Our friendly neighbors to the north

Looking for international travel that is only a few hours away? Give Canada a try.

With all of the wonders available in the Pacific Northwest Region of the U.S., many of us here in Washington state either take for granted or tend to forget about our international neighbor to the north.

Of course you are going to need your enhanced driver’s license or passport to get across the border, but crossing was much faster and easier than I anticipated.

For a fun mini-road trip combined with that summer lake front resort experience, I really recommend that you give Harrison Hot Springs a try.  Situated at the south end of Harrison Lake, this small gem of a resort community gathers in some of the best breathtaking views of the Frasier River Valley. Just 90 minutes east of Vancouver or about three hours from Seattle, if you cross at Sumas,Washington/Abbotsford, BC through the heart of pastoral farmlands.

This past week, three of us headed north for a two night stay at the Harrison Hot Springs Resort and Spa.

Included with your room, is access to five various heated mineral pools located on the resort property. The pools are for guests only and a wristband along with your bathing suit is all you really need.

Nearly everything else is provided by the resort or available within easy walking distance.

Each of the pools is unique. There are three outdoors and two indoors. One is set aside for adults only and the others vary in temperature depending on their purpose. The shallow lagoon pool is warm and kid friendly. The lap pool is kept at a cooler temperature for those looking to build up a sweat with exercise. The indoor pools are a great break from the sun and for soaking up the steam.

During the lunch hours, a complete barbecue area is set up and for a few dollars you have your choice of beef or chicken sandwich or wrap with chips served to you poolside. You can either walk up to order beverages or the hotel wait staff will come around and take your order.

For a resort town, I was surprised at how affordable everything was and the variety that was offered. None of the typical food and drink gouging going on that is commonly experienced in and around such focused tourist destination areas. We tried this great little German restaurant one night that turned out to be fantastic.

It is always eye opening when meeting people from all over the world. Many of the resort guests were Europeans on summer vacation in what they considered to be the wilds of North America.

Our son, Nick, made quick friends with a set of siblings from a town just outside of London and another boy from Ireland. They were full of questions, to him, about American football and the Seahawks in particular.

This is a destination we will keep going back to. With the heated mineral pools, comfortable swim conditions exist year round. Timing a trip up there during the winter months with snow on the ground is already on our list for next year.


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