If you have 8 hours, a tank of gas, and desperately need a break from the Seattle bustle, hop on I-5 north and chill out with the locals in Bellingham for the day – and by locals I mean the seagulls, the oysters and the vendors at the farmer’s market!
My husband and I took our first trip to Bellingham recently. Reading up on the sights and attractions, we were overwhelmed at the options awaiting us in this big, small town. We weren’t sure how many things we’d be able to do, but ultimately we fell into a lovely groove and ended up having the perfect day trip. We saw a good cross-section of Bellingham while leaving enough activities to warrant a return trip (in the very near future!)
Here’s my planner for a one-day trip from Seattle to Bellingham:
Boundary Bay Brewery
We left Seattle mid-morning and made it to Bellingham around lunch time. Our first stop was at the famous Boundary Bay Brewery for a local craft brew and sandwich (a Cubano for the huz and a Tofu Banh Mi for me.) Their tap room has benches for seating and a cool nautical theme.
If you visit Bellingham on a Saturday be sure to take a stroll through the downtown Farmer’s Market. It’s just across the street from Boundary Bay. We picked up some locally-made cheese, tayberry jam and roasted almonds. There are plenty of street performers to stop and listen to while you take in the array of colorful fruits, vegetables and flowers. It’s also a perfect spot for dog watching. A ton of people had their pups out for a walk around town!
Time for a caffeine pick-me-up and a walk along Bellingham Bay. Boulevard Park is a quick 6 minute drive from downtown.
Woods Coffee has a location right at the park with a log cabin interior and adorably-named coffee sizes like “spruce,” “cedar,” and “giant redwood” akin to Starbucks’ “tall,” “grande,” and “venti.” Grab a coffee or tea to go and enjoy a walk on the boardwalk across the water and up to old-town Fairhaven.
Time to start the journey home, but I’ve saved the best stop for last. Wind your way back south on scenic Chuckanut Drive. There are spectacular views of the bay, the islands, and gorgeous homes around every bend. Shutterbugs, be sure to take your camera along, you’ll want to stop along the turnouts for photo ops. Near the end of the picturesque road is a must-do for seafood fans: a stop at Taylor Shellfish Farm and Market in Bow, WA. You literally can’t get oysters any fresher unless you physically walk into the water and pluck them out yourself. A stop at Taylor is a quintessential PNW experience. They give you a bucket, as many oysters as you can eat, and a shucking tool. Take a seat in the picnic area and master the art of shucking an oyster surrounded by water and salty air. They even have lemons and tiny bottles of tobasco if that’s how you like to dress your raw oyster. If you have a sharp eye, and you’re as lucky as we were, you might even spy an eagle flying overhead. With full bellies and a happy heart, you’re ready for the trip home!