Just south of the Canadian border, this coastal city began its life as an industrial center. For decades, Bellingham centered upon the timber and coal industries but today most visit the Washington city for its natural beauty and thriving cultural landscape. At just over a century old, Bellingham is a relatively young city but one that’s history is well signposted as you explore its streets. Whether you’re using Bellingham as a launch pad to visit the San Juan Islands or you’re curious about its burgeoning arts and music scenes, there’s plenty to see and do during your stay.
Explore the downtown precinct on foot, bicycle or by bus. Thanks to relatively light traffic, parking is easily found even in the city center, so driving is equally viable. The cultural center of the city is centered upon the downtown precinct and the streets surrounding Western Washington University. A young population keeps things innovative and there are plenty of cultural sites to see. Admire the sculpture collection at the university, which features work by prominent American artists including Richard Serra and Beverly Pepper. Visit the nearby Whatcom Museum of History and Art, the Spark Museum of Electrical Invention and the Pickford Film Center for more cultural activities.
Take a trip through the dramatic landscape surrounding the city to really understand what the state of Washington is about. Perched on the edge of Bellingham Bay you can reach the San Juan Islands in less than an hour, or head east to reach the famous Mount Baker, a glacier-covered volcano that is a haven for skiers and snowboarders.
Bellingham is serviced by an international airport but is also just a short drive from the major cities of Seattle and Vancouver. Accommodations can be found on the waterfront or in the Meridian shopping precinct but those wanting a more rural escape will find holiday apartments and bungalows near Mount Baker and in the rural farmland to the northeast of the city.