The Bellingham Experience is intensely inspired by nature. The Whatcom County region in the far northwest corner of Washington State is home to snow-capped Mount Baker and the North Cascades National Park. Mount Baker Highway is a national scenic byway that departs from Bellingham and traverses 58 miles east, making many switchbacks as it rises to 5,140 feet, terminating with incredible alpine vistas at Artist Point in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie wilderness area. Due to world-record snowfall at Mt. Baker Ski Area, the final 6 miles of the road are only open in the summer and early fall.
At sea level, the city of Bellingham hugs the scenic Salish Sea with a thriving Victorian-era historic district. Bellingham is home to Western Washington University, recently named one of the nation’s “30 most beautiful coastal college campuses.” A second scenic byway, Chuckanut Drive, runs south from Bellingham into the Skagit Valley on the cliffs above the shoreline.
The region is also home to Lummi Island, with a population under 1,000 and many picturesque homes, as well as the Dutch inspired city of Lynden, which is an agricultural area, specializing in dairy and raspberry production. The city of Ferndale has the largest collection of pioneer-era, cedar-plank log cabins at Pioneer Park.
Hiking, running, mountain biking, road biking, and paddling are all popular sports in the Bellingham region, and beers at the bottom are embraced by the locals at the rapidly growing number of craft breweries. The area is also a hub for the local food movement, inspired by abundant small farms and a widely recognized and picturesque farmer’s market.
Visit www.bellingham.org for more.