Lowdown in the Hometown: Best Places for Entertainment

One of the things I really love about Bellingham is the plethora of entertainment available on a regular basis. So for this time of the lowdown in the hometown, I thought I’d write about some of my favorite places to go for entertainment!

Best Movie Theater(s)

The Pickford Theater and the Limelight Theater are two independent movie theaters both owned and operated by the nonprofit Pickford Film Center. I really love these theaters and have watched the Pickford Film Center grow from a tiny little theater with terrible seats into the three screen theater it currently is. Mostly, there are independent movies shown on a regular basis but the theaters also do the occasional weekend showings of family movies, different film festivals, and regularly show old sci-fi and noir films. Plus, I’ve recently started volunteering there, giving me even more reasons to love this theater.

Best Live Theater

The Idiom is actually located right behind the Limelight theater in downtown Bellingham and is home to some of the most original productions. It was founded in 2001 and has (in my opinion) thrived as a part of Bellingham culture. There are always an array of amazing and original plays being produced there and the small size of the theater really allows for the audience to be caught in the magic of the performances.

Best Bookstore

Village Books is located in the Fairhaven neighborhood of Bellingham, one that’s not too far from where I grew up. It was renovated and made more modern roughly 11 years ago, losing some of the lovely and homey charm I remember from my childhood. But this independent bookstore still remains one of my favorites to visit. Dogs are always welcome (and treats are at the counter!) and there are author readings, story times, open mics, and so many other events. While this bookstore has drastically changed from the one I remember growing up, it’s still one of my favorite places in Bellingham and favorite bookstores out there.

Lowdown in the Hometown: Best Day Trips

IMG_4843One of the nice things about Bellingham is the proximity to several beautiful locations with numerous things to do. There are so many trails to hike, places to see, great food to eat. So for this lowdown in the hometown, I’ll be writing about my favorite day trips from Bellingham.


San Juan Islands

IMG_4858The San Juan Islands are comprised of multiple different islands that are each unique and wonderful to visit. I recently just did a day trip out to Lopez Island and spent several hours just adventuring around the island. There were trails to hike, beaches to explore, and while the village was mostly closed during the winter, it was still fun to walk around and window shop. Shark Reef Sanctuary was definitely my favorite part of the island and has about a mile round trip hike through the forest and gorgeous view of the sound. A few of the other islands include San Juan, Orcas, and Freeman.


th (1)My parents met, got married, and lived in Seattle for many years before moving up to Bellingham just after I was born so I grew up taking day trips down to the city. There are plenty of things I love about the city and many things I can so very easily live without (traffic being the key for that). But definitely my favorite touristy place in Seattle is of course the Pike Place Market. This market is a must see while visiting the city and there’s so much to see. It’s a permanent market, home to artist booths, fresh food, fish and seafood sellers, restaurants, and other stores. There’s a floor below the main market that’s home to a great comic shop, a magic store, and a few other places that are always there in the market. Just outside the market, there’s the Left Bank Books that I really love visiting. It’s a collectively owned radical bookstore and has this amazing window seat on the second floor that overlooks the crowds going into the market.

Mount Baker and Mount Baker Highway

Driving up Mount Baker Highway is so gorgeous, no matter the weather. Along the way to the top, there are plenty of places to stop and hike for a while. One place is Nooksack Falls, where there a couple trails to adventure through and there is an amazing view of the falls near the parking area. Driving up to either of the ski lodges is also great – the lower lodge is absolutely gorgeous but if you’re thinking of skiing or snowboarding, only go to this one if you’re comfortable doing either. Heather Meadows is the upper lodge and has access to a few easier slopes for beginners and there are a couple places to sled if you want! Unlike the eastern part of the United States, we’ve had an extremely mild and warm winter so unfortunately this year has been awful for skiing and snowboarding. But going up the Mount Baker Highway is still beautiful with or without the snow.

Edison, via Chuckanut Drive

Edison is a tiny little town about half an hour south of Bellingham (and I mean really tiny. The 2010 census counted 133 people as the population). But there are several really cool art galleries and a couple really quirky stores to window shop through. The Lucky Dumpster is an artist collective and sells a plethora of different things made by local artists (mugs, scarfs, paintings, clothing, etc). Plus, there’s a cafe called Tweets that’s basically mainstream hipster heaven – the food is not only fantastic but the entire cafe is small and has a very Pacific Northwest vibe to it. And it is possible to take I5 to Edison, driving down on Chuckanut Drive is always beautiful and scenic!

Low down in the Hometown: Best places for food and coffee

On the first and third Wednesday of each month from now on, I’ll be writing about some of my favorite places in my hometown. Being back after college for an indefinite period of time has made it really difficult to see the things that I do still love about my hometown of Bellingham, Washington. This month, my top three favorite places for food and coffee.

Best Breakfast: Old Town Cafe


Old Town is definitely my favorite place to go for breakfast/brunch, in part because most of the menu is vegetarian and local but also because of the vibe of the cafe. The food is simple and delicious and many of their vendors come from the Bellingham/Whatcom area. Musicians occassionally fill the cafe with great background music (but aren’t loud enough to overpower any conversation). The wait (especially on the weekends) can be long but with antique and thrift stores next store, the wait is never boring.

Best Sandwich: Avenue Bread


Avenue Bread has three locations in the Bellingham area but by far my favorite is the one in Fairhaven (mostly because of the people working there). The menu is filled with amazing food, including breakfast sandwiches (called eggenues), wraps, grilled sandwiches, cold sandwiches, salads, soup, pastries, and coffee. Each cafe is also filled with amazing art and the bakers occasionally make amazing art pieces from bread. (One thanksgiving, they made a turkey out out bread, which I found much too hilarious.)

Best Coffee: Black Drop Coffee House and Tony’s Coffee


I honestly could not decide between my favorite place for coffee so this has ended up being a tie between my favorites. Black Drop is in downtown Bellingham, offering the usual coffeehouse menu and their own unique espresso drinks. Plus, I actually just found out that the Black Drop is an employee owned cooperative, making it even more special for me. Tony’s, on the other hand, is in Fairhaven and still offers that local and old spirit I remember of the neighborhood that seems to be fading as the city develops. The coffee there is really great and has a really great atmosphere for hanging out and getting some writing done.