Mt. Baker. This resort is perfect for nature lovers who want the easy elegance of upscale lodgings in a quiet, picturesque setting.

Birch Bay is close to Mt. Baker and the San Juan Islands. You can go on a Pacific sailing expedition, fish for flounder, or watch herons glide gracefully over the sweeping tide flats of the bay. Let Sandcastle at Birch Bay make your vacation a natural wonder.


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