Bellingham is a city in the North Cascades region of Washington State. Also known as the City of Subdued Excitement, this city of 92,000 people (2021) is the northernmost city in the contiguous 48 states.
Its status as the northernmost city is not widely known, as the state of Maine in the Northeast often appears to be further north on many maps. It was formed in 1903 when the cities of New Whatcom and Fairhaven consolidated from what were once four separate settlements. The local economy got its start in resource extraction, notably coal and timber. The Georgia-Pacific mill on the waterfront, whose site is now being redeveloped into a dynamic mixed-use neighborhood, sustained the local economy for many years. Employment has diversified from heavy industry to education, services, tourism, and retail.
Situated on Bellingham Bay, you can venture from downtown and in minutes be in rural farmland, the North Cascades or out on the salt waters around the San Juan Islands. Bellingham is about 80 miles north of Seattle and 55 miles south of Vancouver, BC. Bellingham is the seat of Whatcom County.
The historic Fairhaven District at the south end of the city is probably the most tourist-oriented area, with a number of nice shops and restaurants. Many of the buildings in Fairhaven date back to the late 19th and early 20th century. Beautiful historic homes overlook the bay from the South Hill neighborhood, just north of Fairhaven. Western Washington University on the flank of Sehome Hill boasts an outdoor sculpture garden and adjoins the Sehome Hill Arboretum, with a number of trails and a lookout tower at the top. Downtown lies to the north of the University. Although less touristy than Fairhaven, it is still vibrant during regular business hours, and caters to college revelers at night.
Environmentally friendly practices, such as recycling, are part of the culture here. Bellingham is known for being a town that cares for its environment and its residents enjoy the many outdoor activities the region supports. Outdoor adventure is a key reason why people live and visit here. Activities range from skiing on nearby Mt. Baker to whale watching near the San Juan Islands.
The city's downtown has a variety of locally owned businesses, fine dining and nightlife options. It is also the cultural core of the city, with an eclectic mix of museums and performance venues all within blocks of each other. Coffee is a way of life in the Northwest, and Bellingham certainly has its share of local espresso stands.
Western Washington University attracts students from across the region to Bellingham. This keeps the city relatively young and vibrant, and contributes to an unusually rich local cultural scene. WWU is also home to one of the largest & finest collections of outdoor sculpture on the West Coast, featuring works of internationally renowned artists including Richard Serra, Isamu Noguchi, Beverly Pepper and Anthony Caro.
While the community is growing, it retains much of its authentic self and its commitment to a laid-back, progressive style.
- 1 Bellingham International Airport (BLI IATA) (west on Airport Way from Exit #258 off of I-5), ☏ (parking information). The major airport for the North Cascades area between Seattle and Vancouver, BC.
Flights to Bellingham include from Las Vegas (2.5 hours), from Los Angeles (3.25 hours, from Oakland (2.25 hours), from Palm Springs (3 hours), from Phoenix (3.25 hours), from San Diego (3 hours), and from Seattle (45-50 minutes).
- Alaska Airlines, toll-free: . A major airline in the United States of America with flights across the country and to other parts of North America. Has hubs in Anchorage, Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, and Seattle. To Bellingham there are flights from Seattle.
- Allegiant Air, ☏ . A low-cost airline operating across the United States of America, primarily targeted at leisure travelers wanting to tourist destinations, especially warmer weather destinations. To Bellingham there are flights from Oakland, Phoenix/Mesa, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, and San Diego. Generally flights from a given destination only operate a handful of days per week.
- Island Air, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Provides on demand chartered services to the San Juan Islands, British Columbia and anywhere in the area on request.
- San Juan Airlines, toll-free: , email@example.com. Operates flights to Bellingham from the San Juan Islands such as operates from Eastsound, Friday Harborm and Lopez. Also offers chartered air services to British Columbia and the San Juan Islands.
- Southwest Airlines, toll-free: . The largest low-cost airline in United States of America, which operates across the country and to international destinations in North America. Operates flights to Bellingham from Las Vegas and Oakland.
- Major national rental car agencies at the Bellingham Airport are:
- Bell Shuttle Charters and Quick Shuttle operate intercity services that stop at the airport (see "By bus" below)
- Whatcom Transportation Authority (see "By public transit" below) bus route 3 stops at the airport from Monday to Saturday.
- A variety of taxi operators service the area (see "By taxi" below)
- The airport parking rate is $9 per 24-hour period.
Access to Bellingham is primarily from the seven exits off Interstate 5 (I-5), although travelers using the Lynden/Aldergrove border crossing will arrive via State Route 539, a.k.a. Guide Meridian. Fairhaven is served by Exit 250, and downtown is served by Exit 253 Lakeway Drive.A scenic alternative when coming from the south is Chuckanut Drive (State Route 11), a winding road that follows the side of Chuckanut Mountain along the water overlooking the San Juan Islands. Turn off I-5 at Exit 231, reach the village of Bow at State Route 11, and turn right (north). Expect to take an extra 20 minutes to reach downtown. This route is also popular with cyclists (warning: narrow shoulders) and has been used frequently for national car commercials.
Another rural alternative in the eastern part of the county is State Route 9, which parallels Interstate 5 and can be accessed south of Whatcom County via Skagit County. This route carves through a valley east of Stewart Mountain and the Mt. Baker foothills. On a two-lane highway, you pass through small towns and by various farms, follow the south fork of the Nooksack River, and end up at the border community of Sumas on the U.S. and Canadian border. To connect back to Bellingham, visitors should go west on Highway 542 when it intersects with Highway 9.
- See also: Rail travel in the United States
- 2 Fairhaven Transportation Center, 401 Harris Ave. It serves as a central station for Amtrak trains, Greyhound buses and the Alaska Ferries. Located 3 mi (5 km) south of downtown Bellingham. Reachable by WTA bus route #1.
- Amtrak, ☏ , toll-free: . Operates trains across the United States.
- Amtrak Cascades operates between Vancouver, BC and Eugene via Bellingham, Mount Vernon, Everett, Edmonds, Seattle, Tukwila, Tacoma, Lacey (Olympia), Centralia, Kelso (Longview), Vancouver, WA, Portland, Oregon City, Salem, and Albany. Travel time to Bellingham from Portland is 6 hours, from Tacoma is 3.5 hours, from Seattle is 2 hours, and from Vancouver, BC is 2 hours. There are two round trips daily along the portion between Vancouver and Seattle, four round trips daily along the portion between Seattle and Portland, and two round trips daily along the portion between Portland and Eugene. No train departures travel the whole length of the route. Additional service between Vancouver and Seattle, and between Portland to Eugene are provided on the Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach. For trains to Vancouver, this is the final stop before entering Canada and reaching the terminus station in Vancouver. For Amtrak Cascades trains, border control takes place in Vancouver, both for passengers arriving from the United States and passengers departing to the United States.
- Amtrak, ☏ , toll-free: . Operates trains across the United States.
Except Greyhound which stops in the Fairhaven Transportation Center, the other bus companies have their regular stops in different locations around town:
- 3 Flixbus (Operated by MTR Western), (bus stop) 516 High St (Bus will board at the yellow curbside/bus loading zone on High St in front of the WWU Performing Arts Center. Stop is located at the yellow curbside/bus loading zone on High Street. This street is closed to all car traffic). Service between Bellingham and Eugene via Everett, Seattle, Tacoma, Portland and Corvallis along I-5.
- Greyhound Lines, (bus station) Fairhaven Transportation Center, ☏ , toll-free: . Buses arrive at the Fairhaven Transportation Center at the south end of town. Bus service between Vancouver BC, Bellingham, Mt Vernon, Everett and Seattle. Passenger connect to onward buses to other destinations in Seattle. Travel time to Bellingham from Vancouver is 2 hours and from Seattle is 2.5 hours.
- Quick Shuttle, Bellingham Airport (stops at Bellingham Airport outside the main entrance at east end of the building), toll-free: . Services between Vancouver and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport with stops along the way in Richmond, Surrey, Bellingham, Marysville, Seattle. Northbound buses from Seattle to Vancouver can only pick up in Bellingham while southbound buses can only drop off in Bellingham. Therefore, Quick Shuttle does not provide Seattle to Bellingham service. From the Bellingham airport, take public transit or a taxi into town.
