Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch and Bakeries
Wild Oat Bakery and Café – all-vegan gourmet café great for breakfast, brunch, lunch and snacks, all local, organic, and plant-based (1305 Cornwall Ave, corner Holly St.) Open daily 8am-3pm. Try their veggie burger, baked goods, and hot chocolate! $5-25.
Mount Bakery Café – local organic coffee, baked goods, and brunch (308 W Champion St. and second location at 1217 Harris Ave, Fairhaven) Dedicated to supporting small, local farms whenever possible to explore comfort foods of all kinds, selection of pastries, cookies and dessert ideal for sharing. Open daily 8am-3:30pm. $5-25.
Opera – French bakery and café (1206 Cornwall Ave.) Work with local suppliers to source the freshest and most authentic ingredients, and use old-fashioned techniques to ensure the highest quality. Sunny days guarantee that the patio will be full of guests; on not-so-sunny days, they offer seating inside with free wifi and plenty of outlets! Open daily 7:30am-4pm. $5-25.
Camber – breakfast, lunch, dinner, beer, wine, tea, and yes, coffee. (221 W Holly St.) Open daily 7am-pm and till 4pm on Sundays. Brunch served from 8am-3pm. Small plates served from 3pm-5pm. Happy Hour from 5pm-7pm. Dinner menu served from 5pm-close. $15-35.
The Daisy Café – breakfast/lunch, serving eggs, pancakes & sandwiches in cozy digs with big windows & warm tones. (114 W Magnolia St, in Bellingham Crown Plaza) Family-owned restaurant serves up Omelets, Scrambles and French Toast, to Frittatas, Benedicts and the soon-to-be famous Hoppel Poppel, everything from scratch and in house (wherever possible), using as much locally grown and sustainable product as possible. Open daily 7:30am-2:30pm. $15-25.
Pel’mini Restaurant – Russian dumplings (1211 N State St.) Open daily 11am-2:30am. $15-25.
Bellingham Cider Company – local craft cider producer (4403, 205 Prospect St.) Combining the art of cider making with a Pacific Northwest-inspired restaurant and bar overlooking the rapidly growing Waterfront District of downtown Bellingham. Open Wed.-Fri. 4-10pm, and for brunch on the weekends 10am-10pm. Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Try their brunch! $15-25.
Fairhaven Fish & Chips – (1020 Harris Ave. Fairhaven) Open daily 11am-5:30pm. $15-25.
Dinner, Drinks, and Tapas
Goat Mountain Pizza – gourmet pizza (211 W Holly St., corner Bay.St.) Warm, brick-lined spot for Roman-style pizza with gourmet toppings, local brews, wine & cocktails. Open daily 11am-10pm, closed on Mondays. Try their walnut pizza and burgers! $15-25.
Temple Bar – tapas and cocktails (306 W Champion St.) Artsy, romantic nightspot serving wine, beer, cocktails & New American small plates. Open daily 3pm-12am. Try their baked brie and chocolate tart. $15-25.
Kombucha Town – culture café and lunge (210 E Chestnut St.) Hip, airy bar & hangout featuring fermented foods, kombucha cocktails & local art. Open daily 12pm-2am. Did you know that Bellingham is ranked the second best arts community in the ENTIRE country? This ranking system is based on the number of active art businesses per capita, and it is awesome to live in a community that is so heavily invested in supporting local artists! $15-25.
Brandywine Café – local and fresh (1317 Commercial St.) Cosmopolitan restaurant serving fresh international dishes with a mezzanine level & pavement tables. Open daily 11am-9pm. Try their tacos. $15-25.
Busara Thai Cuisine – Traditionally decorated Thai place with classic dishes, including vegetarian & gluten-free options. (404 36th St.) Open daily 11:30am-9:30pm, closed on Tuesdays. $15-25.
Pepper Sisters – new Mexican cuisine (1055 N State St.) Southwestern comfort food in an art-filled spot with brightly colored booths, funky decor & patio. Open daily 4:30-9:30pm, closed on Mondays. $15-25.
The Loft – seafood, tacos, burgers, and more (1801 Roeder Ave. at Latitude Forty Eight Five) Each new menu is driven by what is in season, local and fresh. Open daily 11:30am-9pm. Try their avocado fries! $20-35.
Fireside Martini and Wine Bar – cocktails and tapas (in Bakerview Square, 416 W Bakerview Rd.) Open daily 11:30am-10pm, closed on Sundays. $15-25.
Schweinhaus Biergarten – German Bratwurst and beer (1330 N State St.) Open daily 4pm-12am, and for lunch on the weekends at 11am. $15-25.
