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Spending winters in Bellingham

boston
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Spending winters in Bellingham

When I told someone that even though I have not visited it yet, my top choice is Austin Texas to spend my winters. I want to be in a place where a majority of people are holistic and friendly. Her response was that I should consider Washington State where it is less crowded. I am not sure but I think she said Bellingham. I also want to be somewhere where I don't need a car-want to be able to walk to a health food store like Trader Joes and be in a place where there are meetup groups.

8 replies to this topic
Bellingham...
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1. Re: Spending winters in Bellingham

I suppose holistic and friendly *could* describe Bellingham. You must have other qualifications in mind.

B'ham is about 80,000 people. It's very outdoors oriented. It's very liberal. There is a Trader Joe's although I just don't see that as a holistic food store. There is also: Whole Foods, Haggens, 2 co-ops, a year round farmers market, and terra (pretty much the most holistic/locally sourced store in town). A good beer scene. A so-so food scene. A better than decent bus system but most people DO have cars for outdoor rec or to go elsewhere in the county or state.

I don't know about a vacation rental but I would think you could find something in the winter. Summers are the season most would want to live here. Snow birds go south, some people go to Hawaii. Because Bellingham is gray, chilly, and rainy. I mean, it's rarely below freezing, but you mentioned you want less dark and cold in the winter. It's less cold, but it's wet, and the humidity is fairly high, so you feel the cold differently. If I could sum up the pros of winter in Bellingham I'd say: at least I've never had to dig my car out of 3 foot snow drift. So I like it in that sense but winter blues kick in around late Jan and I don't really perk up until late June.

I think, but I don't know, that it would be a little hard to join groups and get to know people if you're a part time resident. The population that does that is the students at the university, but that's not the crowd you want to hang out with. For someone who is in to health, winter is an odd time to live here. I mean, the community is present year round but the city is at its best in the summer, when the farmers market is at full size and there are a lot of outdoor events.

Bellingham...
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2. Re: Spending winters in Bellingham

I would say that Bellingham is holistic and friendly, but I agree with Marie that the winters tend to be gray and wet. I would describe Bellingham, the town itself and the south county as liberal but the northern part of the county is conservative. Downtown Bellingham and Fairhave have that small town feeling.

There are a lot of groups here in which you can get involved, including a Buddist Center, meditation group, Zen community, There are several places in which to participate in yoga and tai chi as well as other forms of exercise. The Food Coop, which has two stores in the area, is a wonderful source for health food and supplements; I shop there all the time. Bellingham also has a Volunteer Center that can match you to opportunities in the community if that would interest you.

We do have a fairly good bus system but you would need to select your residence with the bus routes in mind. Having a car at times would be helpful but there's always Uber or a taxi if needed.

Since we have a university here the competition for winter rentals with be with students, particularly near campus. Rental rates here have been rising quite a bit lately so you would want to shop around online before you make any decision.

Seattle, Washington
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3. Re: Spending winters in Bellingham

Bham without a car is tough.VEry tough.But it can be done.

Bellingham...
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4. Re: Spending winters in Bellingham

Mmm, no, not a good idea. First of all, I think it's ill-advised to choose to winter in a place that you've never even visited. Second, this is not the place to be if you don't want to drive in the dark & cold, as you mentioned in another post. The reality is that living here without a vehicle (and unless you're, say, a student living on campus) will be very, very limiting ~ especially in winter.

~ Colleen

seattle
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5. Re: Spending winters in Bellingham

if your looking for a walking city then Vanc BC fits the bill nicely and is very easy to do without a car. That being said Vancouver gets 60 inches of rain each yr, so its cold and dreary a lot of the time, but it fits your other needs.

Eugene, Oregon
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6. Re: Spending winters in Bellingham

On your other posting you said you were looking for a place to spend your summers. Now, it's winters.

My responses stay the same, only more so.

However, if you're thinking of relocating a winter in the Pacific northwest might cure you such thoughts. At any rate, you're not really asking tourism questions.

Bellingham...
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7. Re: Spending winters in Bellingham

Not sure which post you're referring to, oregonpoppa. Only recent posts I've seen from the OP mention winter. In either case, as you said, the question really isn't one for a travel forum.

~ Colleen

Eugene, Oregon
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8. Re: Spending winters in Bellingham

You're right. Don't know how I got the seasons mixed up. Doesn't matter. Same responses apply.

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