Bellingham Journals

Bellingham, on the way to somewhere else

An April 2005 trip to Bellingham by snuffelupagus

Quote: Money Magazine and AARP have consistently listed Bellingham as one of the best places to live. Well, please don’t think about living here. However, if you are just planning to visit, Bellingham is one of the best places to while away a few hours or a few days.

Bellingham, on the way to somewhere else

Overview

Quote:
Actually, I am glad to be living in Bellingham. However, with all the top-ten placements Bellingham receives, I feel the need to emphasize that it is a great place to visit. Luckily, you can enjoy most of the things I love about this place if you are staying for just a few days or hours. It’s April, which means the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is in full swing. Is the highlight the tulips? Alas, no. It is the lunch or dinner you have at the La Conner Brewing Company after a hard day of tip-toeing through the tulips. If you just want to be outdoors, that can be arranged as well. The parks along Bellingham Bay, Marine, Boulevard, and Z...Read More

Hampton Inn Bellingham

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel | "Hampton Inn"

Quote:
The Hampton Inn is a great option if you are looking for reliable accommodations. Bellingham does have its share of quaint inns and B&Bs, but the Hampton Inn has several amenities that you can appreciate, no matter what type of lodging you normally prefer. First, as with the entire chain, it offers a 100% satisfacation guarantee - if you don't like you stay, you don't have to pay. Having said that, I have friends that work there, and the one thing that annoys them is when people ask for the guarantee but never talked to an employee about improving their stay. So, yes, you can abuse this program, but for most people it is a reminder that you sho...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 15, 2005

Hampton Inn Bellingham
3985 BENNETT DRIVE
Bellingham, Washington 98226
360-676-7700

Pepper Sisters

Restaurant

Quote:
The first time I went to Pepper Sisters, I knew it was a restaurant I was not going to like. The booths were covered in sketchy vinyl from the ‘50s and none of the tables or chairs matched; it just seemed like a dive. And then I tasted the food, which is a totally different experience. The Southwestern menu is diverse, with several vegetarian and vegan options. My boyfriend loves all things spicy, and every time he eats there, he ends up with a very red face and an unbuttoned collar, so be careful when you say you want your dish hot. Since I live here, I always feel compelled to try the daily special, but the chicken quesadilla is still my favorite. Unfortunately, they are closed o...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 8, 2005

Pepper Sisters
1055 N. State Street
Bellingham, Washington 98225
(360) 671-3414

Chuckanut Manor Seafood & Grill

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "Chuckanut Manor"

Quote:
Chuckanut Manor has a little bit of everything that makes Bellingham such a great place to visit – great location, good food, and a homey atmosphere. It sits at the bottom of scenic Chuckanut Drive, which dumps back onto I-5, so it is easily accessible on your way to or from Seattle. My favorite meal is the Friday-night Seafood Smorgasbord. It is $25 per person, which may sound pricey, but considering that the also recommended Sunday-night All-You-Can-Eat-Dungeness-Crab at Anthony’s is $26, it is definitely a good deal, since you have a selection to choose from. Even though they warn that items may change, you can usually rely on the following ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 15, 2005

Chuckanut Manor Seafood & Grill
3056 Chuckanut Drive
Bellingham, Washington 98232
(360) 766-6191

Anthony's Restaurant

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "Anthony's"

Quote:
Anthony’s is a local seafood place I always feel confident recommending. Granted, it is part of a chain, but that chain consists of 16 restaurants – 13 of which are within 4 hours of each other in western Washington – and I’ve had the same positive experiences at four other locations. For lunch, I’ve always felt it’s a bit pricey, and usually reserve going there for dinner. There are monthly specials based on what is in season. I highly recommend the Yukon River salmon. I spent my college summers in Alaska, and the Yukon River salmon is second only to salmon you catch yourself in dining experience. There are also nightly specials and the All-You-Can...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 15, 2005

Anthony's Restaurant
25 Bellwether Way
Bellingham, Washington 98225
(360) 647-5588

