Located on the Northwestern most point of Washington, Bellingham is small, vibrant community that cares about the environment (The Environmental Protection Agency called it the “Green Power Partner of the Year” ) and is a must for everyone, especially those that enjoy the outdoors. Quite literally, you would be hard pressed to look and not see beautiful surroundings: Mount Baker and the North Cascades Mountain Range to the east, Chuckanut Mountains to the south, Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands to the west, and the Coast Mountains to the north.
There are many great things to do in Bellingham, including checking out a shoreline of your choice - there’s over 100 miles of it!. Bellingham rests on Bellingham Bay, so that’s your closest bet, where you can paddle yourself silly in either a canoe or SUP (“Best Paddling Town” by Outside Magazine). Rather do less on the water? Check out the Alaska Ferry and set your destination for adventure! If driving in a car is more your speed, take a ride alongside the coast on Chuckanut Drive and enjoy the scenery. Plenty of local hiking options are also at your disposal, ranging from the small (Fairhaven Park, ½ mile), medium (Whatcom Falls Park, 5.5 miles), and large (Interurban Trail, 9 miles), and more. If “indoor hiking” (AKA shopping) sounds better, check out Downtown Bellingham, a traditional downtown district with an artsy flair that includes specialty shops, antiques, cafes, restaurants, and a farmer’s market on Saturdays.
As mentioned above, Mount Baker lies to the East (about 1 hour’s drive) and is a must, regardless of season, due to the amazing views that not only the Mountain provides, but the drive too, designated as a “Scenic Byway.” Mountain Bike Magazine ranks Galbraith Mountain, located to the southeast of Bellingham, among the Top 10 places to ride in the nation so if you like mountain biking you don’t really have a choice in the matter, you’re checking it out. Make use of the geographic proximity of our neighbors to the north and visit Vancouver, less than 60 miles away.
The area of Fairhaven lies in Bellingham’s southwestern part, which is where you would be dropped off if you take the Amtrak. Fairhaven and Arroyo Parks are just to the east a short drive away, as is the scenic Lake Padden. Just north of that is Western Washington University (WWU) territory and Sehome Hill Arboretum, an amazing place to go for a hike and check out the city as there’s a lookout point at the very top of the hill. If you want to be close to the shopping action in downtown, stay near the central business district (north of WWU) p>
Several bus options are available in the Bellingham and Whatcom County areas, including local buses running 30+ routes. Various shuttles offer transportation from nearby major cities, including Seattle to the south and Vancouver to the north. Amtrak service runs through Bellingham. Rental cars are available in Bellingham and are recommended for the many scenic drives in the local area. Taxi cab service is also available.
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