Whatcom County is known for recreation, arts and great food. In just one day, a person can see waterfalls, go skiing and catch a ferry to Alaska. Or they can go for a hike, lay by the lake and peruse the aisles of a world-class bookstore. City lovers can explore museums, see a performance at a theater built in 1927, grab a delicious cup of coffee, walk downtown and then grab a beer.

And there’s no shortage of meal options. Abundant local farms and fisheries supply Bellingham area restaurants with fresh picked ingredients daily.

There’s no doubt, this is an incredible vacation destination. But if you really want to make your trip memorable, check out the unique accommodations of Bellingham and Whatcom County.

Hamlet Hotel
Living spaces at the Hamlet are comfy and homey, overlooking popular downtown destinations. Photo credit: Kristi Coulter

Hamlet Hotel

Hamlet Hotel is a cozy, boutique inn located right in the heart of downtown Bellingham. Within a one-block radius, guests can enjoy the Bellingham Farmers Market, an award-winning brewery and easy access to a host of coffee shops, entertainment and transportation options.

The rooms are modern with generous accents in old-town brick; the owners have maintained 90 percent of the original walls. The building is a 1906 treasure to locals who may remember the Cottage Bar, which once occupied the bottom floor.

Renovations also included seismic upgrades and a complete fire system. Patrons can rest assured that although the building is historic, its amenities are up-to-date and include Wi-Fi and large televisions.

Heliptrope Bellingham
Mid-century renovation meets Northwest nature-lover at the Heliotrope. Photo credit: Dylan Santos Green

Heliotrope Hotel

Heliotrope Hotel is also located near downtown Bellingham with ready access to the heart of the entertainment district. It’s stylish with a clean urban flair, and highlights Bellingham’s easy access to outdoor recreation. The staff stands by in “the hub” to help guests find the best hiking, skiing or dining options.

Everything about the Heliotrope is designed to spotlight the unique cultural and environmental experience of the Pacific Northwest.

Built from a renovated mid-century motel, the Heliotrope offers 18 rooms that convene around a central lawn and indoor gathering space. The area is ideal for relaxing around the fire pit, enjoying a cup of coffee, reading a book, or working. Rooms are decorated in a ‘50s-era aesthetic with contemporary comfort. All but two rooms have a four- to six-inch step at the entry.

Light House Room Bellingham
A spiral staircase leads guests to an unparalleled view. Photo credit: Mark Turner

Hotel Bellwether

Hotel Bellwether offers a host of rooms and suites for Bellingham visitors, and also boasts one of the most unique stays around. Its lighthouse is home to a 900-square-foot space over three floors topped with a stunning 360-degree water view.

From the observation deck, guests can drink in views of Bellingham Bay, Squalicum Harbor, Mount Baker and the City of Bellingham. The Bellwether also provides the fantastic Lighthouse restaurant and is conveniently next to Zazen Salon Spa.

The Stone’s Throw taproom offers an abundance of options under exposed wood trusses. Photo courtesy: Stone’s Throw Brewery

Stone’s Throw Brewery Airbnb

Stone’s Throw Brewery offers an Airbnb guest house that’s perfect for beer lovers. You can’t get closer to the taps than this. And these hosts boast 269 reviews and a five-star Airbnb rating.

There’s easy access to downtown Fairhaven and the interurban trail, which leads to two parks, a creek and the bay. Nearby you’ll find a multitude of dining options including magnificent Italian at Mambo Italiano Café, fine dining at Dirty Dan Harris Steakhouse, Keenan’s at the Pier or the Black Cat, and much more.

Willows Inn Bungalow
Walking to the Willow’s Inn Bungalow along a nature path offers a peek of the ocean. Photo credit: Charity Burggraaf

The Willows Inn

The Willows Inn on Lummi Island is celebrated for its delightful uniqueness. Most exciting? It has been named Best Restaurant in North America for three straight years – 2017, 2018 and 2019 – by Opinionated About Dining. Chef Blaine Wetzel prides himself on using locally harvested ingredients, so everything on the menu has a definite upscale Northwest touch.

Lummi Island offers guests easy access to adventurous activities such as kayaking, biking and beach combing. The hotel has a multitude of accommodation options, which include on-site rooms, nearby bungalows, local houses and more.

Pleasant Bay Lookout
Pleasant Bay Lookout sits in the treetops. Photo courtesy: Aimee Frazier

Pleasant Bay Lookout

Pleasant Bay Lookout on Chuckanut Drive provides a treehouse view. The hosts reside in this home, but open a room to guests that includes 24/7 access, privacy and all the amenities, including a shared kitchen, living area, balcony overlook and hot tub.

The bay view is unmatched and the Pacific Northwest’s beauty encircles the home, topped by a sensation of being suspended in the trees. The couple rents out a second, unshared space, as well.

Note: Wheelchair accessibility is limited at each of these lodging options. Call ahead for specific details before you go.

Interested in seeing more? Additional hotel options can be found on the Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism website. Or call the Bellingham Visitor Information Center, which is open daily 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., at 360-671-3990.


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