If you love great tasting food, beautiful views these top 10 things to do in Bellingham are perfect for you. Complete the list in any order and go home feeling like you’ve truly experienced Bellingham.
If you’re a sucker for gorgeous views, epic sunsets and easy-to-get-to trailheads then you must try Chuckanut Drive. Built as Washington State’s first scenic byway, Chuckanut Drive connects Skagit County to Bellingham along the rugged shoreline, with views of the San Juan Islands in the distance, and the oyster beds of the Samish flats in the water just below. Both Taylor Shellfish and The Oyster Bar on Chuckanut Drive make great stops for lunch.
For outdoor adventure, the Chuckanuts often seem to be overlooked – Galbraith Mountain gets all the mountain bike love, Mount Baker gets the skiing and snow sports. But the Chuckanuts are the easiest to access and offer perfect year-round trails for hiking and biking.
Check out some of our hiking recommendations here.
2. Taylor Dock and Boulevard Park
This is the perfect place for strolling, photos, and catching the sunset. And the best part is, it’s a beautiful location for a walk for every season of the year. But of course, the park is more lively during the summer with Frisbees, puppies and more. During the cooler months, you especially enjoy a hot latte from Wood Coffee while sitting in the sun.
3. Village Books in Fairhaven
Bellingham is home to several independent bookstores. The most well-known is Village Books in Historic Fairhaven. This dog-friendly 3-story staple is a great place to find popular and hard-to-find books, relax and peruse magazines or children’s books, attend an author event, or grab soup, coffee or a sandwich. You must give yourself at least an hour to pour over their staff favorites, huge display of coffee table books, inviting kids’ section, travel and cooking books, and old/used selections.
And when you’re done, you have the chance to walk around the rest of Historic Fairhaven. We promise you won’t be disappointed.
Head to Makeworth Market in downtown Bellingham for a cup of coffee and some drool-inducing cake. This delicious new restaurant has made it’s waves through the Bellingham community and has quickly become a favorite with coffee lovers and locals. It’s a perfect place to enjoy downtown and treat yourself to a tasty treat.
The Farmer’s Market is a local and visitor’s must-do, for sure. The Market is open every Saturday from April-December, located at the Depot Market Square in Downtown Bellingham. This weekly gathering place has quickly become an ideal place for lunch during the weekends. There are tons of carts, booths and caterers offering ethnic, local and amazing cuisine. And of course, lots of fresh produce, locally-made food (like cheese), goods and crafts.
During the winter, January through March, The Bellingham Farmers Market runs every third Saturday of the month. The indoor pavilion offers a unique winter shopping experience. Fresh direct produce, fine local crafts, ready to eat food, and more!
You don’t have to be a sweet tooth to love small-batch ice cream, especially with this place. Mallard is more than your traditional ice cream shop, they tout funky flavors like Avocado, Vanilla Black Pepper, Rose, Cardamom, Rhubarb and Basil that are all made from (wait for it) real food – most of which is from our own Whatcom County farms!
This is truly a stop you have to put on the top or the bottom of your list when you’re in town.
7. Lake Padden
Lake Padden is a scenic beauty, that offers outstanding recreational opportunities for everybody. The park is located on the south end of Bellingham, with a 2.6-mile trail around the lake. The views are stunning, especially if you push yourself to make a lap or two. Great for an adventurous walk, hardy jog or quick off-road bike ride. It has beaches for those lovely (but rare) hot days.
You can also bring your “best friend” Fido. There is a fenced-in dog park at the south end of the lake. From the back gate of the spacious dog-designated area, you (and your dog) can enter the off-leash area and venture out into the network of trails adjacent to the golf course. These are popular running and biking trails- especially for dog-owners!
Check out more about Lake Padden, here.
8. Avenue Bread
With multiple locations, including their flagship store in Downtown Bellingham, Avenue Bread continues to bake and make exceptional food and bakery products. Each café has its own flare – downtown now serves beer, James Street offers full breakfasts, and Fairhaven is perfectly quaint. Each spot is special in its own way, matching their locations – but all of them have mouth-watering sandwiches to die for.
As a waterfront luxury hotel, the Chrysalis Inn and Spa is located in the Historic Fairhaven District. Chrysalis Inn & Spa offers massage, facials, manicures, pedicures, hydrotherapy, energy healing, waxing, mud baths and customized treatments. Located at the Chrysalis Inn with views of Bellingham Bay.
If you’re looking for more ways to pamper yourself while you’re in town, here’s more suggestions.
It’s difficult for us to recommend just one place in Bellingham for an amazing beer, so I’ll tell you to create your own pub crawl.
- 122 West Brewing Co.
- Aslan Brewing Co.
- Boundary Bay Brewery
- Chuckanut Brewery
- Kulshan Brewery
- Elizabeth Station
- Stones Throw Brew Co.
- North Fork Brewery
- FrinGe Brewing
- Twin Sisters Brewing Co.
- Stemma Brewing