Rook & Rogue Board Game Pub – (206 W Magnolia St.) Open daily 4-10pm, closed on Mondays. Open for brunch on the weekends at 10am. $15-25.
Hundred North – organic and local farm-to-table (100 N Commercial St. next to the Mount Baker Theatre) sourcing local, high-quality, 100% organic ingredients from the farmers of Skagit and Whatcom Counties. Open daily 4:30-9pm, and for brunch on Sunday at 9:30m-2:30pm, closed on Mondays. $25-40.
Chocolate Necessities – Artisan chocolate and Italian gelato (1408 Commercial St.) Chocolate Necessities is one of the original artisan chocolate companies in the United States, founded in 1986 by Kevin Buck and Mark Pantly. The search for chocolate began with a trip to Canada where Kevin experienced Callebaut, the leading chocolate maker. They have two locations and a chocolatier (Sarah) on staff as well as over 10 other employees. Over the years, Kevin has dedicated hours to researching and tasting chocolate from around the world. The milk chocolate they use today has 43% cocoa solids and the semi-sweet chocolate has 54.5% cocoa solids. Equally important to Kevin was the amount of the cocoa butter to ensure that the chocolate melts properly as only great chocolate does. Open daily 11am-10pm and till 6pm on Sundays. Try their Affogato (gelato with a shot of espresso). $5-20.
Hendersen Books – used book store and vintage store (116 Grand Ave.) Great selection of used books! Open daily 10am-6pm, and 11am-5pm on Sundays. $5-25.
Village Books and Paper Dreams – well-curated books store, cafe, gift shop and more (1200 11th St. in Fairhaven) They have a Mark Twain statue reading on a bench by the entrance to the bookstore. Open daily 9am-9pm and 10am-7pm on Sundays. Check out their book readings and events! $5-25.
Eclipse Books – used book store (1104 11th St. Fairhaven) Open daily 10am-8pm. $5-25.
Farmers’ Market – local and fresh (1100 Railroad Ave. between Chestnut and Maple St. neat the Herald Building) Open Saturdays 10am-3pm from April through December and also the third Saturdays of January, February and March.. In June through August 3-7pm there is also a market in Fairhaven on Wednesdays (Fairhaven Village Green, 1207 10th St. behind Village books and Paper Dreams) $5-25.
Community Food Co-Op – (1220 N Forest St.) The Co-op opened its doors in 1970 in the Good Earth Building in the Fairhaven district with about 40 members. It operated with a volunteer staff and offered only eight items: cornmeal, bread, honey, flour, rolled wheat, rice, wheat germ, and granola. Since then, the Co-op has moved twice from its original 900 square-foot store in Fairhaven. In 2015, the Co-op opened its third location directly across Holly Street from the downtown flagship store. The new location houses a bakery cafe with one of the best outdoor patios in downtown Bellingham, a dedicated bakery production kitchen, and a grand new classroom and community meeting room. Open daily 7am-10pm. $5-25.
Things to Do and See Downtown
Whatcom Museum – recently celebrated 75 years of being a regional showcase of arts and culture in the northwest. With more than 200,000 artifacts in their collection, spread across the three Arts District buildings the museum occupies, including the iconic and historic Old City Hall (121 Prospect St.), as well as the modern Lightcatcher Building (250 Flora St.), the Whatcom Museum has more to explore than you can find in a single weekend. Whatcom rotates its exhibits throughout the year, but the collections all focus on regional art, relics, and an impressive vault of photographic archives. Open Wed-Sun, 12-5pm.
SPARK Museum of Electrical Invention – Formally known as the Museum of Radio and Electricity, the SPARK Museum displays some of the biggest innovations that have shaped the modern world. A family-friendly, fully-interactive establishment, it guides visitors through four decades of electric milestones and five permanent collections ranging from the birth of electricity to the golden age of radio. Replicas of Edison’s first light bulbs, thousands of radios from throughout their history of design, and even a nine-foot Tesla Coil known as the “MegaZapper,” are just some of the attractions to keep the whole family interested and engaged. (1312 Bay St.) Open daily 11am-5pm except Tuesdays.
Mount Baker Theatre – Occupying half a city block, it features three different venues that host national and local performances throughout the year. Dating back to 1927, the theatre experienced renovations in 1996, and much of its former elegance remains today in features such as the decorative Main Stage auditorium, which is the highlight of the whole facility. (104 N. Commercial St.)