- Bellair Charters & Airporter (stops at Bellingham Airport and at Four Points Sheraton (714 Lakeway Dr)), toll-free: . Daily scheduled coach transportation from northwest Washington to and from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The route passing through Bellingham travels between Ferndale and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, stopping along the way in Bellingham, Burlington, Stanwood, Marysville, Everett, Seattle.
- 4 Whatcom Transportation Authority (WTA), (downtown) Bellingham Station at 205 E Magnolia. WTA buses provide service to the Bellingham bus station, which in turn provides service to most of the city as well as a number of towns in Whatcom County. Some buses travel as far north as Blaine (near the Canadian border) and as far south as Mount Vernon (in Skagit County). The downtown Bellingham Station at 205 E Magnolia serves as a central bus station for WTA Buses.
- See also: Alaska Marine Highway
- 5 Alaska Marine Highway System (Alaska State Ferry), Bellingham Cruise & Ferry Terminal at 355 Harris Ave (next building north of the tracks from Fairhaven), toll-free: . Weekly sailings between Fairhaven and Alaska for passengers and vehicles.
You can get around on foot within the Fairhaven district, downtown, and the University, but transportation between these areas is best by bicycle, car, or bus.
Parking is 75¢ per hour downtown, and notably more expensive at the University. On-street parking is available at most hours, except in resident parking areas, and there are some free lots. Downtown Bellingham, though small, is something of a maze, with many odd angles and one-way streets. It may be helpful to have a detailed map handy when navigating this area. Free maps are available at the Visitor Center just off I-5 at exit 253. Some Whatcom County roads outside of Bellingham are referred to by locals with a preceding the: Guide Meridian is "The Guide," and so on.
Because traffic is relatively light and parking is relatively easy, most locals get around by car. Many students, some ecologically-minded souls, and other people walk, ride a bicycle, or use the local buses.
- 1 Fountain Rental & Leasing, 2010 Broadway St, ☏ . A family-run business with multiple types of vehicles for rent at affordable rates. In line with Bellingham's culture, they even offer electric cars for rent.
By public transit
- 6 Whatcom Transportation Authority (WTA), 4111 Bakerview Spur, ☏ . $3 for a day pass.
- WTA operates a public transit network through the county, including within Bellingham. Also operates services between Bellingham and Blaine, Ferndale, Lynden, and Sumas. Many routes operate 7 days per week, but many only operate Monday to Saturday.
- Bus routes from other communities include:
There is a network of bike and pedestrian paths, with a map available online. Riding a bicycle upon a sidewalk in a business district is prohibited.
- 24 HR Taxi of Bellingham, ☏ .
- Bellingham Taxi, ☏ .
- Blue Cab Bellingham, ☏ .
- Evergreen Town Car, ☏ , toll-free: .
- Red Cab Taxi, ☏ .
By powered wheelchair
Powered wheelchairs can give some visitors better mobility, but are difficult to transport on airliners. They can be rented from some stores, and a few are available for a donation from the local Lion's Club charity.
- 2 Bellingham Central Lion's Club Al Boe Wheelchair Warehouse, 4137 Bennett Dr, ☏ . M Th 9AM-11:30AM. An assortment of powered wheelchairs are available to visitors and residents alike. Also scooters, walkers, unpowered wheelchairs, commodes, crutches, and more. Free, donations accepted, $100 deposit.
- 1 Eldridge Ave Historical District, Eldridge Avenue.
- 2 Hannegan Speedway, 4212 Hannegan Rd, ☏ . Where Mount Baker Motorcycle Club does motocross off-road races.
- 3 Lake Padden, 4882 Samish Way (A couple miles southeast of town), ☏ . 6AM-10PM daily. Motor boats are banned on this smaller lake, so it is ideal for relaxed kayaking, rowing, or swimming. The lake can be circled on shady paths in an hour or so of easy walking. Lake Padden also offers the best off leash dog park in the county with two acres of completely fenced area for dogs to run and socialize.
- 4 Lake Whatcom. This lake lies to the east of the City. It is a 9.2-mile long lake that also serves as a drinking water reservoir for about 88,000 local residents. Bloedel-Donovan park offers a swimming area, and the North Lake Whatcom trail offers a good view of the less-developed half of the lake.
