A whale poses with Lisa.

Bellingham, WA

“This is definitely a cute town,” Lisa said as we walked through downtown Bellingham, Washington.

We only stopped here briefly for coffee, to peruse a local REI-like store specializing in all gear outdoorsy, and take some photos along the waterfront. Yet, it was possible to make a few superficial observations.

First, this town of 60,000 is gorgeous. To the west is the Pacific Ocean, to the east is Lake Whatcom, and farther east (~60 miles) is Mt. Baker and the Cascade Mountains. As typical with the northwest U.S., landscapes are verdant with plenty of evergreen trees abound.

There are coffee shops everywhere among the charming, historic buildings downtown. Judging by the number of flyers for live bands, the music scene seems to be alive and well.

As the last time I was here I did not get a chance to visit the latter, I was especially pleased to take a stroll along the Port of Bellingham, which has a few small shops, numerous sail- and powerboats, and even garages for those boats.

But just like last time, I wish I could have spent a little more time in what has now become my favorite town in all of Washington state, a town just 20 miles south of Canada and its friendly eh?-speaking citizens, a recreational paradise that even celebrities such as Hillary Swank have called home. Like my beloved hometown of Fort Collins, Bellingham offers a wonderful mix of urban culture, outdoor recreation, and picturesque surroundings. It even has a university (Western Washington University), and the brain trust, activities, and energy that usually comes with one.

One thing I’d like to know (and once again could not experience during this visit) is what the non-summer months are like over here. I imagine they’re gray and drizzly like Seattle and Portland’s, but I see from City-Data.com that Bellingham averages only 36″ of rain annually. Well, I guess I will just have to return and see… one day…

A whale poses with Lisa.
A whale poses with Lisa.