Names play a substantial role in history, and Bellingham is no exception. In 1792 Bellingham Bay received its name from Captain George Vancouver, who was commissioned to chart the waters of the Northwest region. Vancouver's supplier, Sir William Bellingham, became the namesake for the local bay.
Vancouver influenced another famous location by naming it Puget Sound after Lieutenant Peter Puget. As exploration continued, Third Lieutenant Joseph Baker first sighted the snow-capped mountain that Vancouver immediately named Mount Baker.
When to Visit Bellingham, WA
Washington State is known for its rain. If you're making plans to visit, keep in mind that it can rain at any time of the year. October and early July tend to be the months with the heaviest rainfall. The busiest time for tourism is generally from late July to August when there's more sun than rain. The summer months are busy with tourists and families making their way to the water to visit San Juan Island and watch the orca whales. Numerous festivals and events also attract visitors, so it's a good idea to make reservations ahead of time if you plan to visit during the summer.
The fall is also a lovely time to visit, with the summer crowds diminished and the mountains filled with wildflowers. The weather tends to be cool with the possibility of rain. During the winter, the area buzzes with snow enthusiasts tackling the slopes. Because of the colder temperatures and potential for snowfall, discounts are readily available at many hotels.
Overall, Bellingham's climate averages 157 days of sunshine and 168 days of rain. The high temperature in July is around 74 degrees and in January the low temperature is 30 degrees. Rainfall averages 36 inches annually, and snowfall averages 12 inches per year. The comfort index for Bellingham is 70 out of 100, compared to the U.S. average of 44 out of 100. The higher the comfort rating, the more comfortable the area is.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Bellingham, WA:
Bellingham, WA: Prices by Star Rating Class
Below we've posted 3 graphs illustrating avg. price patterns by star rating class in Bellingham, WA. Browse these line graphs to determine the least expensive time to make a reservation in Bellingham for your upcoming travels.
Luxury Hotel Options in Bellingham, WA
4 Star Average Prices: $56.57
Hotel Bellwether is luxury personified, beginning with its location along the Bellingham Bay waterfront. Here you can expect total satisfaction and exceptional staff members throughout your stay. Choose accommodations such as the Studio Plaza with air-jetted tub and two full beds with down comforters or the Lighthouse Suite featuring a spiral staircase, wet bar, fireplace, and a 360-degree water view. Enjoy satin sheets, overstuffed pillows, luxury bath products, fluffy robes, and room service. Indulge yourself at the Zazen Salon Spa, work out at the fitness center, and dine on steak and seafood at the Lighthouse Bar and Grill.
The ideal Northwest destination awaits at The Chrysalis Inn & Spa. Overlooking the calm waters of Bellingham Bay, the hotel soaks up the ambiance of the landscape, creating a serene atmosphere. This pet-friendly hotel offers luxurious suites with water views, window seats, gas fireplaces, soaking or jetted tubs, minibars, cable TV, robes, aromatherapy amenities, and free Wi-Fi. Replenish your spirit at the spa with a soothing massage, facial, manicure, or pedicure. Dine on delicious Northwest cuisine for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner at Keenan's at the Pier. Enjoy the Chrysalis Inn's happy hour for cocktails and light fare.
Affordable Hotel Options in Bellingham, WA
3 Star Average Prices: $121.69
Hampton Inn Bellingham - Airport is conveniently located for travelers also planning a visit to Canada, since it's only a 20-minute drive to the Canadian border. Choose a spacious suite or guest room with several available options to fit your needs. Each features free Wi-Fi, a TV, microwave, mini-refrigerator, work area, and coffee maker. Use the fitness room to work out and the pool to relax. For your convenience, enjoy a nicely stocked complimentary breakfast area. If needed, use the coin-operated laundry facility. Business travelers have access to the business center, meeting rooms, and photo copying services.
Comfort Inn Bellingham Hotel lives up to its name with its wide range of convenient amenities. Well-appointed rooms and suites provide everything you need for a comfortable stay. The non-smoking rooms feature a mini-fridge, microwave, coffee maker, cable TV, and free Wi-Fi. When you want to relax, enjoy the soothing experience of the beautiful indoor pool, sauna, or hot tub spa. You can also unwind at the hotel's fitness center. Business travelers have use of the business center, computer with internet access, printer, and fax. The Comfort Inn will help you stay on time for your flight, thanks to complimentary airport shuttle service.
