Beautiful Bellingham, WA
When planning my recent vacation to Washington there was one town I knew I had to visit – Bellingham. Was it because of its coastal location, its historic downtown or its university campus? Nope. It was because I’d started following a local antique mall, Penny Lane, on Instagram and had been dying to visit. I’m a sucker for vintage items and it was enough for me to add the city to my itinerary.
Bellingham is about 1½ hours north of Seattle and my sister and I decided to make it our first destination during our week long visit. In researching, it was recommend to take the scenic Chuckanut Drive into town so we happily left the main highway and found ourselves traveling quaint country roads that led us to the sea and the beautiful Chuckanut Bay.
All along the way rhododendrons were blooming in bright pinks, purples and oranges. When we passed a most impressive display at Larrabee State Park we knew we had to stop to see them close up.
Wow! We just don’t have flowers like these in SoCal. What was especially surprising was that the bushes were humming with tons and tons of big fat bumblebees.
They’re in there somewhere.
The whole park was quite lovely and we spent some time walking around and enjoying the beautiful atmosphere.
We eventually made our way into town with just enough time to stop at Penny Lane.
I love a good antique mall and Penny Lane did not disappoint. It was so much bigger than I expected! And coming from the land of overpriced antiques the prices were so reasonable. If only I had a U-Haul on hand! Instead I just bought a little something to commemorate my visit and left happy that I’d finally made it to the delightful shop.
At this point it was early evening so it was time to check into our hotel, the Heliotrope.
Heliotrope Hotel was another Instagram recommendation and it proved to be a wonderful spot to spend the night. A vintage motel that’s been completely refurbished it has a retro charm with several modern amenities.
Our spacious room was super comfy and in the morning we enjoyed our delicious complimentary coffee on their quaint patio. If we had more time we could have played lawn games, board games or enjoyed a lecture on the hotel’s history but, alas, we had to move on. I would stay there again in a heartbeat.
We headed to the Historic Fairhaven Village where we walked around looking in the shops and enjoying some tasty doughnuts from Rocket Donuts.
Their fun, retro sci-fi interior was right up our alley and the donuts were pretty darn tasty. Incidentally, the night before we had had an amazing meal a the Bellingham Cider Company but I inhaled my dinner so rapidly that I didn’t manage a photo. We also, enjoyed a flight of their ciders and they were oh so crisp and delicious.
In order to work off all those donuts and cider we headed to Whatcom Falls Park for a hike.
Ok, this park is in the middle of the city and yet it feels far away from civilization. Winding trails lead you through moss covered trees and offer views of numerous waterfalls. Needless to say, it was breathtaking.
In fact, Bellingham as whole took my breath away. With the ocean to the west and the Cascade Mountains to the east it’s home to some incredible natural beauty. Add a historic downtown, a thriving food scene and an array of fun activities and it’s quickly become one of best places I’ve ever visited. I can’t wait to go back.