This historic district, located south of downtown Bellingham, is bustling with cobblestones and brick buildings left over from the late 1800s, when the city was a hub for men heading north to hunt for gold. Today, the historic brick buildings house boutiques, galleries, toy stores, salons, restaurants and much more, including the region’s first Carnegie-funded library, built in 1903. Here too is Village Books, an independent bookstore on steroids.
- Old Town
On the waterfront just west of downtown, Old Town houses a bevy of quaint shops and homespun eateries, such as breakfast-and-lunch-favorite Old Town Cafe. Antique-hunters won’t want to miss the Penny Lane Antique Mall, featuring furniture, jewelry, kitchen wares, books and more. A brisk walk up Prospect Street brings you to the Whatcom Museum, resplendent with Victorian cupolas and a central clock tower.
- Chuckanut Drive
The 21-mile scenic route between Bellingham and the Skagit Valley winds a dramatic cliff-side drive above the rocky shoreline of Chuckanut Bay. Along with sweeping views of the San Juan Islands, you’ll find secluded beaches and challenging hikes. Those in search of something more serene can cozy up to a table (and a spectacular view) at Chuckanut Manor or the Oyster Bar.