2 Star Average Prices: $83.15
Bellingham, WA Hotels with Discounts
When the convenience of home is important to your business or vacation plans, the Quality Inn Grand Suites Bellingham provides accommodations featuring kitchenettes with microwaves, coffee makers, and refrigerators. A complimentary continental breakfast is included in your stay, along with guest laundry facilities and free 24-hour airport transportation. Guests can enjoy the refreshing outdoor pool with whirlpool when it's time to unwind and relax. The pet-friendly hotel is a short drive to Seattle, Vancouver, Bellingham International Airport, and the Bellingham Ferry Terminal. Group ratings include an average savings of 11.6 percent and a 10 out of 10 rating for group friendliness.
TownePlace Suites Bellingham is a good choice for group travelers, with its 12.5 percent average discount and a booking rating of 7.6 out of 10. The hotel has a total of 5,520 square feet of event space, four meeting rooms, two breakout rooms, and a business center. Three floor plans are available to suit individual needs. Each includes a fully equipped kitchen, separate living and sleeping areas, luxury bedding, a flat-screen TV, and free Wi-Fi. Guests can enjoy a complimentary buffet breakfast, convenience store, fitness center, indoor pool, and picnic area. Chuckanut Lobby Bar features an inspired menu along with happy hour specials.
Best Value Options in Bellingham, WA
Holiday Inn Express Hotel Bellingham is near the downtown area and offers easy access to the business district, shopping, entertainment, and dining. Start each morning at the complimentary breakfast bar before heading out for business or sightseeing adventures. The heated indoor pool is a welcoming respite after a day around town, island hopping, or on the ski slopes. Guests have access to the business center and same-day dry cleaning. At the end of the day, return to the comfort of a well-appointed room fitted with triple-sheeted bedding, free Wi-Fi, and a microwave and fridge for late night snacks.
SpringHill Suites Bellingham makes travel stress-free with attentive staff members and a focus on guest satisfaction. The hotel is conveniently located near the airport, Mt. Baker, shopping, and restaurants. Suites are designed with guest comfort in mind with pillow-top mattresses for a restful sleep, a microwave and mini-fridge for snacks and beverages, a flat-screen TV, and free Wi-Fi to stay connected. Start the day with a delicious hot breakfast, work out at the fitness center, and end the day enjoying the sparkling pool. For your dining pleasure, the restaurant offers a variety of American and Italian dishes and select wines.
Things to Do in Bellingham, WA
Bellingham boasts an exciting list of things to do, places to go, and interesting things to see. Whether you prefer indoor activities, outdoor exploration, water activities, or mountain highs, Bellingham has something for everyone.
If you're interested in trains, you won't want to miss the Bellingham Railway Museum. See detailed layouts of the railroad as it was used to transport mining and logging materials. It's an expansive layout with other diesel and steam locomotives running the track. The museum also features vintage silverware, railroad lanterns, photos, and artifacts. You can also see vintage Lionel, Ives, and Marx trains. Nearby, catch a show at beautiful Mount Baker Theatre. The performing arts venue with its detailed architecture and elegant style is a national historic landmark.
Formerly the city hall, the 1892 building now houses the Whatcom Museum. Enjoy a look at history through exhibits, photos, interactive displays, and collections of art. You'll get a jolt when visiting the SPARK Museum of Electrical Invention. The interactive museum offers an informative experience about all things electrical through interactive exhibits, displays, and the MegaZapper Electrical Show. Other local museums to visit include the Whatcom Children's Museum and the Heritage Flight Museum.
Outdoor enthusiasts have a long list of interesting activities that place them up close and personal with nature. Bellingham is a great place for snow skiing at Mt. Baker, hiking, kayaking, canoeing, and whale watching. Whatcom Falls Park is another location for getting close to nature. The 241-acre park features four sets of pristine waterfalls, and hikers will enjoy the park's miles of walking trails.
When you stay in a hotel in Bellingham, you'll get the best of both worlds, thanks to the beauty of Washington and its many seasonal activities. Whether you're traveling on business or pleasure, Bellingham's close proximity to the Canadian border provides more opportunities for travel and exploring new and interesting destinations.
'Winning an Oscar is just about as good as it gets, at least for a girl like me who comes from a normal family that has never had to deal with fame or fortune.'
