8 Family-friendly Activities in Point Roberts
Charming and rural, Point Roberts, Washington, offers much for families in search of more than cheap gas and cheese
While many South Deltans know Point Roberts as the place to go for a tank of gas, cheese, and alcohol, it's also a family-friendly destination with plenty of other things to enjoy on a day trip or weekend getaway.
Affectionately known as 'The Point' or 'Point Bob', Point Roberts is only 35 km away from Vancouver, on the southern tip of the Tsawwassen peninsula. Though not physically connected to the mainland U.S., Point Roberts is part of Whatcom County, Washington, making it an exclave, in fact, as it is only accessible to the rest of the U.S. by travelling through Canada.
Though Point Roberts is perfect for a half or full day trip with the family, vacation rentals are available year round if you decide to stay longer.
Lily Point Marine Reserve is simply breathtaking, and a definite must-see. To reach it from the Tsawwassen border, continue south along Tyee Drive until you reach APA Road, turn left and follow it until you reach the parking lot at the end of the road. Set off down the trailhead to explore the forest trails with ancient trees, stop and view Mt. Baker and the islands from the bluff lookout points, or descend down the steep 200-foot trail to the rocky beach below.
The clay cliffs are stunning and the beach is home to an abundant marine ecosystem, with a kaleidoscope of colourful sea life awaiting you if you visit at low tide. High tide makes for a good swim, but bring water shoes to avoid barnacles. If the water is too chilly for you, then just beachcomb! You may be able to spot relics and remnants from the old Alaska Packers Association.
Early fall is prime whale watching time in Point Roberts, and you don't need to fork out over $100 to go on a nauseating five-hour boat tour. You can easily observe the pods of orcas for free and with the naked eye from Lighthouse Marine Park Beach. It’s not a guarantee - you may only spot seals - but plenty of orcas have been seen blowing and breaching fairly close to shore.
Lighthouse Marine Park Beach on the southwest tip of Point Roberts is also a great place to beachcomb and enjoy a picnic. Children will delight in looking for sun-bleached shells, building driftwood forts and searching for crab appendages. There is often a chilly west wind blowing here, so dress in layers and bring a kite! Or bring your dog for a some playtime in the pet-friendly area close to the beach.
Maple Beach is another Point Bob beach worth exploring, and is located on the east side. Geographically similar to Delta's Centennial Beach, it has sandbars that extend half a mile at low tide. Little ones will enjoy mucking about in the tidal pools and building sandcastles.
Point Roberts is home to about 170 different species that live or migrate there. You and your little ones are likely to spot eagles, herons or sandpipers, and hear plenty of different bird calls.
If you have teens that like to golf, Point Roberts Golf and Country Club offers an 18-hole course among stunning scenery. Opened in 2001, the course has reasonable rates and 50% off for juniors. It’s a beautiful spot to tee off and enjoy nature at the same time, and it’s not uncommon to see deer or coyotes on the fairway.
While bike rentals are available every day in the summer, they are also available to rent (and buy!) on weekends right through Christmas from Pedal Pushers Bikes. Located toward the end of Gulf Road, Pedal Pushers offers a wide selection of comfortable cruisers, even one with a baby seat, perfect for exploring Point Roberts at a slower pace.
The roads are quiet, and while Point Roberts is only about 5 square miles, there is a mix of flat, sloping, and hilly terrain, so choose the route that best suits you. Cycle past the beach, marina, quaint cottages and farms. If you give the folks at Pedal Pushers enough notice during the week in the off-season, they’ll be able to accommodate your rental needs as well.
Brewster's is a family favourite for lunch. With a restaurant and deli menu brimming with fresh, homemade offerings, and a country store filled with local and organic products, you’ll be sure to find something to tickle your tastebuds. The pulled pork sandwich is amazing! While there is no specific kids menu, they will make sandwiches, pasta, and other kid-friendly fare upon request.
Caffé Capanna is also a cozy little place to stop for some coffee and baked goods, or hot chocolate with the kids. Breakfast and lunch are served at both establishments, just be sure to check their hours before you go.