The Source From Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism Oct/Nov 2012
In This Issue
B’ham’s Bay Street
Arts and Jansen Arts Center
Shopping: Off-the-beaten-path
Outdoor Winter Rec
Restaurant News
In the News
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Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism

Welcome to The Source


Thanks for keeping up with the latest from Bellingham and Whatcom County.


This bi-monthly e-newsletter is specifically designed for our friends in the media.  We put it together with you in mind and jam-pack it full of story ideas.


We’re highlighting Bellingham’s Revitalized Bay Street, off-the-beaten-bath shopping ideas for the holidays,  outdoor adventures this winter, what’s new in the restaurant scene, and how the PNW weather inspires great art.


Take a look at to get inspired. For media inquiries, contact

Media Tours: Past and Future

In September, Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism hosted 8 travel writers from all over the country who are members of the International Wine, Food and Travel Writers

Association (IFWTWA). This larger-than-usual media tour was 6 days long and focused on Whatcom County’s locally grown, made and farmed foods and beverages, which is quite varied. We covered a lot of ground: from shellfish and foraged greens, to sweets, produce, cheese, pasta, sausages, vodka, IPA and wine…it was all delicious.

The writers told us many times over what an amazing place Bellingham is and how lucky we are to live here and promote it. Would you like to see for yourself? Contact us if you want to be considered for a media trip in 2013.


In the meantime, see photos of the tour here and here.  And lots of their press below.

Story Idea: New Life on Bellingham’s Bay Street  

Anchored by two major entertainment venues, four high-traffic eateries and key street-scape improvements,Bellingham’s

once-languishing Bay Street Block is now a vibrant tourism destination in the heart of the city’s cultural arts district.


“We have been a part of revitalizing the cultural arts district for about two years,” said Wes Herman, owner of The Woods Coffee, which now has a location on Bay Street. “We have seen some amazing changes with the Spark Museum and Pickford Film Centerto go along with our own transformation of the Flatiron building. We were initially excited about the new space for our use, but we really had no idea how the changes would impact this downtown block. It has come alive!”


Story Idea: Arts Scene and New Art CenterFor an artist, what’s more inspiring than gorgeous scenery and sunsets? While artisans throughout the Bellingham area enjoy the generous daylight of summer, many find the soon-to-be-falling raindrops enlivening… and reason to stay inside and create.

Bellingham Arts Scene: DowntownBellingham’s Arts District offers galleries, monthly art walks,museums, theaters of all stripes and unique shopping of locally-made crafts and art. Western Washington University is home to the Performing Arts Center and two galleries.


New Jansen Art Center: Located in downtown Lynden, the new Jansen Art Center was once home to the Lynden CityHall and Fire Hall, but has been completely transformed into a gorgeous, modern building full of light and beauty. It is a place for artists to create, teach, share and engage the community in appreciation of the arts.


Lummi Island, Fairhaven and more: The local artist community lives beyond the borders of Bellingham. Many reside (and show their work) on Lummi Island, the Historic District of FairhavenBlaine and in the more rural areas of Whatcom County.


Get additional info on the art scene here and here.

Story Idea: Off-the-Beaten-Path Shopping in Bellingham

Bellingham, WA is a popular destination for shoppers, especially our friends from Canada. Many people enjoy the main shopping area on Guide Meridian street, while others are eager to find the more unique, off-the-beaten-path places to shop, which are plentiful in the Bellingham and Whatcom County. Getdetails about these awesome “secret” shopping locations or enjoy a true treasure hunt and explore these places yourself.

Story Idea:

Winter Recreation for 2012-13

Whatcom County has plenty of ways to enjoy the winter months – from snowshoeing in the national forest to racing down the slopes of Mt. Baker on snowboard or skis.

10,781-foot Mount Baker is a popular destination in the winter for downhill skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, cross country skiing and sledding. It’s a huge draw for locals, Western Washington University students and visitors from Canada and the Seattle area, especially. The Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest also attracts snowmobilers and sledding enthusiasts in the winter months. Get more info.

Bellingham Restaurant News Round UpBellingham has several new cafes and restaurants now open or opening in the fall or winter of 2012. They feature unique, delicious and locally-grown (and made) items. Several others have gone through major changes. And one local baker is enjoying some sweetly satisfying success! Get details

New: Ciao Thyme, known to many locals as an upscale catering company, has now opened a café next to its kitchen (and private dining room) called On The Side. It opened in September 2012.



