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Overview

About the northwesternmost point in the northwest, the port of Bellingham has all the attributes such a location would suggest: outdoor recreation in spades, a stunning setting, a counter cultural ambiance and enough music venues, dining options and espresso joints to keep you busy during the inevitable rainy spells. The town of 70,000 is dominated by Western Washington University; from its hilltop perch, the campus looks over a bay scattered with islands. Mount Baker, an active volcano covered by a dozen glaciers, looms over the eastern horizon. Bellingham's major event, the Ski-to-Sea marathon, runs through the catalogue of recreational ...

About the northwesternmost point in the northwest, the port of Bellingham has all the attributes such a location would suggest: outdoor recreation in spades, a stunning setting, a counter cultural ambiance and enough music venues, dining options and espresso joints to keep you busy during the inevitable rainy spells. The town of 70,000 is dominated by Western Washington University; from its hilltop perch, the campus looks over a bay scattered with islands. Mount Baker, an active volcano covered by a dozen glaciers, looms over the eastern horizon. Bellingham's major event, the Ski-to-Sea marathon, runs through the catalogue of recreational options available: the late May relay race includes skiing across and down Baker, canoeing down the Nooksack River, mountain biking and sea kayaking on the bay. As evening falls, the compact center of town gets busy with post-recreational activity, highlighted by live music and microbrewed beers. Bellingham is actually an agglomeration of several old milling communities, including Fairhaven, a pocket of 19th-century buildings on the south side of the bay that's now the point of embarkation for the Alaska ferry (three days to Juneau, twice a week).

Myra Ingmanson
About the Expert

Myra Ingmanson and Daniel C. Schechter worked together on various titles for Lonely Planet, particularly the Pacific Northwest and Mexico books. Together they coauthored chapters for Lonely Planet's Eastern Caribbean.

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Myra Ingmanson for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    May to October