Founded by improv master and Whose Line Is It Anyway? star Ryan Stiles, this cozy downtown theater hosts family-friendly improv shows every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night. Recurring programs include The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly, which encourages audience participation, and various genre spoofs.
This all-ages science museum takes visitors through the history of electrical innovation with artifacts dating from the 1600s through the present, including one of Thomas Edison’s first working electric lamps. Catch a MegaZapper electrical show for a demonstration of one of the country’s largest Tesla coils.
Bellingham’s beloved urban escape is home to 3.5 miles of hiking trails which meander through 241 acres of forests and meadows, as well as a children’s fishing pond, playgrounds, and tennis courts. The park’s waterfalls—four cataracts in total—careen through a rocky gorge carved by Whatcom Creek.
Eat and Drink
This micro roaster produces some of the best coffee in the java-loving Northwest and in 2017 opened an all-day café in downtown Bellingham. In addition to its award-winning coffees, the flagship location also serves wine, beer, polished plates like sweet potato gnocchi and braised pork shoulder, and a breakfast—dutch baby pancakes, chicken and waffles—that Food & Wine named among the best in Washington state.
Organic beer—including a lager, an IPA, and a B’ham Brown—are the specialty at this downtown brewery. A certified B Corporation, Aslan is committed to making brewing greener, whether that’s harvesting rainwater or donating spent grain to local farmers to use as feed.
Curing meat, smoking fish, making pasta—chef Todd Alan Martin does it all. Plates may include halibut pulled from the Salish Sea that morning or mushrooms harvested from the Cascade Mountains. Though he sources almost entirely locally, Martin’s cuisine draws inspiration from around the country. Fry bread, salsa, and chimichurri are served alongside fried chicken and buttermilk dumplings, dressed up with modern flair.
A cooperative gallery located in Fairhaven for more than 30 years, Artwood features pieces from 80 regional woodworkers, including seven artists in residence. Items range from natural wood tables to ukuleles, jewelry, and board games.
A beloved institution, Fairhaven’s Village Books helped spur the historic district’s economic revival when it opened in 1980. Today, the shop hosts more than 300 author readings each year, featuring prominent literary figures like New York Times bestselling novelist Andy Weir and children’s author and illustrator Jan Brett. Stop at Evolve Chocolate + Café on the shop’s mezzanine level for coffee, wine, beer, and snacks.
The owners extensively renovated this former 1950s motel, renaming it after their favorite nearby hiking trail,Heliotrope Ridge. Rooms feature original local art and custom-built furniture including tree-trunk coat racks, and larger suites are equipped with full kitchens. Relax in the Hub, a community space with a fireplace and library, or in the yard, which offers lawn games, picnic tables, and fire pits.
Set in Whatcom County in the late 1800s, this quintessential Pacific Northwest novel explores the relationship between European settlers and the Lummi people. Pulitzer Prize–winning author Annie Dillard spent five years living in Bellingham to research this unflinching story that’s rich with regional history.