Summer vacay is all about sunshine and beach time. But don’t let summer have all the fun. This fall, pack up your crew and head to Semiahmoo to show summer how it’s done. Just 90 minutes north of the city, this recently named Northwest’s Best Resort, is all about recreating the beloved Pacific Northwest traditions you grew up with so you can share them with your sidekick. Read on to find out how you and yours can carry on and cozy up.
…at the beach
The long stretch of beach that’s just outside Semiahmoo’s doors is probably the most obvious draw for families. At low tide, it’s a beachcombers dream, housing crabs, sand dollars, clams and other critters under rocks and burrowed in the sand, waiting to be found. The tide is dynamic to say the least, and exploring the beach when it’s out translates into hours of natural entertainment for your mini marine biologist. That’s why packing boots or water shoes, and all the sand toys you can carry in your suitcase, is a must on this trip. But what really sets this glorious expanse of Pacific Northwest beach apart is the over-sized lawn that comes with it.
…with lawn games by the ocean
We’re not gonna lie, your city-sized lawn will be green with envy when it gets a look at Semiahmoo’s “backyard.” It’s where your fam will find a stage lined with rocking chairs (hello beach-side sunsets with a warm wool blanket!), sand volleyball court, toddler-approved sandbox and even a horseshoe pit. But the fun doesn’t stop there. Guests can also dig into the activity chest to find lawn games, like ladder golf, croquet, baseball and more, to use on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you’re feeling cerebral, you can also challenge your kidlet to a game of chess on the life-size board, just off the courtyard (think: Harry Potter’s wizard’s chess, without the magic). Families can easily spend a day playing games and wandering the beach on a crisp, fall day.
…with a beachside bonfire and s’mores
Saturday nights are steeped in tradition at Semiahmoo. Each week, they light a bonfire on the beach, and guests gather round with their complimentary s’mores fixings (psst… they have them at the front desk) to roast some gooey goodness once the sun sets. It’s all part of staying true to their Pacific Northwest roots, and enjoying the beachside life so many families grew up with. We couldn’t think of a better tradition to pass along to your little beach bums!
photo: Semiahmoo Resort Facebook page
…with a bike ride in the crisp air
The road you traveled in on is a great place to ride bikes with your sidekick on a sunny day. The trail that runs along the roadside is about a mile each way, just enough to challenge your tot, while still being a respectable distance for older sibs to master. And the views, in either direction, can’t be beat. Bring your bikes, trikes and carriers from home if you plan to be out every day. Otherwise, a one-hour rental is included with your resort fee, and rentals beyond that run $10 per hour.
photo: Andrew E. Larsen via Flickr
…while flying a kite
Kites are another great way to spend a lazy fall day at the resort. You’ll find plenty of space to launch tradition and trick kites into the wind in the field across from the front of the resort. Be sure to pack yours from home!
photo: Andrew E. Larsen via Flickr
…at the indoor sports courts
We love that if—or should we say “when”—the rain comes, families can still get their sport on at Semiahmoo. Check out the indoor sports courts, rain or shine. Here families can play a game of pick up basketball, or reserve a court time to play tennis. Parents can also sign up for adults-only fitness classes during their stay so they can keep up with their regular routine, even when they’re on vacay.
…at the pool
Sure, it’s fall, but that won’t stop your PNW born-and-raised babe from making a splash at the pool any time the mercury reaches 60 degrees. Not to worry, Semiahmoo’s mostly outdoor pool is heated year-round, which means even the polar-beariest kiddos will want to take a dip on a sunny day. Follow up pool play time with a dip in the kid-friendly hot tub (the water temp is pretty tame) before your crew heads back for more splash-tastic good times. Plus, you can find spots to store your stuff, towels to use while you’re there and showers to rinse off with in the locker rooms.
…with board games in the library
When the fall weather makes you feel like you should hunker down, we suggest finding the game chest in the library. It’s stocked with tons of family faves that span the ages. You’ll find everything from classic board games like Candyland and Jenga to newbies like Paw Patrol Beach Rescue. There are comfy couches and stately tables made for playing a plenty, and games are checked out first-come-first-serve to play.