Fairhaven village – sparked to life in 1889 through its seaport location and the booming impacts of the surrounding logging industry. After two decades of rapid growth, Fairhaven joined with three other towns in the area to form what is today considered Bellingham. Fast forward to the present time, and the streets of the Fairhaven Historic District still ring to life with bustling sidewalks, red-brick Victorian architecture, and the same beautiful views provided by the Bellingham Bay. Check out Village Books or Skylark’s Hidden Cafe, seaside accommodations at the Chrysalis Inn and Spa or the Hotel Bellwether. Check out the Historic Markers, designed by Tyrone Tillson, a local newspaper publisher and historian in the late 1980s and 90s, who received a community grant to install various markers and plaques that highlight pieces of Fairhaven’s past.
Western Washington University – Overlooking the bay and many of the San Juan Islands, Western Washington University is one of six public universities in the state of Washington. It is the northernmost university in the contiguous United States. WWU was founded as the state-funded New Whatcom Normal School in 1893, succeeding a private school of teaching for women. Today, WWU has a student body that currently consists of over 14,000 students. The university is the third largest in Washington after Washington State University at about 26,000 students and the University of Washington at about 43,000 students both undergraduate and graduate. (516 High St.)
Hikes, Parks and Lakes
Boulevard Park – charming bay-side community space featuring a performance stage for local concerts, open space for throwing a frisbee, and some of the best views of Bellingham Bay found anywhere else in the city. Connecting the Fairhaven Historic District to the south and downtown Bellingham to the north, Boulevard Park provides great walking and biking trails along the shore, and with Woods Coffee centrally located in the middle of it all, you can boost your espresso intake while exploring the scenery and community that Boulevard Park provides. (470 Bayview Drive)
Whatcom Falls Park – On the eastern edge of Bellingham, Whatcom Falls Park is a 240-acre city park that features modern park amenities, well-maintained hiking trails, and plenty of open spaces to explore. Perhaps most notable about this city park are the four different waterfalls created by the cascading Whatcom Creek that meanders throughout the area. Alongside hiking trails like the 4.1-mile Whatcom Creek Trail Loop that explore these falls, visitors can find picnic tables, basketball courts, and covered shelters. The Stone Bridge constructed near the parking lot of Whatcom Falls State Park provides a scenic viewpoint that you really can’t miss on your visit, and serves as a monument for the lasting legacy that Whatcom Falls Park holds in Bellingham. (1401 Electric Ave.)
Lake Padden Park – On the southeastern tip of Bellingham, next to Interstate 5, Lake Padden Park is a popular place for recreation in the area, particularly in the spring, summer, and fall. With dozens of hiking trails weaving in and out of the woodlands, as well as challenging mountain biking trails, your fun at Lake Padden can always be in forward motion, and you’ll find plenty of things to do. Outside of the blood-pumping recreation here, you can use the picnic shelters for an afternoon meal, let your furry friend run free at the off-leash dog park, and maybe catch a quick 18 holes at the adjacent Lake Padden Public Golf Course. Lake Padden itself is also a top attraction. This 160-acre lake provides the perfect opportunity for paddling your SUP around the water, fishing off the dock, or enjoying the sights and sounds of a Pacific Northwest sunset. (4882 Samish Way)
Larrabee State Park – As the only portion of the Cascade Mountains to reach the West Coast, the Chuckanut Mountains are another central theme behind the recreation and culture found in Bellingham. In the middle of this majestic mountain range, Washington’s first State Park, Larrabee State Park, stands proudly for all the Chuckanuts have to offer. Whether it’s world-class mountain biking or exploring scenic trails like the Oyster Dome Trail that lends to views of the adjoining Samish Bay and surrounding San Juan Islands, there is plenty of fun to be had at Larrabee State Park, not to mention the two photogenic alpine lakes within its boundaries. Larrabee offers more than 50 electric campsites and a boat launch to explore down into the Puget Sound. Whether you stick to the land or explore the sea, the recreation options reach far in Washington’s first designated state park. (245 Chuckanut Dr.)
Mt. Baker Ski Area – Just over 50 miles east of downtown, Mt. Baker Ski Area is not only a powder destination for residents of Bellingham, but the dramatic backdrop and impressive slopes of Mount Baker draw tourists from around the world. Featuring more than 1,000 acres to explore, ranging from bunny hills to expert-only cliff areas, Mt. Baker has something for every level of winter athlete, and with an average of more than 600 inches of snowfall each year, fresh tracks are common at this Cascade Mountain ski mecca. The community also hosts annual events including the acclaimed Mt. Baker Film Fest and the Legendary Banked Slalom race in February, one of the largest snowboarding races in the world. (Mt. Baker Hwy, Deming, WA)