- 5 The Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St, ☏ . Built in 1927, is listed on the register of National Historic Places; its Moorish style architecture is a vibrant setting for Broadway shows, family programs, and rock acts.
- 6 Roeder Home, 2600 Sunset Dr, ☏ . Built between 1903 and 1908, it is recognized on the National Register of Historic Places.
- 7 Spark Museum of Electrical Invention, 1312 Bay St, ☏ . W-Su 11AM-5PM. Houses a collection of over 1,000 vintage radios and offers visitors the chance to listen to radio programs from the 1930s, and a glimpse into a replica of the Titanic's radio room.
- 8 Up Front Theatre, 207 Prospect St, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Th-Sa 7:30PM and 9:30PM. Founded by local improv comic Ryan Stiles, this theatre offers a mixture of improvisational comedy shows by local and touring performers. See the web site for details about current shows. Generally, the earlier show is more kid-friendly. The Up Front also offers classes in improv comedy. $10 ($8 with student ID).
- 9 Whatcom Museum, 250 Flora Street, ☏ . The museum consists of three buildings. The Lightcatcher building at 250 Flora St contains art galleries, a family interactive gallery, a museum store, and a cafe. The Old City Hall, a major red-brick presence in downtown build in 1892 at 121 Prospect St contains permanent and rotating exhibits. Syre Education Center at 201 Prospect St contains photo archives.
- 10 Whatcom Falls Park, 1401 Electric Ave. 6AM-10PM. A beautiful park at the center of the city with a depression-era sandstone bridge overlooking Whatcom Falls, a cascade of water that drops 20 feet directly towards the city, down to Whatcom Creek. Numerous paths connect to the city's system of bicycle and pedestrian trails. Part of this park was the site of a massive pipeline explosion in 1999.
- 11 Alternative Library (Karate Church), 1309 Billy Frank Jr St. A cooperative lending library and community arts center.
- 12 Sehome Hill Arboretum, ☏ . 6AM-dusk.
- 1 Deming Log Show, 3295 Cedarville Rd, ☏ . Watch loggers perform daredevil maneuvers and feats of strength, and check out the equipment and truck displays. Second weekend in June.
- Ski to Sea Race. A historical race held in Bellingham. The race has been held annually since 1973. It consists of an eight man team that travels 85 miles from Mount Baker to Bellingham Bay, each individual does a different event. The events start with cross-country skiing, then it goes to downhill skiing, running, bicycling, canoeing, mountain biking and sea kayaking. The Ski to Sea takes place on Memorial Day weekend on the fourth Sunday in May. There are many other fun family activities leading up to the race also on Memorial Day weekend, such as parades, art shows, and boat shows. The weekend prior to the main race on is the Junior Ski to Sea Race. This is a wonderful activity for all the kids.
- April Brews Day. Bellingham's biggest party. On the last Saturday in April every year, this benefit event brings in local brewers (and some not-so-local) for a 5-hour-long beer tasting bash. Nearly two dozen brewers compete for judges' and people's choice awards. Proceeds go to the local Max Higbee Center, which provides recreational opportunities for the developmentally disabled.
- 2 Gato Verde Adventure Sailing, 355 Harris Ave, ☏ . Sailing on the first plug in diesel electric hybrid charter boat on the West Coast.
- 3 San Juan Cruises, 104 - 355 Harris Ave (at Bellingham Cruise Terminal), ☏ , toll-free: . Whale watching
- 3 Western Washington University, 516 High Street,, ☏ .
- 4 Whatcom Community College, 237 W Kellogg Rd, ☏ .
- 5 Bellingham Technical College, 3028 Lindbergh Ave, ☏ .
A major retail center is the Guide-Meridian Street, off I-5 in Nortnorth end of town. This includes Bellis Fair Mall and a variety of strip malls and major retail outlets.
For those in search of something authentic, downtown Bellingham and the historic district of Fairhaven offer a number of small one-of-a-kind shops, restaurants, bakeries and unique services. Nearby communities like Lynden and Ferndale are smaller, but have some interesting retail and dining options. Throughout the region there are seasonal produce stands and orchards that offer locally grown items.
