Washington with kids: Semiahmoo Resort review

If you’ve ever wondered what the far Northwest corner of the continental US looks like, you should visit Semiahmoo Resort in Blaine, Washington. This quintessential Pacific Northwest coastal resort is located on a spit almost completely surrounded by the Puget Sound within eyeshot of the US/Canadian border. 

Its location on the water and the property amenities made for a memorable long weekend getaway for our family of six. The beach and outdoor yard games alone entertained and delighted our kiddos and provided amazing coastal views for us to enjoy while supervising their play.

Semiahmoo Resort accommodations:

Semiahmoo underwent a full remodel in 2016, upgrading all the rooms, dining facilities, meeting spaces grounds, spa, lobby and added the beach activity center. This remodel resulted in a destination hotel with a casually elegant Northwest style with a large fireplace and lots of windows facing the water (and complimentary apple cider in the lobby which was well received by our crowd). Most guest rooms are a traditional King or double queen configuration. Our room was spacious enough to have two double beds, a rollaway bed and a small sitting area by the view window facing the water. Our room also had a small mini refrigerator making in-room kid meals possible. Unknown to us prior to our visit, Semiahmoo is dog-friendly, welcoming family members of all shapes and sizes. All of the first floor rooms have exterior doors and open right onto the lawn and beach making traveling with a dog or toddler that much easier.

Included resort amenities:

Traveling with kids takes a mental, physical and emotional toll on parents, as all of you reading this article assuredly know. When our family arrives on a property for a holiday, we have no desire to pack everyone back into the car to travel to yet another location (plus we still have a little one in a 5 point harness). We want to settle in and enjoy all the amenities on property, and if those amenities are included for a modest $20 resort fee per day, I’m even more on board. From our experience, Semiahmoo offered the widest variety of included family-friendly amenities of the resorts we’ve recently visited.

Semiahmoo Resort spa and health club:

As a guest of the resort, we were given access to their spa and health club which included a heated indoor/outdoor pool (my kids are still talking about this feature); deluxe locker rooms with a sauna and steam room; reservable gym time to play pickleball, tennis or basketball (equipment included); health club classes and expansive fitness equipment. Our family reserved the pickleball court for an hour exposing our kids to this Northwest favorite sport for the first time. We also reserved the on-site golf simulator, for an additional $20 per hour. If time allowed between our beach and pool visits, I would have liked to take in a complimentary yoga class in the health club or indulged upon some extra time in the sauna and deluxe showers. Those luxuries had to wait until our next visit. All to say, the spa and health club facilities offer activities and relaxation for all members of the family.

Seaview Library and games:

The Seaview Library, positioned right off the lobby with expansive coastal views, offers dedicated gaming space with easy access to board games for all ages. On Saturdays during the high season, the resort offers supervised kid activities (ages 5 – 12) for a small fee. Activities are weekly tailored to the interest and ages of the kids who participate. Around the grounds, there are numerous large yard games, horseshoes, a sand volleyball court and a large chest of other lawn game equipment easily accessible to resort guests.

Discovery Theater:

An on-site movie theatre was new to us, for which we greatly enjoyed. The Discovery theatre, which originally was likely a lecture hall, has been converted into a 50 seat movie theatre for resort guests to enjoy daily movies on the 156’ HD projector “big screen.” Guests can pick a movie from an expansive selection at the front desk and reserve the space for their own viewing pleasure or guests can slip in and join another family already watching a movie. The atmosphere was relaxed, ideal for families. You can bring your own snacks, eat and drink in the theatre and come in your pajamas. This is the way we wish our family could experience all movies on the big screen.

Activity Center:

Included in the resort fee, guests get the first hour of bike, kayak and paddle board rentals. The Activity Center has a wide variety of bike and kayak offerings, sizes and safety equipment suitable for all ages and abilities. Rentals are available 7 am – 8 pm daily. We found this offering generous and ultra fun.

Bonfire and s’mores:

Weather permitting the resort offers nightly bonfires and free smores at dusk. A storm was supposed to move in while we were on property, which we worried would also infringe upon our ability to view the blood moon eclipse also scheduled during our visit. Lucky for us the storm never matriculated and the skies cleared so we were able to enjoy the beach bonfire, smores and the blood moon eclipse – an experience we won’t soon forget.

Beach and surrounding nature:

There is literally hours of entertainment right outside the resort doors. Our kids could spend days rock collecting, sea creature hunting, beach combing, and fort building. The driftwood and ample collection of rocks make for hours of entertainment. As a parent, I was also able to safely view the kids from the warmth and comfort of my hotel room. The view sitting on a log gazing at the sea and mountains vistas weren’t too bad either. On Saturdays, the resort offers local expert, staff guided bird watching tours at 2 pm. During the summer months, resort guests for $5 round trip can board the historic Plover Ferry from the nearby marina and sail across into the town of Blaine. Plover Ferry is the oldest running foot ferry running in Washington state. Strollers, bikes and well-behaved dogs are also welcome on the boat.

On-Property dining:

Packer’s Restaurant & Bar: 

The Packers Restaurant & Bar offers Northwest cuisine with amazing water views with friendly and attentive staff eager to serve kids and families. The atmosphere is a nice blend of casual dining accommodating of kids, yet elegant for us as parents to feel as though we are experiencing a night out. The kid menu offered options for many pallets and the portions were generous, allowing for our little one to enjoy leftovers for lunch the next day. There were nightly menu specials and a full bar to satisfy the parental “big kids.” In addition, Packers offers an expansive Sunday brunch buffet which satisfied all appetites and stomach sizes. Due to our busy evening schedule, one night we also ordered take-out pizza and salad from Packers. Walking through the resort halls in my slippers to grab a ready and warm dinner was a nice holiday luxury.

Since the rooms also had a small refrigerator and there is a microwave near the lobby, we also brought along a few kid-friendly meals and snacks that we could eat in our room or outside for a picnic. Semiahmoo also has the Seaview Breakfast Cafe for the parents who need espresso and an assortment of quick food options. Complimentary shuttle service is also offered to the Great Blue Heron Grill at the Semiahmoo Golf and County Club up the hill from the waterfront resort.

Being from the Pacific Northwest, I’ve heard many of friends talk about Semiahmoo Resort. This was our family’s first visit. Now that we’ve seen the beauty, experienced the ease of travel and enjoyed the affordable on-property adventures, I now know why other local and out of area families travel to Semiahmoo Resort and know our family will soon return. Our son, in fact, has already asked multiple times, on multiple occasions to go back.

Disclosure: We experienced Semiahmoo Resort as guests of the resort, for the purpose of review. All opinions remain our own.

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