Lynden was settled along the broad valley of the winding Nooksack River, five miles from the Canadian border. In 2005, a drug tunnel built by Canadian smugglers was found near the town. There is a significant Dutch influence due to the arrival of several immigrants in the early 1900s. A windmill, gabled buildings and several businesses testify to this. Dairy and berry farming were the original agricultural activities. The Raspberry Festival, with ice-cream all day, is an annual July event. The Northwest Washington Fair is held in August. The town once held the world record for the most churches per capita and much of the town is closed on Sundays.

1.Million Smiles Playground

Million Smiles Playground
© gpointstudio/

When city councilor, Gary Vis, learned of the alarming number of insurance claims due to children being hurt on antiquated playground equipment, he envisaged a new attraction that would be safe for children of all ages. In 2007, 3000 volunteers came together to help make this dream a reality. 850 picket fence posts are etched with the names of those who donated $35 or more. There are 25 different attractions in the City Park playground, including a tree house, slides, swings and pretend shops. There is a shaded area for minders to relax and watch their children at play.

Phone: 360-354-6717

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2.Jansen Art Center

Jansen Art Center
© Jansen Art Center

In 2012, what was once the City Hall and Fire Hall was converted into the Jansen Art Center. Six creative studios, two floors of exhibition space, a 110 seat auditorium, a café and gallery were created out of the space. The program of music and dance performances, and classes in ceramics, painting, textiles and jewelry, is changed quarterly. For the children there are 3-day spring breaks and week-long summer camps. Fall open house and winter art classes are designed for the whole family. The center is closed on Sundays and Mondays.

321 Front Street, Lynden, WA 98264, Phone: 360-354-3600

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3.Berthusen Park

Berthusen Park
© Karla/

In 1883 Hans Berthusen purchased 160 acres three miles south of the Canadian border. He met his future wife, Lida, in the area when she was 8 years old. They eventually married and bought another 80 acres. For the love of the cedar trees, they left 20 acres of virgin forest. They had no children of their own but adopted a baby girl. In their latter years, they developed playgrounds on the land and on their death, three months apart, they left it to the city as a park. A barn and privy on the property have been registered as National Historic Places. There are kitchens and picnic areas for the public to use.

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4.Lynden Performing Arts Guild

Lynden Performing Arts Guild
© etitov/

In 1987, the Dutch Village Mall was built in Lynden. The facade is gabled to look like a canal house in Amsterdam. The large windmill on the corner of the property has become a landmark. Inside, the Queen Juliana performing arts theatre was built to seat 160 people. Claire van der Griend Thomas who was 70 years old at the time, with a Masters degree in Music, started the Lynden Performing Arts Guild. She was an accomplished pianist and would play for all the auditions. The guild produces at least one performance per quarter and is constantly seeking new proposals. The theatre has become known as The Claire.

655 Front St. Lynden, WA 98264, Phone: 360-354-4425

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5.Pacific Northwest Guided Tours

Pacific Northwest Guided Tours
© David Gn/

Linda Gray started this company which offers standard and customized private guided tours around Bellingham, Lynden and the Pacific Northwest. There is an option of an airport transfer to the hotel. The Brew to Brewery standard tour takes in the coffee houses, distilleries and breweries in the area. The Border Corner Tour starts in Lynden which is five miles south of the Canadian border. In spring, the Tulip Festival in Skagit Valley attracts visitors from around the globe. For those with limited time or other requirements such as a family tour, customized tours can be arranged.

Bellingham, WA, Phone: 360-224-8717

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6.Lynden Dutch Bakery

Lynden Dutch Bakery
© Lynden Dutch Bakery

Since 1907 there has been a Dutch bakery in Lynden. The décor is orange which is the Dutch national colour. On the menu are typical fare such as oliebollen, which the Dutch claim is the original donut. There are also poffertjes, Speculaas cookie and Dutch sausage rolls. The new owners, Chad and Julee are proud to be stewards of the landmark business and have added Just Desserts, a new concept store across town. It is recognizable by its sky blue Dutch canal house facade. The two businesses cater for family and business parties and have a range of holiday treats.

421 Front St, Lynden, Washington 98264, Phone: 360-354-3911

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7.JoFish Seafood and Grill

JoFish Seafood and Grill
© JoFish Seafood and Grill

JoFish is a family-owned and operated business. Owner Chris Daniel is very much hands-on and will probably be found cooking on the grill in this cozy restaurant. All fish is bought fresh from Alaskan Leader Fisheries, a Lynden company. Fish and chips is a popular dish where cod is the main attraction. Other options include the enormous halibut, award-winning clam chowder and fresh salmon salad. Half-pound Angus steaks are available for those who do not desire seafood. Local musicians perform live music on weekends in the open air courtyard. The restaurant, like much of Lynden, is closed on Sundays.

312 Front St., Lynden, WA 98264, Phone: 360-922-0187

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8.Overflow Taps

Overflow Taps
© Overflow Taps

A brewer, a scientist and a web designer teamed up to create this enterprise. Their objectives are to bring the community together and to raise funds for charity. In locations in Bellingham and Lynden, they sell the best of local craft beer as well as beer from the Pacific Northwest and California, and ciders and wines. The locations are listed on the Bellingham Tap Trail. Almost daily in summer, there are events scheduled that test both the brain and brawn of the participants. For each pint of beer sold, $0.25 goes to a charity that supplies fresh water in needy countries. Overflow suppliers contribute an additional $0.05 per pint.

106 5th Street, Lynden, WA 98264, Phone: 360-778-2033

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9.Coconut Kenny's

Coconut Kenny's
© sebasnoo/

This pizza restaurant chain has six locations in the Bellingham Bay area and surrounding towns. The tropical themed restaurant concept has been two decades in the making. Chay and Lee Tan are the owners and are looking for franchisees to expand the chain's footprint. The menu items include gourmet pizzas, Hawaiian subway sandwiches and Coconut Kenny's signature salads. Wine, cider and beer on tap are available. From Monday to Saturday, Happy Hour is from 3-5pm when there is a 20% discount on all food, and specials on beverages.

8122 Guide Meridian, Lynden, Phone: 360-392-8435

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10.Good-to-Go Meat Pies

Good-to-Go Meat Pies
© Slawomir Fajer/

Washington's original pasty company is renowned for its Cornish pasties, made from organic beef and vegetables, encased in a firm crust. The company was founded in 2012 and now has three outlets, in Bellingham and Everson, and at the Everett Farmers' Market. The selection of meat pasties has grown to include lamb, beef, pork and chicken. Vegetarian options include broccoli and cheddar, lentil curry and variations of these. The pies can be purchased hot, chilled or frozen. There are also soups and sweets on the menu.

Everson's Pasty Shoppe, 128 Main St., Everson, Phone: 360-966-2400

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10 Best Things to Do in Lynden, WA