Hilary Swank, a noted actor and humanitarian, had this to say in response to the Academy Award for the Best Actress that she bagged for 'Million Dollar Baby'. Apart from her obviously gifted acting skills and a career that has stretched for over two decades now, what strikes one the most is the kind of humility she seems to carry herself with. It's rather unusual to find that humility in today's age, and much of it probably is owed to the upbringing that she had in her small home city of Bellingham.
Located in the State of Washington, not too far from Seattle (about 100 miles), Bellingham is the perfect advertisement for American Dream. You can find adorable houses with neatly trimmed front yards and high schools bursting with the energy of youth, serene natural sights of lakes and woods, quiet mountains that seem more endearing than intimidating, warm people who still harbor a sense of community and an overall sense of satisfaction about life that is getting rarer and rarer with every passing year.
But that's not all. Bellingham is an important industrial center in the state. Its strategic location, just off the Bay of Bellingham has been crucial in the development of industries (mostly natural resources based, fishing, wood logging, mineral mining and oil extraction) in and around the city.
To experience all this, you only need to take a quick trip to Bellingham. We can assure you that your stay here will be more than satisfactory!
Budget Lodges and Motels in Bellingham
Washington is, relatively speaking, a not-so-expensive state to live in, as long as you exclude major cities like Seattle and Spokane from the discussion. So, it's only reasonable to find cheap hotels that you can count on to save you some money easily here.
Many of these cheap hotels are quintessentially American establishments of inns and motels that are best fit for short stays. If you are going with your family, however, you'd be better off finding a more decent range of lodging options.
Baymont Inn & Suites is the first selection that we have narrowed down on after a good deal of research regarding budget hotels in Bellingham. A good location that's easily accessible from the city and tastefully designed rooms and suites make it look more like a semi-luxury resort than a budget hotel.
A more subdued option would be Bellingham Lodge. Named without much originality, this property lives up to its simple demeanor, pulling no punches with its friendly brand of cosy hospitality.
Luxury Resorts, Spas and Hotels in Bellingham
Well, it's about time we move on upwards from budget Bellingham hotels to a more expressive and extravagant (undoubtedly more expensive) category: luxury hotels in Bellingham.
Like any other city of decent size and population, Bellingham has its fair due of luxury resorts that make sure that their guests are fully satisfied at the end of their stay.
Fairhaven Village Inn comes first up through the ranks. It is an exquisite luxury resort that can easily transport you to a land of happiness and luxury where the travails of your daily life just disappear in an instant. Prices of over $199 per night might bring you back on the ground, but we guess that would be worth the deal!
The Chrysalis Inn and Spa is a similar (and smaller) luxury alternative to Fairhaven. It's more intimate and more charming in outlook than Fairhaven, but more costly as well!
Sightseeing in Bellingham: What Not to Miss Out on?
Bellingham the City was founded at the turn of 20th century. So, most of its parts date to over one hundred years in time, and the highest concentration of these can be found in the famous Fairhaven District in the southern part of the city. Charming houses, commercial buildings and historic monuments in this district stand as an homage to the era when American adventures of frontier pushing were just about to end forever. A good deal of fancy restaurants and entertainment options can be easily found here.
Things to Remember While Sightseeing in Bellingham
- Bellingham is more famous for its history and many natural sights that exist around the city. So, make sure you plan your trip accordingly in order not to miss out on many of these.
- While going about adventure sports or activities around the city, make sure that at least one local guide is accompanying you. Forests around Bellingham can be quite deceptive and night, and it's quite common for travelers to get confuse about their ways. GPS devices and cell phones are always handy, but you can't rely on them all the time, especially in a race case scenarios where you have trouble finding signals in the woods.
- Hiking enthusiasts can take advantage of many hiking trails that exists around the city. While doing so, however, make sure that you don't wander too far away from the city. Many trails run parallel to railroad tracks around the city, and walking over these tracks is often considered to amount to trespassing.
- The city itself is fairly safe as the average crime rate is much lower than the national average. However, it's a good idea for families to be wary of bar brawls and fights that usually ensue on weekends, late into nights.
When Should You Visit Bellingham?
Being in Washington, it's a given that Bellingham receives its share of rain throughout the year. The best time to travel here, hence, becomes the summer, i.e. April, May and June.
During these months, you can explore the beaches around Bellingham and indulge in adventure sports, as well. The pleasant weather, however, marks the beginning of the 'on-season' of tourism, forcing many Bellingham hotels to push their nightly room tariffs northward.
Visiting Bellingham in winter can be a surreal experience, as well, particularly as you get to see the city draped in the shawl of heavy rains and snow.