"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible." ~ T. E. Lawrence
This last weekend I ended up having a day in lovely Bellingham all to myself, a “staycation” of sorts. BF was off visiting a friend and I was in need of a day to relax now that moving/packing is all done. This post is jam-packed with some of favorite places in Bellingham so if you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend checking them out – they’re perfect for a little restfulness and indulgence.
Now to do a good, relaxing day off properly you have to start it out with sleeping in. And perhaps french pressed coffee… We drink a LOT of coffee around here. I think the logic is that it keeps the chill from getting to our bones. And then there’s the need to feed that caffeine addiction.
In the afternoon I headed off to my favorite trail loop around Lake Padden for a run. It was a cloudy, gray day – typical of a Pacific Northwest winter. I used to hate the dreary wetness of our winters, but over the years (and especially after living in Dutch Harbor, Alaska where the rain comes down sideways because of the high winds) I’ve come to appreciate and even enjoy it at times. The run was great and that lake is absolutely beautiful!
After that I was feeling rather famished and craving some of the best of Bellingham for a late lunch. Where to go? My favorite place for a great cup of coffee and lunch is Avenue Bread in the Fairhaven district. These guys make their bread fresh everyday. And they even have options for the gluten-resistant among us – joy, rapture! I ordered up a caramel macchiato (the real-deal macchiato that comes in a little espresso cup) made with Bellingham Bay Coffee Roasters beans and a tasty Baja Turkey sandwich on gluten-free foccatia. This sandwich is bliss: turkey, onions, tomatoes, lettuce, and jalapeño cream cheese deliciousness! I brought a book along to delve into while I sipped my macchiato.
Next I opted to wander down to Boulevard Park. This park is right on the bay with a boardwalk that meanders over the water and meets a trail that runs along the shoreline for two miles until you reach downtown Bellingham. As long you’re not a opposed to a little rain now and then, Bellingham is a great town to walk or bike through. This particular park is a great place to catch a sunset over the San Juans Islands. I love being near the sea, I’ve always lived near it and can’t imagine being landlocked at this point. Boulevard Park a popular spot among locals on sunny days, a great place for a picnic, a game of frisbee, or a romantic walk along the water. Not to be missed if you’re in Bellingham. At the park is a cute little café called The Woods. On a rainy day like when I went out to the park, the coffee shop is great place to grab a hot cup of coffee (mint tea in my case), curl up by the fireplace with a good book, and enjoy the free wifi so I could work on my small business.
After making it halfway through my book and relaxing for a few hours at The Woods, the tummy was rumbling for some dinner. I wasn’t terribly hungry but wanted to do go somewhere that’s usually not among my price options for a small meal. The Cliffhouse and its fabulous Whiskey Crab Soup was calling my name. This restaurant sits on a hillside overlooking Bellingham Bay. The view is amazing and the food is out of this world. There’s quite the price tag attached so save this one for a special occasion – or go the budget route like I did and just order a bowl of the Whiskey Crab Soup. This stuff is legendary around town. I stayed for an hour or so and read through more of my book until it was closing time.
My next stop was dessert. And my favorite place for dessert in town has got to be Pure Bliss. The cakes are made from scratch in-house with local ingredients whenever possible. There’s a counter with all the beautiful cakes displayed, and the options change everyday. There are probably 2 dozen different desserts available, again, including some gluten-free options (yay). The decor in the place is so fun and it makes for a great date spot. I got myself a coconut macaroon and a glass of champagne, and once again curled up with my book until closing.
My evening was winding down but BF wasn’t ready for me to pick him up yet so I walked through the downtown area to Temple Bar. This bar has a cozy, bohemian feel, and on the night I was visiting there was a live band playing. If you’re looking for tasty wines and fantastic cheeses, this is your stop. I ordered a glass of raspberry mead made by locally by a place called Honey Moon. And then cracked open my book yet again to enjoy for a few hours before calling it a night.
So there you have it, some great places in Bellingham that are worth checking out if you’re in the area. It’s the perfect way to enjoy some true B’ham culture.