Staying fit and healthy isn’t something we can do just once in a while. We have to make it a priority almost every day—even when we travel. We are so fortunate that Bellingham and Whatcom County offer a number of entertaining options year round for visitors and locals alike.
Making fitness a priority while you travel has so many benefits. Less jet lag, improved mood and less guilt about restaurant calories are just a few reasons I make the effort, even on vacation. Here are just a few opportunities available during your next visit to Bellingham’s beautiful corner of the Pacific Northwest.
Choosing a Place to Stay
Bellingham and Whatcom County have a number of fabulous and functional hotels and motels. A number of them have fitness centers on-site so you can check exercise off your list at your convenience. The cost is usually included in the room rate so consider choosing your hotel based on the right fit for your fitness. I’ve listed a few below in alphabetical order, but be sure to confirm details on individual websites and when you make your booking for the latest information as some details are likely subject to change.
- Best Western Plus Bellingham Airport Hotel —Available 24 hours, their Life Fitness brand equipment is located on the first floor in a large area with easy access to the courtyard pool. Equipment includes weight lifting, stationary bikes and treadmills.
- Comfort Inn – Offers an exercise room, sauna and indoor pool.
- Four Points by Sheraton Bellingham Hotel and Conference Center – Open 24 hours and seven days a week, they offer universal and free weights plus a heated indoor pool and kiddie pool. You can also check out their bike rentals for exploring nearby.
- Home2 Suites by Hilton Bellingham Airport—Their newer facility allows you to get two jobs done at once at Spin2 Cycle, their combined fitness and laundry room.
- Hotel Leo—This spot is a recent breath-taking remodel of a historic downtown Bellingham building. They offer “a gym for every workout: lift, row, spin.” Their multi-room gym is equipped for stretching, cardio, universal and weight training.
- The Inn at Lynden—There’s lots to do in lovely Lynden, north of Bellingham, near the Abbottsford, Canada border crossing. An overnight stay at The Inn includes complimentary use of their Dutch-style bicycles for exploring town. Also included is a day pass to one of two convenient and well-equipped fitness clubs. Forge Fitness is just a block away, or Homestead Fitness (HFit) Center is just a couple of miles away.
- LaQuinta by Wyndham—This newer hotel offers a heated indoor pool, hot tub and fitness center.
- Oxford Suites – Offers a fitness center, indoor soaking pool, spa, sauna and steam room.
- Semiahmoo Resort—This resort and spa are located on a spit with miles of shoreline in Blaine, WA, not far from the Peace Arch border crossing. In addition to the onsite gym, they offer $10 fitness classes, indoor and outdoor tennis and pickle ball courts at Semiahmoo Golf & Country Club and a heated indoor pool, hot tub, sauna and steam room.
- Silver Reef Casino—Perhaps gaming is among your favorite pass time. The Silver Reef hopes you’ll have so much fun you won’t want to leave the building. That’s why they have a full-service spa on site, along with a small pool, sauna, hot tub and more. Their fitness room offers stationary bikes, universal weights, treadmills and free weights.
- TownPlace/Springhill Suites by Marriott—Technically two hotels, they share the same fitness center overlooking the pool. Their exercise facility has floor to wall windows providing natural lighting and a cozy atmosphere. Included in the space are three treadmills, two elipticals and two stationary bikes, all with built-in TV’s and Life Fitness Brand. Additionally they offer free weights and a bench press.
Go Play Outside
If you prefer to exercise outside, then Bellingham and Whatcom County have you covered. We have several insider blogs that give the inside scoop on outdoor recreation and hiking in Whatcom County. You can also check out our hiking and parks & playground page
You can find a walk, hike or bike outing that’s perfect for you using WhatcomParkFinder.org. This online tool lets you search by location and filter by amenities like bathrooms, paved trails, Frisbee golf, playgrounds and more.
Bellingham and Whatcom County are also bicycle-friendly. In addition to bicycle lanes on many major roadways, Bellingham also has built a new Pump Track near downtown next to Waypoint Park in summer 2019.
The pump track was built to engage Bellingham’s avid mountain biking culture. That includes the prime mountain bike trails of recently protected Galbraith Mountain. Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition builds and maintains the extensive trail system and was instrumental in its protection.
We can’t forget boating either. Paddling and rowing are excellent exercise and a great way to explore the beauty of Bellingham Bay. The Community Boating Center in the Historic Fairhaven District is open May through October. They rent sea kayaks, row boats, stand-up paddleboards and sailboats. Because they’re located on the waterfront, you can get to your workout (and fun) quickly.
They also offer classes that help increase your confidence and safety on the water. In the peak of the summer months, watch for their evening paddles in the bioluminescence. You’ll have a once-in-a-lifetime experience on the water while making new friends.
Climb to the Top!
We’re so fortunate to have Vital Climbing Gym in downtown Bellingham. Vital is a wonderful place to get a little–or a lot–of exercise indoors and a great way to stay fit when you can’t play outside. You can practice or learn basic rock climbing skills, via bouldering, in a safe environment without ropes or other gear. Bring your own shoes and equipment or rent on-site.
Plus, there are slack lines and rowing machines, yoga and clinics too. The community there is kind and helpful no matter what your age or skill level. Vital’s chill out room with comfy chairs, a kitchenette and WiFi also allows you to take breaks and bring family members that just want to relax.
Stretch it Out
Yoga and meditation are other excellent ways to keep your body fit but also relax your mind, body and spirit. Whatcom County has a whole host of yoga practitioners, each with their own take and approach to the ancient tradition. Most offer a one-time drop in rate for out-of-town visitors. Check their websites for the very latest schedule and more detail on their practice.
There are so many opportunities to get your blood pumping during your stay in Whatcom County that we couldn’t possibly list them all here. We’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments below for other ways to live a happy, healthy lifestyle—even when you travel.
Photo Courtesy: Andrea Michelle Photography