With snow-capped Mount Baker in its backyard and the Salish Sea at its door-step, the city of Bellingham Washington is a coastal paradise. Combining breathtaking landscape with quirky culture, this gem of the Pacific Northwest attracts a blend of outdoor enthusiasts, socially responsible entrepreneurs and artists.

City of Subdued Excitement is the curious moniker of this Pacific Northwest town, 85 miles north of Seattle, situated at the jumping off point of one of the most iconic cruising playgrounds in North America, the San Juan and Canadian Gulf Islands. Perhaps the word “subdued” is included in its nickname due to the take-your-breath-away natural beauty that surrounds it. The accessibility to outdoor recreational activities include once-in-a-lifetime skiing, biking and boating.

If the first-rate biking and hiking trail system doesn’t excite you, visit the Tap Trail to access the many boutique brewpubs in the city. The sophisticated cultural scene also should not be missed, including The Upfront Theatre, home to the king of improv, Ryan Stiles, and the Pickford Film Center, a rare independent movie theater and host of Bellingham Music Film Festival.

Take a stroll through the beautiful campus of Western Washington University to witness over 20 sculptures by world-renowned artists. To excite your taste buds, don’t miss the unique flavors of Mallard Ice Cream and wine on tap at Vinostrology. Visit to the historic Fairhaven neighborhood. Comprised of four square blocks of century old brick buildings, Fairhaven is also jam-packed with charming locally owned shops and unique restaurants with views of Bellingham Bay. Some additional highlights of Fairhaven include Village Books, Rocket Donuts & Acme Ice Cream, The Black Cat and Övn Wood Fired Pizza.