Located in the northwest corner of Washington State, Bellingham is a beautiful city surrounded by stunning natural scenery. With the San Juan Islands to the west and the North Cascades to the east, it’s no wonder that outdoor activities are a top attraction in the area. But it’s not just the natural beauty that draws visitors to the city. Bellingham is also home to a thriving arts and culture scene, unique shops and restaurants, and a rich history. Whether you’re new to the area and renting an apartment in Bellingham or looking to purchase a home in the city, you may be wondering what to do. With so many different activities, we’ve compiled a list of 12 things to do in Bellingham that are sure to make your time here unforgettable.
1. Chuckanut Drive
If you’re looking for a scenic drive that showcases the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, Chuckanut Drive is a must. This iconic highway winds along the edge of the Chuckanut Mountains and offers breathtaking views of the San Juan Islands and the Salish Sea. The road itself features hairpin turns, steep cliffs, and panoramic overlooks. In addition to the stunning views, Chuckanut Drive is also home to several charming restaurants, cafes, and boutique shops, so you can make a day of it and enjoy all the local businesses.
2. Whatcom Falls Park
Whatcom Falls Park offers a peaceful retreat from city life and is home to stunning waterfalls, scenic trails, and a picturesque lake. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll through the woods, a challenging hike, or a refreshing swim, Whatcom Falls Park is sure to provide. The park’s natural beauty and tranquil atmosphere make it the perfect place to connect with nature, relax, and recharge.
3. Bellingham Farmers Market
Bellingham Farmers Market offers fresh and locally grown produce, artisan cheeses, handmade baked goods, and unique crafts from the local community. The market also features a diverse array of vendors, live music, and a lively atmosphere that captures the spirit of Bellingham.
4. Larrabee State Park
Larrabee State Park boasts miles of hiking and biking trails, camping sites, and stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. Visitors can enjoy a range of activities, including beachcombing, bird watching, kayaking, and fishing. With its dense forests, rugged cliffs, and tranquil coves, Larrabee State Park is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the day.
5. Fairhaven Historic District
If you’re looking for a charming and unique area to explore in Bellingham, you won’t want to miss the Fairhaven Historic District. This quaint and well-preserved neighborhood is filled with beautiful Victorian-era buildings, unique shops, tasty restaurants, and cobblestone streets that will make you feel like you stepped back in time. Also, be sure to check out the historic Fairhaven Village Green, which hosts a variety of events throughout the year, from outdoor concerts to art festivals.
6. Oyster Dome Trail
Oyster Dome is one of the most popular hikes near Bellingham. This trail offers stunning views of the Chuckanut Mountains, Samish Bay, and the San Juan Islands, making it a must-see for anyone who loves the great outdoors. The trail itself is challenging, with a steep climb to the top, but the view from the summit is well worth the effort. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a novice, the Oyster Dome trail is an excellent way to experience the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.
7. Boulevard Park
Boulevard Park is located on the scenic waterfront and features stunning views of the San Juan Islands, Bellingham Bay, and the nearby mountains. Visitors can walk along the park’s paved path that leads along the bay and through a wooded area, taking in the scenery and breathing in the fresh sea air. The park also features an iconic boardwalk that extends out over the water, providing the perfect spot for a picnic, a bike ride, or a peaceful stroll.
8. South Bay Trail
If you’re looking for a relaxing stroll with beautiful views, you must check out the South Bay Trail in Bellingham. With over 2.5 miles of paved pathway that runs along the coast, the South Bay Trail offers stunning scenery of the San Juan Islands and Bellingham Bay. It’s a popular spot for walkers, joggers, and bikers who enjoy the fresh air and breathtaking views. The trail is also easily accessible from downtown Bellingham, making it a great option for those who want to spend a couple of hours in nature without leaving the city.
9. Big Rock Garden
Big Rock Garden offers winding paths, serene ponds, and stunning sculptures. The garden features more than 35 sculptures by renowned artists from around the world, making it a must-visit destination for art lovers.
10. Mount Baker Theatre
Mount Baker Theatre is a historic venue and is one of the best places to experience live entertainment in the Pacific Northwest. With a rich history dating back to 1927, the theater has played host to a wide range of performances, including Broadway productions, concerts, comedy shows, and more. The beautifully restored interior of the theater is an experience in itself, with its ornate ceilings, classic architecture, and state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems.
11. Sehome Hill Arboretum
Sehome Hill Arboretum is a beautiful spot that is perfect for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. As you wander through the winding paths, you will be surrounded by towering trees and lush foliage. The arboretum is home to over 100 different species of trees and offers stunning views of the city and bay. The peacefulness and beauty of the arboretum make it the perfect place to escape.
12. Mindport Exhibits
Mindport is a one-of-a-kind exhibit that allows visitors to explore science, art, and technology in a hands-on way. With exhibits ranging from a giant kaleidoscope to a Rube Goldberg machine, visitors can experiment, tinker, and learn through play. The exhibits are designed to stimulate the imagination and spark curiosity, making it a perfect destination for anyone interested in science, art, and creativity.