1. The Weather. Yeah, I said it. People love to complain about the weather in Bellingham, but in the summer it can’t be beat. I even like the rain, it makes things grow, leaving us with lush green landscape and fresh food. And in the winter, it translates to the deepest snow in the country at Mt. Baker. Washington’s reputation for rain keeps us from being flooded with transplants à la California (except those with great taste-love you guys!). I can deal with some showers to live in one of the most beautiful, un-crowded places around.
2. The Views. Call me vain, but a pretty view can really improve just about any situation. Whether you’re looking at Bellingham Bay, Mt. Baker, or just some lush greenery, location is everything!
3. Local Businesses. Bellingham rocks the local business scene. You can grocery shop locally at the farmers’ market (or Haggen’s for that matter), you can shop for clothes on Railroad Avenue, then go get a bite to eat at La Fiamma Woodfire Pizza. Local businesses help keep Bellingham unique.
4. Friendly People. These are the people supporting local business! I am always happy to have positive interactions with the people of Bellingham. There’s no big-city, every man for himself vibe that can be found in Seattle. We all know how lucky we are to live here, and it shows.
5. Outdoor Sports. Just out Bellingham’s backdoor, we have hiking, biking, skiing, snowboarding, kayaking, and so much more! For outdoor buffs, this is the place to be.
6. Seattle and Vancouver. For those times when I think, “maybe Bellingham is too small,” I just go to Seattle or Vancouver for the day. Only about an hour and a half away in either direction (north or south on I-5), I can get my big city fix, and come home relieved by the lack of traffic and stressed out people.
7. Western Washington University. Western gives a vibrancy to Bellingham, through the students’ youthfulness, the intellect it brings to town, and its contribution to cultural activities.
8. The Mountains and Sound. This plays into #2 and #5, but where else can you ski and kayak in the same day? And the views are to die for!
9. The Neighborhoods. I am happy to have a variety of neighborhoods and architectural styles in Bellingham. I truly believe everyone can find their ‘perfect place’ in Bellingham (or in Whatcom County for country-lovers). There’s artsy neighborhoods, neighborhoods with great views, neighborhoods close to downtown, and so on. There are Craftsmen homes, Victorians, and ranch homes. It’s all a matter of personal preference, but I for one am glad to not be surrounded by nondescript tract homes all the time. The neighborhoods give Bellingham a real sense of character.
10. The Arts Scene. From performing arts, to live music, to contemporary art, Bellingham’s got it. For a town of approximately 75,000 people we have an amazing art scene! We have a circus, a great art walk, and some awesome venues. You can pretty much see as much art as you can absorb and then some. Or participate, at the Temple Bar’s Dr. Sketchy nights.
So, to all my friends near and far, come visit me! I’ll give you the VIP tour of Bellingham, Washington.