I took an hour and a half drive north from Seattle to visit my good friend Michelle in Bellingham! We met working as observers and between contracts in Alaska, this is where she spends most of her time. She loves it there and my other friend Julian went to Western Washington University likes it there as well, so I wanted to see for myself.
It’s an easy drive from Seattle on the I-5 and Michelle suggested I get off the freeway a few exits early to experience Chuckanut Drive and with a name like that, I couldn’t resist. Getting off at Bow Hill Road, you drive through a few miles of farmland to be met with the beautiful coast drives the Pacific Northwest is known for. I’d love to come back and explore Larrabee State Park and Teddy Bear Cove on Chuckanut Bay and the lakes!
Before heading into the city, I also visited Whatcom Falls Park. Following Lakeway Drive to Silver Beach Road, you can hear the falls as soon as you get out of your car. I opted to walk around a bit (the whole park can easily be walked in an hour and a half) before seeing the falls and they are lovely! This is such a fun, short must-see stop if you’re visiting Bellingham, I love a little nature detour when I visit cities.
After that, I met up with Michelle at one of Bellingham’s many breweries, Aslan Brewing. With tasty food, a large local selection of drinks (I got a Rainer cherry cider) and great atmosphere, it was a lovely place to catch up.
We walked around downtown, hitting a few craft stores and a book store: Henderson’s. This used bookstore is right in the heart of downtown and pretty massive, it’s quite overwhelming. As with all used bookstores, the books are usually older so you have to know what you’re after. I picked up The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and am so excited to read it!
Michelle and I went our separate ways and I carried on to Fairhaven, a small neighborhood by the university. There, to nobody’s surprise, I hit two more bookstores. First I went to Eclipse, another used bookstore that is more atmospheric than Henderson’s with waterfront views, but just as chaotic with piles of books everywhere. Then, I went to Village Books which was absolutely incredible, it may be one of my new favorite bookstores. With a good selection of new and used books, a cafe overlooking the bottom floor and author events, one could spend hours in here. Or even right outside the store in the small park lined with benches and lights. All in all, amazingly pleasant experience.
I had the perfect chill day checking out bookstores, staying local ciders and taking in more of my state. I rarely venture outside of Seattle and would love to see more of what Washington has to offer.