Bellingham is a vibrant town nestled in Bellingham Bay. This picturesque little city is home to the stunning San Juan Islands and snow-capped Mt. Baker. There are many fun things to do in Bellingham and places to visit. You can stroll through the historic Fairhaven district, explore the charming Downtown, or ride bikes through the forested Western Washington University campus.
The city itself is a hive of activity, with spectacular theater, historical museums, excellent restaurants, and fine arts.
To make your trip to Bellingham memorable, here is a list of the 20 best things to do, attractions, and places to visit in Bellingham, Washington.
Table of Contents
- Places To Visit In Bellingham
- 01. Whatcom Falls Park, Bellingham:
- 02. Fairhaven Historic District:
- 03. Chuckanut Drive, Bellingham:
- 04. Boulevard Park:
- 05. Nooksack Falls:
- 06. Lake Padden Park, Bellingham:
- 07. SPARK Museum of Electrical Invention:
- Fun things to do in Bellingham
- 08. Galbraith Mountain Bike Park:
- 09. Triad River Tours:
- 10. Gato Verde Adventure Sailing:
- 11. South bay trail, Bellingham:
- Things to do near Bellingham, WA
- 12. Mt Baker Ski Area, Bellingham:
- 13. Chain lakes loop:
- 14. Big Rock Garden Park:
- 15. Mount Baker Theatre:
- 16. Larrabee State Park:
- 17. Chuckanut Bay Gallery & Sculpture Garden:
- 18. Bellingham Farmers Market:
- 19. Whatcom Museum:
- 20. Lake Whatcom:
Places To Visit In Bellingham
01. Whatcom Falls Park, Bellingham:
Whatcom Falls is situated in Bellingham, Washington. Whatcom Creek, which runs from Lake Whatcom to Bellingham Bay, is home to the falls. Here you will get to see magnificent falls. It’s like nature is taking a bath in a scenic paradise.
The parking lot is within a short distance of the falls. The trails around the falls are either paved or gravel, making them easy to hike. A playground and facilities are also accessible. While driving around the park, there are at least three distinct entrances and parking lots, so make sure you park in the correct one if you don’t want to go too far.
You may also get to hear the magical sound of Whatcom Falls from the nearest parking lot. The park is open Monday through Sunday, from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Check out the official website for more information.
Whatcom Falls Park is one of the most popular attractions in Bellingham. You will have a great time exploring this lovely park.
Address: 1401 Electric Ave, Bellingham, WA 98229, United States
02. Fairhaven Historic District:
The Historic Fairhaven Village is a lovely neighborhood in Bellingham’s south end. In this fascinating community, you’ll discover locally owned boutique stores, excellent dining, curated art galleries, hotels, spas, and various outdoor activities.
It’s the ideal starting location to enjoy a hike, bike ride, or kayaking on the bay, as it is surrounded by bay and forest paths. Fairhaven has something for everyone, whether it’s a day trip or a long, relaxing weekend. Typically, in this area, you will find many shopping malls and restaurants.
Fairhaven Historic District is also a good place for outdoor eating. In the evening, you can enjoy a relaxing boat ride and a bike ride to roam around the city. Also, you can enjoy some time at Boulevard Park and San Juan Cruises.
Plan a visit to the Historic Fairhaven this weekend to get a glimpse of history. Check out the official website for more information.
Address: 2211 Rimland Dr., Bellingham, WA 98226.
03. Chuckanut Drive, Bellingham:
Chuckanut Drive is Washington State’s first scenic byway, along the seashore just south of Bellingham. It is about a 20-mile journey north of Bellingham. Chuckanut Drive is a popular and historically significant route into Whatcom County. It is a scenic drive to Bellingham.
Chuckanut Drive runs through Larrabee State Park, Washington’s first recognized state park. There is a beach, tidepools, and hiking paths nearby. Also, you will find an oyster bar. If you are into seafood, this is a place for you.
Take out your car and make your way to this mesmerizing scenic drive at Chuckanut. Also, you can prepare your appetite for some nice plates of seafood.
A scenic drive on Chuckanut Drive would be one of the best things to do in Bellingham.
Address: Chuckanut Dr Bellingham, WA 98229.
04. Boulevard Park:
Boulevard Park is located on Bellingham Bay between Bay View Drive and South State Street in the South Hill Neighborhood. It is a delightful spot to enjoy a relaxing walk.
