Bellingham, located near the Canadian border, Things to Do in Bellingham WA is a Northwest gem that embodies everything the region has to offer. Bellingham, with its seaside access to the San Juan Islands and proximity to North Cascades National Park, makes outdoor recreation easy to come by.
Within the city limits, places like Whatcom Falls Park provide a plethora of multi-use trails and opportunities to get outside.
Bellingham is also rich in Pacific Northwest culture. Bellingham is home to Western Washington University, as well as numerous museums and local storefronts. The campus gives this 89,000-person city a distinct college town flavor at Washington State.
Whether it’s the friendly faces on the streets or the abundance of trailheads to explore, Bellingham is one Washington city worth more than a weekend trip. Discover the best places to visit in Bellingham with our list of the best attractions and things to do at lake whatcom.
List of 11 Things to Do in Bellingham WA Today
1. Whatcom Falls State Park
Whatcom Falls Park is a 240-acre city park on Bellingham’s eastern outskirts. This park has modern park amenities, well-kept hiking trails, and plenty of open space to explore. The four different waterfalls created by the cascading Whatcom Creek that meanders through the park are perhaps the most notable features of this city park at mt baker.
Visitors can find picnic tables, basketball courts, and covered shelters in addition to hiking trails, such as the four-mile Whatcom Creek Trail Loop, that explore these falls. The Stone Bridge, built near the Whatcom Falls State Park parking lot, provides a scenic viewpoint that you should not miss on your visit. This monument commemorates the park’s century-plus history in the city of bellingham washington.
Bellingham, Washington 1401 Electric Avenue
2. SPARK Electrical Invention Museum
The SPARK Museum of Electrical Invention, formerly known as the Museum of Radio and Electricity, proudly displays some of the most significant innovations that have shaped the modern world as we know it. SPARK Museum, a family-friendly, fully interactive establishment, takes visitors through four decades of electric milestones. The museum has five permanent collections that range from the invention of electricity to the Golden Age of radio at South Bay Trail.
The museum has replicas of Edison’s first light bulbs on display. Thousands of radios from their design history are also included. Among the many other attractions, the “MegaZapper,” a nine-foot Tesla coil, keeps the whole family interested and engaged. Throughout the year, the “MegaZapper Electrical Show” is held every Saturday and Sunday at fairhaven park.
Bellingham, Washington, 1312 Bay Street
3. Historic District of Fairhaven
Fairhaven the town, or Fairhaven the village, came to life in 1889 as a result of its seaport location and the booming logging industry. Fairhaven merged with three other towns in the area to form what is now known as Bellingham after two decades of rapid growth. Fast forward to today, and the streets of the Fairhaven Historic District are still alive with bustling sidewalks, red-brick Victorian architecture, and stunning views of Bellingham Bay.
Fairhaven has sprouted many unique shopping and dining attractions that add to the Bellingham experience, in addition to its listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Village Books and Skylark’s Hidden Cafe can satisfy your shopping and dining needs, whether you’re looking for local shops or cozy spots to enjoy a meal at lake whatcom park.
The Fairhaven Historic District also has some of the most scenic lodging in Bellingham, including The Chrysalis Inn and Spa and the Hotel Bellwether.
The Bellingham Cruise Terminal is also close to Fairhaven and offers whale-watching tours and explorations of San Juan Island. Fairhaven Winterfest, which takes place throughout December, features festive lights and horse-drawn carriages at boundary bay brewery.
4. Galbraith Mountain Bike Park is number four.
Galbraith Mountain is a defining feature of recreation in Bellingham. While the outdoor space and hiking trails encourage a variety of activities, the majority of visitors come to Galbraith Mountain for the mountain biking. Galbraith Mountain, which is maintained and operated by the Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition (WMBC), has more than 50 miles of groomed mountain bike trails.
Galbraith Mountain’s trails range from flowy and friendly to fast and terrifying. All of the trails on Galbraith Mountain cross private property, and access to these trails is dependent on rider stewardship and the WMBC’s efforts. These iconic Bellingham bike trails can be accessed from either the north entrance on Birch Street or the south entrance on Samish Way.
Riders and visitors are encouraged to use caution and to pack out whatever they bring in. Both frequent and first-time users are encouraged to donate or join the MWBC.
Birch Street in Bellingham, Washington
5. Farmers Market in Bellingham
The Bellingham Farmers Market, located downtown at Depot Market Square, is open every Saturday from April to December. The rows of local shopping opportunities at these markets are made up of over 100 vendors. Many of the stalls sell fresh produce, homemade confections, and local artisan goods. This lively public event is also accompanied by live local music at interurban trail.
Third Saturday Markets are held in January, February, and March. These winter markets are held in a large indoor pavilion and offer similar fare. Special events at the Bellingham Farmers Market take place throughout the year, including a Spooktacular celebration in October and Demo Days once a month.
1100 Railroad Avenue in Bellingham, Washington
6. Boulevard Park
Boulevard Park is a lovely bay-side public space. The park has a performance stage for local concerts, open space for frisbee throwing, and some of the best views of Bellingham Bay in the city. Boulevard Park, which connects the Fairhaven Historic District to the south and downtown Bellingham to the north, offers great walking and biking trails along the shore.
