10 Things to do in Bellingham WA – 2024 Ultimate Guide

Table of Contents


Welcome to Bellingham, WA, a hidden gem in the Pacific Northwest that offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and vibrant culture. From stunning waterfront views to lush greenery, Bellingham is a must-visit destination for travelers seeking a unique and enriching experience. With a plethora of things to do in Bellingham WA, including outdoor adventures, local breweries, and charming boutiques, this city has something for everyone. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a foodie, or a history buff, Bellingham will captivate you with its charm and endless opportunities for exploration. Join us on a journey to discover the best that Bellingham has to offer and uncover the magic of this enchanting destination.

Popular Experiences and Attractions

Whatcom Falls Park:

Essential Information

– Address: 1401 Electric Ave, Bellingham, WA 98229
– Opening Hours: Daily from 6:30 am to 10:00 pm
– Fee: Free
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Nature lovers, families, hikers


Whatcom Falls Park in Bellingham, WA, is a serene oasis that offers a perfect escape into nature. With its lush greenery, picturesque waterfalls, and tranquil atmosphere, this park is a must-see for anyone looking to unwind and reconnect with the great outdoors. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a family looking for a peaceful outing, or a hiker seeking scenic trails, Whatcom Falls Park has something for everyone.

The park’s main attraction is the stunning Whatcom Falls, where the rushing waters create a mesmerizing sight and a soothing soundtrack. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll along the well-maintained paths, breathe in the fresh forest air, and listen to the symphony of birds chirping overhead. For those seeking a bit more adventure, the park offers hiking trails that wind through the towering trees and lead to breathtaking viewpoints.

Whether you’re looking to relax by the water, explore the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, or simply enjoy a peaceful picnic surrounded by greenery, Whatcom Falls Park is the perfect destination. So pack a picnic, lace up your hiking boots, and immerse yourself in the beauty of this hidden gem in Bellingham.

Fairhaven Historic District:

Essential Information

– Address: 10th St, Bellingham, WA 98225
– Opening Hours: Varies by establishment
– Fee: Free to explore
– Visit Duration: 2-3 hours
– Ideal for: History enthusiasts and leisurely strolls


Stepping into the Fairhaven Historic District in Bellingham, Washington, is like taking a journey back in time. This charming district is a must-see for history enthusiasts and those seeking a leisurely stroll through a well-preserved piece of the past. The cobblestone streets and Victorian-era architecture transport visitors to a bygone era, offering a glimpse into the rich history of the Pacific Northwest.

As you wander through the streets, you’ll encounter a variety of shops, cafes, and galleries housed in historic buildings that have been lovingly restored. Take a moment to admire the intricate details of the architecture, from ornate facades to elegant balconies. The district’s quaint atmosphere and picturesque surroundings make it an ideal spot for a relaxing afternoon of exploration.

Whether you’re interested in history, architecture, or simply enjoy a leisurely walk in a charming setting, the Fairhaven Historic District offers something for everyone. So, next time you find yourself in Bellingham, be sure to carve out some time to wander the streets of this delightful historic gem.

Chuckanut Drive:

Essential Information

– Address: Chuckanut Drive, Bellingham, WA
– Opening Hours: Open 24 hours
– Fee: Free
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Scenic drives, nature lovers


Chuckanut Drive in Bellingham, WA, offers a picturesque coastal drive that showcases the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. The winding road hugs the rugged coastline, providing stunning views of the Salish Sea and the surrounding lush forests. Travelers can enjoy a leisurely drive along the scenic route, stopping at various viewpoints to take in the panoramic vistas and snap memorable photos.

One of the main draws of Chuckanut Drive is its accessibility and proximity to Bellingham, making it an ideal day trip for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Whether you’re a local looking for a relaxing drive or a visitor seeking a taste of the region’s natural splendor, Chuckanut Drive offers a serene retreat that is sure to leave a lasting impression. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience this hidden gem along the Washington coast.

Sehome Hill Arboretum:

Essential Information

– Address: 600 25th St, Bellingham, WA 98225
– Opening Hours: Daily from dawn to dusk
– Fee: Free admission
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Nature lovers, hikers, families


Sehome Hill Arboretum in Bellingham, WA, offers a serene escape into nature for visitors of all ages. With its lush greenery and diverse plant life, this hidden gem provides a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life. The arboretum’s well-maintained trails wind through a variety of ecosystems, showcasing the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

One of the main draws of Sehome Hill Arboretum is its stunning panoramic views of Bellingham Bay and the surrounding mountains. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just looking for a leisurely stroll, the arboretum’s trails cater to all levels of outdoor enthusiasts. Birdwatchers will also delight in the opportunity to spot a wide array of avian species in their natural habitat.

For those seeking a moment of tranquility and a chance to reconnect with nature, Sehome Hill Arboretum is a must-visit destination in Bellingham. So lace up your hiking boots, pack a picnic, and immerse yourself in the beauty of this urban oasis.

Lake Padden Park:

Essential Information

– Address: 4882 Samish Way, Bellingham, WA 98229
– Opening Hours: 6:30 am to 10:00 pm
– Fee: Free entry
– Visit Duration: 2-3 hours
– Ideal for: Nature lovers, families, outdoor enthusiasts


Surrounded by lush greenery and offering a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, Lake Padden Park in Bellingham, WA is a must-see destination for nature enthusiasts. The park’s serene lake provides a picturesque backdrop for a leisurely stroll or a relaxing picnic with loved ones. With a variety of hiking and biking trails meandering through the forested areas, visitors can immerse themselves in the beauty of the Pacific Northwest landscape.

For outdoor enthusiasts, Lake Padden Park offers a range of recreational activities, including fishing, kayaking, and paddleboarding on the pristine waters of the lake. Birdwatchers will delight in the diverse avian species that call the park home, making it a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful retreat or an active adventure, Lake Padden Park has something to offer for everyone. Plan your visit today and experience the natural beauty of this hidden gem in Bellingham, WA.

SPARK Museum of Electrical Invention:

Essential Information

– Address: 1312 Bay St, Bellingham, WA 98225
– Opening Hours: Monday-Saturday 11am-5pm, Sunday 12pm-5pm
– Fee: Adults $12, Seniors/Students $10, Children (6-11) $8
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Families, History Buffs, Science Enthusiasts


The SPARK Museum of Electrical Invention in Bellingham, Washington, is a captivating destination that sheds light on the fascinating world of electricity and innovation. With a collection spanning centuries of electrical history, this museum offers a unique and educational experience for visitors of all ages. From early telegraphs to modern-day electronics, the exhibits at SPARK Museum showcase the evolution of technology and its impact on society.

One of the highlights of a visit to SPARK Museum is the opportunity to witness live demonstrations of vintage electrical devices, bringing history to life in a dynamic and engaging way. Visitors can marvel at the ingenuity of inventors past and present, gaining a deeper appreciation for the role of electricity in shaping our world today. Whether you’re a history buff, a science enthusiast, or simply curious about the wonders of electricity, a trip to SPARK Museum is a must-see experience that will spark your imagination and leave you with a newfound appreciation for the power of innovation.

Western Washington University:

Essential Information

– Address: 516 High St, Bellingham, WA 98225
– Opening Hours: Varies by department and event
– Fee: Free to visit campus grounds
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Prospective students, history buffs, architecture enthusiasts


Nestled in the heart of Bellingham, Washington, Western Washington University stands as a beacon of higher education excellence in the Pacific Northwest. With its picturesque campus overlooking Bellingham Bay, this institution offers a unique blend of academic rigor and natural beauty. Whether you’re a prospective student exploring potential universities or a history buff intrigued by the university’s rich heritage, Western Washington University is a must-see destination.

The university’s architecture seamlessly blends modern facilities with historic buildings, creating a captivating atmosphere for visitors. Stroll through the campus grounds and admire the stunning views of the surrounding mountains and waterways. Western Washington University’s commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship is evident throughout the campus, making it an ideal spot for eco-conscious travelers.

Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the university’s diverse range of academic programs and cultural events. From lectures by renowned scholars to art exhibitions showcasing local talent, Western Washington University offers a vibrant intellectual community that is sure to inspire and engage visitors of all ages. Experience the essence of higher education in the Pacific Northwest at Western Washington University.

Boulevard Park:

Essential Information

– Address: 470 Bayview Dr, Bellingham, WA 98225
– Opening Hours: 6:00 am – 10:00 pm
– Fee: Free
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Families, nature lovers, outdoor enthusiasts


Boulevard Park in Bellingham, WA, is a must-see destination for those seeking a peaceful retreat by the water. With its stunning views of Bellingham Bay and the San Juan Islands, this park offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Visitors can enjoy leisurely strolls along the waterfront boardwalk, taking in the fresh sea breeze and watching boats sail by. The park’s green spaces are perfect for picnics or simply relaxing amidst nature.

One of the park’s highlights is the Taylor Street Dock, where you can witness breathtaking sunsets over the water. Boulevard Park is also a popular spot for birdwatching, with a variety of seabirds and waterfowl frequenting the area. Whether you’re looking to unwind with a book, have a family outing, or simply soak in the beauty of the Pacific Northwest, Boulevard Park offers a tranquil setting for all to enjoy.

Larrabee State Park:

Essential Information

– Address: 245 Chuckanut Dr, Bellingham, WA 98229
– Opening Hours: 8:00 AM – Dusk
– Fee: Discover Pass required for parking
– Visit Duration: Half-day to full-day
– Ideal for: Nature lovers, hikers, picnickers


Larrabee State Park in Bellingham, WA, is a must-see destination for nature enthusiasts seeking a serene escape. With its lush forests, rugged coastline, and stunning views of the Puget Sound, this park offers a perfect blend of outdoor activities and relaxation. Whether you’re looking to hike through old-growth forests, enjoy a peaceful picnic by the water, or simply unwind in nature, Larrabee State Park has something for everyone.

The park’s extensive trail system provides opportunities for both leisurely strolls and challenging hikes, allowing visitors to explore the diverse ecosystems that call this area home. Birdwatchers will delight in the chance to spot a variety of avian species, while beachcombers can comb the shoreline for treasures washed ashore by the tides. Additionally, the park’s convenient location near Bellingham makes it easily accessible for day trips or weekend getaways, making it a popular choice for locals and tourists alike.

Marine Life Center:

Essential Information

– Address: 1801 Roeder Ave, Bellingham, WA 98225
– Opening Hours: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Monday-Saturday), Closed on Sundays
– Fee: $10 for adults, $5 for children (ages 3-12)
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Families, marine life enthusiasts


The Marine Life Center in Bellingham, WA, offers a fascinating glimpse into the diverse underwater world of the Pacific Northwest. With its interactive exhibits and knowledgeable staff, this marine center is a must-see for anyone interested in marine conservation and education. From colorful sea anemones to majestic orcas, visitors can learn about the rich marine biodiversity that thrives in the waters of the Salish Sea.

One of the highlights of the Marine Life Center is the opportunity to observe live marine creatures up close in their natural habitats. The touch tanks allow visitors to feel the unique textures of sea stars and sea cucumbers while learning about their importance in the marine ecosystem. Additionally, the center offers educational programs and guided tours that provide valuable insights into the conservation efforts being made to protect the marine environment.

Whether you’re a family looking for a fun and educational outing or a marine life enthusiast eager to expand your knowledge, the Marine Life Center in Bellingham is a destination that promises to inspire and educate visitors of all ages. Plan your visit today to discover the wonders of the underwater world right here in the heart of the Pacific Northwest.

Food and Cuisine

Salmon Chowder

Why is it so special:

Bellingham’s proximity to the Pacific Ocean makes it a prime location for fresh seafood dishes. The Salmon Chowder is a local favorite that showcases the region’s bounty. Made with chunks of succulent salmon, potatoes, onions, and a creamy broth, this dish is a comforting and hearty choice for seafood lovers. The rich flavors and creamy texture make it a must-try when visiting Bellingham.

Where to Try It:

For a taste of authentic Salmon Chowder, head to The Black Cat, a cozy bistro known for its delicious seafood offerings. If you prefer a more upscale dining experience, Anthony’s Hearthfire Grill is a popular choice among locals and visitors alike.

Oyster Po’ Boy

Why is it so special:

The Oyster Po’ Boy is a classic Southern dish that has found its way to the Pacific Northwest, offering a unique twist on traditional seafood sandwiches. Crispy fried oysters are nestled in a soft baguette, topped with lettuce, tomato, and a zesty remoulade sauce. The combination of textures and flavors in this sandwich is a delightful treat for the taste buds.

Where to Try It:

For a taste of the best Oyster Po’ Boy in town, head to Bayou on Bay, a Cajun-inspired restaurant known for its flavorful dishes. If you’re looking for a more casual dining experience, swing by The Racket Bar & Pinball Lounge for a laid-back atmosphere and delicious Oyster Po’ Boy.

Events and Festivals

Ski to Sea Race

The Ski to Sea Race is a popular multi-sport event held annually in Bellingham, WA. It features teams competing in seven different sports including cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, running, road biking, canoeing, mountain biking, and kayaking. The race spans over 90 miles from the slopes of Mount Baker to Bellingham Bay, showcasing the diverse outdoor recreational opportunities in the region.

Bellingham SeaFeast

Bellingham SeaFeast is a celebration of the rich maritime heritage and seafood bounty of the Pacific Northwest. This two-day festival features seafood vendors, cooking demonstrations, live music, and family-friendly activities. Visitors can sample a variety of fresh seafood dishes, learn about sustainable fishing practices, and enjoy the vibrant waterfront atmosphere of Bellingham.

Mount Baker Blues Festival

The Mount Baker Blues Festival is a must-visit event for music enthusiasts in Bellingham. Held at the scenic Deming Log Show Grounds near Mount Baker, this festival showcases talented blues musicians from around the country. Attendees can enjoy live performances, food vendors, craft beer, and camping options, making it a perfect weekend getaway for blues music lovers.

Interesting Facts

– Bellingham, WA is home to the world’s largest privately owned hydroelectric dam, the Whatcom Falls Park Dam, which was built in 1891 and still generates power today.
– The city is known for its unique geography, with the Chuckanut Mountains to the south and the San Juan Islands to the west, offering stunning views and outdoor recreational opportunities.
– Bellingham is a hub for outdoor enthusiasts, with easy access to activities such as hiking, skiing, kayaking, and whale watching, making it a popular destination for nature lovers.

Share the Post:

Related Posts