Welcome to my blog, Traveling in the United States and its Territories! In this article, we will be exploring the charming city of Bellingham, Washington. Located in the picturesque Pacific Northwest, Bellingham offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and urban amenities. Whether you’re an adventure seeker looking to explore the stunning Mt. Baker or a food enthusiast eager to savor the local delicacies, Bellingham has something for everyone. Join me as we unravel the secrets of this hidden gem and discover the best ways to get there!
Best Ways to Travel to Bellingham
When planning a trip to Bellingham, Washington, there are several convenient and efficient modes of transportation you can choose from:
– By Air: Bellingham International Airport (BLI) is the closest airport to the city, offering domestic flights from major cities such as Seattle, Las Vegas, Denver, and Phoenix. It is served by several airlines including Allegiant Air, Alaska Airlines, and San Juan Airlines.
– By Car: If you prefer driving, Bellingham is easily accessible via Interstate 5, which connects the city with Seattle to the south and Vancouver, Canada to the north. The scenic Highway 542, also known as the Mount Baker Highway, provides access to the stunning Mount Baker Recreation Area.
– By Bus or Train: Bellingham has a Greyhound bus station and an Amtrak train station, making it accessible for those who prefer traveling by public transportation. Greyhound offers services to various cities within the United States, while Amtrak’s Cascades route connects Bellingham to Seattle and Vancouver.
Exploring Bellingham’s Surroundings
Bellingham is not only a charming city in itself but also serves as a gateway to a diverse range of outdoor adventures. Here are some nearby destinations worth exploring:
– San Juan Islands: Take a ferry ride from Bellingham to the scenic San Juan Islands, where you can enjoy kayaking, whale watching, and visiting charming waterfront towns like Friday Harbor and Orcas Island.
– Mount Baker: Embark on a day trip to Mount Baker, an active volcano and one of Washington’s most prominent peaks. Enjoy hiking, skiing, snowboarding, or simply revel in the breathtaking alpine scenery.
– North Cascades National Park: Venture east from Bellingham and discover the pristine beauty of North Cascades National Park. Hike through old-growth forests, marvel at glacier-carved landscapes, and indulge in world-class fishing and camping opportunities.
Must-Visit Attractions in Bellingham
Bellingham offers a range of attractions for visitors to enjoy. Here are some top-rated destinations to include in your itinerary:
– Whatcom Museum: Immerse yourself in Bellingham’s history and art at the Whatcom Museum, featuring exhibits on Northwest Coast Native American culture, regional history, and contemporary art.
– Fairhaven Historic District: Step back in time in the charming neighborhood of Fairhaven, known for its Victorian architecture, boutique shops, cozy cafes, and scenic waterfront.
– Boulevard Park: Enjoy a leisurely stroll or picnic at Boulevard Park, a picturesque waterfront park with stunning views of Bellingham Bay, a boardwalk, and beach access.
Local Transportation in Bellingham
Getting around Bellingham is relatively easy with various transportation options available:
– WTA Bus System: The Whatcom Transportation Authority (WTA) operates an extensive bus system in Bellingham and surrounding areas, providing convenient and affordable transportation for locals and visitors alike.
– Biking: Bellingham is a bike-friendly city, with numerous bike lanes, paths, and rental options available. Explore the city’s neighborhoods and scenic trails on two wheels.
– Ride-Sharing Services: Uber and Lyft operate in Bellingham, offering convenient transportation options for travelers who prefer rideshare services.
Best Time to Visit Bellingham
Bellingham experiences moderate weather throughout the year, making it a great destination to visit at any time. However, certain seasons offer unique experiences:
– Summer: The summer months (June to August) bring pleasant temperatures, perfect for outdoor activities like hiking, boating, and exploring the city’s parks and gardens.
– Fall: Autumn (September to November) brings vibrant foliage to Bellingham, creating a picturesque backdrop for hiking, wine tasting, and attending local festivals such as the Bellingham SeaFeast and Fall Craft Beer Festival.
– Winter: Winter (December to February) in Bellingham offers opportunities for skiing, snowboarding, and cozying up in charming cafes. Nearby ski resorts like Mount Baker provide excellent winter sports options.
– Spring: Spring (March to May) in Bellingham brings colorful blooms and milder temperatures, making it an ideal time for outdoor photography, exploring local trails, and visiting nearby gardens like the famous Tulip Town in Skagit Valley.
Frequently Asked Questions in our travel blog
What are the transportation options for getting to Bellingham, Washington?
