Travel & Culture

A Quick Getaway To Bellingham, Washington

May 14, 2024

When it comes to quick getaways, what about crossing the border? A little over an hour away from Vancouver by car, Bellingham is often regarded as a quick drive-by on the way to Seattle, but don’t let the small coastal city fool you. Bellingham’s unique charm is worth a stop, maybe even an overnight stay. —Vicki Duong


While the population may lead you to believe that Bellingham is a sleepy town, trust us: the folks in Bellingham are well-caffeinated. The coffee culture in Bellingham is abundant, with lots of roasters and cafés in town. Our first stop was at Camber Coffee, which was named the best roaster in Washington by Food & Wine Magazine. Camber also serves pastries, breakfast and lunch.


See the best of what Bellingham offers at Whatcom Museum, a natural history and art museum comprised of three buildings, including the former city hall. Visit the old city hall to take in the history of Bellingham and see its exhibits, which include Unearthed, a study of fossils and scientific illustrations and a permanent exhibition, John M. Edson Hall of Birds (read: hundreds of taxidermy birds). Or walk down the block to the Lightcatcher Building to check out an exhibition from National Geographic titled The Greatest Wildlife Photographs, which is genuinely a once-in-lifetime type of photography show.


One of the best menus we’ve ever had the experience of indulging in was at Carnal, located in the heart of downtown Bellingham. What started as a food tent in New York City has found its footing in a gorgeous restaurant that seems unassuming on the outside but vibrant on the inside. It’s fine dining without the pretentious stuffiness often associated with highly specialized cooking; Carnal doesn’t take itself too seriously and is out to have fun–think steak tartare served with beef fat potato chips with innovative craft cocktails and an extensive wine list to boot.


Known for its innovative breweries, there is no shortage of spots to grab a flight of beer or ciders in Bellingham. For beer enthusiasts, check out Aslan Brewing Co., a spacious taproom serving exclusively USDA-certified organic beer. Aslan Brewing Co. is also a certified B Corp brewery and dishes out local and organic food (seriously, don’t miss out on the Luna Fries–waffle fries topped with braised chicken and chimichurri.)

For cider aficionados, Bellingham Cider Company is the place to be. With cider becoming increasingly popular, it’s no wonder why the company’s ‘fiercely local’ tagline has been so widely applauded within the community, using apples from the region and running the restaurant on solar power to limit its impact on the community.


While heading back to Vancouver after a day in Bellingham is tempting (after all, we’re so close to home), there are plenty of accommodation offerings in town. We stayed at Hotel Bellwether, a beautiful resort located right along the water. Looking for something extra special? Check out their Lighthouse Suite, one of the PNW’s most unique experiences. A three-story lighthouse replica features a spiral staircase leading to a third-floor observation deck with a 360-degree bay view.


  1. Jason Brown

    May 17th, 2024 at 5:20 am

    See below level:
    This city is a thri-city: Fairhaven, Whatcom City and Bellingham, which can be seen as the scenery in old published phone books, and concluded (or deduced) from the streets’ layout when seen as one flat map, whence e’en as one, full attend may App. I, as a graduate of BHS and potential psycho, eye both to be too 2-D to see the underneath, fore there is and shall ever be an undercover underground underneath understated understandable unctionary Unitarian veneers…and I have seen them with my own and some other’s eyes, some of the closets in public downtown are actually flights from stares and the tunnels were retrofits when the greatest risk was merely atomic warfare…and they had to eat, too, to whit: without a doubt, with/out a clue what game’s about, two beep leigh’d out, they hewed two-wheats weaned askew oft only where meats were made without any knowing by the living they were going by “the Living Now (Life @its’ fullest is only missing a funeral casket) will soon be dead, then they will and will be meat (et. al.: finis’)

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