Where the great outdoors meets cosmopolitan culture
The city of Bellingham is a scenic, seaside beauty situated in the foreground of the Cascade Mountains. A smaller city, Bellingham still packs all the punches of a major, bustling metropolis, without the density, grit, and fast pace sometimes found in larger cities. An abundance of outdoor recreation, museums, sporting events, and a great culinary scene have all contributed to the perfect making of one of Washington’s best places to call home. Rich in Native American history, the Lummi Nation has inhabited the surrounding region for thousands of years. The descendants of the region’s first residents now make up the third-largest tribe in Washington today, with newer residents taking part in celebrations throughout the year. Recently, Bellingham has welcomed an influx of newcomers, particularly from the Seattle region, seeking a more fair cost of living and a higher quality of life.
A vibrant metropolis in its own right, Bellingham has recently attracted a high number of ex-Seattle residents seeking the liveliness which comes with city living and a few of the often-overlooked benefits of living in a smaller community. Bellingham is perfect for those seeking close proximity to sparkling bay waters, views of towering mountains, and the abundance of scenic recreation not frequently found in urban areas, especially enjoyable given Bellingham’s mild summer months. Come sundown, locals are spoiled for choice in regard to dining options, with options available for every occasion, no matter how casual or upscale.
Mediterranean-inspired classics are plentiful in Bellingham. Cafe Akroteri, known for their gyros and souvlaki, and Mykonos, with a reputation for lamb chops and spanakopita, are the best spots in town for authentic Greek cuisine. Italian delights are served in red brick spaces at D’Anna’s and Mambo Italiano. Homemade pasta dishes paired with PNW seafood and regional produce make excellent options for lunch, date night, or spontaneous evenings out.
Sophisticated American fare is the specialty of The Black Cat. Upscale tavern fare featuring local seafood like fish and chips, crabcakes, and fish tacos are enjoyed in a warm space adorned with Tiffany-style lamps. More exotic offerings are found at Wanida Thai Cuisine. Spicy noodles, fragrant curries, and Thai-style barbecue offer something different to spice up the night.
Extremes Sports Grill is a family-friendly spot to enjoy the big game with the kiddos, paired with a slice of pizza or smoky barbecue. Adults enjoy a selection of craft beers on tap from local breweries and a great daily happy hour. The Filling Station is another favorable eatery boasting retro decor reminiscent of classic American diners. Different from the old-fashioned diners of yesteryear, The Filling Station boasts a full bar and colorful menu of craft cocktails.
Being situated in one of the nation’s most beautiful regions, Bellingham locals spend a great deal of their time marveling at the local scenery. Dozens of lakes surround the area, but arguably the most popular would be Lake Padden. Stretching across 745 acres, locals frequent the walking trails, baseball fields, basketball courts, swimming, paddling, and barbecue facilities, while children enjoy the playgrounds and feeding ducks. Lake Samish, Lake Whatcom, and Squalicum Lake are three other popular sites, all favorites during Bellingham’s summer months.
Bellingham boasts dozens of other trails and biking paths across the community, with scenic Whatcom Falls Park being a top choice for its picturesque waterfalls. Chuckanut Drive stretches through waterfront Larrabee State Park, Washington’s first state park, while some of the best mountain biking in the world can be experienced on Galbraith Mountain. The region is also plentiful with working farms, like Boxx Berry Farms. Visitors can pick their own berries and vegetables throughout the season while looking forward to their famous strawberry festival which celebrates everything which can be created with the luscious, bright fruit.
Bellewood Farms also hosts events throughout the year, like Easter celebrations, summer concerts, and the Father’s Day Car Show. The community’s highest-anticipated event is probably the Ski to Sea Race taking place over Memorial Day Weekend. This adventurous relay race has taken participants across Bellingham’s land and sea since 1973, benefiting dozens of local nonprofits.
This picture-perfect coastal city also offers fine educational opportunities for local children. Most attend school within: