Check out these 11 facts about Bellingham to help you settle in like a local.
1. Yes, it will rain
This is the Pacific Northwest, after all! You can expect plenty of mild but damp days that alternate between overcast skies and light rain. Wear a rain jacket and keep your umbrella handy, unless you're visiting Seattle (where the locals prefer to do without). Then get out there and enjoy the greenery!
2. But the summer sunshine is glorious
Summers are warm and full of sunshine, with temperatures residing in the low 70s most days. You might get an occasional sprinkle of rain, but most days provide a great dose of sunshine and vitamin D. And the long, rainy winters make for a beautiful green backdrop when summer rolls around!
3. Locals are wild about bikes
From the extensive bike trail systems to in-town bike lanes, there's an abundance of ways to enjoy life from the seat of a bike. You can even take part in the Tour de Whatcom, the Chuckanut Classic and the Bellingham Traverse cycling events. Locals love to hop on their bikes instead of taking the car, even just to meet friends over coffee.
4. The parks are superb
With access to more than 38 parks in Whatcom County, there's no limit to how many viewpoints you can see in a day. Larrabee State Park is the largest park in Bellingham, while North Cascades National Park and glorious Mount Baker are just an hour plus to the east. Plus, events like Ski to Sea and Bellingham Bay Marathon will keep you active and strong.
5. Bibliophiles love the literary scene
With Western Washington University in town, it's no surprise that writing is sacred here. Bellingham Review and Clover, A Literary Rag are two local publications that help budding writers find their outlet. Take part in the Chuckanut Writers Conference and the Children's Literature Conference, and don't forget about open mic Poetry Night at the library, or used bookstores like Village Books, Henderson's and Eclipse Books.
6. Foodies love the weekly farmers market
The Bellingham Farmers Market, named one of the top 10 farmers markets in the West from Sunset Magazine, is open every Saturday from April to December. More than 100 vendors sell everything from fruits and veggies to handicrafts and herbal products, bringing out local quality and local pride. Plus, don't forget about foodie-approved restaurants like EAT Restaurant, Brandywine Kitchen, Ciao Thyme Cafe and Fiamma Burger.
7. Music keeps things lively
Bellingham is a gateway for locally known and nationally known names, with music venues like The Shakedown, Honey Moon, The Green Frog and The Wild Buffalo routinely packed with university students, locals, and often visitors from the north or south. Fans of classical music can also find much to enjoy at orchestra and symphony events, including the Bellingham Festival of Music.
8. Bellingham attracts residents of all ages
Regardless of your age or personal interests, you'll find plenty of ways to find your niche in Bellingham. The city draws in folks of all types, from young families to established couples to those ready to retire.
9. Microbreweries are proudly local
Craft beers are all the rage here, with plenty of microbreweries (already 10 within city limits) putting out satisfying batches. Some local favorites include Chuckanut Brewery, Stones Throw, Wander Brewing and Menace Brewing, with an annual Bellingham Beer Week to keep things even more exciting.
10. Sports fans rejoice
The Bellingham Bells from the West Coast Collegiate Baseball League and the Bellingham Blazers from the Western States Hockey League are popular in their respective seasons, but one of the all-year favorites is definitely the Bellingham Roller Betties women's team. They hold bouts several times a year, and things definitely get lively. And if you’re into soccer, we have one of the best pro-am soccer teams in the state: The Bellingham Hammers.
11. Small businesses are coming to town
If you're dreaming of becoming an entrepreneur, you'll settle in nicely here. Small businesses are on the rise, and the downtown core has seen many new businesses in recent years – in particular retail shops and trendy restaurants.