Fly to beautiful Bellingham, Washington, to get some fresh air and explore the great outdoors.
Bellingham has a wide range of activities: from waterfall hikes and cruises, to exploring the historic district and outdoor breweries.
We visited the Bellingham area for a week and came up with a list of outdoor spots you can’t miss!
1. Taylor Dock
This elevated boardwalk connects Boulevard Park to Fairhaven and offers some of the best views of Bellingham Bay and the San Juan Islands.
Join locals and tourists alike in walking, jogging, or riding their bikes on Taylor Dock.
2. Whale Watching
Get out on the water and enjoy the marine wildlife surrounding the San Juan Islands. We recommend booking a whale watching tour with San Juan Cruises while you’re in town.
They offer several different tours that last either five or eight hours, as well as a sunset tour. Imagine watching the whales swimming at sunset!
Grab your camera and get ready for some of the coolest photos you’ll take in Bellingham. This is definitely an insta-worthy moment!
3. Fairhaven Historic District
The Fairhaven Historic District is filled with cute boutiques, bookstores, delicious restaurants, outdoor music, and a rich town history. Founded in the late 1800s, this waterfront town was built on dreams of becoming a hub for the Great Northern Railroad. In the end, a little village to the south called Seattle was chosen.
So, Fairhaven focused on becoming a seaport and still has an active bayfront with a boat building and repair site. Reserve at least half a day to explore the area and learn all about “Dirty Dan” and how Fairhaven was built.
4. Peace Arch International Park
Completed in 1921, the 67-foot Peace Arch marks the border between the United States and Canada. The Peace Arch International Park is beautiful; with the tall, white Peace Arch, gorgeous gardens, outdoor sculptures, groomed flower beds, and picnic-perfect lawns.
5. Larabee State Park
There are endless ways to enjoy Washington’s first state park. Grab a day pass for $10, or a Discover Pass (valid at all state parks) for $30.
If you prefer a scenic drive, Chuckanut Drive offers 19 miles of waterfront and mountain range bliss. The road winds high above the shore and offers multiple areas to pull over and take photos. From here, you can admire Samish Bay and the San Juan Islands.
6. Whatcom Falls Park
Stroll through the forest to a picturesque stone bridge that overlooks Whatcom Falls. You can meander on various trails, or simply park and walk a quick 100 yards to the falls. This park is dog-friendly, and no passes are required for entry.
7. Oyster Dome Trail
If you only have time for one Bellingham activity, let it be this one! You can park at the Oyster Dome Trailhead along Chuckanut Drive. This trail is seven miles long with a 2,025-ft. elevation gain. A Discover Pass is required.
Or, you can park at Samish Bay Overlook and save yourself some effort. Expect a five-mile trek and a 1050-ft. elevation gain.
8. North Cascades National Park
Take a day trip to North Cascades National Park via Highway 20 to see stunning mountain views. There are forest valleys, pounding waterfalls, and over 300 glaciers to explore.
Enjoy a hike or two before returning to Bellingham:
- Thunder Knob Trail 3.5 miles, 425-ft. elevation gain (easy)
- Maple Loop Pass 7.2 miles, 2000-ft. elevation gain (moderate)
- Sourdough Mountain 10.4 miles, 4870-ft. elevation gain (hard)
9. Visit the Breweries
Ready to visit? We got you covered!
What’s your favorite thing about Bellingham? Let us know in the comments.