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  >  City Guides   >  Best Things to in a Day Trip to Bellingham

Bellingham is approximately 1 and a half hours from Seattle, Washington. It’s also a town that most people pass when they drive up to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

We went on a day-long excursion with friends and discovered some awesome things to do in Bellingham!

While we do not think staying overnight in Bellingham is necessary, if you decide to, it’s a great way to explore more of what the city has to offer if you decide to go that route. It’s a perfect day-trip destination for those living in and around the greater Seattle area.

Here are our top things to do when visiting Bellingham!

#1 Watch the Sunset on Chuckanut Drive

Chuckanut Drive offers one of THE BEST sunset views I’ve ever seen. Chuckanut also has plenty of trailheads so that you can hike and discover more of the area. Chuckanut Drive is a 24-mile scenic drive that connects Skagit County to Bellingham and offers views of the San Juan Islands in the distance as well as the oyster beds of the Samish flats in the water just below.

#2 Explore the Adorable Town of Fairhaven

Fairhaven is a great place for anyone stopping by Bellingham. There are plenty of shops and restaurants that you can dine in. Closeby is the Aslan Brewing Company where you can down a refreshing cold beer. Visit the soft-serve ice cream truck for a tasty treat!

One of my favorite things about the town is that many of the stores sell local products only and can only be found locally in Whatcom County!

#3 Larrabee State Park

Larrabee State Park is Washington state’s FIRST state park! It has been a state park since 1915. This 2,748-acre park offers camping opportunities and 8,100 feet of saltwater shoreline on Samish Bay. We highly recommend hiking around the bay to check out the amazing views of the park. 

#4 Stop by Taylor Shellfish Farms

The actual Taylor Shellfish Farms is on the way to Bellingham. Here you can buy oysters and use their shuckers and grills to enjoy them outdoors while overlooking the farm itself. They sell sauces that accompany the oysters and are a great snack while you’re making your way to Bellingham.

We recommend going early because they do have low stock on most seafood products. Don’t forget to bring a bottle of wine, bubbly or beer to enjoy with your freshly shucked shellfish.

#5 View the Art of Whatcom County

Whatcom County is full of unique art and artists. Check out the Big Rock Sculpture Park with over 37 pieces situated about Lake Whatcom. You can also stop by Western University’s outdoor sculpture park and visit the campus.

Whatcom County is also home to a local artist named Gretchen Leggitt! You’ll see her mural art at the following destinations:

You can walk the town to admire her artwork or even explore Gretchen’s art virtually online.

#6 Visit the Whatcom Museum

The museum is located in downtown Bellingham’s art district! Whatcom Museum is a great place to learn about the history and culture of Whatcom County.

There is also the Spark Museum of Electrical Invention, Whatcom’s science attractions that are great for the entire family. You’ll want to stop by for the MegaZapper! It’s the biggest lightning demonstration in the country! The demonstration takes place every Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

#7 Drive the Scenic Mount Baker Route

From Bellingham to the majestic peak of Mt. Baker, the Mount Baker Scenic Byway (SR 542) stretches from Bellingham to the peak of Mount Baker. Drive along this scenic route and enjoy views of farmlands, tall wooded paths, and stop by and explore the neighborhoods of Deming, Nugents Corner, Kendall, Glacier, and Maple Falls.

In the winter, you can enjoy snow sports such as snowmobiling, show-shoeing, and even snowboarding.

And make sure you visit Mount Shukshan when you take the Mount Baker Route. It’s a picturesque glacier lake view that you cannot miss.

#8 Whatcom Falls Park

One of the biggest reasons to visit Whatcom County is their outdoor activities! The city is surrounded by opportunities for adventure and hiking. The park is situated between the Salish Sea and the North Cascades where you can see layers of mountain peaks and miles of evergreen trees. You’ll want to revisit each time to discover what their outdoor recreation areas have to offer.

While the waterfalls only take approximately 15 minutes to view, you should plan a hike around the area to see more of what Whatcom Falls Park has to offer. Dogs are always welcome!

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Soft serve ice cream from the Fairhaven ice cream caboose!