What to do in Bellingham - Washington's Best Kept Secret
We lived in Seattle for two years and hardly explored Bellingham except for hopping off the interstate to grab a quit cup of coffee on the way to Vancouver. When you drive by Bellingham on I-5 it doesn't look like much, but trust us, it's well worth the stop. When we passed through Bellingham recently we connected with our friend Mason who was the perfect person to explore Bellingham with since he knows all the best local spots better than just about anyone.
Here's a list of local gems we visited during our time in the Bellingham area that we'd highly recommend you checkout when you pass through this quaint and charming town.
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Babygreens just might be my (Sara's) favorite spot in Bellingham: coffee, plants, and wine?! Sip on coffee or grab an after work drink with friends in this bright, gorgeous space located in downtown Bellingham. It took all I had in me not to buy alllll the plants when I stopped by the shop.
If you know us then you know tacos are practically a staple food group in our diets. We stopped by Black Sheep because we heard this was their forte and man oh man were people right. They had some of the best homemade tortillas we've ever had and both the meat and veggie tacos were so full of flavor. Be sure to also grab an order of their queso dip-- you won't be disappointed! The airy space is historic and inviting with a great patio out front, making it the perfect stop when we passed through during the summer.
Not gonna lie, I wanted to stop at Electric Beet because the name caught my attention when walking down the sidewalk. I'm also a sucker for brightly painted shop exteriors, and this juice shop had that, too. The juices we grabbed during a walk about town were healthy and refreshing which is just what we needed after a recent taco binge. Be sure to check it out if you're looking for a healthy option while you're in town!
Aslan is one of 13 local breweries in Bellingham. The Depot, which is just around the corner from Aslan's brewery and restaurant location, is the perfect place to grab a beer with friends on the patio or knock out some work in a quiet corner of their cozy taproom which is finished in unique art plus couches that'll make you want to get at least a second beer. It's hard to explain, but trust us, it's great vibe.
Bellingham's Famers Market is one of the largest in the state! They don't just sale fresh produce though, but you can purchase baked goods, flowers, and even homemade goods such as soaps and arts made all in the local Bellingham area. Be sure you visit the market on an empty stomach because there are seemingly endless options of tasty treats!
For a sweet treat, stop by Mallard for a scoop of locally made ice cream. There you'll find traditional flavors like Cookies & Cream and Strawberry, as well as a rotating menu of more creative flavors such as Chocolate Basil Walnut and Rose. No matter if you're a traditional ice cream kind of person or like to try something a little more unique, they'll have something to meet your sweet tooth cravings.
Another brewery that came highly recommended was Boundary Bay. The atmosphere was laidback and relaxing and the management and employees made it a great experience. We didn't get to try the food while we were there, but I was definitely eyeballing a burger on the table next to us and can say it looked pretty darn good. Side note: if you make it there in the summer they have live music in the beer garden every night!
When you visit Bellingham, be sure to stop by Fairhaven, it's technically part of Bellingham but it sits just a couple of miles down the road and even has its own downtown district. When you go, we suggest grabbing a cup of coffee at Tony's then taking a walk around town and down to the waterfront.
Looking for a nice scenic drive close to town? Look no further than Chuckanut Drive! This highway runs right along the coast with rocky cliffs on one side and the bay on the other side. The views are superb the whole way as it winds through mossy woods and giant evergreens. Do be careful and watch for cyclists!
Teddy Bear Cove
While you're driving down Chuckanut Drive, be sure to stop off at Teddy Bear Cove for sunset. Take a short walk down the hill and you'll be met with a top notch view across the water. Bring a blanket (or hammock) and enjoy watching the boats float by and the sun sink lower. It's the perfect way to end the day!
Have a little longer to explore the areas around town? Head up to the Mt. Baker region and drive to Artist Point. Mt. Baker is the second tallest peak in Washington and the views at the top at Artist Point are incredible! There are plenty of hiking trails in the area so be sure to save time to enjoy time off the road and on the trail. Hike up one of the many peaks in the area to take in the 360 degree views of the North Cascade Mountains. BONUS: Since it's not a national park, dogs are allowed on just about every trail! Be sure to check maps and signage though before you hit the trail with your four legged friend.
Boulevard Park & Boardwalk
Looking for a place to enjoy the waterfront and maybe get in a nice morning jog? Head to Boulevard and enjoy the walk between Fairhaven and Bellingham. The path is roughly 3 miles one way and Boulevard Park sits about halfway between Bellingham and Fairhaven. The path is a mix of paved, packed gravel, and boardwalk making it great for just about anything. After you finish your morning exercise, grab a cup of coffee at the Woods Coffee located in Boulevard Park.
Bellingham is booming with local artists and entrepreneurs who are collaborating and opening shops feature goods by local artists. A couple of our favorites that we stopped in to check out are Makeworth Market and Brazen Shop + Studio, but don't take our word for it: take a walk about downtown and see what special places you stumble upon!
Bellingham has worked its way to the top of our list of favorite places in the PNW. It has something for everyone whether you're into the arts, museums, the great outdoors, or food. If you haven't been yet, be sure to add it to your list-- it'll be well worth the stop. For more fun things to do in town check out Downtown Bellingham Association's website for events and info.
Want to save time getting around town? Use our Google Pins to quickly find your way to our favorite spots.
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We're Chris and Sara
A creative husband and wife duo from a small-town in Tennessee with passion for all things travel. Checkout the links below to join us on our past, present, and future adventures!