- 1 Farmers' Market, 1100 Railroad Ave (Depot Market Square), ☏ . Saturdays from April through October, 10AM-2PM. Pick up local fruits, vegetables, and meats (many organics) for a barbeque. Try any of the prepared food stalls for a quick and easy lunch. Though still called a farmers' market, there are several craft and souvenir tables as well.
- 2 Village Books, 1200 11th St. Bellingham's largest independent bookstore.
- 3 Bellis Fair Mall, ☏ .
|This page uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including soft drink:|
|Budget||less than $10|
|Mid-range||$10 to 25|
|Splurge||$25 or more|
- 1 The Bagelry, 1319 Railroad Ave (between Holly and Magnolia), ☏ , fax: . M-F 6:30AM–5PM; Sa 7:30AM–4PM; Su 8AM–3PM. 13 kinds of bagels, baked fresh on the premises. 12 cream cheese spreads. Bagel-based sandwiches and omelettes for breakfast, lunch, and snacks. Plenty of tables for eating with friends, rapid service for take-out. The Bagelry is a great place for a bagel. Bagels $0.85, sandwiches $4.35-6.05, omelettes $4.85-6.45.
- 2 The Daisy Café, 114 West Magnolia Street #102 (at Cornwall Street), ☏ . M–F 7:30AM–2:30PM, Sa Su 7:30AM–2PM. Breakfasts (pancakes, omelettes, and the like) and lunches (burgers, pizzas, and the like) in a bright, friendly environment. $7-11.
- 3 Mallard Ice Cream, 1323 Railroad Ave, ☏ . M-W 8:30AM-10PM, Th-F 8:30AM-11PM, Sa 11AM-11PM, Su 11AM-10PM. In downtown. Serves a wide variety of ice cream and other deserts. Favorite of locals, and the servers are very friendly.
- 4 The Swan Café & Deli, 1220 North Forest Street (in Community Food Co-op Downtown), ☏ . 7AM-9PM. In the Community Food Co-op, the Swan Cafe offers a variety of healthy organic food with numerous vegetarian dishes and an in-house bakery with options for those with allergies or other dietary restrictions. Another branch at 315 Westerly Rd. $8-10.
- 5 Taco Lobo, 117 W Magnolia St (downtown). A great place to get fresh, inexpensive Mexican food and many kinds of homemade salsa. It's the best Mexican in town.
- 6 Asian 1, 4285 Meridian St #101 (north of Bellis Fair, in shopping center with CostCo, on Meridian side of parking lot), ☏ , fax: . Su–Th 11AM-9:30PM, F Sa 11AM-10PM, closed some holidays. Don't be unnerved by the curious presence of sushi in a Thai restaurant. The tasty menu has some interesting touches, such as the option of dishes made with Splenda instead of sugar, and a range of vegan and vegetarian items. The large dining room includes a cocktail bar and sushi bar. Rises above the uninspiring standards of Bellis Fair-Guide Meridian area restaurants. $10-15/person.
- 7 Boundary Bay Brewery and Bistro, 1107 Railroad Ave, ☏ , fax: . Opens 11AM daily. This brewery, bar, and restaurant is a good place for a drink or food. Minors are welcome in the restaurant. Seafood, steaks, and Mexican food on the menu. Try the beer sampler with a friend to get an idea of all the brews they produce. $8-25.
- 8 The Colophon Cafe, 1208 11th St, ☏ . M-Sa 9AM-10PM. Serves soups, salads, sandwiched, and others. Also has great desserts! $7-15.
- 9 Horseshoe Cafe, 113 E. Holly St, ☏ . On Holly Street since 1886, it's an old-fashioned diner with breakfast most of the day and burgers for lunch and dinner, enough modern sensibility to offer free wireless internet access, and waitstaff that call you "honey" and/or sport the latest piercings. Reasonably priced. $7-15.
- 10 La Fiamma Wood Fire Pizza, 200 E. Chestnut St (at Railroad Ave in downtown), ☏ . M-Th 11AM-9:30PM, F Sa 11AM-10PM, Su noon-9:30PM. Excellent pizza in loud, friendly environment. $10-25.
