The Bellingham/Whatcom County Tourism office holds periodic media tours of our area to show off all the incredible things we’re lucky enough to have right here in our hometown. In July, the Adventure Media Tour resulted in some great coverage of Whatcom County. Abbie Mood, who is an adventure travel writer based in Orange County, CA, wrote this article in the newly-launched magazine Adventure Insider. Her article is below:
Spotlight: Bellingham, Washington
by Abbie Mood
Bellingham, Washington is a growing city that has been able to keep the smaller town charm while offering some really exciting adventures. Being in the northwest corner of Washington state between Bellingham Bay and the North Cascades Mountain range makes Bellingham great for both water and mountain adventures. Bellingham has received awards for everything from best paddling destination (Outside Magazine in August 2006) to 7th best locale for mountain biking (Mountain Bike magazine in June 2001) to being named one of the top adventure cities in the United States by National Geographic Adventure.
On your next (or first!) visit to Bellingham, be sure to head up to Mt. Baker. A 30-45 minute drive up Mt. Baker highway (Highway 542) from the city of Bellingham will get you to gorgeous hiking or skiing, depending on the season. When I went towards the end of July, Artist Point had just opened due to the walls of snow along the road and I actually got to do a bit of sledding. With over 200 miles of trails, there is definitely something for everyone from the beginner to the more advanced hiker. After a day at Mt. Baker, fill up on some authentic Italian food at Milano’s Restaurant in Glacier, just off of Highway 542, or grab a beer at North Fork Brewery, also just off Highway 542. The North Fork Brewery, also known as a beer shrine and Wedding Chapel, makes hand-crafted British ales served directly to the tap room from serving tanks.
If you forgot your bicycle or ski gear, head over to Fairhaven Bike & Ski. In addition to renting equipment, the store is also a great place to jump onto the Interurban Trail into Downtown Bellingham or over to the Larrabee State Park. Looking for a great brewery in town? Besides being voted Best Washington Brewery and Best IPA in the Northwest by Northwest Brewing News, at Boundary Bay Brewery you can find live music, community events, and a great local crowd outside in the beer garden.
It’s not just hiking, skiing, and biking, you can also find kayaking, sailing, and even whale watching within miles of Bellingham city limits. With so many year round activities,it’s easy to see why Bellingham is one of the best adventure locations in the United States.
as published in: Adventure Insider Magazine • September 2010 (download the full PDF here!)