For the second episode in our “Rick Steves explores Whatcom County” series, Washington’s most famous travel writer visits the extreme northwest corner of the continental United States, sampling some oysters fresh from Blaine Harbor and learning about Peace Arch Park from Dr. Laurie Trautman.

A true frontier oddity, it is the only park in the United States that straddles both sides of an international border — which means you can enter without a passport and walk over to the Canadian side from the US, or vice versa, but you have to leave the park on the side you came in on.

It’s namesake, the majestic 67-foot concrete arch, was completed 100 years ago this month, in September 1921. It honors the treaties at the end of War of 1812 which resulted in the United States and Britain establishing this peaceful, undefended border that the United States and Canada still enjoy today. 

Amy Guerra, the Director of Marketing at Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism says, “Having Rick Steves help us share this cross-border park on the month and year of its Centennial is so special. We’re so grateful he was available here in his home state to come up to Whatcom County and see firsthand this monument to neighborly relations that unites so many people across the US-Canadian land border.”

Take a look at the video above to see Rick’s experiences at this edge of America. And if you haven’t already watched it, take a look at Episode 1 next.

Visit Bellingham | Whatcom County for sweeping scenery stretching from the Salish Sea to Mount Baker and North Cascades National Park.