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Bellingham Highlights

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Atlantic, IA
posts: 4
Bellingham Highlights

We will be spending 2 - 3 days in Bellingham this July. We'd love to hear highlights from other people's travels in this area! We are a mid-50s couple, reasonably fit but not champion hikers, pretty flexible. Love the water and photography - which I know sounds like a no-brainer for this area, but wondering about any specific tips. We will have a car, and can spend 1 night in another town.

Edited: 10:14 pm, March 29, 2013
Seattle, Wa
posts: 2,333
reviews: 24
1. Re: Bellingham Highlights

If the Mt Baker Highway (542) is open to Artist's Point, go there. It usually doesn't open until the end of July at the earliest, sometimes in August, a couple years ago it didn't open at all (too much snow). There are nice hikes you can do along the hwy without going to the end that don't stay snowbound so long, though, like Goat Mountain.


Lummi Island is an easy day trip. Easy hiking there, enough little spots to explore to fill a day. http://www.lummi-island.com/do.html

If you are foodies Willows Inn is amazing, but if you are foodies you already know about it. They have a casual cafe there too that doesn't require a stay or reservations. They have some neat weeknight stuff depending on the season, like Spot Prawn Mondays or oyster days or whatnot. I know Willows will arrange kayaking and reef net fishing for guests but I'm not sure about non guests.

Chuckanut Drive is lovely and Larabee State Park is too. There are nice hikes there, to Fragrance Lake and Oyster Dome.



The nearby Nooksack Valley is a picturesque agricultural area; the Bellingham Farmers Market will be good that time of year.

Atlantic, IA
posts: 4
2. Re: Bellingham Highlights

Thanks for the info, Christy. We will definitely check these out - especially Willows Inn!

Bellingham, WA
posts: 405
reviews: 61
3. Re: Bellingham Highlights

This company runs assorted day cruises out of Bellingham in the summe: http://www.whales.com/. You might see if they have one that fits your dates in July.

This company has just infrequent cruises: www.gatoverde.com/PageID/145/default.aspx. And the same with this company: http://www.schoonerzodiac.com/cruises.asp.

If you want something a bit more active, kayaking is popular here. This page will give you some additional links for water-based activities: bellingham.org/activities/water-adventures/.

As for hiking, there is everything from very short level trails to backcountry mountain climbing. This webpage will give you an overview: http://www.bellingham.org/activities/hiking/. Amazon's webpage lists a few older books under Hiking Whatcom County that would be available cheap.

Atlantic, IA
posts: 4
4. Re: Bellingham Highlights

Thank you - I'm checking out the kayak options.

Vancouver, Canada
posts: 8,141
reviews: 53
5. Re: Bellingham Highlights

Pay a visit to Fairhaven.


The Chuckanut Drive is great...stop at the Oyster Bar for a meal.


Washington - the...
posts: 330
reviews: 14
6. Re: Bellingham Highlights

I agree with comcox about the whale watch tours - last year they also had a mid-week sunset history tour.

I'd also add, since you have a car:

Take Chuckanut Drive (it has photo stop pull outs) down to Rhodedenron Cafe rhodycafe.com. They have "themes" each month - don't think they have July up yet, but the food is always good and the drive in July is excellent!

Or go up to Baker and stop at North Fork Brewery and Beer Shrine www.northforkbrewery.com. There is also a place to stop a little further up that has excellent berry shakes.

For farmer's markets - if you are here on a Wed. it is in Fairhaven and on Saturdays downtown. Il Fiamma (get the rosemary lemonade), Shrimp Shack or Chuckanut Brewery (further down Holly) for a lunch stop.

Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 2,651
7. Re: Bellingham Highlights

Check out the Boundary Bay Brewery, I didn't much care for The Chuckanut one except for its location on the water

Edited: 9:29 pm, March 30, 2013
Bellingham, WA
posts: 405
reviews: 61
8. Re: Bellingham Highlights

Also sometimes great sunsets over the Bay from Taylor Dock off the Boulevard Park trail that runs from downtown Bellingham to Fairhaven.

posts: 4
reviews: 7
9. Re: Bellingham Highlights

You would probably enjoy staying the night in Fairhaven - someone has already posted the link above.

The Fairhaven Inn is nice (though some complain about the train noise). In the Fairhaven BBD (just a few short square blocks) you will have lots of specialty shopping and fabulous eating options and a few lovely walks along the water: Ferry Terminal to boulevard and the trail from The Fairhaven Inn to downtown.

Moderate hiking/trail walks can be found from the Clayton Bay trail headway on Chuckanut Drive. That is a easy trail hike down to a fairly remote piece of beach with a beautiful view - bring a picnic but use a back pack because you dont want to lug a basket or bag down there... in my opinion.

Side trips from Bellingham include the cruises noted above plus ferry service from Anacortes to the San Juan Islands (Stay on Lopez, its my favorite) . Driving trips may include driving to La Conner (WA) or White Rock (BC) or Vancouver BC .

Enjoy your trip!

Edited: 12:23 am, April 04, 2013
Seattle, Washington
posts: 178
reviews: 4
10. Re: Bellingham Highlights

I agree on Chuckanut Bay, Fairhaven and Boulevard Park!!