…with your favorite flick (or football game) at the Discovery Theater
Each Friday and Saturday night from 8 p.m.-10 p.m., Semiahmoo plays family-friendly flicks on the big screen at the Discovery Theater. All you need to do is show up and grab your freshly popped corn before settling in to their Lay-Z-Boy-style stadium seating chairs. Our favorite part? It’s gotta be that families can reserve the theater any time it’s not in use, to watch one of the hundreds of titles Semiahmoo has on hand. Choose to let other families join your screening or keep it contained to just you and yours. And fall long, Semiahmoo will screen Seahawks games on the big screen, so 12’s of all ages can cheer on their favorite team in comfort. They only thing that would make this afternoon better is a Seahawks win!
photo: Semiahmoo Resort Facebook page
…while the kids play at the Kids Club
Semiahmoo is all about spending time together as a family. But even the most together bunch needs kid-time and parent-time now and again. Enter Semiahmoo’s Kids Club, on Saturdays from 10 a.m.–3 p.m. The club activities are run by local educators and are split into two, two-hour sessions by age group (10 a.m.-noon, ages 6-8; 1 p.m.-3 p.m. ages 9-12, with exceptions made for siblings). While they’re there, your kidlets will play sports, games and get creative at the craft table with other guests. What you and your better half do is up to you (hello spa time!) The cost is $25 per kid.
…at The Spa
The Spa is a great spot to stop while your kiddos are at the Kids Club (and not just because you check them in there). They’ve got everything you need to help you relax or keep you looking your best, and having the facility on-site makes it super easy to do. Book everything from haircuts, facials, nail services and massage packages via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or with a quick call (360-318-2009). Be sure to check out their Fall Into Bliss offerings before you do. Each treatment plays on the scents of the season!
…at restaurants with unbeatable views
There are three restaurants on property at Semiahmoo, each with a different focus, two with historic beginnings, all with an ocean view. Packers Oyster Bar is the place to find casual eats for parents and kids when you’re on the go, playing on the lawn or throwing rocks on the beach. Its casual menu offerings make it a popular spot for lunch and early dinner, and there’s a daily happy hour menu (from 3 p.m.-6 p.m.) that’s easy to take advantage of during your stay. Packers doesn’t take reservations, so if it’s a busy weekend, we recommend putting your name in about 30 minutes before your sidekick’s hunger kicks in and playing lawn chess while you wait. And if you don’t see something on the kid’s menu, be sure to ask your server; they’re usually able to handle special requests pretty easily.
The newly renovated Pierside Kitchen is just across the hall from Packers. It’s where you’ll find upscale fare and a menu focused on locally sourced, fresh Pacific Northwest foods. Truly, it’s a playground for James Beard-nominated Executive Chef, Bruno Feldeisen, and one you should take advantage of during your stay. Be sure to check out the board behind the reservation stand that lets you know which local farms provided the bulk of your meal. This is also the place to be on the weekends, when they’re serving up a delish brunch from 11:30 a.m.–2 p.m. Pierside Kitchen does take reservations, so be sure to make one in advance.
The Seaview Breakfast Café is the place to take your early risers when they roll out of bed at the crack of dawn (they open at 6 a.m.). It’s also a great spot to grab a to-go breakfast of muffins, pastries and coffee if you want to get out the door to enjoy the day ASAP. As for the ride home, Seaview makes the perfect last pit stop to grab a coffee (they brew Starbucks) before you hit the road!
Good to Know
Book a fall getaway now and enjoy a $50 resort credit for each night you stay, with the Fall Into Savings package.
Semiahmoo Golf Resort & Spa
9565 Semiahmoo Parkway
Blaine, Wa 98230
Are you planning a fall getaway to Semiahmoo? Which activities do you think you’ll try? Tell us in the comments below.
Allison Sutcliffe (all photos courtesy of the writer, unless otherwise noted)
This trip was paid for by Semiahmoo Golf Resort & Spa, but all opinions expressed here belong to the writer.