- Bellingham Kiteboarding
- Kite Paddle Surf
- 2620 N. Harbor Loop Dr., Ste 18 - Bellingham
- Washington 98225 - United States
- 360 775 2741
Bellingham is a city located in the northwestern part of Washington state, USA. It is known for its picturesque setting, nestled between the Cascade Mountains and the shores of Puget Sound. The city has a rich history that dates back to indigenous peoples, European exploration, and subsequent settlement.
Indigenous History: The area around Bellingham has been inhabited by indigenous peoples for thousands of years. The Coast Salish people, specifically the Lummi and Nooksack tribes, were the original inhabitants of the region. These tribes relied on the abundant natural resources of the area, including salmon, shellfish, and game.
European Exploration and Settlement: The first recorded European exploration of the area occurred in the late 18th century when Spanish explorers sailed through the region. The first American settlement was established in the mid-19th century. What would later become Bellingham was initially settled by pioneers attracted to the area's potential for logging, fishing, and trading.
City Formation: Bellingham's growth was significantly influenced by the development of industries like logging, mining, and fishing. The towns of Whatcom and Fairhaven were established in the 1850s and 1860s, respectively. These two towns eventually merged to form the city of Bellingham in 1903. The consolidation aimed to take advantage of the combined economic strength and resources of the two towns.
Economic Activities: Throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Bellingham's economy was closely tied to the region's natural resources. The logging industry, in particular, played a crucial role in the city's growth. The access to Puget Sound made it a significant trading and transportation hub for resources such as timber, coal, and fish.
Labor History: Bellingham has a history of labor activism and industrial strife. In the early 20th century, there were notable labor disputes, including the 1907 Bellingham Riots, which involved clashes between labor unions and the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), also known as the Wobblies. These events highlighted tensions between labor and industry during a time of rapid economic change.
Modern Development: Over the years, Bellingham's economy has diversified, with an increased focus on education, healthcare, and technology sectors. The city's proximity to outdoor recreational opportunities, including hiking, skiing, and water activities, has also contributed to its appeal as a place to live and visit.
Environmental Focus: Bellingham has a strong environmental consciousness, with initiatives aimed at preserving natural spaces and promoting sustainability. The city's commitment to environmental protection is reflected in its efforts to protect waterfront areas, manage growth, and promote green practices.
Today, Bellingham is known for its vibrant arts and culture scene, its proximity to the stunning landscapes of the Pacific Northwest, and its emphasis on community engagement and sustainability. The city's history is celebrated through museums, historical sites, and ongoing efforts to preserve its heritage while adapting to modern challenges and opportunities.
Top Tourist Attractions
The city offers a range of attractions that showcase its natural beauty, cultural richness, and outdoor recreational opportunities. Here are some of the top tourist attractions in Bellingham:
- Whatcom Falls Park: A picturesque park featuring walking trails, waterfalls, and serene picnic areas. The park's main attraction is Whatcom Falls, a series of cascading waterfalls along Whatcom Creek.
- Fairhaven Historic District: This charming historic district is known for its Victorian architecture, boutique shops, art galleries, and cafes. It offers a blend of history, shopping, and dining.
- Boulevard Park: A waterfront park with walking trails, a beach, and stunning views of Bellingham Bay and the San Juan Islands. It's a popular spot for picnicking, strolling, and watching sunsets.
- Western Washington University: The campus of WWU offers beautiful grounds to explore, including the Sehome Arboretum, which features a variety of plant species and walking trails.
- Larrabee State Park: Washington's oldest state park, Larrabee offers hiking trails, saltwater beaches, tide pools, and stunning views of the surrounding mountains and water.
- Chuckanut Drive Scenic Byway: This winding coastal road offers breathtaking views of the ocean and surrounding landscapes. It's a favorite route for scenic drives, picnics, and exploration.
- Spark Museum of Electrical Invention: A unique museum showcasing the history of electrical technology. It features interactive exhibits, vintage electrical devices, and educational displays.
- Mindport Exhibits: A hands-on science and art museum that offers interactive exhibits, puzzles, and installations that challenge the mind and stimulate creativity.
- Mount Baker Theatre: A historic theater hosting a variety of performances, including concerts, plays, and cultural events. The theater's ornate architecture adds to the experience.
- Lake Padden Park: A popular recreational area with a large lake, trails for walking and jogging, fishing spots, and a disc golf course.
- Bellingham Farmers Market: Open on weekends, this market offers a variety of fresh produce, local crafts, artisanal foods, and live entertainment.
- Marine Life Center: Located at the waterfront, this center offers interactive exhibits about marine life in the Puget Sound, including touch tanks and educational programs.
