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Bellingham, Washington

“This beautiful place is an island of hip folk in the Northwest.”

Views: 57968

91 Responses to Bellingham, Washington

  • Bellingham isnt an island and its not what i would call a hippie haven, although it’s not a bad place to live. Its becoming allot more developed though and the population has risen about 30,000 people in the last ten years,which is allot, just thought you should know.

  • hey bellingham is a cool town and vary beutiful but it gets borin after a wile …… trust me i live here ….well u can score any drugs u wont here (not like i want to) but its a pritty cool place to visite

  • bellingham go to the rose garden and behind the gozibo thers a path that gose under the bige and has alot of killer places to go in the woods to smok!!

  • no Bellingham sucks! its not really a hippy town ..its boring as hell if you want a cool place go to seattle,lots more to do and see!

  • i like it there go to school and smoke. live a good life

  • I hate Bellingham and have for years. The reasons are obvious. Keep reading. You know, there is talk around town that there is a curse here that makes it so that when you live here for a while, you can’t leave, and if you try to, circumstances seem to throw you back. Have you heard of that? Do you know why that is? I heard that it might have something to do with a mining accident here last century that killed 200 Chinese workers. But who knows.

    Myself, I came here 5 years ago with my ex-girlfriend and have been trying to leave ever since. It was miserable here. Few or no good jobs, snobby cliqueish people, private people who don’t want to meet you or get to know you, nothing to do, same old parks, etc. And the weather and trees make you feel so isolated and lonely. You just lose your motivation for life here soon. Anyone else feel that way too? It’s no wonder Seattle has such a high suicide rate. The environment just numbs your senses. You feel like an egghead, and it’s obvious that many act like it too.

    Since I moved here in 1998, I have left and lived in Nevada and in Russia too. I was happy in both places, but because I ran out of work or my financial status became too low, I was thrown back here to stay with my parents again. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be here. My folks though, like this area and are totally different than me. That’s why I’m still stuck here, and scheming everyday to get out. I often feel like Luke Skywalker did when he looked up at the horizon on Tattooine, longing to leave his planet.

    ANYONE who sees the 2 online slide shows of my trips to Russia, and sees the kind of life I had there, will definitely understand what I mean, when I tell people that it’s totally embarrassing to come back here from there. You can view them at this link below. Do not mind the website name though, it’s not my site.


    Click on the link next to the picture of the open bridge above to see the show for my first trip, and the link next to the map of Russia for my second big and recent trip. Then you’ll understand what a sad pity it is to return here from all that, to this town where nothing happens, no one talks to you if they don’t know you (unless you walk into a retail store they work at, which they’ll just give you fake smiles), and you have nothing but loneliness and boredom everyday. Take a look at my life in Russia, and you’ll see what I mean.


  • This is for Winston.
    Well first off go home then we don’t want you here…Okay sorry about that but it really gets me when people ramble like that fellow. I lived in Euorpe for years (1986-1991) saw the wall come down in Berlin and for me if you don’t understand what is so cool about his town or the NW then you should leave. Enough said… J

  • Dont know what you luzers are talking about–I lived in bellingham for 12 years, and have travelled much of the U.S. and North America, and have yet to find a place with such a kickass underground scene. If you cant find something freakishly exiting to do in bellingham, you must not get out much, or you kick it with the wrong crowd. Im sure if you have stayed/lived in bellingham you are familiar with the term “city of subdued exitement”. Only those in the know see this as a joke. Definately an elitist town…but if you know the right people, there are amazing times to be had. If you have no connections then yes, its nothing more than 10 months of pissing rain followed by 60 days of spring that the locals will call summer. You MUST have a car here, or you will be eternally soaked. Learn to love it. Embrace the rain. Maybe you have problems because you all seem to want to lable yourselves as “hippys” and find a hippy haven, whereas most true bellingham “hippys” are a little more progressive than other places. No FASHION HIPPIES or rich little collegiate earth biscuits will be invited to experience the true heart of this region. Call that a clique if you want, but I appreciated this fact immensely while i was there…kept the fools away while we all were having our fun in ways most humanoids can only dream of. Get yer hands dirty. Get wet. Explore. Under that rock you may find the time of your life.

  • Who knows Rachel Foreman..who has become an artist out there in Bellingham? I want to buy one of her watercolors.