Getting to Bellingham, Washington: Transportation Options
Bellingham, Washington is well-connected with various transportation options. Whether you’re coming from within the United States or internationally, here are some ways to reach this beautiful city:
1. By Air:
The easiest way to reach Bellingham is by flying into Bellingham International Airport (BLI). Several airlines offer regular flights to and from major cities in the western United States, including Seattle and Las Vegas. From the airport, you can easily rent a car or take a taxi to your destination.
2. By Car:
If you prefer driving, Bellingham is easily accessible via Interstate 5 (I-5), which runs north-south through the city. From Seattle, it’s approximately a 90-minute drive north. If you’re coming from Vancouver, Canada, Bellingham is about an hour’s drive south of the border. Car rentals are available at the airport and throughout the city.
3. By Train:
Amtrak’s Cascades route connects Bellingham to Seattle, Portland, and other major cities in the Pacific Northwest. The Bellingham Station is conveniently located downtown, making it a convenient option for those looking for a scenic train journey.
4. By Bus:
Greyhound and BoltBus both operate services to Bellingham from various cities, including Seattle and Vancouver, Canada. The buses offer comfortable rides and affordable fares, making it an economical choice for travelers.
5. By Ferry:
For those coming from Alaska or nearby Canadian cities like Victoria or Nanaimo, taking a ferry is an exciting option. The Alaska Marine Highway System and other ferry services connect Bellingham to these destinations, allowing for a unique and picturesque travel experience.
Bellingham, Washington offers multiple transportation options for travelers. Whether you choose to fly, drive, take a train, bus, or even a ferry, getting to this charming city is convenient and accessible.
Are there any direct flights to Bellingham International Airport?
Yes, there are direct flights to Bellingham International Airport. It is served by several airlines including Allegiant Air and Alaska Airlines. These airlines offer direct flights from major cities such as Las Vegas, Phoenix, Los Angeles, and Seattle. So if you are planning to visit Bellingham, you can easily find direct flight options to get there.
Is there a train service that connects Bellingham to other cities in the United States?
Yes, there is a train service that connects Bellingham, Washington to other cities in the United States. Amtrak’s Cascades route runs from Bellingham, making stops in cities such as Seattle, Portland, and Eugene.
What is the best route for driving to Bellingham from Seattle?
The best route for driving from Seattle to Bellingham is to take Interstate 5 North. It is the most direct and efficient route, with a distance of approximately 90 miles. The journey typically takes around 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on traffic conditions.
To start, head north on Interstate 5 from Seattle. You will pass through beautiful landscapes, including scenic views of Puget Sound and the Cascade Mountains. Along the way, you can make stops at interesting places such as Everett, where you can visit the Boeing Future of Flight Aviation Center, or explore the charming town of Mount Vernon, known for its tulip fields (depending on the season).
As you approach Bellingham, you can choose to exit onto State Route 11 (Chuckanut Drive) for a more scenic and leisurely drive along the coastline. This alternative route offers breathtaking views of the water and may add a bit of extra time to your journey, but it’s definitely worth considering if you have the time.
Once you reach Bellingham, you’ll find plenty of attractions to explore, including the historic Fairhaven district, Western Washington University, and numerous outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking, and whale watching.
Overall, taking I-5 North is the recommended route for driving from Seattle to Bellingham due to its convenience and efficiency. However, if you have some extra time and want to enjoy a scenic coastal drive, consider taking Chuckanut Drive as an alternative.
Are there any bus services that travel to Bellingham from major cities in the United States?
Yes, there are bus services that travel to Bellingham from major cities in the United States. One popular bus company that operates routes to Bellingham is Greyhound. They offer connections from cities like Seattle, Vancouver, and Portland. Another option is BoltBus, which also offers service between Bellingham and cities such as Seattle and Vancouver. These bus services provide a convenient and affordable way to travel to Bellingham, allowing visitors to explore the city and its surrounding areas without the need for a car.
In conclusion, Bellingham, Washington is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered by travelers in search of natural beauty and outdoor adventures. With its stunning landscapes, diverse attractions, and convenient transportation options, this Pacific Northwest city offers something for everyone. Whether you choose to fly into Bellingham International Airport or drive along the scenic routes, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views and unforgettable experiences. Explore the charm of Fairhaven Historic District, embark on a whale-watching tour in the San Juan Islands, or hit the slopes at Mount Baker Ski Area. The possibilities are endless! So pack your bags, head to Bellingham and immerse yourself in the stunning scenery and vibrant culture that this unique destination has to offer.