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Bellingham, WA: Many Adventures, One Cozy Winter Destination

Whether you want to stick close to town or venture into the mountains, Bellingham and surrounding Whatcom County offer plenty of wintertime recreation to choose from—plus incredible restaurants, bars, and cafes where you can warm up afterwards.

Walk the 2.5-mile trail around charming Lake Padden or visit on New Year’s Day to participate in the annual Resolution Walk and Polar Dip! For year-round hiking, venture into the Chuckanut Mountains to find one of the park’s many peaceful, frozen, and tree-lined lakes, or visit Lake Whatcom to hike the new Chanterelle Connector Trail, a 4-mile loop offering stunning views of the lake. For skiing and snowboarding, head to the Mt. Baker Ski Area, one of the snowiest resorts in the world. Plan your visit mid-week for easier parking and less crowded slopes.

Each Winter, Bellingham’s historic Fairhaven Village—known for its charming red-brick Victorian buildings and local boutiques, restaurants, and art galleries—transforms into a dazzling winter wonderland complete with sparkling lights, festive decorations, and a magical holiday atmosphere. It’s all thanks to Fairhaven Winterfest, an annual festival that offers activities for all ages, including horse-drawn carriage rides, visits with Santa, a firelit forest stroll, and a lighted bike parade. This year, the festival kicks off on November 25 and goes through early December.

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