Borders are weird.
The 49th parallel acts—for the most part—as the boundary between the United States and Canada. It bisects Canada’s Tsawwessen Peninsula just five miles from its tip. This should present no problem, borders twist and turn all the time so a simple squiggle would make the whole landmass part of the Great North. But for reasons not entirely clear to anyone, Point Roberts remains part of the United States and Whatcom County.
Exclave is the geographic term to describe it. Bizarre is the word that seems to fit better.
Point Roberts is one of the safest communities in the nation, mostly because its front door is guarded by US Immigration & Customs Enforcement. But Port Roberts residents have to pass through customs and declare their produce for every trip to the grocery store. 1,000+ full time residents prefer the privacy and don’t seem to mind.
The population swells in summer as retirees and tourists flock to the slower pace of life and natural beauty that includes eagle’s nests, passing whales, and views of both Mt. Baker and Boundary Bay.
If you want to visit, PortRobertsToursism.com is a good place to start your research. Started by a resident in 2009, the site will point you to places to stay, eat, and explore and give some advice about how to navigate the border crossing or ferry ride.