Travel Washington: Bellingham is Ideal for Lovers of Beer & Adventure!

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Bellingham Washington Craft Beer and Adventure

Travel Washington: Bellingham is Ideal for Lovers of Beer & Adventure!

Travel Washington: Bellingham is Ideal for Lovers of Beer & Adventure!

by WAVEJourney



WAVEJourney visited Bellingham, Washington, USA in summer 2018, an ideal time of year to visit this college town in Whatcom County. With approximately 87,000 residents, Bellingham is the 13th largest city in the state.

Historic downtown Bellingham is chock full of quaint and quirky businesses, along with hip, happening breweries and eateries, and features a variety of buildings with interesting architectural design. It’s quite a charming, relaxed, smaller city to explore on foot.

The bordering town of Fairhaven should definitely not be missed when exploring the area, with so many craft breweries and endless outdoor recreation, beer lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike will want to move here (count WJ in that category).

While majestic Mount Baker makes a spectacular backdrop for the area on a sunny day, beautiful Bellingham Bay is the gateway for exploring the San Juan Islands, and a hub for endless water sports.


Anytime of year is fun for a visit to Bellingham. Read on for WJ’s recommendations of what not to miss if you’re a lover of beer and adventure.

Bellingham has endless other options for activities, festivals, and fun happenings, so take a peek at the local events calendar to discover what suits your interests.




Bellingham Marina and Hearth Fire Restaurant

Bellingham Marina and Hearth Fire Restaurant – Viv and Jill

For an upscale waterfront dining experience at Squalicum Harbor in Bellingham, WJ had dinner at Anthony’s Hearthfire Grill. The weather was perfect so we sat on the patio and enjoyed gorgeous views of the San Juan Islands as the sun was starting to set.

Service was excellent – not overly rushed, and with just the right amount of attentiveness. Entrees of Wild Pacific Lingcod (Yukon gold potato crusted wild lingcod marinated in white wine) and Steak Oscar (7 oz Wagyu top sirlon with Dungeness crab and Bernaise) were divine.

It’s a terrific place to celebrate a special occasion (Jill’s birthday) or just enjoy a wonderful meal in a restaurant specializing in hearthfire cooking.



Chuckanut Bay Brewing & Kitchen

Chuckanut Brewery & Kitchen

One of our favorite pub meals in Bellingham was at Chuckanut Brewery & Kitchen. The “North Nut” is close to the historic Old Town, has covered outdoor seating, as well as a cosy, fun and funky indoor atmosphere.

There is a newer and larger “South Nut” facility (that we didn’t get to this visit), which also gets rave reviews from customers.

Chuckanut Brewery specializes in lager – so if that’s your style, you’ll think you were transported to Germany without paying for airfare. WJ sampled Kolsch, Dortmunder, Vienna, Pilsner and Dunkel beers – all were outstanding!

The pub menu is extensive, featuring fresh seafood, soups, salads, pizza, and much more from their very creative kitchen.



Wander Brewing

Wander Brewing

If you’re mainly looking for a brewery that’s ALL about the beer, Wander Brewing is the place to visit. They produce 2,000 barrels of beer a year – many barrel-aged.

Depending on the weather, customers can relax in the outdoor space next to the huge fire pit, or relax inside the large industrial building where ships were once built – where the magic now happens to produce amazing craft beers. The bar has twelve taps serving up innovative brews, cider and root beer.

To grab a bite to eat, step on up to the food trucks that rotate daily during the week  – different trucks daily. This is a community gathering place, so a cordial atmosphere with mainly locals.



Aslan Brewing

Aslan Brewing

Organic craft beer! Yes, you read that correctly. Aslan Brewing Company, located in historic Old Town Bellingham, is an organic craft brewery brewing with ingredients mainly from the Yakima Valley and Oregon.

Currently a 9,000 barrel brewery, they continue to expand capacity and productivity every year since opening the brewpub in 2013.