This place is just north of the Fairhaven District and is a beautiful public park. Some people come to walk their dogs, and some people bring their children. There’s a tiny playground for young children and plenty of grassy areas. There is also the Woods Coffee Shop. The view of the ocean from the boardwalk spot is spectacular. You can even enjoy a little swim there.
Spend your weekend relaxing here in Boulevard Park from Monday through Sunday, from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Check out the official website for more information.
Address: South State St And Bayview Dr Bellingham, WA 98225.
05. Nooksack Falls:
In Whatcom County, Washington, Nooksack Falls is a waterfall on the North Fork of the Nooksack River. The water travels through a short valley before plunging 88 feet into a steep river canyon.
You may see the falls from the wooded area close to the cliff’s edge. This place is just off the main road and has some very stunning waterfalls with plenty of water. It’s easy to get there for any automobile that can drive on a gravel road, and it’s only a short walk from the parking lot.
Nooksack Falls is undoubtedly one of the highlights of the national forest. It’s highly recommended that you look at the signs and be careful not to step over the line where it says not to.
Nooksack Falls would be one of the best things to see in Bellingham.
Location: Mount Baker National Forest, Whatcom County, Washington, United States.
06. Lake Padden Park, Bellingham:
Lake Padden is a lake near Bellingham, Washington. Michael Padden, a local homesteader, inspired the name. The park is bustling with visitors during the spring and summer, with several picnic spaces and playgrounds. There are also various hiking and biking routes established around the lake and in the adjacent woodland.
Lake Padden is a popular destination for families, runners, dog walkers, and cyclists in Bellingham. Once you get there, you will find several little pocket beaches and a few tennis courts. There is a well-kept golf course, a dog park, a baseball diamond, and a playground. There is also lake access, which is located beyond the second gate farther down the road. Sportfishing is also permitted at Lake Padden.
Lake Padden Park would be one of the best places to go in Bellingham to enjoy various activities.
Address: 4882 S Samish Way, Bellingham, WA 98229, United States.
07. SPARK Museum of Electrical Invention:
The SPARK Museum of Electrical Invention is a hands-on museum in Bellingham, Washington, that provides educational experiences for people of all ages through galleries and public activities. This museum was previously known as the American Museum of Radio and Electricity.
The inventions and breakthroughs that transformed the course of human history are on exhibit at the SPARK Museum. This museum is a must-see for anybody interested in the history of electricity and radio. Many exhibitions feature historic, restored electrical components, such as early scientific testing equipment, telegraphs, radios, televisions, and sound recording systems.
The “MegaZapper Electrical Show,” which takes place in the afternoon, is the most popular aspect of the visit. Check out the official website for opening hours and to plan your visit.
SPARK Museum of Electrical Invention would be one of the best places to visit in Bellingham.
Address: 1312 Bay St, Bellingham, WA 98225, United States.
Fun things to do in Bellingham
08. Galbraith Mountain Bike Park:
Galbraith Mountain, located only minutes from downtown Bellingham, is a world-class mountain resort. Over 50 miles of singletrack weave through more than 3000 acres, offering lovely views of the city and Bellingham Bay. Some trails are well-built, well-maintained, and easy to navigate. The green routes are mainly flat and sandy, whereas the woody paths are more complex.
The locals refer to it, Galbraith, or “Galby.” The park provides opportunities for all types of riders. If you’re new to the sport, rent a bike from a local shop, buy a basic map, and hit the trails. You will find beginner to intermediate tracks on the lower slopes, while higher up the mountain has free-ride routes that feature gap jumps.
Address: 1206 Birch St, Bellingham, WA 98229, United States.
09. Triad River Tours:
Triad River Tours is a Washington State-based whitewater rafting business that serves the Seattle and Bellingham regions. It has some of the most beautiful spots in Washington State for spectacular whitewater rafting. People who are enthusiastic about the outdoors can check out this place.
This place will surely provide a fantastic journey for the riders. Riad River Tours is a whitewater rafting business that believes in appropriate use of public lands and wilderness areas. Triad’s river rafting style and system set them apart, enabling and cherishing the link between people and their natural environment.
They offer a great whitewater rafting experience by utilizing current technology, the most sophisticated safety measures, and operating procedures. Check out the official website for more information and to plan your visit.
Address: 336 36th St Ste 191 Bellingham, WA 98225.