  • There is an upcoming event here in Bellingham that I was told you may have interest in attending.
    This Friday evening at 6:30, Saturday beginning at 9:30 am and running all day with a two hour lunch break, and Sunday at
    12:30pm for a Q & A and wrap up, Red Elk will speak of his teachings and healings. I am inserting the announcement from
    the Herald to give you more information, should you be interested. You can also visit his website at https://www.redelk.org
    Please call me directly if you are interested in attending. I am aware this is short notice but this opportunity won’t
    arise again for quite some time as Red Elk will be traveling.
    Char Sherfey-Schroeder 360-527-3135

  • i am moving to bellingham this fall and would love te hear some good reveiws. i am coming from olympia and it has to be better than oly. email me with some good news please at kaisee42@hotmail.com thanks

  • For all of you looking for something to do this weekend. Skunky Beats is here for ya! come support the local bham scene…. michael manahan always brings the hippie vibe with him, it should be off the hook…. check
    for more details!!!

    much love

  • bellingham isn’t a island, who writes this stuff.

  • Fortunately, Bellingham is big enough that you can easily avoid the company of junior high school type cliqueish mentalities parading as “hippies”. If that is what you are looking for however, it’s here. The surrounding area is beautiful, albeit wet. Seattle and Vancouver (a really cool city) are thankfully close by. The real estate keeps going up though, and it’s getting rather pricey. Thinking about moving to Bisbee, Arizona myself.

  • lol, Lacy i dident know you posted at hipplanet.com/hip. good shit

  • IMHO..If you are looking for a place which smiles in your face and all the time wants to stab you in the back while trying to get every penny out of you…… then move to Bisbee, Arizona. There you will find out what it means to live, work and play in a “Quirky” environment which honors, praises and even encourages hate and corruption.

  • I’m moving to bellingham this summer. Just wondering what to expect to pay for a nice 2 bedroom apt? And does bellingham have a view of the mountains? I would like an apartment with a mountain view, that would be so sweet 🙂

  • Hi..
    I have been researching places to move with my husband and 1 yr. old daughter. Bellingham has come up, and I am looking for the opinions of people who have or are living there now. I have read here that there is not much excitement… but thats o.k. with us. Basically we are looking for a quiet life, surrounded by beauty, decent cost of living and housing, not too hot or cold, nice people and a small town feel. My biggest concern is the 200 reported days of complete cloudiness a year. I worry that we will find ourselves locked indoors all day.. and maybe even depressed. I would really appreciate some opinions either here, or preferably at mamatova37@hotmail.com thanks so much…

  • I am looking for a roommate here in bellingham. I live close to wwu campus and bus line. Please call me asap if you are interested! 1-360-738-3706 ask for Kaisee or Kelsey! thanks

  • Winstin,
    i agree with you sir. if it were not for my family and the fact that i am not old enough to be an independent, i would not be here either. bellingham does suck, and is meant for people who were born and raised here. if you are an outsider, like i was, from a different state or town, or what ever, do not move here

  • hi all,

    this is a comment regarding the last few posts.

    i’ve only visited bellingham, never lived there, but as a visitor, i can say that i found the city to be utterly charming. the downtown area is a disproportionately large and beautifully maintained ‘main street usa’ mix of brick and stone. the people seem friendly, welcoming, funky and unusually (but pleasantly) ironic. the shops and cafes are small town usa with a nice twist and a nice balance of bars and restaurants. and there seems to be plenty to do – the last time i was there i was invited by some random girl to a costume dance party in some rented space. so while i can’t comment on what it’s like to like in bellingham, i heartily recommend this town to youngish people looking to get away for a weekend from seattle or vancouver. you won’t regret it!

  • I’ve lived in Bellingham for over a year now and I have to say it one of the nicest places I have ever been. The only downside to it all is the suburban sprawl…everyone is wanting to move here and I understand why, but the ecosystem is suffering as a result of that. If you were to move here don’t contribute to the construction by building a home or buying one of those new ones in the neighborhood where the houses all look the same. It is definetely a down to earth, laid back society as compared to where I came from…..Ohio. Ugh! But I welcome everyone to visit….B’ham has alot of offer and it’s where it’s at.

  • I’ve lived in Bellingham for just over 7 years and like Winston, I was a total grumbly-gus for the first four or five years. Then something changed. I started becoming a ‘Hamster. There’s something about this city – the people, the lovely weather (yes, rain is an emotion here, but a true and deep one), the scenery, that sort of infects your soul so you don’t WANT to leave.

    I am a writer, and since moving here, have written so much and had so much inspiration that it’s incredible. I am a transplanted East coaster, with major East coast mentalities. The stick up my butt was wedged tightly. Now I find myself relaxing, letting loose a bit, being able to laugh and not worry so much. If this is Pacific NW living, then I guess I’ve adapted. 🙂

    I miss the big city, but B’ham for now, is my place to be. I have never been in a friendlier, more open city. I was freaked out that total strangers would greet me when I walked down the street, or old neighbours remembered who I was years later. I used to think West coasters were weirdos. Now, I accept our eccentricities and quirks with a sense of pride. I have been both influenced and inspired by Bellingham and the Pacific NW. It’s the most relaxed place I’ve ever lived.

