Planning a getaway? Check out Bellingham, WA, a quaint, coastal city with two lively city centers and a mountain range less than two hours away.
SEAtoday City Editor Alina here. I grew up in the South, but would travel to Bellingham most every year to visit family and enjoy the PNW’s stunning, bluebird summer weather. The little town feels like it’s just waiting to be featured in a Wes Anderson film with its seaside board walks, forested bike paths, quaint gift shops, and tucked away restaurants. Grab an ice cream cone and watch the seagulls with us.
- Bellingham showcases the best of the Pacific Northwest’s beauty without the hassle of a major metropolitan scene. Enjoy fresh seafood, island cruises, and quiet walks without the stress of big city traffic.
- Rock out to free live concerts downtown every weekend in July.
- Check out this visitor’s guide and travel blog for more ideas of things to do.
Act like a local
- Food: Capitalize on the proximity of some of the best oysters in the US at Rock and Rye Oysterhouse.
- Coffee: Get your morning started over at Makeworth Coffee Roasters with a lavender honey latte and an avocado toast.
- Outdoors: Take a hike in Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. Ptarmigan Ridge Trail that features incredible views from the very first step. The first ~one mile is a flat walk that’s navigable for any experience level before taking on bigger hills that more seasoned hikers or overnight backpackers will enjoy. This is my all-time favorite trail.
- Sweet treats: Mallard Ice Cream parlor is well-known by locals for its creative flavors like ghost pepper peppermint and whiskey fig.
- Sail: It’s not a complete trip to the upper PNW without a boat ride over to the San Juan Islands. These cruises can take you whale watching or on a day trip to Friday Harbor where “Practical Magic” was also filmed.
- Explore: Need a day to recover after hiking the mountains? Fairhaven is perfect for a relaxing day of gift shopping, snacking, and enjoying the ocean breeze. Don’t forget to stroll along the boardwalk that leads downtown. You can grab a coffee in the park for a midday pick-me-up.
Where to stay
- Vrbo: Cozy Micro-Brewery Home, Sample some tasty beers made right on the property ($110 per night)
- Airbnb: Treehouse with waterfall, Become one with the forest ($300 per night)
- Splurge hotel: Hotel Bellwether, Waterfront stay with on-site restaurant (~$350 per night)
- Save hotel: Four Points by Sheraton, An airport shuttle can bring you straight from Sea-Tac airport and back (~$150 per night)