Small Cities

Blaine WA | Pop. 4,910

Known as the Peace Arch City, Blaine is nestled just 20 miles north of Bellingham sitting on the international border between British Columbia, Canada and the United States. The City of Blaine epitomizes the best of small town charm and is strong in maritime heritage. Blaine is home to exceptional biking trails, bird watching, and aquatic activities such as kayaking and sailing. The city offers a mix of housing opportunities ranging from low income and quaint nineteenth century homes to luxury waterfront homes in the gated community of Semiahmoo. The community is also home to Semiahmoo Resort, a seaside hotel featuring a luxurious spa and the number one and number three rated golf courses in Washington State. Blaine is the established thruway for many Canadians, offering services such as custom brokerage and other export services.

Birch Bay WA | Pop. 8,413

Birch bay Waterslides / Credit: Jon Brunk

Birch bay Waterslides / Credit: Jon Brunk

Birch Bay is an unincorporated urban growth area located in the northern corner of Whatcom County. The community is just 6 miles south of the international border between the United States and British Columbia, Canada. Birch Bay has been a resort destination for over 100 years and more than doubles its population in the summertime. The warm salt waters of Birch Bay boast the largest tide flat in Washington State, which opens into the Strait of Georgia. Much of Birch Bay’s economy relies on tourism to the city, offering wine tasting tours, golf clubs, and many outdoor opportunities.

Deming WA | Pop. 353

The town of Deming is located along state route 542, the main thoroughfare to Mount Baker. The town is home to the community of the tribal government offices of the Nooksack Tribe and is within the Nooksack Indian Reservation. What’s more, the town is host to the Annual Deming Logging Show, originally started in 1962; the show is a fundraiser benefiting busted up loggers. The Log Show Grounds is also home to other events throughout the year including car shows, weddings, fundraisers, concerts and more.

Ferndale WA | Pop. 12,343

The General Store at Pioneer Park / Credit: Annette Bagley

The General Store at Pioneer Park / Credit: Annette Bagley

Ferndale, located just minutes north of Bellingham on the I-5 corridor and next to the Nooksack River is one of Whatcom County’s fastest growing communities. Boasting beautiful views of Mount Baker and the San Juan Islands, Ferndale has become a popular destination for outdoors recreation. Originally Ferndale’s economy was based on timber, and shortly after, agriculture of the surrounding land. The city is home to multiple refineries, which include Cherry Point refinery, Washington’s largest oil refinery. The largest employers in Ferndale are BP and Alcoa Intalco Works.

Nooksack WA | Pop. 1,422

Nooksack is a quaint little town nestled in the beautiful Nooksack Valley on State Route 9. With a small business district, Nooksack is mainly a bedroom community or commuter town. The town has a quiet friendly charm that is inviting to many families. The small town atmosphere gives many a sense of ease and calm. Though Nooksack may not have all the conveniences as a larger city, it is located only 1.5 miles from the town of Everson, which offers some amenities.

Lynden WA | Pop. 12,902

A well-known sight in Lynden is a 72-foot high windmill featuring moving blades. / Credit: Jim Poth

A well-known sight in Lynden is a 72-foot high windmill featuring moving blades. / Credit: Jim Poth

The city of Lynden is Whatcom County’s second largest city, established on the site of the Nooksack Indian village Squahalish and approximately 5 miles south of the U.S. – Canadian border. The city lies in a broad valley along the winding path of the Nooksack River, which empties into Bellingham Bay. Lynden is known for its Dutch architecture and abundance of churches. In August, the Northwest Washington Fair lures over 200,000 people to the area and allows Whatcom County residents to display their agricultural products, art, crafts and wares. The surrounding area is filled with dairy, raspberry, strawberry and blueberry farms. With the top employers of the city being the Lynden School District and the Christian Health Care Center.

Point Roberts WA | Pop. 1,314

Point Roberts is a geopolitical oddity; it is part of the mainland United States but is not physically connected to it, making it a pene-exclave of the U.S. It is located on the southernmost tip of the Tsawwassen Peninsula, south of Delta, B.C., a suburb of Vancouver. Due to Canada’s heavily taxed dairy products, gas, and liquor; the Point Roberts economy turns on gas, beer, milk, and cheese. Of the more than 2,000 homes on the peninsula, roughly, 1,300 are seasonal homes for vacationing Canadians. At the point Roberts marina, one of the community’s largest employers, 95% of the vessels are registered to British Columbians. Overall, most of the businesses in the community rely on the Canadian market to keep their businesses going.

Sudden Valley WA | Pop. 6,441

Blacktail buck and doe are a common sight in Sudden Valley.

Blacktail buck and doe are a common sight in Sudden Valley.

Sudden Valley is a beautiful planned, private community situated on the shores of Lake Whatcom, approximately 9 miles east of Bellingham. The community is home to a plethora of wildlife and offers many outdoor recreation opportunities including dozens of hiking trails and walking paths. Sudden Valley  also boasts its own golf course, 25 parks, a marina, tennis courts, multiple beaches and much more.

Sumas WA | Pop. 1,399

Sumas is a warm town burrowed in the foothills of Mount Baker in the fertile Nooksack Valley. The town’s growing economy has a strong industrial, agricultural and tourism base backed by a thriving international railroad and trucking center. The Sumas – Huntington port of entry at the north end of State Route 9 operates 24 hours a day and provides the majority of the commercial traffic thoroughfare to and from Canada.