Easy to be Car Free in Bellingham

Easy to be Car Free in Bellingham

Bellingham’s train station/depot is located about 3 blocks from the city’s Historic Fairhaven District. Fairhaven is home to several restaurants, bars, cafes, galleries, shops and 2 boutique hotels (Fairhaven Village Inn has 22 rooms; the Chrysalis Inn & Spa has 34).

Visitors can walk into Fairhaven from the Amtrak Station, or take Whatcom Transportation Authority’s (WTA) Red Line.  The Red Line runs every 15 minutes on weekdays, less frequently on evenings and weekends.  Visitors can find more details at ridewta.com.  In addition to connecting rail passengers with nearby Fairhaven, the Red Line connects Fairhaven to Downtown Bellingham, where visitors can access routes serving greater Bellingham and Whatcom County.

Fairhaven links to several different trails for hiking, walking, running and biking. A visitor can rent a bike from Fairhaven Bike & Ski or Amtrak allows travelers to bring bikes aboard. From Fairhaven via bike, you can easily jump on the Interurban Trail and explore Chuckanut Drive and Arroyo Park or bike to downtown Bellingham via Taylor Dock and Boulevard Park on the waterfront. In April, 2011, Bellingham was named “Best Paddling and Adventure Town” By Outdoors Northwest Magazine, which touted its accessibility to bike trails and Mt Baker (and called Bellingham “a haven for paddlers”).

Suggested bus excursions include an afternoon trip to Lake Padden, Bloedel Donovan Park at Lake Whatcom or Whatcom Falls Park. All three parks offer scenery, bike/pedestrian-friendly trails, lush forests, lakes/creeks and picnic spots. WTA buses also have bike racks, so it’s easy to combine bus and bike travel. Mountain bike enthusiasts may take the WTA bus to Lake Padden and bike to the foot of Galbraith Mountain to explore miles of technical single-track trails with gorgeous views of the city and Bellingham Bay. WTA buses also make frequent trips to Birch Bay Waterslides in the summer months.

If the train isn’t for you, Bellingham is also a great place to enjoy a “park once” get-away. Drive to Bellingham via Interstate-5, stay and play in Fairhaven, or check out one of our many hotels near downtown Bellingham (like the Best Western Lakeway Inn, Best Western Plus Heritage Inn, or Hotel Bellwether); bring your bike to get around if you’d prefer.

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Another car-free option is to sample local wines by taking a Whatcom Wine Tour. The tour includes transportation (including pick up and drop off at Bellingham hotels), sampling at 3 of Whatcom County’s 12 wineries, lunch and behind-the-scenes tours of the wineries.

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