Downtown Bellingham

Downtown Bellingham is located on the shores of Bellingham Bay, providing a breathtaking destination for visitors to enjoy. Our downtown truly has something for everyone, and boasts a unique variety of public art, specialty shopping, fine dining, and cultural entertainment – all within walking distances from each other!

Bellingham wouldn’t be the lively place it is today without its active downtown scene. Downtown Bellingham is nestled perfectly between Bellingham Bay, the Historic Fairhaven district and Western Washington University’s campus.

If visiting the surrounding area, Downtown Bellingham is the perfect hub with its easy access to trails, lodging, and local transit systems.

Downtown Bellingham Map

Transportation

How to get here – I-5 exit 253: Take the Lakeway Drive Exit 253. Go west on Lakeway Drive. Lakeway Drive becomes East Holly Street. Keep following the street, and follow Holly Street to the center of Downtown. You’ll know you have reached it once you hit Railroad Avenue.

The Whatcom Transportation Authority can help you get downtown, to and from the Bellingham Terminal, Amtrak and Greyhouse stations, and numerous other locations. For more information, visit www.ridewta.com.

The Fairhaven Terminal is the hub of transportation for the Bellingham area. / Credit: Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism

Now, you are able to catch the bus from Downtown Bellingham to and from Bellingham International Airport. This route will only cost you $1 per trip. Read the full details here.

Downtown is very bike and pedestrian friendly. Feel free to leave your car behind and explore more of Downtown Bellingham!

Parking

Parking downtown is convenient and offers easy-to-use pay stations, meter, and privately owned parking options. Street parking is $0.75/hour and requires U.S. coins. Most meters have a 2-hour limit (check the meter time restrictions, which are posted on each meter). Street parking is free after 5:00 pm, weekends and holidays.

Now, you are able to utilize the PaybyPhone app that allows you to pay for parking with ease. Read here for the details.

In addition to the hourly parking options, you can also find the 8-hour parking spots that are $0.25. Check out the map of 8-hour spots here.

The sky above Downtown Bellingham blushes pink as a faint rainbow arcs across the Mount Baker Theatre and the puddles in West Holly Street.Credit: Peter James

For longer stays and off-street parking, the first floor of the Commercial Street Parking Garage at 1300 Commercial Street is $6.00 for a full day of parking. The parking garage is centrally located right in the heart of Downtown, within 2 to 5 blocks of many downtown restaurants and attractions. Find more parking details here.

Arts, culture and attractions

Bellingham and Whatcom County are proud to hold the second highest number of arts businesses per capita in the country. The minute you set foot downtown you’ll be surround with galleries, theaters, museums, and studios.

The Downtown Bellingham Partnership hosts the First Friday Art Walks, an event that brings together the entire art community downtown. On the first Friday of every month, downtown businesses will host local artists, and attendees walk around on a self-guided gallery walk.  The First Friday Art Walk has been a Downtown Bellingham staple for over 20 years, and it’s a great way to see the local culture and flavor!

Downtown Bellingham at night, the corner of Commericial Street and Magnolia Street. Credit: Peter James Photography Studio

For more information, check out: www.downtownbellingham.com

Mount Baker Theater – The Mount Baker Theater in Downtown Bellingham’s Art District is the largest performing arts facility of its kind north of Seattle. A beautifully restored 1927 architectural treasure, listed on the register of National Historic Places, the theatre is dedicated to showcasing some of the best live performing artists on both the professional and community levels for audiences in the North Puget Sound area and the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.

Spark Museum of Electrical Invention – SPARK Museum of Electrical Invention offers an exciting and educational experience for audiences of all ages. Compelling, interactive exhibits spanning four centuries of scientific achievement and cultural heritage are featured in a world-class collection.

MegaZapper at SPARK Museum in Bellingham / Credit: Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism

Pickford Film Center and Limelight Cinema – Pickford Film Center provides a forum and resource for independent cinema, strengthening community through education, dialogue, and the celebration of film. Additionally, PFC offers another cinema experience at another location downtown, the Limelight Cinema. At 70-capacity independent cinema for all ages.

Upfront Theatre – Established by world-renowned improviser Ryan Stiles, the Upfront Theatre is a cabaret styles venue that offers live improv comedy every Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. The Upfront Is for all ages, with options of adult shows too, and continues to attract all walks of life searching for a good time.

Whatcom Museum – The Whatcom Museum provides innovative and interactive education programs and exhibitions about art and Northwest history. We seek to stimulate curiosity about our changing cultural, natural, and historical landscapes, for the youngest to oldest minds, and to inspire preservation of creative contributions to our region and beyond.

Old City Hall – Whatcom Museum. 121 Prospect Street Bellingham, Washington

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