Fresh air and wide-open spaces are plentiful in Bellingham and Whatcom County, which extends from the shores of the Salish Sea to the rugged mountains of North Cascades National Park. Enjoy hiking, biking, running, sailing, paddling, fishing, whale watching, snow sports, scenic drives, agricultural adventures and even outdoor dining.
Get the inside scoop on all the outdoor recreation opportunities in Whatcom County with our latest blog “Explore Scenic Bellingham & Whatcom like a local!”
While enjoying the outdoors, it is important to remember to Recreate Responsibly for our personal health, and the health of others. It is also important to remember which phase of Washington State’s Safe Start reopening plan your community is located in. Bellingham and Whatcom County are currently in Phase 2 with Covid-19 guidelines updated daily on our Travel Advisory page.
Recreation Northwest promotes outdoor recreation and brings people together to enjoy, preserve and improve the places where we play. Their center of operations is Fairhaven Park in South Bellingham. They serve as stewards of the park and offer clinics and field trips to Woodstock Farm on Chuckanut Drive. Outdoor Recreation & Nature Education clinics and activities with the outdoors as our classroom.
During winter, Whatcom County transforms into a snowy playground. Most of the action happens near the end of Mount Baker Highway, at the Mount Baker Ski Area.
Mt. Baker Ski Area is legendary for its powder and annual snowfall! It has the longest season in Washington State and is known for getting the most snow in North America.
Whether you’re new to snowshoeing or a seasoned winter trekker, Whatcom County offers a variety of trails for all abilities. Check out our blog, “4 Snowshoe Routes on the Mount Baker Highway” or “The Nooksack Nordic Ski Club: Family Fun Just Above the Snow Line” to get started!
Stephen Ettinger is proud to refer to himself as a professional cyclist and when he’s not biking around Chuckanut Mountains and Galbraith, Ettinger spends his summer and fall running and backpacking and skiing in the winter.
Jeremy Wolf has a professional hobby known as ultrarunning, which is longer than traditional marathons, with lengths that go farther than 26 miles. He loves the Bellingham area so much because he has access to many trails that he can train on all around Whatcom County. We have access to technical trails, runnable trails and everything in between. About 90% of his training is done through the trails around Lake Padden and Galbraith Mountain.
Krissy Moehl, an elite ultramarathon runner and a professionally sponsored athlete that runs around the world, says nothing can beat the trails in Bellingham.
In Bellingham people love to get outside and play every way they can. You can ski in the mountains and paddle in the ocean the same day. The incredible terrain is part of what makes Bellingham the perfect hub for multisport events. Home to a host of multisport races throughout the year you’re sure to find an event that matches your favorite activity. Pull together a team of friends, or go solo. Just make sure you get out there!
Whatcom County is home to 100+ miles of saltwater shoreline and freshwater lakes which offers plenty of kayaking opportunities, including Larrabee State Park, Birch Bay State Park, Lake Whatcom and Bellingham Bay.
As a creative solution to Washington State’s Phase 2 restrictions, the City of Bellingham is allowing street closures in the Downtown and Fairhaven businesses districts to give restaurants space for outdoor dining.
In Downtown Bellingham, Holly Street has been closed from Commercial Street to Bay Street to allow outdoor seating with additional parklet patios on State Street and Railroad Street.
Restaurants in Downtown Bellingham with outdoor dining include Aslan Brewery & Depot, Bellingham Cider Co., Black Sheep, Boundary Bay Brewery, Cosmos Bistro, Downtown Jalapenos, La Fiamma, Pepper Sisters, Thousand Acre Cider House, The Racket, Schweinhaus Biergarten, and Storia Cucina.
2020 has been a year like no other and as we continue to adapt, we continue to find new ways to support local businesses like our local independent breweries and taphouses in Bellingham and Whatcom County. It’s time to embrace a new philosophy; enjoying drinks outdoors —no matter the weather.
Bellingham breweries and taphouses have upgraded their patios, parking areas, and beer gardens to better serve you during the rainy season. Most have some sort of covered seating in the form of tents or temporary structures, as well as heaters. These open-air shelters provide fresh air and a roof overhead, so don’t let the rain keep you indoors — these establishments have got you covered!
Restaurants in Fairhaven with outdoor dining include Colophon Cafe, Edaleen Dairy, Fat Pie Pizza, Firehouse Cafe, Galloway’s Cocktail Bar, Fairhaven Jalapenos, Keenan’s at the Pier, Magdalena’s Creperie, OVN and The Filling Station.
Check out our insider blog “Sip Outside: Bellingham Breweries and Taprooms with Covered Outdoor Seating” for more!