Top 10 Things To Do In Bellingham

Come as you are but stay like we do when you hit our top 10 list for Bellingham fun. Sightsee, savor, unwind, and smile! Spend two or three days exploring: marvel at two scenic byways and make memories with access to world-class fun (with small town easy).  

Whatcom Falls Park | Chuckanut Drive | Larrabee State Park | Historic Fairhaven | Local Art | Downtown Bellingham Art District | Food & Beverages | Scenic Mt Baker Highway | Local Trails | Stay In Bellingham

Outdoor recreation is the number one reason that so many adventurous folks choose to visit Whatcom County. Situated between the Salish Sea and the North Cascades, Whatcom is a land of towering peaks, serene forests, countless trails, and endless outdoor opportunities. Whether you’re interested in hiking, exploring public parks, paddling, snow sports, or simply taking a scenic drive, there’s something for everyone here.  

Best known for its namesake waterfall, the park’s main attraction could easily be checked off your Bellingham bucket list in as little as 15 minutes. But there’s so much more to discover beyond the falls. Spend an hour or two wandering Whatcom Falls Park’s 241 acres, and you’ll find everything from miles of serene, forested trails to a 100-year-old railroad trestle standing silently over Whatcom Creek. Please note that only the trails at Whatcom Falls are open. Playgrounds, public bathrooms and the dirt bike area are closed during this time.  

If you’re a sucker for gorgeous views, epic sunsets and easy-to-get-to trailheads then Chuckanut Drive is your route! Built as Washington State’s first scenic byway, Chuckanut Drive is a 24-mile scenic drive that connects Skagit County to Bellingham with views of the San Juan Islands in the distance, and the oyster beds of the Samish flats in the water just below.   

Travel Tip: You can now explore Chuckanut Drive virtually too!   

Washington's first state park, Larrabee State Park has been a local favorite since its opening in 1915. Over 100 years later, this 2,748-acre camping park offers 8,100 feet of saltwater shoreline on Samish Bay. 

Larrabee is also a great spot to kayak! Whatcom County’s 100+ miles of saltwater shoreline and freshwater lakes offer plenty of kayaking opportunities and thanks to the Port of Bellingham, we now have the Whatcom Water Trails Map 

Discover Your Quest

If you love great food, boutique shopping, an amazing art scene and getting outside in a small town, you will love Bellingham’s Historic Fairhaven District. One of my favorite things about the Village is the fact that everything is local and can only be found here in Whatcom County, making it the perfect day trip from Seattle.

Whatcom County is full of unique art and artists. The art collections range from the Big Rock Sculpture Garden featuring over 37 different pieces tucked away above Lake Whatcom to Western Washington University’s outdoor sculptures, which is one of the top ten university collections in the entire United States.

Bonus Activity: Mural Artist Gretchen Leggitt

From small designs like the Kombucha Town’s mural in Downtown Bellingham to the largest mural in Washington State located on Puget Sound Energy’s building that spans the length of two football fields, Gretchen Leggitt is leaving her mark on Bellingham and Washington State. Take a walking tour of Bellingham or explore her art virtually! 

  • The Kona Bike Shop: 1622 N State St., Bellingham
  • Puget Sound Energy: 915 Cornwall Ave., Bellingham
  • Horseshoe Cafe: 113 E Holly St., Bellingham
  • Ciao Thyme: 207 Unity St., Bellingham
  • Kombucha Town: 210 E Chestnut St., Bellingham

There is so much to do in Bellingham’s downtown arts district! Spend time in the center of downtown at the Whatcom Museum. The Whatcom Museum holds close to 30,000 objects of art, history, and ethnography in its collection and more than 200,000 images and related ephemera in its photo archives. On Bay Street get electrified at the Spark Museum of Electrical Invention, one of Whatcom County’s most popular indoor attractions. The SPARK Museum's signature demonstration involves the biggest lightning machine in the country, a Tesla coil called The MegaZapper. Also, located on East Holly is the Mindport Exhibits which offers an inspiring blend of fine art and hand-built interactive exhibits to spark your awareness and stimulate your thinking.


Start your day with a coffee from one of our local coffee spots, pick yummy meals throughout the day and end your evening with a craft beverage! Whatcom County is also known for a robust agriculture scene and farm-to-table options to experience while you are here.

Travel Tip: We have over 17 different craft breweries and several of them are family-friendly and dog-friendly.

Mount Baker Highway is State route 542, stretching from Bellingham toward snow-capped Mt. Baker. The highway was built gradually in the late 1800s as an access road for the lucrative logging industry and its rich history is well documented. At Glacier, the road passes into the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and is a designated National Forest Scenic Byway.

Towering evergreens and leaf maples line the route, with skirts of the Nooksack River peeking out at several points. In the summer months, the highway ends at milepost 58 in a parking lot, which gives visitors access to Artist Point and its spectacular views of Mt. Baker’s 10,781-foot peak. In the winter months, the road ends at milepost 55, which is the Mount Baker Ski Area – holder of the world record for snowfall in a single season and birthplace of snowboarding. 

From hiking, biking, running and easy going park trails; you will find your perfect pace in Whatcom County. Whatever way you wander you will have insider access to awe-inspiring scenery. Please #RecreateResponsibly while you are here! 

Whether you prefer a luxurious waterfront resort, a rustic camp spot or an experience right in the heart of downtown, immerse yourself in Bellingham’s “laid back, lovely” feel!

Bellwether Wine Mixer
Wednesday, May 18, 2022
5:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Brewer's Night: Multiplayer Collaboration Cold IPA Release
Wednesday, May 18, 2022
6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Classical Night: With Special Guest Naomi Harris
Wednesday, May 18, 2022
Doors 7:30 p.m. | Music 8 p.m.
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        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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