October 2017 Featured Destination: Visit Bellingham
Monday, October 16, 2017 01:00 AM

Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism welcomes you with a fun-filled getaway of  magnificent scenery, a culture of outdoor recreation, Western Washington University, the Alaska Ferry, the Canadian border, Mt. Baker, the Salish Sea, spirits, art and music. Visit Bellingham where you will discover the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. 

What makes your destination special?

Surrounded by emerald forests and calm inland waters, Bellingham, WA is located on the Salish Sea in the far northwest corner of Washington State and is intensely connected to nature. This is a place where millennial trees matter to the millennial generation. It is home to Western Washington University, the Alaska Ferry, Mt. Baker (which holds the world record for snowfall in a single season), Lummi Island, the Lummi and Nooksack Tribes, all 5 species of Pacific Salmon, bald eagles, Orca whales and hundreds of miles of earth and water trails through a mountainous, evergreen landscape. More than half our county’s land is wilderness. Our protected national, state and county parks also include Chuckanut Mountain, Lookout Mountain and Stewart Mountain.

Our lifestyle is as connected to the water as to the land. The Salish Sea is one of the world’s largest and most biologically rich inland waters, which the Coast Salish people traditionally navigated by cedar canoe. This liquid ecosystem, which is today shared by the U.S. and Canada is home to over 200 species of fish, over 100 species of bird, 20 species of marine mammal and over 3,000 species of invertebrates.  Bellingham is situated on the shoreline with views of and easy access to the San Juan Islands. Bellingham Bay, Chuckanut Bay, Birch Bay, Semiahmoo Bay and Drayton Harbor are all included within the Bellingham destination, as are Lake Whatcom, Lake Padden, Lake Samish and the Nooksack River.

A third aspect of our home is an abundance of foods that are fished, farmed and foraged locally. Salmon fishing is an historic industry in Bellingham and Blaine. The fertile farmland of the Nooksack Valley, surrounding the Dutch-themed village of Lynden, produces more than 60 percent of the U.S. red raspberry crop and supports a new wave of small, local farms. Our residents are committed to local food and the farm to table concept, which our restaurants and food makers have embraced. Hyperlocal menus are a key ingredient at The Willows Inn on Lummi Island - one of the top 10 restaurants in the world. 

What's one attraction that can't be missed when visiting your destination?

A unique, must-see, attraction, The Spark Museum of Electrical Invention has one of the largest collections of early electrical devices and antique radios in the nation as well as one of the largest functioning Tesla Coils, emitting 4 million volts.

What story ideas will travel media uncover at your destination?

We offer waterfront and upscale hotels, an exploding craft beer culture with nationally recognized small breweries, artsy historic districts with local boutique shops, inventive restaurants and an active arts culture with thriving museums, galleries and theaters. Western Washington University is our intellectual center, featuring a highly acclaimed outdoor sculpture collection and has been named one of the 30 most beautiful coastal colleges in the nation. The Whatcom Museum is Smithsonian Affiliate, with rotating art and history exhibitions. The Pickford Film Center is a Sundance Affiliate specializing in independent film. The historic Mount Baker Theatre features nationally touring shows year-round.

What plans/events does your destination have scheduled that travel media should be aware of?

Key annual events include: Bellingham Beer Week in April, Ski to Sea Race in May, Northwest Raspberry Festival in July, Eat Local Month and Bellingham SeaFeast Festival in September, Whatcom Artists Studio Tour in October and Winterfest in November/December.  

Is there anything else that you feel travel media should know about your destination?

Bellingham is the only embarkation point for the Alaska Ferry in the lower 48. Bellingham International Airport is a busy hub offering daily service on Alaska Airlines and Allegiant Air. The Amtrak Cascades Line also stops in Bellingham daily. In addition, our region is home to the Peace Arch monument at the busiest crossing on the entire U.S.-Canada border in Blaine, WA.

Learn more about Bellingham, WA at www.bellingham.org.

Connect with Visit Bellingham: Instagram