| 04/07/2023 | Updated | Family Fun, Water Adventures |   

Explore Bellingham's Waterfront

Over the past few years, the City of Bellingham has redeveloped the former Georgia-Pacific paper mill site into a vibrant, family-friendly waterfront destination. Visitors can now enjoy restaurants, a playground, a bike pump track, an expansive beer garden, a container village, regular events, public art, and more. The Bellingham waterfront is a must-visit for anyone exploring the area. 

The Portal Container Village at the Bellingham waterfront is a seasonal attraction featuring local businesses creatively operating out of metal shipping containers. It's also family and pet friendly! 

Dubbed "the raddest beer garden in the Pacific Northwest" in a Forbes article, Trackside Beer Garden is one of the best places to hang out on the Bellingham Waterfront. During the summer, this seasonal, family-friendly beer garden fills up with people and pets. Grab a pint and then grab a spot at a picnic table or hang out on the grassy lawn!

Adjacent to Waypoint Park is the Granary Building, a new retail and office space center that offers stunning views of the waterfront in easy reach of downtown, all in a renovated historic building. 

While you're there, be sure to visit Cryo Rolls, an ice cream shop specializing in rich, decadent hand rolled ice cream. 

The building is also home to a yoga studio and a salon, and a new Italian and Greek restaurant, Mercato delle Bonta, plans to open in 2024. 

This public pump track is located at the Bellingham waterfront near Waypoint Park and the Portal Container Village! You can find plenty of parking in the gravel parking lot at the west end or on the road along W Laurel St. or Granary Ave. 

In addition to the pump track there is now a skills zone, complete with wood features and skinnies for youth and adults to practice. When you're done playing for the day, head to Trackside Beer Garden for a pint. 

Start at Waypoint and bike along Roeder Avenue toward Hotel Bellwether and Zuanich Point Park. Along the way, stop near the Coast Guard station to explore the Waterfront Trail and maybe take a break at the small pocket beach before pedaling down to Zuanich Point Park to watch some kite flying, play on the playground, or check out the boats in the marina.

On the return trip, make a stop at a hidden gem, the Marine Life Center, to explore the touch tank and peek in on the marine creatures in residence there. 

Shoestring Circus
NW Tune Up Festival
Noisy Water Mural Fest
Fire & Story Festival

Arguably the most eye-catching part of the park is the Acid Ball, a public art sculpture created from a retired piece of paper mill equipment that was once used to help break down timber into wood pulp. 

A studio in Seattle transformed the piece of industrial equipment into a work of art by coating it in tiny glass beads. The new exterior coating reflects light in the daylight and night time, allowing it to change colors for different occasions. 

For the best experience, visit the Acid Ball at night with a flashlight or phone camera - and snap a photo. 

The playground at Waypoint Park is unique in its design. It has a working waterfront vibe with tall logs sunk into a spongy cyan play surface, making it look like pilings rising up out of the water. The equipment appeals to toddlers and elementary grade ages alike. 

Adjacent to the playground is the historic Granary building, which has been refurbished and is beginning to fill with retail and other businesses. 

Alongside the Acid Ball sculpture is grassy area to run and play, as well as a beach where you can skip rocks or look for sea life. Landscaping includes benches and well-placed rocks for perching upon and enjoying the sun and the waterfront scenery.

The park has won two awards for its design: 2019 Local Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award from the Seattle section of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and a 2019 Best Restored Beach award from the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA).

        We acknowledge that Whatcom County is located on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples. They cared for the lands that included what we’d call the Puget Sound region, Vancouver Island and British Columbia since time immemorial. This gives us the great obligation and opportunity to learn how to care for our surrounding areas and all the natural and human resources we require to live. We express our deepest respect and gratitude for our indigenous neighbors, the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribe, for their enduring care and protection of our shared lands and waterways.
Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism
Visitor Center Located at I-5 Exit 253 - Check Hours
904 Potter Street, Bellingham, WA 98229
Phone: 360-671-3990
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