If your destination is Bellingham, and you’re traveling with kids, this list of family-friendly hotels is for you.
I start off with a basic premise: kids like pools. So in this list, all five hotels include an indoor pool (your best bet for swimming in Bellingham most of the year). Beyond that, I’ll cover some of the hotels’ other amenities, nearby local attractions and places to eat, all with the whole family in mind.
What are we waiting for? Let’s get started!
When my kids were little, their great aunt and uncle would stay here when they visited from the East Coast, and they would invite the kids to come swim. We always had a blast. The pool is located in the center of the hotel, with a four-story atrium that makes the pool area feel light and airy. Some rooms open right onto the pool deck – the ultimate in luxury if you’re a kid. There’s a shallow kiddie pool as well as a deeper pool for swimming, plus a hot tub. Parents can lounge in the deck chairs and enjoy room service while the kids swim.
Other amenities at the hotel include a fitness center and casual dining in the hotel restaurant, Chinuk. And the hotel is pet friendly.
The Four Points’ location is prime for visiting all of Bellingham’s favorite places. Travel 1.7 miles east of the hotel to one of the area’s most beloved parks, Whatcom Falls. The falls are impressive any time of the year, plus two playgrounds will keep kids happy. Miles of trails wind around the park, making it a great place to explore.
Or head downtown, just a mile west of the hotel for family-friendly activities such as the SPARK Museum of Electrical Invention or the Family Interactive Gallery at the Whatcom Museum. Round out your trip downtown with dining for the whole family at Boundary Bay Brewery and Bistro or grab a treat at Mallard Ice Cream.
2. Holiday Inn & Suites Bellingham Airport
A couple of years ago, when the Holiday Inn & Suites Bellingham Airport just opened, I won an overnight stay at the hotel. It was an excellent getaway for the kids, which is probably why I feel a twinge of regret whenever I enjoy the saline pool without my children.
Along with the pool, hot tub, fitness center and convenience store, the hotel has an excellent restaurant, northwater, serving meals with a Northwest flair. You don’t need to leave the hotel to find excellent dining – it’s right here.
Located right across the street from Bellingham International Airport, the convenience of arriving at your hotel almost as soon as you touch down or, conversely, rolling out of bed without the stress of traveling to the airport, is hard to beat.
If you do find time to pull yourself away from the pool and the restaurant, you are still close to everything. The Holiday Inn & Suites is just six miles (about 15 minutes) away from downtown, or another four miles to the historic Fairhaven District, where shopping and dining options abound. In the summer, the Fairhaven Village Green is home to a number of community festivals as well as the Outdoor Cinema each Saturday during the summer.
Bright pops of color greet visitors in the lobby of the SpringHill Suites. It’s a welcoming place to sit awhile and soak in the ambiance. It’s here where the complimentary breakfast buffet takes place, and home to the Chuckanut Lobby Bar. But before any of that, the kids will be ready to hit the pool.
The pool has its own cheerful color scheme – the bright green walls echo the colors of the leaves on the trees outside the windows. The pool itself is relatively long for a hotel pool – prime for races to tire out the kids!
SpringHill’s “studio accommodations” with separate living area and microwave and fridge, give families the space to chill out between the go-go-go of travel and sightseeing. The hotel itself is located about halfway between the airport and downtown.
The SpringHill Suites are also close to activities, shopping and dining along one of the city’s main commercial corridors, Meridian Street. A can’t-miss breakfast/lunch spot, the Birch Door Cafe, is just a five-minute drive from the hotel. After filling your bellies, consider letting your meal digest by browsing the nearby Barnes & Noble, then bounce over to one of two indoor trampoline parks, Summit Trampoline Park or Life Force Ninja Gym.
This extended-stay hotel is modern yet homey and perfect for a few days’ stay. It is also pet friendly.
TownePlace is connected to the SpringHill Suites right next door, and they share the same pool and fitness center.
Enjoy the complimentary breakfast, or make use of the well-appointed kitchenette in the mornings before heading out on an adventure. Located right next to Interstate 5, the hotel is just a 20-minute drive north to the Birch Bay Waterslides or 11 minutes to local historic attraction, the Hovander Homestead Farm in Ferndale.
After a day of exploring, a favorite regional restaurant chain, Red Robin, offers up gourmet burgers, soups, salads, desserts and more. Bottomless drinks and fries keep kids fed and happy. This was my go-to restaurant when my kids were young. Red Robin is located next to Bellis Fair Mall, and just five minutes from the hotel.
The sunny exterior of the La Quinta Inn & Suites welcomes visitors and the stylish, modern interior invites them to stay. The suites have ample space for your family to spread out or head down to the lobby to hang out by the fireplace.
Be sure to get in on the complimentary breakfast before you head to the pool. (What kid doesn’t love a make-your-own-waffle station?) Or head to the fitness center followed by a post-workout soak in the hot tub.
Less than two miles from the airport, and just a mile to Bellis Fair Mall, the hotel is a prime location. It’s also within walking distance of a Starbucks and a grocery store, so, really, your bases are covered.
Make the trip to Bellis Fair to visit PlayDate BLI, Bellingham’s newest play place for children, located at Bellis Fair. Your littles will literally jump at the chance to play on this three-story indoor playground. Adults can chill out in the cafe, which serves beer and wine for the adults. And since it’s located in the mall, even your teens can find something to do.