  • Bellingham is the most wonderful place to be, I can’t believe how great it is. When it comes to those rainy days i just love to go to the parks and run in the squishy mud while eating Granola

  • I moved to Bellingham with my family when I was 8 and left when I was 20. Let me tell you upfront, I love Bellingham. Sure it’s cloudy and rainy but it’s also just about the most picturesque town in the United States. For hippies it’s Fairhaven, a small turn of the century village on the Southside of Bellingham. Mountains, ocean, islands, rivers, forests…I don’t know what else there is, oh ya, there is no desert in Bellingham. Lots of hippies, lots of music, and just a 45 minute drive from Vancouver and 90 minutes to Seattle. I just might move back.

  • ahh bellingham im a native i left saw the world found some nice places on the planet and some not so nice ones . i came back .
    here i can water ski at 10 am snow ski at 1pm hike amid dense forrest 2pm amid fossalized palm fronds down to the sea where i can gather fresh muscells and clams for a nice lunch .walk from the sea shore to my house a total of 1/2 mile take a shower smoke a bowl then head out to a galery and take in a new artist. after that head out to the clubs jazz blues rock top 40 cover bands indi upstarts what ever i may fancy.
    then off to sleep with out the constant wail of sirens. Of course those are the good things . the bad include mud lots of it because it rains …
    and rains .. and rains some more usually from about september to july it rains .. we get some mesurable snow .. about every 5 years the longest rainy streak in rescent memory was in 98 i think ..119 days streight rain . othere cons include high real estate driven by folks from the citys trying to escape traffic ditto the infrastructure hasnt kept up with growth . Jobs the lack of em the surrounding area was traditionaly industry farm,fish and logs …..the farms are dissapearing giving way to urban sprawl the logging mostly gone the fish .. the same end overfishing and fuel prices have forced the fishermen to quit .the industry prices for electricty have shut down the aluminium smelter , the lack of timber shut down the pulp mill..the lack of fish shut down the processing plants the lack of farms have shut down the produce plants ..the basis for most jobs are retail now but the boom in cross border shopping from Canada has long since waned .its tough to get a job here at least one that pays well average salery i’d guess about 7-10 dollars an hour high end 15.
    all that said , i would live no other place ..for now Bellingham is changeing looseing its small town apeal but that comes with growth ,out of state developers seeing write ups in magazines and newspapers telling of how great the quality of life in bellingham is and how nice a place it is to live and raise kids .. are striveing to destroy what makes this town what it is currently in the works.. bulldozeing a lovely 100 acre wood to build 8 storie apt buildings the tallest building we have now is 12 stories ..so i am afraid that the “city of subdued excitement ” will vanish soon to become yet another ho hum town on the I-5 corridor one more nodescript stop for gas between Seattle and Vancouver B.C. i for one will mourn .

  • I was born in Bellingham. My dad was born in Bellingham. My granddad came to Bellingham as a child. The hippies, at least in public form, are GONE! The “exciting underground scene” people talk about usually involves rawk music, or is explicitly affiliated with the university, and leaves town after graduation with its creators. The people moving in are mostly right-wing retirees with money, and Bellingham’s culture shows this.

    I probably shouldn’t tell anyone, but the rain is GONE too, thanks to global warming. We cancelled a world-class snowboard event this year because there just isn’t the snow for it. Typically spring is the greyest, rainiest season, and this seems to put people off for the whole year. Anyone who doesn’t like the parks here either just doesn’t like parks (quite common, actually – many bellinghamsters just don’t DO outside, like New Yorkers or LAers) or they expect them to all look like Disneyland.

  • Hi. I moved to Bellingham in 1980 or something like that. Stayed until about ’86. I worked in a cannery, took LSD on the slime line with my fish mortician cohorts and had a wonderful time. There’s NOTHING like staring a dead salmon in the eye when you’re clocked to the gills on 25. Sometimes for 20 hours straight. Ah, the good old days. Now I live near Mendocino, Ca.. Not nearly as many dead fish down here…and the music’s better too.

    Peas and Loaf,

  • I’ve lived in Bellingham my whole life and I have seen the same changes as some of the other commentee’s. This is a wonderful place to live, the only problem being that everyone knows that. Fairhaven is becoming covered in apartment buildings, killing the old timey serenity. I’ve even heard from people that there’s a giant sign in LA that simply states “move to Bellingham.” this town is filling with people much too fast and becoming commercial. I love this town but it has changed so much… protests are now just like parades, they’re planned and proposed. No longer are the “hippies” of Bellingham able to express they’re political dissatisfaction. And yes, this place is filling up with republican retirees. I know nothing good ever lasts, and it seems that Bellingham is on its way out. No more snow, no more hippies. Once something as good as Bellingham is discovered, it will be sucked dry.