Woods Coffee is conveniently located in the heart of the park and offers a caffeine boost during the day. Boulevard Park is popular for picnics due to its public barbecue pits and sandy beaches. Fishing is another enjoyable activity, and the park has several shoreline fishing spots as well as a boardwalk where visitors can cast their lines.
Bellingham, Washington, 470 Bayview Drive
7. Mount Baker Theatre
This historic theater is located in downtown Bellingham’s Arts District and takes up half a city block. Throughout the year, the Mount Baker Theatre hosts national and local performances in three different venues. The Mount Baker Theatre, which dates back to 1927, was renovated in 1996, and much of its former opulence can still be found in features such as the decorative Main Stage auditorium.
The Mount Baker Theatre hosts a variety of shows, including musicals, magicians, and classic instrumentalists. The theater also participates in a number of community events. The touring and popular Missoula Children’s Theatre camp is housed at the facility of spa bellingham.
104 North Commercial Street, Bellingham, Washington
8. Park on Lake Padden
Lake Padden Park is a popular recreation area on Bellingham’s southeastern outskirts, next to Interstate 5. The most popular seasons to visit are spring, summer, and fall. With dozens of hiking trails winding through the woods and challenging mountain biking trails, fun at Lake Padden is always on the move at hertz trail.
Picnic areas are available for an afternoon meal outside of the adrenaline-pumping recreation. Visitors to Lake Padden Park can also let their dog run free in the off-leash dog park, or play 18 holes at the nearby Lake Padden Public Golf Course.
Lake Padden is also a popular tourist destination. This 160-acre lake is ideal for paddling your SUP around the water or fishing from the dock. Sunsets at Lake Padden are also a memorable experience at cornwall park.
Bellingham, Washington, 4882 Samish Way
9. Whatcom Museum is number nine.
The Whatcom Museum, which is accredited by the American Association of Museums, recently celebrated 75 years of being a regional showcase of arts and culture in the northwest. The Whatcom Museum has more than 200,000 artifacts in its collection than you can see in a single weekend.
The museum’s collection is housed in three Arts District buildings, including the iconic and historic Old City Hall as well as the modern Lightcatcher Building at upcoming events.
The exhibits at Whatcom change throughout the year, but the collections all focus on regional art, relics, and an impressive vault of photographic archives. The museum hosts a variety of events and educational experiences for both adults and children. Workshops, lecture series, and summer camps are all part of the regular programming at fragrance lake.
Bellingham, Washington, 121 Prospect Street
10. Larrabee State Park is number ten.
The Chuckanut Mountains are the only part of the Cascade Range that reaches the Pacific Ocean. These scenic mountains are another central theme in Bellingham’s recreation and culture. Larrabee State Park, Washington’s first State Park, stands proudly in the middle of this majestic mountain range, representing everything the Chuckanuts have to offer.
Scenic trails in Larrabee State Park, such as the Oyster Dome Trail, provide excellent views of Samish Bay and the surrounding San Juan Islands. Larrabee has over 50 electric campsites as well as a boat launch for exploring Puget Sound. The area is also well-known for its excellent mountain biking trails.
Bellingham, Washington, 245 Chuckanut Drive
11. Mt. Baker Ski Area
Mt. Baker Ski Area, located just over 50 miles east of downtown Bellingham, is one of Washington’s premier ski resorts. Not only is it a powder destination for Bellingham residents, but Mount Baker’s dramatic backdrop and impressive slopes draw tourists from all over the world. Mt. Baker Ski Area has something for every level of winter athlete with over 1,000 acres to explore, ranging from bunny hills to expert-only cliff areas.
With an annual snowfall of more than 600 inches, fresh tracks are common at this Cascade Mountain ski resort. The community also hosts annual events such as the acclaimed Mt. Baker Film Fest and the Legendary Banked Slalom race in February within the boundaries of Mt. Baker Ski Area. This prestigious winter event is one of the world’s largest snowboarding races.
Deming, Washington, Mt. Baker Highway
FAQs about Things to Do in Bellingham WA
Is there a downtown in Bellingham, Washington?
Downtown Bellingham is nestled right next to Bellingham Bay, and there is an ongoing waterfront public space development as well as a walk and bike trail connecting it to Fairhaven Village.
Is Bellingham a pleasant place to live?
Bellingham, WA, located between Vancouver to the north and Seattle to the south, provides an unrivaled quality of life for its 93,000 residents. This welcoming, business-friendly town is located directly on Bellingham Bay and offers a variety of outdoor recreation opportunities, both on and off the water.
What can you do in Bellingham during the winter?
Skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing are just a few of the activities available on Mount Baker. Visit the theatres, museums, and galleries in downtown Bellingham and Historic Fairhaven. Ascend the Mountain! Have fun playing in our massive amounts of snow!
Is Bellingham part of the Puget Sound region?
Bellingham, city and county seat of Whatcom County in northwestern Washington, U.S. It is located on the northern edge of Puget Sound, 18 miles (29 kilometers) south of the Canadian border, along Bellingham Bay (named in 1792 by Captain George Vancouver for Sir William Bellingham).