Bellingham is a town located in northern Washington. It is the closest town to the Canadian border. Western Washington University is also located here. From Seattle, it takes about 1.5 hours to get to Bellingham (with no traffic). It is a great place to spend a day. If you love breweries, Bellingham has a great selection.
WHERE TO STAY
Bellingham is only about 1.5 hours from where I live so we typically don't stay when we travel there. However, I have stayed one time and also have a few recommendations based on other friends who have traveled and stayed there.
The Chrysalis Inn & Spa Bellingham, Curio Collection by Hilton
This is a Hilton property right on the waterfront. Prices start at around $250 per night.
This is a super cute hotel that was remodeled from an old motel. We almost stayed here a few years ago when we were going to go to an event in Canada, but ended up changing our plans. Prices start at about $110 per night.
Four Points by Sheraton Bellingham Hotel & Conference Center
I stayed here a few years ago after an event and it was a great hotel. The rooms were nice, they have an indoor pool, and there was plenty of complimentary parking. It is a great location and only a few minutes from most of the main sites in Bellingham. Price start at around $120 per night.
THINGS TO DO IN BELLINGHAM
Woods Coffee (multiple locations)
Woods Coffee started up in Lynden, Washington back in 2002. Since then, they have managed to open 19 locations. Two locations I would suggest you check out in Bellingham are:
Makeworth Market is the aesthetically pleasing coffee shop of your dreams. It is in an old building that has been updated to be all sorts of white and black. Not only can you get a cup of coffee, but you can pick up artisanal products like: coffee, tea, apparel, and coffee mugs. It is a great place to check out if you have a few hours.
Chuckanut Bay Distillery
If you want to check out a cool distillery, head to Chuckanut Bay Distillery. They are local and have been around since 2011. There are 4 tables outside and if you are visiting when indoor seating is permitted, there are also a few additional standing tables for tasting. My husband did a tasting flight and I opted for a cocktail. He ended up finding a whiskey that he liked!
Aladdin's Antiques and Records
If you love to go antique hunting or have a record player and love collecting records, you have to check Aladdin's out! You will definitely need to be ready for a treasure hunt because there are A LOT of things to check out. The back part of the store has thousands of records you could be there for hours looking through all of them. There are two different antique shops at this site. Aladdin's is downstairs in the basement.
Western Washington University
You don't have to be a student to wander through the beautiful campus of Western Washington University. Being from Washington, I had a lot of friends who went there for college. I used to think of Bellingham as just a college town, but now in my 30's and far removed from college life, I appreciate Bellingham for all of its charm and awesome breweries.
BREWERIES IN BELLINGHAM
GRUFF Brewing Co.
I visited GRUFF a few years ago on a quick girls weekend trip. It is a small brewery with great city views. It also now appears they have been able to get a great outdoor setup with a lot of picnic tables!
Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro
Boundary Bay definitely has a great set up. They have a bunch of indoor seating as well as covered deck seating and a covered beer garden type of outdoor seating. Their beer is great and I recommend their pretzel.
Aslan Brewing Company
An Aslan Brewery spot opened in the Seattle area a few years ago so I had it on my list to check out the original Bellingham location. We finally got to check it out last year and it didn't disappoint. The beer is obviously great, but their food is also amazing! A lot of their dishes are sort of an asian fusion.
Wander is a pretty awesome brewery! It is tucked away in a warehouse row at the very end. We were there when it was outside seating only and they had a great set up with several picnic table, covered seating and a food truck on site. We ended up taking away a 6 pack because we enjoyed their beer!
Twin Sisters Brewing Company
Atmosphere wise, I think this is my favorite brewery. You can't miss the giant BEER GARDEN words painted at the top of the building at Twin Sisters. They don't have as much covered area, but they have the most amount of outside seating of any of the breweries I have been to in the Bellingham area. Their food is also really good! Overall, we have a great time every time we visit.
Village books is my new favorite bookstore. They have a great selection of books. Next door they also have a cool little boutique gift shop called Paper Dreams. I love this bookstore so much because I found their secret stash of ARC books that they are selling for a donation of $2 each. I think I have purchased about 20 books between my two visits.
JUST SOUTH OF BELLINGHAM
Taylor Shellfish Farms
If you love oysters, this is the place you need to stop! Taylor Shellfish Farms is located about 30 minutes from Bellingham in Bow, Washington. You can purchase a bunch of different types of seafood and if you want to stay at eat you can! Pre-pandemic, they would let you shuck your own oysters, but as of my September 2020 visit, they were only selling them pre-sucked. No outdoor food and drink are allowed (you also cannot bring your own condiments that you may enjoy adding to your oysters). They have everything you need for purchase. You can also get beer and wine.
There are so many additional things to do in Bellingham and I hope to be able to add additional items to this list! Have you been to Bellingham? What are some things we must do?