10. Gato Verde Adventure Sailing:
Gato Verde’s headquarters are in Bellingham, Washington, near the Bellingham Cruise Terminal in Historic Fairhaven. Bellingham is about 90 minutes from Seattle and 60 minutes from Vancouver, British Columbia. Consider taking a sunset cruise or organizing an event on Bellingham Bay, which is nestled in the shadow of Mount Baker.
Gato Verde is a boat excursion company that is locally owned and run. There are sailing charters with a skipper available and overnight whale viewing, sailing courses, corporate excursions, and special event charters.
You can also ride on a comfortable and efficient 42-foot catamaran. The tours can last anything from 1.5 hours to seven days. The maximum number of people in a party for both day and overnight sailing charters is six. You can also get hands-on training and multidisciplinary patient education suited to your talents, requirements, and choices.
Check out the official website for more information and booking.
Sailing on Bellingham Bay would be one of the top things to do in Bellingham.
Address: 355 HARRIS AVE, BELLINGHAM, WA, 98225, UNITED STATES.
11. South bay trail, Bellingham:
The South Bay Trail is located in Bellingham, 20 miles from the Canadian border. It is nestled between Mount Baker and Bellingham Bay. The route comes close to Maple Street, just west of Railroad Avenue, where you’ll find a farmers’ market. There are also art walks and the charming atmosphere of the Western Washington University campus area.
The South Bay Trail’s pavement, pier, and hard-packed gravel make for a nice combo. Suitable for hiking on a beautiful day. But it may get rather crowded. This place offers stunning vistas. It’s a lovely walk along the bay that everyone may enjoy. There are several places to pause and take in the scenery along the journey. It’s worth walking the trail if you’re in town.
It’s a fantastic choice for beginner hikers because the mild gradient and the beautiful vistas of Bellingham Bay provide great trailside diversions. Check out the official website for more information and to plan your visit.
Things to do near Bellingham, WA
12. Mt Baker Ski Area, Bellingham:
Mount Baker Ski Area is a ski resort in Whatcom County, Washington, near State Route 542. The base elevation of the resort is 3,500 feet, with a peak height of 5,089 feet. It is just 90 minutes away from Bellingham. Because of the glaciers, crevasses, and snowy pinnacles in this area, you will find many challenging in-bounds routes.
You will get various back-country skiing opportunities that are accessible from several chairlifts. For back-country skiing, you can get access permission from the resort.
For short-term guests, this may be Western Washington’s most excellent ski destination. You will also love the majestic views and natural beauty surrounding this place.
Check out the official website for the latest updates and to plan your visit.
Address: Mt Baker Ski Area Business Office · 1420 Iowa Street · Bellingham WA 98229.
13. Chain lakes loop:
The Chain Lakes Circular Route is an 11.4-kilometer loop trail that includes a lake near Maple Falls, Washington. The path is best utilized from June to October. This place is suitable for hiking and camping.
The Chain Lakes Loop Trailhead features a magnificent variety of geology and vistas. People enjoy this park because of the numerous options to stroll around the lakes, which serve as scenic sites of attraction and pet cooling zones.
Try to hike counterclockwise after reaching the trailhead at Artist Point, so you can tackle the steepest climb in the beginning and avoid the long and strenuous climb to Herman Saddle.
Check out the official website for more information and to plan your visit.
Address: WA-542, Deming, WA 98244, United States.
14. Big Rock Garden Park:
A secret sculpture garden greets you in Bellingham’s Silver Beach district, high above Lake Whatcom. Its routes split off in all directions, exposing more art as you go deeper. Each season is colored differently by native evergreens, over 400 azalea and rhododendron species, and over 100 Japanese maple species.
Big Rock Garden’s pottery, abstract geometry, minimalism, found art, and symbolic items are examples of dynamic cultural legacies. “Hope,” “Natura,” and “Zoe Garden Wall,” which pays homage to Bellingham neighborhood legend Catherine “Kitty” Stimpson, are all story-telling pieces. The Big Rock Garden is relatively obscure outside of the tourism industry.
The park is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m year-round. There is a parking lot at the entrance.
Address: 2900 Sylvan St, Bellingham, WA 98226, United States.
15. Mount Baker Theatre:
In Bellingham, Washington, the Mount Baker Theatre is a 1,517-seat performing arts theatre and a national historic site. Professional shows and community acts from the Puget Sound region are staged at the theater.
