With a population of more than 50,000 people, Bellingham is the northernmost city in the contiguous United States. Located in Bellingham Bay, the city, (and surrounding Whatcom County) is a popular destination for tourists with lots to see and do both indoors and outdoors. Here are 5 reasons you should visit Bellingham.
Hiking is popular all year round in the Bellingham region. As well as extensive hiking trails throughout the city parks and greenways, Mount Baker National Forest, Chuckanut Mountains, and North Cascades National park provide an abundance of choice for the beginner and the more experienced hiker.
Mount Baker Highway
If you are looking for an amazing day out with breath-taking scenery, the Mount Baker Highway could be just the ticket. Take Highway 542 from Bellingham and follow the winding route upwards.
Most of the 116-mile round trip is open all year round and takes you up as far as the Mount Baker Ski area where you can enjoy views of the Nooksack River Valley and North Cascade mountain range.
Located only twenty minutes from Bellingham is Lummi Island. This semi-rural, semi-mountainous getaway is nothing short of a hidden gem. You will find an array of shops and galleries on the island as well as many eateries to satisfy your appetite. The island can be easily accessed by ferry which runs regularly to and from the mainland and takes around 8 minutes each way. Check the Lummi Island Ferry schedule for further details.
With gorgeous beaches and around 18 miles of country roads, which are ideal for walking or bike riding, Lummi island will make for a wonderful day out. If you are lucky you might even spot an Orca or two!
Places to eat
Locally farmed and fished foods are always on the menu in the Bellingham region. From fresh shellfish to delicious meats, you will be spoiled for choice. Lombardi’s Italian restaurant, located on Squalicum harbor, offers amazing food and views to match. Some of their most popular dishes include tortellini gorgonzola and succulent chicken breast medallions in a mushroom marsala sauce.
If you are after somewhere relaxing and child-free, the upper floor of Bantam 46 offers just that. With stylish décor, tasty cocktails, and an extensive menu specializing in a range of chicken dishes, it is sure to provide a great dining experience.
Theatre & Music
If theatre or music is your thing, Bellingham will not disappoint. Home to the Bellingham Symphony Orchestra, The Mount Baker Theatre hosts a wide array of events including ballets, musical performances, and touring theatre productions.
If comedy is more your thing, The Upfront Theatre is a must-visit. It’s a cabaret-style improv theatre established by none other than renowned improviser Ryan Stiles and welcomes all-year-round shows performed by a range of talented comedy artists.
The Bellingham music festival takes place every year and celebrates some of the most amazing orchestras. If you are visiting around this time of the year, you won’t want to miss it.