Cheese Meat(s) Beer is located inside the Whatcom Museum’s Lightcatcher and its rotating menu features locally-sourced ingredients (notice a theme here?) with an emphasis on pairings. It opened in April 2012.


Dine and Stay: Several hotels in the Bellingham area have gone through significant facelifts and renovations and hired new chefs. Hotel Bellwether’s restaurant is now called theLighthouse Bar and Grill; Best Western Plus Lakeway Inn recently reopened its Poppe’s 360 Neighborhood Pub; Semiahmoo Resort’s Stars Restaurant touts a new menu, cuisine, and chef; and the Chyrsalis Inn & Spa will be opening the newly-designed Keenan’s Waterfront Grill, which offers a full-service bar and new menu items.


Coming soon:  One of Bellingham’s most popular pop-ups, Dashi Noodle, will be opening its doors next month on State Street (in downtown) after working the streets, farmers markets and pseudo-food truck phenomena. Rocket Donuts is hoping to open its second location in Bellingham in the Historic Fairhaven District by the end of the year.


Sweet Success: Katie’s Cupcakes was named champion of Cupcake Wars on the Food Network on Sunday, October 7. Her winning flavors include Banana Apricot, Chocolate Chip Cookie, Chocolate Peanut Butter Dolce de Leche and White Chocolate Macadamia Nut. Way to go, Katie!

Whatcom County in the News features all our media coverage.

Check out these recent stories which have appeared in print, blog and television media:


Want to experience 4 million volts of electricity coming at you while you sit in a metal cage? The Spark Museum of Electrical Invention in Bellingham has its MegaZapper ready, plus what it says is the world’s largest private collection of mankind’s electrical history.


Standing in a small forest clearing about a half mile from downtown Bellingham, I savor several minutes of serenity amid Douglas firs, western hemlocks and western red cedars at the Sehome Hill Arboretum.


Pronounced “gooey duck,” it is, naturally, neither gooey nor a duck but a perfectly normal member of the clam family, native of North America’s Pacific northwest coast, specifically Washington State and Canada’s British Columbia.


The Northwest Shows its Colors A perfect way to appreciate the beauty of fall is to hit the highway. A slight chill in the air, shadows lengthening earlier each day, the rustle of leaves underfoot all signal fall.



Problem: When international visitors come to explore the incredible Pacific Northwest they usually run themselves ragged trying to fit in visits to Vancouver, Seattle, the beaches lining the Oregon coast and a few San Juan Islands. Solution… (hint, it includes Bellingham).


What do you do if you’re a recent immigrant from Poland and are unable to continue a career in law? You open a restaurant, of course, like legions of immigrants before you, and if you are Magdalena Theisen, you create a sensation in the historic Fairhaven district of Bellingham, WA.


Travel writer extraordinaire Janice Nieder shares some tips and secrets for those looking to explore the little town of Bellingham, Washington. Find out where to stay, dine, tour. Plus spas, and Guinness World Record-worthy treats at Mallard Ice Cream. Oh. My.


What a beauty! And what a fun day for those of us lucky enough to be aboard the Schooner Zodiac based in Bellingham, Washington. The clouds parted, the sun shone, the water sparkled, the beer and wine flowed…


Located about six miles from Bellingham in Lynden,Washington and just a few miles from Canada, BelleWood Acres is home to one of Northwest Washington’s largest apple orchards. Locals often pick their own apples and pumpkins.



A crew of 10 and 18 passengers set sail this summer from Bellingham, Wash., on a four-day, three-night wine cruise. The destinations: Lummi Island, Lopez Island and San Juan Island, each of which is home to at least one island winery.


Travel Washington, USA – Schooner Zodiac: Cruising the San Juan Islands in Search of Great Wine


My journey began by taking the beautiful Chuckanut Drive instead of Interstate 5 into historic Fairhaven, the old part of the city of Bellingham.


Not only are we buying all their milk, we’re also booking all their hotel rooms in what some are calling “shopping tourism.” According to Larry MacDonald, manager of Bellingham’s Best Western Lakeway Inn, the hotel experienced a 75 per cent spike in walk-in bookings this summer compared to the same season last year.