Don’t forget to arrive hungry – the classic brewpub menu has some very clever creations.



Stones Throw Brewing

Stones Throw Brewery in Fairhaven

How often have you supped beer in a brothel? WJ was fascinated to learn that Stones Throw Brewery in Fairhaven was a brothel known as Miss Annie’s Palace in the 1800s.

This eclectic 7-barrel, small-batch brewery and pub is made up of many recycled parts (shipping containers) for buildings, with part of the taproom bar a piece of the Skagit River bridge that collapsed a few years ago.

There are lots of outdoor spaces on the property and between the buildings, with the main bar being inside and add-on to the original house (it’s also possible to rent a room at the pub guesthouse through Airbnb). WJ tried the Two-Dollar Porter and Citra Down Bottoms Up IPA and both were excellent.



The North Fork Brewery

The North Fork Brewery

Finding a good British Ale outside of Britain, well, that’s not so easy. Until we discovered The North Fork Brewery where they specialize in British Ales, barrel-aged Belgian-style sours and lagers. Here they brew really small batches and customers get them fresh from tanks or oak barrels in the taproom.

The brewpub is located along the scenic highway between Bellingham and Mount Baker, so it’s also a terrific relaxed place to stop for a pizza with your pint after a day of hiking, skiing or sightseeing.




Mount Baker

Mount Baker – Outdoor recreational mecca near Bellingham, Washington.

Mount Baker is a 10,781′ sleeping straovolcano located in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest – about a 90-mile drive east of Bellingham. The drive is exceptionally scenic drive and worth taking even if one doesn’t plan on getting active.

Scenery at Mt. Baker is amazing at anytime of year, and there is an abundance of outdoor recreational opportunities. Endless trails keep hikers occupied until the ski area opens for skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing.

Make sure to stop at the rangers station at Glacier before heading up the mountain to purchase a parking pass (Northwest Forest Park pass also works).



Lummi Island Kayak Trip

Lummi Island Kayak Trip – Moondance SeaKayak Trip

WJ always revels in spending time on the water. A day spent sea kayaking with Kristi Kucera, Moondance Sea Kayak Adventures owner and guide, was exhilarating.

After taking the ferry over to Lummi Island and following Kristi to Legoe Bay where she outfitted us and provided some basic kayaking instructions, it was time to move the boats onto the water and start the tour.

Kayaking along the coast of Lummi Island was challenging as the weather was windy (blowing in our face for the 90-minutes until we could find a place to head to a beach and take a break). The rough seas and waves made for a fun time, and Kristi made sure to check often how we were doing.

Lunch was provided at our remote beach stop – sandwiches, salads, potato chips, drinks, etc. – which fueled us for the journey back to Legoe Bay after exploring a couple of small islands teaming with birdlife.

Moondance Sea Kayak Adventures offers a variety of trips to suit anywhere from beginners to the most experienced kayakers.



Holiday Inn & Suites Bellingham Airport

Holiday Inn & Suites Bellingham Airport

WJ stayed at Holiday Inn & Suites Bellingham Airport – situated directly across from the airport. Although the hotel is next to the airport, we did not hear any outside noise from our room and it was a peaceful stay for three nights.

The hotel features an indoor pool, hot tub, and exercise, plus there is a bar and restaurant that serves reasonably priced and tasty fare.

Hotel rooms are spacious, modern, and comfortable, with all the amenities to make for a pleasant stay.



Getting to Bellingham is easy. The city is accessible from Seattle – 90-miles south along I-5; while Vancouver, British Columbia, is north about 60 miles across the border into Canada. Bellingham International Airport is nearby and a terrific smaller airport to use if travelling from further distances.




Note: WAVEJourney were media guests during their July 2018 Bellingham, Washington trip. All opinions and recommendations are based on WJ’s experiences during this time. Read the full disclosure statement to see that being media guests has no effect on reviews.


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