- SPARK Museum of Electrical Invention: This museum features an impressive collection of historical electrical artifacts, interactive exhibits, and educational displays.
- Boundary Bay Brewery and Bistro: A local favorite, this brewery offers craft beers and delicious food, often accompanied by live music.
- Lake Whatcom Railway: A vintage steam locomotive that offers scenic rides through the countryside, providing a glimpse into Bellingham's past.
These attractions showcase the diversity of experiences that Bellingham has to offer, from its natural landscapes to its cultural and historical sites. Whether you're interested in outdoor activities, arts and culture, or simply enjoying the waterfront, Bellingham has something for everyone.
The city experiences a temperate maritime climate with mild, wet winters and relatively dry summers. Here's an overview of Bellingham's climate:
- Winters (December - February): Winters in Bellingham are relatively mild compared to many other parts of the United States. Average high temperatures during this season range from the mid-40s to low 50s °F (7-12 °C), while average low temperatures typically range from the mid-30s to mid-40s °F (1-8 °C). Rain is common during the winter months, and snowfall is possible but not frequent. When snow does occur, it's usually light and melts quickly.
- Spring (March - May): Spring in Bellingham is characterized by gradually warming temperatures and increasing daylight. Average high temperatures climb from the mid-50s to mid-60s °F (13-19 °C) by May. Rainfall remains consistent during this season, though it tends to decrease as spring progresses.
- Summer (June - August): Bellingham's summers are mild and pleasant. Average high temperatures range from the mid-60s to mid-70s °F (18-24 °C). Summers are relatively dry, with less rainfall compared to the rest of the year. July and August are the driest months, making it a popular time for outdoor activities.
- Fall (September - November): Fall in Bellingham sees gradually cooling temperatures and changing foliage. Average high temperatures start in the mid-60s °F (18-19 °C) in September and drop to the mid-40s to low 50s °F (7-12 °C) by November. Rainfall increases again during the fall months.
- Bellingham's proximity to the coast and its position between the Cascade Mountains and the sea influence its climate. The Pacific Ocean moderates temperatures, preventing extreme heat or cold. The marine influence also leads to relatively high humidity levels and frequent cloud cover.
- Rain is a consistent feature of Bellingham's climate, with the wettest months typically occurring from October to April. This is due to the area's location in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains, which leads to the "Puget Sound Convergence Zone." This convergence of air masses can result in heavier rainfall in certain areas, including Bellingham.
Overall, Bellingham's climate offers a balance between the lush greenery that comes with regular rainfall and the relatively mild temperatures that make outdoor activities enjoyable year-round.
The city is known for its stunning natural landscapes, with a mix of coastal features, mountainous terrain, and proximity to waterways. Here's an overview of Bellingham's geography:
- Waterfront Location: Bellingham is situated along the shores of Bellingham Bay, which is an inlet of the larger Puget Sound. The bay provides a picturesque backdrop to the city and offers opportunities for water-based activities such as boating, fishing, and kayaking.
- Mountains: To the east of Bellingham, the Cascade Range rises dramatically. Mount Baker, one of the most prominent peaks in the Cascades, is located to the southeast of the city. Mount Baker is known for its snow-capped summit and offers recreational opportunities such as skiing, snowboarding, and hiking.
- Rivers and Creeks: Numerous waterways flow through and around Bellingham. Whatcom Creek runs through the heart of the city, featuring parks and natural areas. Squalicum Creek is another significant creek that flows into Bellingham Bay. These waterways contribute to the city's natural beauty and provide habitats for various species of wildlife.
- San Juan Islands: Bellingham is also a gateway to the San Juan Islands, a group of picturesque islands known for their scenic beauty and recreational opportunities. Ferries connect Bellingham to several of the islands, making them accessible for day trips or longer getaways.
- Forests and Parks: The area around Bellingham is characterized by lush forests and numerous parks. Parks like Whatcom Falls Park, Larrabee State Park, and the Sehome Hill Arboretum offer residents and visitors opportunities for hiking, picnicking, and enjoying nature.
- Bay and Inlets: In addition to Bellingham Bay, the city is bordered by several smaller inlets and bays, including Chuckanut Bay and Samish Bay. These bodies of water contribute to the region's maritime atmosphere and provide habitat for marine life.
- Urban and Rural Mix: Bellingham combines urban amenities with a strong connection to the surrounding natural environment. The city's layout reflects its varied geography, with residential areas, commercial districts, and green spaces coexisting in harmony.
The diverse geography of Bellingham contributes to its attractiveness as a destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. Whether you're interested in exploring the waterfront, hiking in the mountains, or simply enjoying the beauty of the Pacific Northwest, Bellingham's geography offers a range of experiences.