A roundup of summer and fall music festivals at your favorite wineries across the country. Sipping wine under the stars while listening to live music-now that’s an ideal pairing. Features Vartanyan Estates.


Day two began with the ringing of the breakfast bell at 7 am sharp.  After a robust breakfast of French toast, bacon, fresh fruit and fried potatoes, we prepared to set sail.


I was so excited about my sailing trip on the Schooner Zodiac that I could hardly sleep the night before we set sail. The Zodiac is a 160 ft.  windjammer built in 1924 for the Johnson family (of Johnson & Johnson).

Scotty Browns at Bellingham International Airport


Scotty Browns, a favorite Whatcom County dining destination, opened a new location behind the security line in the new terminal at Bellingham International Airport. This is a first for the airport and Scotty Browns, and the venture has been welcomed with open arms by hungry travelers waiting to depart on their flights.



Once upon a time, Bellingham, Washington, was more of a shopaholic’s pit stop than a real destination for Canadian travelers. A mere 70km. south of Vancouver, it offered highway-side factory outlet stores that gave Canucks their quick fix of discount “merch.”


Although my wife Risa enjoys boating, her ideal getaway involves visiting vineyards and wine-tasting rooms. While I’ll happily quaff a glass of Pinot noir, my favorite escape centers on cruising aboard Freelance, our Monaro 21 cuddy cruiser.


For great eats and good entertainment this summer, a berry good time can be had by all at these fruit festivals from California straight up to Washington and Oregon. (We couldn’t help ourselves.) Cherry Fruit Day: July 14, 2012 Mount Vernon, WA The cherry varieties of Washington (the nation’s largest producer of sweet cherries) are […]


Four days of vintage cruising to coax your tastebuds to life This past weekend, I embarked on something truly out of the ordinary: a four-day wine cruise through the San Juan Islands aboard the Schooner Zodiac ( that was so close to home, I’d be tempted to cross the border every week.


Winding through ever deepening channels of rugged scenery, the highway north of Bellingham enters an almost arboreous world largely dominated by green firs. State Route 542 takes you to one of Washington State’s most visually stunning destinations: the Mt.Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.


Cross-border shopping is a fact of West Coast life; the notion of cross-border listening, maybe not so much. The next few weeks are the in-between period of the classical concert calendar: The main seasons of all our major presenters are over, and the rich assortment of festivals and summer one-offs are still gearing up.


Forget Seattle. Here are four less expensive places to settle down in the Evergreen State. When baby boomers think about Washington State, the R-word that comes to mind isn’t retirement, but rain.


Whatcom County in Washington holds many attractions and destinations for those traveling for a day trip, or longer, from the Greater Vancouver region. Moving beyond the shopping malls and grocery stores of Bellingham, there’s much more to discover and enjoy.


I can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday night than strolling through the historic streets of Bellingham with a couple of Good Time Girls touring the town’s whorehouses. Modern day Bellingham, Washingtonis clean, green and family-friendly, but it wasn’t always that way.


On a recent history-themed tour of Whatcom County, I visited the Heritage Flight Museum in Bellingham, home to a collection of vintage aircraft and a bounty of colourful airborne tales.


A train whistle blew in the distance as we walked out onto Fairhaven’s Village Green plaza with Chuck Robinson, Owner of Village Books. The historic district in Washington State’s Whatcom County is on the National Register of Historic Places and is a part of Bellingham…


Washington is a boaters paradise. While some travel writers say that walking a city provides the best vantage points, Seattle is among a select group of metropolitan areas where aquatic vistas may give walking tours stiff competition.


For the past decade, the citizens of Bellingham, Washington, have struggled to build the Pacific Northwest’s next bicycling mecca. Between the land developers who hold the keys to the kingdom and the faithful who compromise this burgeoning bike community, who will come out on top?

Hidden gems: Whatcom’s marine beaches beckon as summer approaches


Waikiki. Coronado. Hilton Head. … Semiahmoo? OK, no one is going to mistake Whatcom County’s beaches for those that rank among the world’s best, the tropical ones where people laze about on giant beach towels and ride killer waves. Still, Northwest residents know that our community features some amazing marine beaches -places where you can […]


Features Bellingham Farmers Market

Maralyn D. Hill


Maralyn D. HillThe Epicurean Explorer

President, International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association

Editor-at-Large, CityRoom

Blogs: Where and What in the World & Success with Writing

Follow me: @maralynhill




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