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There's a reason Bellingham was selected as one of the U.S.'s Top 15 "Best Places" to retire, while the locals consider it a "Best Kept Secret." Spend a few days exploring this jewel of a city and you'll discover the justification for all the accolades.

Bellingham claims a lush and varied history that is reflected in its architecture and geographic layout. From the vaudeville-era Mt. Baker Theatre and colorful Old Town at the heart of downtown to the charm of signature neighborhoods and the historic Fairhaven district, the city is filled with precious opportunities to glimpse reminders of the past.

To the future, the growing waterfront is reflective of the city's vision. Foot trails, promenades, state-of-the-art harbor, and a series of restaurants and luxury lodging establish this area as the new "hot" waterfront spot on the West Coast.

Wilderness and walking trails, whales and boating sails. From Bellingham you can wander the woods of Mount Baker then cruise the San Juan Islands - all in a weekend. Be sure to give yourself time to explore the historical waterfront, taste the cuisine, and get in a good game of golf.

From the coastline of Bellingham Bay to the pastoral panorama of our farmlands, Whatcom County offers endless vacation options. Because we're nestled in a heart-stopping geographic location that boasts both fresh and salt water and world famous Mt. Baker, choices for outdoor endeavors can be sublimely overwhelming:

    • whale watching at sunset
    • an afternoon hike through one of our evergreen forest trails
    • wading through tide pools after a picnic lunch

The rich culture and vivid personality of the area present a menu of limitless opportunities. From our internationally renowned music festival to the meandering charm of downtown Antique Row, indoor activites will be as vibrant and varied as those outdoor festivities.

Whatcom County Annual Events

January

Birch Bay Polar Bear Swim

February

Gallery Walks, Quarterly in downtown Bellingham

April

Bellingham Farmers Market, Saturdays

May

Holland Days in Lynden, Semiahmoo Dixieland Jazz Weekend, Ski To Sea Festival, Bellingham Farmers Market, Saturdays

June

Scottish Highland Games in Ferndale, Deming Logging Show, Lummi Stommish Festival, Farmers' Day Parade, Bellingham Farmers Market, Saturdays

July

Semiahmoo Salmon Run and Fireworks, Birch Bay Discovery Days, Old Settlers Picnic in Ferndale, Antique Tractor & Machinery Show in Lynden, Bellingham Farmers Market, Saturdays

August

Alaska Packers Seafood Festival, Bellingham Festival of Music, Hot Air Baloon/International Folk Dance Festival, Northwest Washington Fair in Lynden, Bellingham Farmers Market, Saturdays

September

Sumas Jr. Rodeo, Bellingham Farmers Market, Saturdays

October

Deming Oktoberfest, Harvest Festival in Lynden, Bellingham Farmers Market, Saturdays

November

Old Fairhaven Tour d' Art, Lynden in Lights

December

Lynden Lighted Parade & Sinterklaas Celebration, Allied Arts Holiday Festival of the Arts, Old Fashioned Christmas in Ferndale, Holiday Festival/Lighted Boat Parade

Celebrate the arts in Bellingham, Washington. Art comes in all forms in Whatcom County. Galleries, museums and festivals abound. Catch live theater performances at Western Washington University, the Bellingham Theatre Guild and the historic Mount Baker Theatre.

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