- 11 Maikham, 1125 Finnegan Way, Suite 101 (near 12th St and Mill Ave, Fairhaven), ☏ , email@example.com. W–M 10:30AM–3:00PM, 4–9PM; Tu closed. Thai and Lao cuisine, with an emphasis on fresh, local ingredients. If you like Thai food, you will probably like Lao, which emphasises seafood a bit more. Most of the entrees can be made vegetarian. Friendly chef and owner Usanee Klimo combines the food of her childhood, near the Thai-Lao border, with a career in catering in the San Francisco area. The result is Maikham (pron. "my-cam"). entrees $15.
- 12 Mount Bakery, 308C West Champion St, ☏ . M-F 8:30AM-4:30PM. A crêperie crossed with a café. Eggs Benedict breakfast $10.55 (served all day), Crepes with soup, salad, or potatoes $8.95, quiche, salads. Family owned and operated by Olivier Vrambout. Their "slow food" approach allows gastronomic pleasure and fun with the waiters, but means a lunch can take two hours. 15% off any one item when you arrive by bike. Cash or checks only, no credit cards. $10-20.
- 13 Old Town Café, 316 W Holly St (between Champion and Bay streets), ☏ . M-Sa 7AM-3PM, Su 8AM-2AM. One of the local hot-spots for weekend breakfasts, they offer a diner menu. A rich assortment of pancakes, omelettes, and home fries for breakfast. Sandwiches and grilled items for lunch. Plenty of vegetarian, organic, and locally-sourced options. They don't take reservations, so sign your name on the wait list and sit on the bench (or at the kids play area) until your turn comes up. breakfast $10-15.
- 14 Skylarks Hidden Cafe, 1308 11th St, ☏ . In the historic Fairhaven district serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner and has a late night menu. Courtyard dining next to the fire is a nice option on cool, spring evenings. Sometimes has live music. $7-23.
- 15 Tony's Coffee, 1101 Harris Ave (12th Street in Fairhaven District).
- 16 San Juan Cruises, 355 Harris Avenue #104 (Fairhaven District / Bellingham Cruise Terminal), ☏ . Chuckanut Cracked Crab dinner cruises, wine and beer tasting cruises, and a full-day San Juan Adventure tour that includes whale-watching, lunch and a 2-hour stop in Friday Harbor. $25-99/adult.
- 1 Gruff Brewing Co, 104 E Maple St #101. Tu-Th 3PM-11PM, F-Su 11AM-11PM.
- 2 Boundary Bay Brewery, 1107 Railroad Ave, ☏ . Su-W 11AM-10PM, Th-Sa 11AM-11PM.
- 3 Aslan Brewing Co, 1330 N Forest St, ☏ . Su-Th 11AM-11PM, F Sa 11AM-midnight.
- 4 Wander Brewing, 1807 Dean Ave, ☏ . M-Th 3PM-9PM, F Sa noon-10PM, Su noon-7PM.
- 5 Menace Brewing, 2529 Meridian St, ☏ . M-Th 3PM-10PM, F Sa 3PM-11PM, Su 1PM-10PM.
- 6 Vartanyan Estate Winery, 1628 Huntley Rd (I-5, exit 255, Mt Baker Hwy-3 miles, left on Noon Rd-less than 1 mile, left on Huntley Rd), ☏ . 5 minutes from exit 255 I-5 there is a boutique winery with its excellent wines to enjoy. Small, women-owned and -operated winery by Margarita Vartanyan produces some of the finest limited edition wines. Share the beauty and the bounty of magnificent Mount Baker view from tasting room/gallery or outside patio with the fireplace. Sample wonderful wines and check the art of local artists!
|This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:|
|Budget||less than $80|
|Mid-range||$80 to $150|
|Splurge||$150 or more|
- 1 MorningGlory Inn & Suits, 3750 Meridian (just off of I-5 at the Bellis Fair Mall exit), ☏ . $59–99.
- 2 Bellis Inn, 3710 Meridian, ☏ . Part of the Choice Hotels group. $59–99.
- 3 Four Points by Sheraton, 714 Lakeway Dr, ☏ . A full service hotel including two restaurants, a martini bar, indoor pool and hot tub. "The Lakeway" is often used for conventions and meetings. $99-159.