The Mount Baker Theatre supports the region’s culture via creative performances and arts education, inspiring community interaction, and managing a national historic site. This beautiful, historical, and well-known Bellingham theater amazes audiences with its inventive, dramatic, musical, and live performances. The gorgeous décor, massive ticket window, and cheerful workers make each event one-of-a-kind.
The Mount Baker Playhouse produces everything from one-person acts to concerts, musicals, and traveling plays, offering this little town a taste of the arts from all over the country. Check out the official website for upcoming events and to plan your visit.
Address: 104 N Commercial St #4408, Bellingham, WA 98225, United States.
16. Larrabee State Park:
Larrabee State Park is a public recreation area on the western slope of Chuckanut Mountain, six miles south of Bellingham, Washington. In 1915, it was designated as Washington’s first state park and secluded, tranquil, and peaceful. It’s a lovely spot for a picnic lunch, a stroll, or simply relaxing in the peaceful surroundings.
This park is an excellent area to stop along the Chuckanut Trail. It lies near the seashore and at the foot of the Chuckanut Mountains. The routes that ascend into the mountains connect to the Interurban Trail and go to Fragrance Lake and Lost Lake. Visitors may walk down to the beach from a dedicated camping area with hundreds of spaces, as well as a boat launch and parking area.
The park’s beach is open all year, and the sheer cliffs offer an excellent view of the ocean and neighboring beaches. It is a superb place to hang a hammock in the summer. Check out the official website for more information.
Larrabee State Park would be one of the best places to visit for sightseeing in Bellingham.
Address: 245 Chuckanut Dr, Bellingham, WA 98229, United States.
17. Chuckanut Bay Gallery & Sculpture Garden:
The Chuckanut Bay Gallery is located on the scenic Chuckanut Drive. It exhibits American-made items from over 400 artists, including jewelry, ceramics, glass-made items, wood crafts, metal art, and unique home décor. Outdoor sculpture gardens are artistically constructed and display outdoor décor using a range of materials.
On gorgeous Chuckanut Drive, they provide a destination shopping experience with garden art, sculptures, handcrafted items, hand-blown glass, home décor, furniture, birdbaths, water fountains, metalwork, jewelry, and more. You can take a stroll in the garden, drink a cup of espresso, and explore the hundreds of one-of-a-kind items. There will be something for everyone.
Check out the official website for more information and to plan your visit.
Address: 700 Chuckanut Dr N, Bellingham, WA 98229, United States.
18. Bellingham Farmers Market:
The Bellingham Farmers’ Market serves Whatcom and Skagit counties. There’s also the pump track and Waypoint Park nearby. Fresh veggies, bread, prepared dishes, and baked treats all at one location. You will also find art, including fascinating collections of cards. Also, artists alternate performing every half-hour.
Bellingham Farmers’ markets are public gatherings of farmers or their representatives selling food directly to customers regularly. Farmers, customers, and communities benefit from personal connections and mutually beneficial bonds fostered through the market.
Three farmers’ markets run throughout the year, the Saturday Market, the third Saturday Markets, and the Wednesday Market. Check out the official website for more information and locations.
Address: 1100 Railroad Ave, Bellingham, WA 98225, United States.
19. Whatcom Museum:
The Whatcom Museum is a fine art and Northwest history museum in downtown Bellingham, WA. It features changing exhibitions, educational events, the Family Interactive Gallery, and huge picture archives.
Old City Hall, the Syre Education Center, and the Light catcher, which houses the Family Interactive Gallery, make up the Whatcom Museum’s present three-building complex.
This spot can provide you with various fresh experiences. The performances they put on are both entertaining and beautiful. The fantastic thing about the Museum is that if you miss one exhibit, there is always something else you can see.
Check out the official website for upcoming events, exhibits, and opening hours.
Address: Lightcatcher, 250 Flora Street Old City Hall, 121 Prospect St, Bellingham, WA 98225, United States.
20. Lake Whatcom:
Lake Whatcom is a body of water in Washington’s Whatcom County. Over 85,000 people in Bellingham and Whatcom County rely on it for drinking water. It is approximately 10 miles long and one mile wide at its broadest point. Lake Whatcom is an excellent location to take the family to enjoy swimming. Boat rentals enhance this lake’s enjoyment. You will also find a park and access to nearby trails.
Just south and east of Bellingham lies this magnificent lake. Adjacent to the lake is a bird sanctuary named Lake Louise Bird Sanctuary. Lake Whatcom is an enormous lake with multiple marinas and plenty of places to walk and trek in the summer.
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