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Point Roberts: The Land the Canadians Forgot

Point Roberts: The Land the Canadians Forgot

Once upon a time, when Britain and the United States were settling on where the borders between the U.S. and Canada should be, they determined that the 49th parallel should just be used to make things easier for everyone.

It sounded like a good idea, and a few exceptions were made, like Victoria Island, where it made more sense to just cede the territory to the other.

However, no one realized at the time that Point Roberts existed. So the Canada/U.S. border runs up to the waters around Victoria Island and then swoops through the Strait of Juan de Fuca, but just before that happens, you have this little parcel of land that sits 22 miles south of Vancouver, BC.

It’s home to about 1,300 people, and there are 2,000 homes, but more than half of them are owned by Canadians.

Point Roberts is worth considering if you’re looking for a unique and memorable travel destination. You may just find that it’s the best place you’ve never heard of!

Point Roberts

Point Roberts Hiking Trail

Point Roberts, is a small peninsula located at the southernmost tip of the Tsawwassen Peninsula in Delta, British Columbia. The waters of Boundary Bay surround it to the north and west and the Strait of Georgia to the south. Point Roberts is connected to the rest of Delta by a four-lane highway and a two-lane bridge.

The community of Point Roberts is made up of a mix of Canadian residents and expats, U.S. citizens, and some Native American residents. The town has its own post office, library, elementary school, marina, and golf course. There are also several local businesses in the town, including restaurants, cafes, shops, and grocery stores.

Despite its location, Point Roberts is not part of Canada. It is an unincorporated community in Whatcom County, Washington, United States. The only land border crossing between the Canadian side and the United States in the area is located in the nearby town of Aldergrove, British Columbia.

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History

Sunset at Point Roberts

Point Roberts is a secluded area that can only be reached by land through Canada. While you can still access it by small plane, ferry, or private boat, driving is the cheapest option.

Point Roberts is a small, unincorporated community located at the southernmost tip of the Tsawwassen Peninsula in Delta, British Columbia. It is surrounded on the south and east sides by the United States and on the north and west sides by Canada. The area has a population of just over 1,000 people and is home to a mix of retirees and young families.

The community was established in 1858 and originally consisted of a trading post and a few homes. It was given its current name in 1879 after Robert Gray, an American explorer who was the first to sail up the Columbia River to its mouth.

Point Roberts had been a part of Canada since 1846 when it was transferred to British Columbia as part of the Oregon Treaty. However, due to its location south of the 49th parallel, it was not included when British Columbia joined Confederation in 1871.

As a result, Point Roberts is on U.S. soil and not subject to Canadian laws and regulations, which has led to it being used as a haven for businesses and individuals seeking to avoid taxes and regulations. It is also popular with American citizens who want to buy property in Canada but cannot due to restrictions on foreign ownership.

Despite its unique status, Point Roberts is a part of the Greater Vancouver region, and its residents are active in the community. There are several schools, a library, a community center, and various businesses and services.

There is a strong sense of community in this unique corner of the world, with regular events and gatherings throughout the year.

The community is also home to several artists and musicians, and there is an annual arts festival. There are also some tranquil parks and stunning beaches, making it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

Point Roberts is a unique community that offers its residents a different lifestyle from the rest of Canada. It is a great place to live, work, and play, and its proximity to the Greater Vancouver region makes it an ideal place to call home to Point Roberts residents.

Why Go to Point Roberts?

Point Roberts Shore at Night

For Canadians, that answer is pretty easy. Gasoline is cheaper, you can often avoid all the taxes for shipments by having an American P.O. Box over the border, and you can order a hamburger or steak that’s medium-rare!

You read that right! Health codes in British Colombia make it nearly impossible to get your cow-cooked peak instead of crispy.

Well, the answer is a bit more complicated for Americans over there. There are nice beaches, certainly, and there’s pretty low crime.

However, there’s no high school, so you’re either going to be homeschooled or go around through Canada to come into Bellingham to go to school, which means you cross the international border four times per day!

There are no doctors, dentists, or healthcare services of just about any kind either, which means going to Bellingham for care instead of Vancouver because those pesky American health insurance plans don’t like Canadians.

At least Canadian healthcare is almost free. Thanks, Canadian government!

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How to get to Point Roberts

Tree with a Peace Sign on Point Roberts Trail in Canada

To get to Point Roberts by road, you have to pass through Canada. But don’t worry, the process is pretty simple.