- 4 Comfort Inn, 4282 Meridian St, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Comfortable rooms for business or leisure travel. Offers and indoor pool, spa, and sauna. Free wireless internet, local phone calls, and local newspaper. Close to Bellis Fair mall. $109-179.
- 5 GuestHouse Inn, 805 Lakeway Dr, ☏ , toll-free: , fax: . Serves tourists and business travellers. Free wireless internet. Free hot continental breakfast. Some pet-friendly rooms. $105-115.
- 6 The Chrysalis Inn and Spa, 804 10th St, ☏ . A waterfront boutique hotel with day spa facilities and wine bar within walking distance to the Fairhaven Historic district. With oversized jetted tubs in each room and one of the most complete spa menus in the Northwest this is the place to go for a pampered stay.
- 7 Fairhaven Village Inn, 1200 10th St, ☏ . Charming, unique Inn four blocks from the ferry and train stations in Bellingham's historic Fairhaven district. Restaurants, live music, and boutique shopping, all right out the front door, with Western Washington University just over a mile away. Complimentary breakfast, private parking, and wireless internet. Bayside rooms have a fireplace and a small balcony overlooking the harbor. Fresh cookies everyday at 3 and tea and coffee in the library. AAA and WWU rates. $159 and up.
- 8 Hotel Bellwether, 1 Bellwether Way, ☏ , toll-free: . High-end lodging on the waterfront with walking access to fine dining, specialty shops.
The crime rate is relatively low for an urban area by American standards. Violent crime perpetrated by strangers is nearly unheard of, but property crime is more common. If you are parked at a trailhead or in a park, keep your valuables out of sight, or better yet leave them where you're staying.
There are few areas of the city that couldn't be considered safe at all hours of the day and night. The downtown bar scene sometimes attracts a drunk and somewhat rowdy crowd at night, and a few street corners downtown attract groups of loiterers that have occasionally become belligerent. But overall no unusual precautions need be taken. Certain areas in Alabama neighborhood should be avoided.
When hiking in the area, it's not unusual to have to cross the railroad tracks that hug the shoreline south of the city, or in some cases walk along the tracks (though both are considered trespassing). Stay alert: while the many freight trains that pass through make plenty of noise, the passenger trains are surprisingly quiet and can easily sneak up on an unwary hiker.
Bellingham's winters are often long and rainy, and it's the northernmost city of its size in the lower 48 states. If you visit between the months of October and May be prepared for a good deal of wind and precipitation.
All foreign consulates are in Seattle.
- Mount Baker: A glacier-covered volcano with a popular outdoor recreation area and ski resort, east of Bellingham on Mount Baker Highway, Highway 542.
- Chuckanut Mountains has numerous hiking trails south of the city. Lookout (Galbraith) Mountain offers some of the best mountain biking in the area. Chuckanut Drive (state route 11) is a scenic drive leading south of Bellingham overlooking the Salish Sea, while hugging the cliffs of these mountains
- North Lake Whatcom Trail is a treat on hot summer days, as it has numerous spots to take a dip in the lake or just take in the scenery. Follow North Shore Drive nearly to the end and follow the signs to the trail head. Come early, as the insects can be a bit overwhelming in the evening.
- Bellingham Bay and the local rivers and lakes provide for some great boating opportunities. Rent a sailboat or kayak on the Bay or Lake Whatcom. Join a charter trip to the stunning San Juan Islands or Victoria. Watch the mighty Orca whales glide majestically in their home waterways. Take an exhilarating raft trip on the Nooksack River. Spending time on the water is a great way to experience Bellingham.
- North Cascades Highway: No major city in Washington has quicker access. Take I-5 south to exit 232 Cook Road, and turn left. Make another left turn when you meet the highway in the town of Sedro Woolley (4.5 miles).
- San Juan Islands by boat, or commuter plane from the airport
- Vancouver: Just an hour north of Bellingham across the border in Canada, this beautiful city hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics.
- Seattle: Surrounded by water, mountains and picturesque isles, this city has something for everyone. About 2 hours south of Bellingham on I-5.
|Routes through Bellingham|
|Vancouver ← Ferndale ←||N S||→ Burlington → Seattle|
|Langley ← ← Lynden ←||N S||→ ENDS at|
|Vancouver ← ←||N S||→ Mount Vernon → Seattle|