Deciding on your next weekend destination?
Look no further than Bellingham, Washington.
Why choose Bellingham? Imagine the historical charm of Seattle combined with the natural wonder of the Cascade mountains and the Salish Sea with a bit of the Roaring Twenties thrown in. Now subtract the crowds, traffic, and super-sized prices of the average all-American vacation spot and you’ve got Bellingham.
There’s no shortage of fun things to do in Bellingham. Best of all is the wide variety of activities: there’s something for everyone!
That’s why it’s perfect for any type of vacation. No matter what your interests are, you’ll find them in Bellingham.
Ready to learn more? Check out these must-see Bellingham points of interest.
1. Whatcom Falls Park
Whatcom Falls Park is 240 acres of natural beauty. Located on the eastern side of Bellingham, this gorgeous city park offers no end of fun activities for your family.
Enjoy miles of scenic hiking trails, like the Whatcom Creek Trail Loop. Cross the river on an iconic stone bridge that has stood for 79 years. Make memories and take selfies at each of the park’s four waterfalls.
The park is loaded with well-maintained amenities including picnic tables, covered shelters, barbecue grills, and bathrooms. There are also tennis and basketball courts, a fishing derby pond, and playgrounds.
You can even bring your dog. There are several dog off-leash areas in which to let your dog run free.
2. Mount Baker Theatre
Established in 1927, the enormous Mount Baker Theatre was one of the last extravagant silent movie palaces built. With its iconic, 15 story tall tower that extends from the roof, the building was once the tallest in Bellingham.
Now, the MBT hosts live shows of many genres throughout the year. Current performances for October 2018 include The New Chinese Acrobats, Siro-A Techno Circus, and video game music arrangements by Whatcom Symphony Orchestra. No matter what type of entertainment you’re into, MBT is your number one destination for premier local and national talent.
The theatre building includes 3 extravagantly-decorated venues and spans half a city block. Historic significance, architectural beauty, and top-rate live entertainment make MBT a must-see destination on your visit to Bellingham.
3. Boulevard Park
If you want to watch the sunset during your visit to Bellingham, there’s no better place to do it than Boulevard Park. At the close of your relaxing day, watch the sun sink behind Bellingham Bay. Watch the waves break as you stroll along the coast on the South Bay Trail.
Stop for a coffee break at Woods Coffee located right at the water’s edge. Sip handcrafted espresso beverages on the beach or by the fireplace. Also, enjoy delicious snacks and wifi.
Boulevard Park includes a playground and several pocket beaches for you and your family to play on. You may catch a live performance at the outdoor performance stage. And don’t forget to check out the historic Taylor Dock.
4. Fairhaven Historic District
What began as a seaport logging village in 1889 has stood the test of time to become the must-see Fairhaven Historic District. Fairhaven is a village-sized gift shop full of fun, local mom-and-pop shops. Enjoy the Victorian architecture as you purchase souvenirs from stunning, 120-year-old red brick buildings.
A hop skip and a jump south of Taylor Dock (about half a mile), you’ll find Fairhaven’s Village Books. This 3-story bookstore has more than enough to keep any book-lover occupied for an hour or so.
Old books, new books, hard-to-find books and bestsellers–you’ll find them all at Village Books. You can have lunch at the cafe and even bring your dog.
There are enough shops, sweets, art, pubs, and eateries to delight everyone in your family indefinitely. You could enjoy the full length of your stay here. Conveniently, you can book your stay right in the heart of Fairhaven at top-rated luxury hotels like The Chrysalis Inn and Spa.
5. Larrabee State Park
Larrabee State Park, Washington’s first state park, is a top camping destination for visiting nature-lovers. It’s located on the scenic Chuckanut drive, a tourist attraction in and of itself. The 21-mile highway runs along the edge of the majestic Chuckanut Mountains overlooking the bay on the way to Vancouver.
If you love the outdoors, you won’t want to miss the myriad of hiking trails and mountain biking opportunities this park has to offer. Explore lush Douglas fir forests, Samish Bay, and the San Juan Islands along the Oyster Dome Trail.
There are also plenty of saltwater and freshwater activities to enjoy. An assortment of lakes and inlets await you, including the Puget Sound. Enjoy fishing, crabbing, clamming, boating, and more.
6. Lake Padden Park
Another great outdoor destination is Lake Padden Park. If you want to experience all the joys of camping without having to stay overnight, Lake Padden Park is the place to go. There are enough hiking trails and other outdoor activities to keep you busy all day.
Miles of interwoven trails surround the beautiful lake for hikers of every skill level. Trails are marked by difficulty level in this handy guide. Also, check out the mountain biking trails.
This is another dog-friendly park with plenty of dog exercise areas. There are also swimming areas, a playground, and covered picnic shelters with grills. You’ll also find various courts and fields for your favorite sports.
Next, you can hit the waterfront at the fishing dock or boat launch. Or bring your clubs to the 18-hole Lake Padden Public Golf Course.
7. SPARK Museum of Radio and Electricity
The SPARK Museum brings the history of the modern technological age to life. It celebrates and exhibits the top innovations in electricity and telecommunications that shaped the world as we now know it.
SPARK is not a “don’t touch the exhibits” kind of museum. It gives you a hands-on learning experience as you explore over 100 years of technological advancement. Hair-raising static, giant Tesla coils, and huge bolts of electricity await.
Kids will learn firsthand about telecommunication before cell phones and tablets. Using fully functional telegraphs and typewriters, they’ll learn a new respect for innovation and technology.
Visitors can also learn to play the theremin: the world’s first electronic instrument. To see more, you can watch videos from the museum.
Top 7 Things to Do in Bellingham
Everyone wants to see the far expanses of the world. All too often, we’re so focused on the expensive, popular destinations that we miss hidden gems like Bellingham.
In Bellingham, you’ll enjoy a richer, quieter vacation with less stress and more quality time. A wealth of history and culture, an outdoor wonderland: Bellingham has fullness and fun for all.
Who’d want to pass that up? Not you, we hope.
Don’t miss out. Come experience all the wonderful things to do in Bellingham.
For more Bellingham fun, see check out our article about the Bellingham Farmers Market.