First, you need a passport and learn about the border restrictions. If you’re a U.S. citizen, you can use your driver’s license as long as it’s valid and has your photo. If you’re not a U.S. citizen, you’ll need a passport or other approved travel document.

Once you have your passport, head to the Canadian border access point and present yourself to the Customs and Border Protection officer. They will ask you some questions and so long as everything is in order, they’ll stamp your passport and send you on your way.

After clearing the border station, you’re free to drive to Point Roberts to enjoy your stay in the land the Canadians forgot!

What to Bring

Prepared Travel Luggage

If you plan a visit to Point Roberts, Washington state, here’s a list of travel guides and a few things you should know.

The first is that this small peninsula is not part of the United States – it’s part of Canada! The second is that Point Roberts has its own set of rules and regulations, so it’s important to be prepared before you go.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when packing for your trip:

Passport: You will need a valid passport to enter Canada, even if you’re just passing through Point Roberts. Make sure your passport is up-to-date and easily accessible.

Warm Clothing: Point Roberts is located in the Pacific Northwest, so the weather can be unpredictable. Pack layers of warm clothing that you can easily take on and off as needed.

Comfortable Shoes: There will be a lot of walking involved in exploring Point Roberts. Make sure you have comfortable shoes that you can walk long distances in.

Warm Jacket: Even if it’s not cold when you leave for your day trip and travel, pack a warm jacket just in case. You’ll be glad you did if the weather takes a turn!

Camera: Point Roberts is a beautiful place – make sure you have a camera to capture all the memories!

Others: You’ll also need to pack sunscreen, water, and snacks, as the weather can be quite hot and sunny in the summer. Consider a travel guide.

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Rules to Follow When Visiting Point Roberts

If you’re looking to visit Point Roberts, make sure you familiarize yourself with the following rules and laws:

  • All visitors must carry proof of identification and citizenship at all times.
  • It is illegal to remove any plants or wildlife from Point Roberts.
  • Firearms are not permitted in Point Roberts, except for law enforcement personnel.
  • Consumption of alcohol is prohibited in public places.
  • Dogs must be on a leash at all times.

What Is There To See at Point Roberts?

Orca

Life in Point Roberts revolves around nature and the great outdoors. People come (and some stay) for the freshest air, beautiful beaches, hiking trails, and incredible local wildlife.

The local orca pods tend to head up during the spring and summer months. You’ll have a great opportunity to see a wild Shamu most days.

There are cafes in Point Roberts such as Saltwater Cafe and Point Roberts Coffee Roasting Company if you’re looking for a place to sip coffee and enjoy the scenic view of the place.

There is also Whatcom County Library in Point Roberts that is worth a visit.

An extensive population of bald eagles also calls this tiny peninsula home, so birdwatching is a common pastime. You can camp out by the lighthouse if you want, and if you own a horse, you’re welcome to take that horse out to the beach.

Sadly, you can’t hire a horse, you can’t rent a horse, but you can buy your horse and board it at Point Roberts.

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Best Things to do in Point Roberts

There are plenty of things to do in Point Roberts, Washington. Some of the best include whale watching, birdwatching, camping, and hiking. You can also enjoy the beaches and take in the unique atmosphere of this Americana town.

Here are some of the best things you may enjoy during your visit.

Point Roberts Marina

The Point Roberts Marina is a great place to dock your boat and spend some time in the sun. With its prime location on the Strait of Georgia, the marina offers stunning views of the Vancouver skyline and the surrounding mountains.

There’s also plenty of great fishing in the area, and the marina staff can help you find the right spot to cast your line. If you’re looking for relaxation and some beautiful scenery, then Point Roberts Marina is worth a visit.

Lighthouse Marine Park

One of the highlights of Point Roberts is Lighthouse Marine Park. This park is home to a beautiful lighthouse that was built in 1908. The lighthouse is open to visitors and offers stunning views of the surrounding area. The park also features several walking trails and picnic areas.

Lighthouse Park is a beautiful place to visit, and it’s also a great place to go fishing. The park is home to various fish, and it’s a great spot for salmon fishing in particular. The park also has a lighthouse, making for a great backdrop for photos.

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Lily Point Marine Reserve

Lily Point is a Marine Reserve located in the Strait of Georgia, within the Township of Point Roberts, Washington. The reserve was established in 1975 and covered an area of.

It is a lovely park that provides unlimited beach access and fun beach activities. Lily Point is a popular spot for scuba diving, fishing, and whale watching. The reserve is home to various marine life, including salmon, rockfish, and sea lions.

Blue Heron Gallery  

The Blue Heron Gallery is a small but charming art gallery located in Point Roberts, Washington. The gallery features the work of local artists and often hosts events and workshops. The Blue Heron Gallery is a great place to find unique, hand-crafted gifts, and the staff is always friendly and helpful.

The Blue Heron Gallery is a must-see for anyone visiting Point Roberts. The gallery showcases the work of local artists, and the pieces on display are always changing. It’s a great place to find a unique piece of art to take home with you.

Point Roberts Golf & Country Club  

The Point Roberts Golf & Country Club is a beautiful 18-hole course that offers stunning views. The course is challenging and well-maintained, and it’s a popular spot for locals and visitors alike.

The club also has a pro shop, restaurant, and bar, making it the perfect place to spend a day or evening out. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or just looking for a fun place to relax, the Point Roberts Golf & Country Club is worth visiting.

Point Roberts History Center

The Point Roberts History Center is a museum and research center dedicated to the history of Point Roberts, Washington. The center is operated by the Point Roberts Historical Society, a nonprofit organization founded in 1988.

The history center contains a variety of exhibits on the history of the area, including exhibits on the local Native American tribes, the early settlers, and the modern community. The center also houses a library and archives containing historical documents and photographs relating to Point Roberts.

Enchanted Forest Trail

The Enchanted Forest Trail is a beautiful nature trail in Point Roberts that winds through the forest and offers amazing views of the surrounding mountains and waters.

This is a great trail to hike if you’re looking for a peaceful, natural experience, and it’s also dog-friendly, so feel free to bring your furry friend along for the walk.

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Monument Park

Point Roberts Monument park is a beautiful place to enjoy a peaceful day outdoors. The park is home to a large monument commemorating the historic handover of Point Roberts from Canada to the United States.

Visitors can climb to the top of the monument for stunning views of the surrounding area. Several picnic tables and benches in the park, making it the perfect spot to enjoy a packed lunch or a leisurely snack.

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Places to Stay Near Point Roberts

Point Roberts Shore and Skyline

Waterfront! 75 Ft of Private Beach – Best Luxury Hotel

Chairs and Tables in front of an Accommodation
image by VRBO

The Waterfront! 75 Ft of Private Beach hotel is a great place to stay while in Point Roberts. It offers stunning views of the water and access to a private beach, making it a perfect spot for swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing. The hotel also features a pool, hot tub, and on-site restaurant.

Sandcastle At Birch Bay – Best Mid-Range Hotel

Building Entrance of Sandcastle Hotel
image by Booking.com

The Sandcastle at Birch Bay is a beautiful, family-friendly resort overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Guests can enjoy various activities, including swimming, fishing, and kayaking. The resort also offers an on-site restaurant and bar and several comfortable guest rooms.

Secluded Sea View Cottage – Best Budget Hotel

If you’re looking for a quiet and relaxing getaway, Secluded Sea View Cottage is the perfect spot.

Nestled in the scenic Point Roberts small community, this cottage offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and the surrounding mountains. It’s also just a short walk from the beach, making it the perfect spot to enjoy a morning jog or stroll along the water’s edge.

Castle Cottage – Best Rental

Hotel Single Bedroom
image by VRBO

If you’re looking for a quiet escape, Castle Cottage is the perfect place to stay in Point Roberts, WA. This charming B&B is set in a restored Victorian home right on the water, providing guests with stunning views of the Strait of Georgia and Vancouver Island.

The innkeepers are incredibly welcoming and knowledgeable about the area. They are sure to explore the nature trails and beaches nearby; don’t forget to try some delicious local seafood!

FAQ

Is Point Roberts Canada?

No, Point Roberts is not in Canada. It is a small peninsula that is part of the state of Washington in the United States.

What state is Point Roberts in?

Point Roberts is a census-designated place in Whatcom County, Washington, United States.

Do you need a passport to go to Point Roberts?

Yes, you do need a passport to go to Point Roberts. While it is physically located in the United States, Point Roberts is isolated from the rest of the country and is only accessible by crossing into Canada or flying into a small airport on the peninsula.

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