Bellingham is centered between Seattle to the south, Vancouver, B.C. to the north, majestic Mount Baker to the east, and the sparkling Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands to the west. It is a community internationally known for its beauty, diverse culture, and of course, its people.
Bellingham, Washington is situated south of where the Nooksack River flows into Bellingham Bay. The city of Bellingham, Washington has been rediscovered many times in recent years. Bellingham has won countless awards for being one of the best places in the United States for retirement, dog owners, small businesses, outdoor lovers, and much more.
Being home to Western Washington University (WWU), Bellingham is a bustling university town and is full of fine old houses, cultured residents, award-winning architecture, stately streets, lively marinas, and lovely parks with walking trails. Bellingham’s charm starts in Old Fairhaven where you’ll find tons of shopping and good restaurants. That charm extends to WWU, where a fine expression of the spirit of northwest architecture is shown by their many outdoor sculptures, beautiful brick buildings, and its respect for the natural backdrop.
Chances to explore the cultural side of Bellingham are expressed through art and history. The town celebrates and shares their history at several museums, older brick buildings, and local displays, including an extensive collection at Whatcom Museum of History and Art. Music and theater are important parts of the community, and the summer music festival, featuring more than two weeks of orchestral, chamber, and jazz performances, has become an institution. Local Bellingham bars provide a nightlife full of local bands and musical performances that perform most nights of the week.
Any visit to Bellingham should include a stop at Fairhaven, a once-separate town that has retained its old-time character. The Marketplace, the grand dame and central figure among the attractive old buildings, was restored in 1988 and houses a number of interesting shops and dining options.
The Fairhaven District is rich with art galleries, coffeehouses, bookstores, a charming garden/nursery emporium, annual festivals, and a lively nightlife. Not far from Fairhaven is the start of Chuckanut Drive, a famous Sunday excursion that used to be part of the Pacific Highway. Now it is one of the prettiest drives in the state, curving along the Chuckanut Mountains and looking out over Samish Bay and its many islands. Chuckanut Drive is loaded with parks, hiking trails, and opportunities to enjoy the many wonders of the Pacific Ocean beaches.
Perhaps one of the best things about Bellingham is its location: it is the hub of northwestern Washington. Located far enough from major cities yet connected by an international airport, ferry system, and fast trains. From here you can plan whale-watching, sailing, or kayaking adventures to the San Juan Islands; go hiking in North Cascades National Park or the Chuckanut Mountains; ski and snowboard at the resort on the mighty Mount Baker; you can even catch a ferry or cruise ship to Alaska. Both in town and in the surrounding wilderness, Bellingham has a lot to offer.