Bounded by Puget Sound and its miles of waterways, Bellingham has garnered a reputation as a paddler’s paradise. But this college burg less than two hours north of Seattle also ripples with a vibrant cultural scene for all palates.
- 10 a.m. Explore the striking Lightcatcher building at the Whatcom Museum of History and Art, where a 180-foot curved glass wall bathes the interior in natural light. Nearby, the hands-on displays inside Mindport Exhibits include experiments with light patterns and sound vibrations.
- Noon Dig in at La Fiamma, where a 550-degree wood-fired oven churns out artisan-style pizzas. From April through December, sample local goods at the adjacent Saturday Farmers Market.
- 2 p.m. Explore Sehome Hill Arboretum, a 180-acre forest preserve springing up on the hill above Western Washington University. Complete the afternoon at one of the city’s best-kept secrets, WWU’s Outdoor Sculpture Collection, which features installations from internationally renowned artists including Isamu Noguchi and Anthony Caro.
- 5 p.m. Stroll the boutique-and gallery-packed streets of the Fairhaven District. Stop in at the iconic Village Books for a self-guided walking tour brochure, and end the day with a walk along the waterfront’s South Bay Trail to Boulevard Park, a favorite spot for catching sunsets.
Learn more about Bellingham.