The Marina

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
The Marina is a local restaurant that many see as the local seafood restaurant in Bellingham. Although I have had good experiences here, I have also had poor experiences that make me appreciate the consistency of Anthony’s right next door. But if you prefer local to chains, this place has the potential to offer a good dining experience. One thing the Marina can’t get wrong is the view. With tiered-dining floors and a panoramic window, there are almost no bad seats. The view is part Bellingham Bay, part Squalicum Harbor, and 100% amazing on a clear day at sunset. So if you are from someplace landlocked, this is a great spot to spend an hour admiring the view and enjoying the seafood. ...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on April 15, 2005

The Marina
7 Bellwether Way
Bellingham, Washington
(360) 733-8292

Speak E-Z's

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
Last night, we finally tried Speak E-Z’s Memphis-style BBQ, and were pleasantly rewarded with some of the best barbecue we’ve ever had. The restaurant, located in the Fountain District, has been open for a couple of years. I’ve driven by it almost every week and wondered whether it was any good or totally sketchy; we are in the Pacific Northwest after all. However, my boyfriend also drove by it frequently and was astute enough to notice that it was almost always full. So, the food snob from Texas (Mike) decided it was time for us to try that barbecue place and see if it was any good. When we arrived around 5:30 in the evening, ther...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 19, 2005

Speak E-Z's
2400 Meridian St.
Bellingham, Washington 98225
(360) 714-0606

Dirty Dan Harris'

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
Dirty Dan Harris’ used to be my favorite restaurant in Bellingham. However, the combination of what appears to be a new kitchen staff and the increased number of excellent restaurants in town has bumped it from my number one spot. However, I still recommend it for people who, for some reason, come to the Pacific Northwest and crave a steak. For 5 years, Dirty Dan’s was the only place we went for birthdays and anniversaries. We always requested the same table up in the bar (B1, I think) because it overlooked the main dining area and didn’t have other tables around it, so it was as private as you could get. When people asked for suggestions of a go...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 20, 2005

Dirty Dan Harris'
1211 11th Street
Bellingham, Washington 98225
(360) 676-1011

Osaka

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
While I can’t recommend a single Chinese restaurant in Bellingham, I think we have several excellent Thai and Japanese options. The top option for Japanese is Osaka. The service is friendly and efficient; the portions are enormous; both the regular and sushi menus are extensive; and the food is well-prepared. But the main reason Osaka is my favorite is that, in addition to all the other things you expect from a good restaurant, it has the most serene and relaxing atmosphere allowing me to really enjoy the meal. Ninety percent of the time, I order one of two dishes, spicy tofu stir-fry or the tempura/teriyaki combo, and have never been disappointed. The magical powers of the spicy...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 9, 2005

Osaka
3207 Northwest Avenue
Bellingham, Washington 98225
(360) 676-6268

Du Jour Bistro

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "Du Jour Bistro (The Vines)"

Quote:
After my first visit on my birthday, I proceeded to go to Du Jour Bistro for lunch and dinner five times in 2 weeks. I've toned it down to once a week, but it certainly fits my "destination dining" criteria. I happily recommend this place. There are about 10 tables, and it remains cozy despite several tables next to the wine racks. I recommend reservations, but they are not usually necessary. The main reason I make reservations is to reserve Table #1 in the back corner. It is the coziest spot, but any of the three tables by the wall are your best bets. The menu is posted on a blackboard at the front entrance. There are no printed menus, so you do ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 11, 2005

Du Jour Bistro
1319 Cornwall Ave.
Bellingham, Washington
360/714-1161

Getting Around

Story/Tip

Quote:
Although Bellingham natives have always supported public transportation, like almost all West Coast cities, it shouldn't be relied on the get you everywhere. To get to most of the scenic places, such as Mt. Baker, Larabee State Park, or the outlet stores, a car is a must. Within the city WTA is user-friendly as long as you aren't traveling on Sunday. They also have a great point-to-point service for the elderly or people who need accessible transportation. If you are staying at the Hampton Inn near the Bellingham airport, you can take advantage of their on-demand shuttle that goes anywhere in Bellingham, plus to the Silve...Read More

About the Writer

snuffelupagus

snuffelupagus
Bellingham, Washington

Bellingham Tips & Stories

Fairhaven
Getting Around