Monday, May 9th, 2016
Where to Enjoy Drinks Outdoors in Bellingham and Whatcom County
Teresa Schmidt

With the fine spring weather we’ve had in our amazing corner of the world, it’s no wonder that just about everyone wants to spend as much time as possible outdoors. And when drinks with friends, graduation celebrations or family reunions¬†are on your calendar, you’ll be prepared with this list of¬†the best places¬†to drink outside in Bellingham and beyond. After all, sunshine, blue skies¬†and¬†longer days are made for¬†enjoying refreshing cocktails, craft brews and¬†fine wines al fresco!

Outdoor Cocktails in Downtown Bellingham

Temple Bar


Anyone¬†who knows me knows that my answer to, “Where should we meet?” is usually, “Temple Bar.” What’s not to love about a bar that’s open every day, has an extended happy hour (3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.)¬†including Fridays¬†and all day on Sunday, consistently produces delicious and inspired cocktails and whose food menu features locally grown ingredients year round? With a professional and friendly staff, comfy inside seating and a fine little outdoor¬†area, you just can’t go wrong at Temple Bar.


Temple Bar, 306 W Champion, Bellingham, WA 98225

Cliff House

Cliff House Restaurant Bellingham

Views for miles from Cliff House’s¬†sun-drenched deck make it¬†a favorite happy hour spot. The food is as good as the cocktails, local craft beer is always available, and one of the best wine lists around will provide oenophiles¬†with plenty of choices.

Cliff House Bellingham

Cliff House, 331 N State St., Bellingham, WA 98225

Outdoor Cocktails in Fairhaven


Daphne's, cocktails, Fairhaven, outdoor

One of my favorite bars in Bellingham is Daphne’s, located in the Historic Fairhaven District. Daphne’s emphasizes cocktail creativity, with seasonal menus that make the most of ingredients both local and exotic. Everyone will find something to love on the menu‚ÄĒbut of course, you can also¬†just enjoy a cold brew or your go-to glass of wine. Now, Daphne’s is super cute and cozy inside, with circular booths, tile floors, tin ceilings and a marble-topped bar. But since it’s the season, I recommend taking your drinks out to the sidewalk to¬†enjoy the never-ending show of people strolling, running, walking dogs and enjoying Fairhaven’s Village Green, directly¬†across the street.

daphne-s-bar+1 copy

Outdoor Cocktails in Blaine

Packers Oyster Bar

Semiahmoo Resort, Packers Lounge, Cocktails, Outside
Packers is located at¬†the Semiahmoo Resort, which is¬†ideally situated on a narrow spit of land, surrounded by the sea and with jaw-dropping views of Mount Baker and the Canadian Coastal Range. And Packers is the ideal place to take it all in. You might even spot some bald eagles cruising overhead or seals swimming nearby. Packers offers a delightful drink menu, with happy hour offerings and great food to go with. Time things just¬†right, and you can catch the sunset while strolling on the beach. If you’re looking for an¬†impressive place to take out-of-town guests or a date, this is the one!

Semiahmoo Resort, Packers Oyster Bar, Cocktails, Blaine

Breweries with Beer Gardens in Bellingham

Kulshan Brewing Co., K2, Bellingham, Microbrewery, Craft Beer

Looking for a place to enjoy a locally made craft beer while relaxing outside? How about the place it was made? All of Bellingham’s breweries offer outdoor seating, so depending on the mood you’re in and the style you’re craving, you can enjoy an IPA or Kolsch, Pale or Bitter, Pilsner or Belgian Blond, Porter, Scotch¬†. ¬†. . ¬†the list is practically endless. Here are¬†a few¬†Bellingham Breweries with outdoor beer gardens:

Wander Brewing: Inspired seasonals and special brews, award-winners and plenty of favorite styles. Food trucks. 1807 Dean Ave, Bellingham, WA 98225

Aslan Brewing: Organic beer, a delicious non-alcoholic beer and great food, too. 1330 N Forest St., Bellingham, WA 98225

Boundary Bay Brewing:¬†Bellingham’s first brewery, with award-winning standards and plenty of outdoor seating. Full menu, live music. 1107 Railroad Ave., Bellingham, WA 98225

Kulshan Brewing: One of the sunniest beer gardens in town, Kulshan offers a stellar lineup of solid brews and rotating food trucks. 2238 James St., Bellingham, WA 98225

K2: Kulshan’s other location, K2 is a gigantic brewery with so many brews to choose from, a sizeable, 21+-only taproom, and¬†outdoor seating under the red umbrellas. ¬†1538 Kentucky St., Bellingham, WA 98225

Chuckanut Brewery and Kitchen: Two outdoor areas are offered, one overlooking Whatcom Creek, and one with covered seating. Both are family friendly. Special events abound as well. 601 Holly St., Bellingham, WA 98225

More Bellingham Beer Gardens

If you’d like to choose from a variety of brews, check out these two beer gardens, which typically feature a few local breweries, some regionals and in the case of Schweinhaus, several German imports on tap:

Hops n’ Headz: According to their Facebook page, Hops n’ Headz will be opening their outdoor beer garden¬†around the 13th. It’s a fun atmosphere, with a pond, games and plenty of sunshine.¬†3207 Northwest Ave.,¬†Bellingham, WA 98225

Schweinhaus: Located in downtown Bellingham,¬†Schweinhaus makes a great stop on a walking or biking tour of Bellingham¬†breweries and taphouses. If you love a German pilsner, lager or bock, you’re sure to find one to enjoy with a¬†giant pretzel or authentic bratwurst, weisswurst or nernberger.

Schweinhaus Biergarten, Bellingham, Beer

Once you start exploring Bellingham and beyond, you’ll find so many great places to enjoy your favorite libations outside. From sunny sidewalks to shady gardens, our bars, breweries and beer gardens offer the perfect way to enjoy the perfect spring, summer and fall weather to come. Get outside!

For more ideas see our Beer Page, our Wine and Spirits Page, or the full list of Teresa’s articles.

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About the Author:

Teresa Schmidt, a copywriter who owns and operates Sprout Creative, comes from a long line of brewers, bootleggers and saloonkeepers. She moved to Bellingham 13 years ago to write, hike, ski and paddle‚ÄĒbut it was the beer that really sold her. She also loves wine. And cocktails. And good food. To work it all off, she runs around in the woods at every opportunity.