Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Point Roberts, Washington

Known locally as Point Bob, Point Roberts is part of mainland USA but is not physically attached to it in any way.  It is located at the southernmost tip of Tsawwassen Peninsula, which happens to be a suburb of Vancouver, B.C.  Any Americans wishing to visit Point Roberts must come through Canada to get there. We had heard of Point Roberts often and saw it on the map as we passed nearby...but had never before paid a visit to this hidden little jewel of a place.  Until now...April 2014.

On a beautiful, sunny Sunday afternoon, we grabbed our passports and took a drive out to the pebbly beach at the southwestern tip of the Lower Mainland. We wondered what kind of border crossing we would find...accessing an area of less than five square miles and with a population of about 1300.  Surprisingly, the border crossing looked much like any others...with several lanes in each direction.  There were no major line-ups and we were across the border and in the United States of America in no time!

Our destination?

Lighthouse Marine Park.  Land's end.  This is it!  From here one can see Haro Strait, Georgia Strait and Juan de Fuca Strait. 

Shipping lanes merge in the distance.  B.C. Ferries pass by from the port of Tsawwassen.

Sailboats do the birds!

And in the distance...Mt. Baker presides over the Sunday afternoon tableau.

Some came with cameras and lenses...

...and some brought their bikes.

Others brought their dog...and sent him into the water.

Some came with paddle boards and went in themselves.  Even in April!

If anyone found themselves in need of temporary shelter...there were a few rustic abodes free for the taking.

I'm thinking this scene speaks to a healthy Dungeness crab population in this area!

As for the lighthouse...well, it was a bit of a disappointment.  I was hoping for an old-fashioned, picturesque lighthouse (the kind we saw in Portland, Maine last summer.)  Apparently modern lighthouses are more about function and less about beauty!

Sunsweep of three such markers placed along the Canada-U.S. border in the 1980's as part of an international art project.  The other two are at Roosevelt Campobello Park in New Brunsick and on American Point Island in Ontario's Lake of the Woods Park.

Another point of interest...the granite obelisk, Border Marker Number One.  This monument to the 49 parallel was fabricated in Scotland sits at the most western point of the northern Canadian - US border. 

We also discovered that Point Roberts is one of the best spots from which to view pods of Orca whales over the summer months.  Three local pods frequently pass by this very spot.  And that is a very good reason to make a return visit one day!

As we were leaving...others were coming.  Point Roberts was the perfect destination on a sunny Sunday in April!


  1. Awwww shucks! I'm going to have to break my self-imposed rule. I am struck by the images of east and west and how one might get tricked into thinking that you were somewhere else. And I enjoyed the visit to this odd little outpost that belongs to the US? to Canada? to both? It is a beautiful place even if it doesn't have a real lighthouse. (I also enjoyed your trip to Maine all over again.)

    1. Well one could get tricked if you leave those gorgeous mountains out of it. Ha!

  2. You picked a great day for a jaunt across the border. Those blue skies and the deep blue sea to match are beautiful. We've never ventured across that particular piece of the border either.

  3. Whenever we head across the border I wonder about Pt Roberts - thanks for assuaging my curiosity!

  4. As always, you are a terrific tour guide. What an interesting place. I've never heard of it before. Thank you for sharing it through your gorgeous photos!

  5. What a gorgeous day and place to see! Beautiful photos. It's nice to learn about new day trips to take.

  6. I have never been there. Must do so one day. : )

  7. You are my favorite tour guide! And as much as I loved your far afield gadding about reports, it is delightful to tag along as you explore your own turf now. Your photos could make people book flights to come see Pt. Roberts!

  8. This looks like a really beautiful place to visit, Judy. I wonder if Maggie (my sister) has been there before. Maybe they don't have their passports so can't enter. I would certainly make a day trip out of this if we go out again. That view of Mt. Baker is amazing!

  9. What a fascinating place! I could almost smell the salt water and hear the gulls by looking at your photos--I miss the ocean here living in the Colorado mountains. I am also a light house appreciator, and I would have been disappointed to see this one, but the scenery of Mt. Baker and the other distant ranges made up for that! I'm seeing whale pods would be exciting--hope you can return!


'The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.'
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson