20 Best Places and Things To Do in Bellingham, Washington

Bellingham, Washington is a vibrant and picturesque city located in the Pacific Northwest. Known for its stunning natural beauty, friendly community, and thriving arts scene, Bellingham offers a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. Here are some of the best places and things to do in Bellingham:

1. Whatcom Falls Park


Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whatcom_Falls_Park

This beautiful park is a must-visit destination in Bellingham. It features picturesque waterfalls, serene walking trails, and lush greenery. Visitors can hike, picnic, or simply enjoy the peaceful ambiance of the park.

2. Fairhaven Historic District

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Explore the historic charm of Fairhaven, a district located in south Bellingham. The streets are lined with quaint shops, art galleries, and cozy cafes. Take a stroll along the waterfront and enjoy the stunning views of Bellingham Bay.

3. Boulevard Park

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Situated on the shores of Bellingham Bay, Boulevard Park is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike. Take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront boardwalk, enjoy a picnic on the grassy lawns, or relax and watch the sunset over the water.

4. Lake Padden Park


Image Source: https://cob.org/services/recreation/parks-trails/parks-guide/lake-padden-park

Nestled in a peaceful setting, Lake Padden Park is a favorite destination for outdoor activities. Take a leisurely walk or bike ride around the lake, enjoy a picnic, or rent a paddleboat or kayak to explore the serene waters.

5. SPARK Museum of Electrical Invention

Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SPARK_Museum_of_Electrical_Invention

Discover the fascinating world of electricity and innovation at the Spark Museum. This interactive museum showcases the history and development of electrical technology through engaging exhibits and displays.

6. Larrabee State Park


Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larrabee_State_Park

Just a short drive south of Bellingham, Larrabee State Park offers stunning coastal views, sandy beaches, and numerous hiking trails. Spend a day exploring the park, picnicking, or swimming in the refreshing waters of Samish Bay.

7. Big Rock Garden

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The Big Rock Garden is home to an exceptional collection of sculptures crafted by renowned local, national, and international artists. The sculptures are diverse in style and medium, ranging from bronze to stone and metal. Each piece of art tells a unique story and offers a thought-provoking experience for visitors. The sculpture garden spans over 2.5 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds. As you explore the pathways, you’ll encounter sculptures tucked away in nooks and crannies, nestled among vibrant flowers, towering trees, and tranquil ponds. The garden’s design seamlessly integrates art with nature, creating a harmonious and immersive experience.

8. Mindport Exhibits

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For a unique and interactive experience, visit Mindport Exhibits. This hands-on museum combines art, science, and technology to create thought-provoking exhibits that engage visitors of all ages.

9. Interurban Trail


Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interurban_Trail_(King_County)

The Interurban Trail in Bellingham, Washington, is a popular multi-use trail that offers outdoor enthusiasts a scenic and recreational route for walking, running, biking, and more. It follows the path of the historic electric Interurban railway, providing a unique way to explore the city and its surrounding natural beauty. The Interurban Trail stretches for approximately 6.7 miles, starting from the Fairhaven neighborhood in south Bellingham and extending north to the city limits near Larrabee State Park. The trail follows a mostly flat and paved route, making it accessible to people of various fitness levels.

10. Lake Whatcom

Lake Whatcom Basin1.JPG

Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Whatcom

Enjoy the natural beauty of Lake Whatcom, a pristine freshwater lake located just outside of Bellingham. Go swimming, kayaking, or fishing in its clear waters, or simply relax on the shores and take in the peaceful ambiance.

11. South Bay Trail


Image Source: https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/south-bay-trail

Lace up your walking shoes or hop on a bike and explore the scenic South Bay Trail. This paved trail follows the waterfront, offering stunning views of Bellingham Bay and connecting several parks along the way. It’s a great way to enjoy the outdoors and get some exercise.

12. Clayton Beach

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Clayton Beach’s peaceful and secluded atmosphere makes it an ideal spot for relaxation and solitude. Whether you choose to sit on a driftwood log, enjoy a book, or simply listen to the soothing sound of waves, the beach provides a serene environment to unwind and recharge. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife sightings during your visit to Clayton Beach. Seals, sea birds, and eagles are often seen along the shoreline, while the surrounding forests are home to various species of birds, squirrels, and possibly even deer.

13. Zuanich Point Park

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Zuanich Point Park is nestled on the shores of Bellingham Bay, providing a picturesque setting for outdoor activities and relaxation. The park’s prime location offers unobstructed views of the bay, nearby islands, and the surrounding mountains. The park is home to the Squalicum Harbor Marina, which accommodates a variety of boats, including recreational vessels and fishing boats. Visitors can observe the vibrant boating scene, take a stroll along the marina docks, or even rent a boat to explore the bay.

14. Glen Echo Garden


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Glen Echo Garden boasts a variety of meticulously maintained gardens, each with its own unique theme and character. Explore pathways that wind through vibrant flower beds, tranquil ponds, and serene woodland areas. From the Japanese Garden with its ornamental bridge and koi pond to the Rose Garden with its aromatic blooms, there is something to captivate every visitor.

15. Whatcom Museum

Whatcom Museum of History and Art.JPG

Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whatcom_Museum

The Lightcatcher Building is the museum’s main facility and is known for its stunning architecture. Designed to maximize natural light, the building features a distinctive translucent wall that beautifully illuminates the interior spaces. The Lightcatcher Building houses rotating exhibits showcasing a wide range of art, history, and culture. The Whatcom Museum features an impressive collection of art, including works by regional, national, and international artists. The museum showcases a variety of artistic mediums, from paintings and sculptures to photography and mixed media installations. Exhibits often highlight the works of Northwest artists, providing insight into the region’s creative talent.

16. Stimpson Family Nature Preserve


Image Source: https://www.whatcomcounty.us/3691/Stimpson-Family-Nature-Reserve

The preserve spans over 350 acres, encompassing a mix of forests, wetlands, meadows, and riparian habitats. Its pristine beauty provides a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Immerse yourself in the tranquil surroundings and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. The Stimpson Family Nature Preserve features a network of well-maintained trails that wind through the diverse landscape. These trails cater to different fitness levels and offer varying lengths and difficulty levels. Whether you prefer a short leisurely walk or a longer hike, there are options available for everyone.

17. Sehome Hill Arboretum

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Nature lovers will appreciate the serene beauty of Sehome Hill Arboretum. This 180-acre park features a network of trails winding through a diverse collection of trees and plants, providing a peaceful retreat within the city.

18. Bloedel Donovan Park


Image Source: https://cob.org/services/recreation/parks-trails/parks-guide/bloedel-donovan-park

The park provides direct access to the beautiful Lake Whatcom, one of the largest freshwater lakes in Washington State. Visitors can enjoy swimming, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, and stand-up paddleboarding in the pristine waters of the lake. The sandy beach area is perfect for sunbathing or building sandcastles. Bloedel Donovan Park is equipped with a boat launch, allowing boaters to easily access the lake. Whether you have your own boat or prefer to rent one, you can enjoy water skiing, tubing, and leisurely cruises on the lake. Local vendors also offer boat and equipment rentals right within the park.

19. Samish Park

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Samish Park is situated along the shores of Lake Samish, providing access to the lake for various activities. Visitors can engage in water-based recreation such as swimming, kayaking, paddleboarding, and fishing. The park features a playground area that is appreciated by families with children. The playground equipment offers opportunities for kids to climb, slide, and play, providing entertainment and fun for younger visitors.

20. Fairhaven Park


Image Source: https://cob.org/services/recreation/parks-trails/parks-guide/fairhaven-park

Fairhaven Park features a network of scenic trails that wind through the park’s wooded areas, providing opportunities for leisurely walks, hikes, and trail running. The trails vary in difficulty, allowing visitors of different fitness levels to enjoy the park’s natural beauty. Padden Creek, a tributary of Bellingham Bay, runs through Fairhaven Park, adding to its picturesque charm. Visitors can enjoy peaceful walks along the creek, observing the natural habitats and wildlife that thrive in and around the water.

These are just a few of the many wonderful places to explore and things to do in Bellingham, Washington. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or simply a relaxing getaway, Bellingham has something for everyone.