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The 09 Best Places to Live in Bellingham, WA

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A Cook, Software analyst & Blogger.

Best Places to Live in Bellingham: With the San Juan Islands to the west and Mt. Baker to the east, Bellingham is a picturesque city offering a host of outdoor activities for those who love an active lifestyle.

About 90 miles from Seattle, the city is also home to a vibrant downtown area featuring numerous art galleries, theatres, eateries, and shops.

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Its lively entertainment scene makes it stand true to its nickname “City of Subdued Excitement”. 

From strolling along the waterfront, picnicking in one of its numerous parks to enjoying a scrumptious meal at a great restaurant, Bellingham offers something for everyone.

What’s more?

It also has a business-friendly ecosystem and is home to excellent schools, intriguing museums, and numerous reputed universities. 

Whether you’re a young professional looking for a vibrant place or a family looking for a kid-friendly city to put down your roots, Bellingham won’t disappoint. 

Wondering which would be the perfect location for you to settle down?

We’ve got you covered with the ultimate list of the best places to live in Bellingham:-

Dive in!

Columbia #1

One of the oldest neighbourhoods of the city, Bellingham exudes a historic and tranquil vibe with its character homes, exquisite oak trees, & wide sidewalks.

Best Places to Live in Bellingham

The area is home to various parks with the most prominent being Elizabeth Park, the oldest park in Whatcom County which also becomes the venue for various summer concerts.

With the neighbourhood’s proximity to the fountain district, the waterfront, and downtown, there is a plethora of activities to indulge in here.

With so much to offer, housing prices have been on the rise here but you can still find some affordable rental options.

Lettered Streets #2

Looking for a vibrant entertainment scene?

Lettered Streets may be the place for you.

Located just north of Downtown, this neighbourhood offers easy access to the city’s lively shopping and dining scene. The area features many historic homes, and wide sidewalks, and is home to a friendly community.

Best Places to Live in Bellingham
Lettered Streets

There are numerous restaurants, parks, and cafes in the area with the most popular being Lettered Streets Coffeehouse.

You can also find good schools here, which makes it a popular place for families to settle down.

Owing to its proximity to downtown and the waterfront, the housing market is a little steep here. But if budget is not a constraint, go for it.

Samish #3

Want to enjoy a country vibe with access to the city’s amenities?

Samish offers the perfect combination.

With stunning views of Lake Padden, abundant open spaces, wooded areas, and numerous older homes, the area exudes a serene vibe.

Best Places to Live in Bellingham

Due to easy access to Lake Padden, there is no dearth of outdoor activities to enjoy here, from picnicking to kayaking and biking.

What’s more?

The nearby Sehome Village is home to numerous cafes, stores, and restaurants, perfect for a lively evening out. It is also close to Western Washington University, making it a great choice for students and families alike.

Enjoying all these amenities doesn’t come cheap with housing prices higher than the state average. But you can still find affordable rental options here.

Cornwall Park #4

If you love an active lifestyle, Cornwall Park may be the perfect place to settle down.

Best Places to Live in Bellingham
Cornwall Park

This charming neighbourhood is home to Cornwall Park which features multiple forested trails, a disc-golf course, Squalicum Creek, various sports fields, and play areas, making it the perfect destination to spend a fun outing.

The area also offers easy access to excellent schools and downtown, drawing a lot of families to call it home.

The freeway is also nearby, enhancing the area’s connectivity with other parts of the region. You’ll also find many twentieth-century homes in the area lending a historic charm to it.

Buying a house can be expensive here but you can find cheap rental options in the area. With so much to offer, this is one of the best places to live in Bellingham.  

Fairhaven #5

Love to be in the middle of all the action?

Head to Fairhaven.

As one of the most prominent tourist destinations of the city, Fairhaven exudes a lively energy, being full of restaurants, galleries, and novelty stores.

Best Places to Live in Bellingham

This historic neighbourhood features various preserved homes from the 20th century leading to its old-world charm. It is also home to Village Books, one of the most popular bookstores in the nation housed inside a historic building.

From fishing in the nearby Bellingham Bay to exploring the weekly farmers market or catching an event in the public courtyard, The Village Green, there are plenty of activities to indulge in here.

The area is well connected through the Bellingham Ferry Terminal and the Amtrek & Greyhound stations.

Housing prices here are significantly higher than the city average but the amenities make it worth every penny. 

Sehome #6

Want a home with mountain views?

You can find one at Sehome.

This hilly neighbourhood is home to many historic homes, many of which offer great views of Mount Baker or the Canadian mountains. Sehome Arboretum is a short walk away.

The 180-acre arboretum features a vast network of trails that will take you through a lush forested area with interactive displays.

With a university and high school on either side & easy access to downtown, the neighbourhood attracts families, students, and retirees to put down their roots here.

What’s more?

Buying a house here won’t break the bank. 

Alabama Hill #7

Picturesque views, easy access to downtown, and a host of outdoor recreational activities to enjoy, what’s not to like in this beautiful neighbourhood?

Located on the east side of the city, Alabama Hill offers beautiful bay and city views. From catching the gorgeous sunset on the bay, biking on the Railroad Trail, or enjoying a picnic in the nearby Whatcom Falls Park, there is a plethora of activities to indulge in here.

Best Places to Live in Bellingham
Alabama Hill

You’ll also find the popular Bloedel-Donavan Park just over the top of the hill.

The park allows easy access to Lake Whatcom. Relocating with family? There are also decent schools in the area.

With so much to offer, it’s no wonder that the housing market is quite competitive here. A spacious home here will cost almost double the city average but if you don’t mind splurging on housing, this is a great place to live. 

Central Business District #8

This bustling district, referred to simply as Downtown by the locals, is a great place for those looking for a convenient lifestyle.

With many companies calling it home, it offers a host of job opportunities.

The place also has a vibrant entertainment scene. From catching a show at Mount Baker Theatre, and exploring Whatcom Museum to watching street performances or cafe hopping, there is no dearth of activities to enjoy here.

Best Places to Live in Bellingham
exploring Whatcom Museum

The area also offers easy access to the bay, surrounding lakes, and mountains, offering a host of outdoor activities.

Depending upon your choice of property type, you can find some affordable housing options here. 

South Hill #9

One of the most sought-after neighbourhoods of the city, South Hill exudes a historic vibe.

With homes situated above Bellingham Bay, offering stunning views of the San Juan Islands, it is one of the most beautiful places to call home.

Best Places to Live in Bellingham
South Hill

The excellent location of the area offers easy access to major attractions including the Fairhaven Historic District and Western Washington University.

You can enjoy numerous outdoor activities with the Boulevard Park being only a few steps away.

The impressive park features a beautiful marine boardwalk known as Taylor Dock, numerous beaches, and a coffee shop on the bay’s edge. It is also the venue for summer concerts.

The area also boasts excellent schools and impressive spacious homes. With so much to offer, it’s no wonder that housing options are expensive in the area. 

So, pick the one that ticks off all the boxes on your checklist & get ready to begin the next chapter of your life in your brand-new home. 

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Q. What are the best areas to live in Bellingham Washington?

Cornwall Park, Lettered Streets, and Columbia are some of the best areas to live in Bellingham. 

Q. Is Bellingham WA a good place to live?

With rich natural beauty, a business-friendly ecosystem, a vibrant downtown, and a host of outdoor recreational activities to offer, Bellingham is a great place to live in. 

Q. Is it expensive to live in Bellingham?

The cost of living in Bellingham is approximately 5% higher than the state average and around 20% higher than the national average. 

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