  • Greetings to all Bellinghamsters, and all considering becoming one. Honestly, if you’re on this site, and considering moving to Bellingham, come on up. It will be a nice balance point to all of the consumerist yuppies moving into town.

    Bellingham is lovely. I’ve only been here for 6 years, and have seen it change a bit even in that time. I know many “lifers” that love to talk about the old Bellingham. Back when Bakerview was a two lane sleepy country road, the sides of which were covered with orchards and such. Bellingham is growing at an alarming rate, yes. But, I feel that the worst thing we can do is just say “oh well”. We need to continue to celebrate all the things that make Bellingham what it is. The kick-ass farmer’s market on Saturdays, and the much smaller, but sometimes as eventful Wednesday market in Fairhaven. I was at the Wednesday market last week. The air was filled with the sound of a live band (and a good one at that) and the banter of the locals. The smell of roasting coffee was hanging heavy and the Village Green had been adorned with huge handcrafted flags on bamboo sticks that were made and being sold by one of the vendors. (I bought one as well as a lovely Thai silk scarf hand dyed by that same vendor). It was just the sort of scene that makes me so happy to live here. Sure, it’s not the Hippy Haven that many people envision it to be. We have our issues, such as fighting against forced floridation and the destruction of the Hundred Acre Wood. But, at least our residents pay attention. We have more evnironmentally aware individuals in Bellingham than any other place I’ve lived (there’s been many). Try living in Laramie, WY. If you have any Bohemian tendencies at all, being somewhere like that can drive you mad.

    Bellingham is still one of the best places on earth. There’s almost always something to do (even in the fall and winter). During the summer we have events that conflict with other events because there are so many events. And don’t forget our concerts at the park. Every year Juba Marimba draws crowds of Hippies, old and new to Elizabeth park.

    My father recently came to visit me from Reno, NV. He’s an old Hippy, who attended Woodstock and would do everything naked if it weren’t against the law. He fell in love with this city. He’s made the decision to move here as soon as life permits. One of his main comments was that everyone is smiling and friendly. An ex boyfriend of mine once commented that he thought the people here were all high, as they were all smiling for seemingly no reason at all.

    I love Bellingham and just becuase “the pit” downtown was filled in with a sterile building, housing attorneys and a Starbucks, I will not give up that opinion. Every city is having to deal with corporate takeover. Bellingham is fighting harder than others. Have faith. It’s not perfect, but if we’re grading on a curve, it gets an A.

    Long life and good health to all Bohemian Bellinghamsters.

  • There seems to be some confusion among people as to “where have all the Bellingham hippies gone?” The answer is, “nowhere.” This town was immensely popular among hippies during the 60s and 70s (due to its proximity to the Canadian border, and its green environs, fresh air, etc.), and continues to be popular among hippies young and old, for the same reasons, and more. In the late 60s, I used to hang with the hippies in Elizabeth Park when I was six years old (they didn’t talk down to me like all the other “big people). My mother finally quit taking me to play there, because I wouldn’t stay away from the “dirty hippies.”

    Anyone who thinks the hippies aren’t here hasn’t visited the Old Town Cafe, or the local food Co-op, or attended the Farmer’s Market (especially Wednesday market, in Fairhaven), and is looking at the whole matter superficially, anyway. Just last week I saw a guy at the farmer’s market who looked like Babba Ram Das (Richard Halpern) after he got back from India, among many others who clearly fit the “hippy” stereotype. However, it’s not the “look” that makes a hippy, contrary to common belief entertained by non-hippies. The hippy movement had to do with values – values that generally ran counter to the mainstream culture (hence the term “counter-culture). They protested war, racial and sexual inequality, meaningless work, wealth without charity, science without morality and responsibility, and leaders without wisdom (“Tricky Dicky,” before, and “Spurious George,” now). They were in a very real sense rejecting the American headspace that proliferated in the 1950s, which made the cold war a firmly entrenched institution in American minds and hearts, not to mention fostering illusions about what constitutes the “American Dream,” illusions which continue to this day, burying young couples under mountains of debt as they attempt to “live” the American dream, acquiring everything from gas-guzzling SUVs to plasma TVs, and everything in-between. If they’re not going off to fight in the new Vietnam…

    *comes up for air*

    For those who think Bellingham and Fairhaven are boring, consider that Bellingham has more parks and public greenspace per capita than most cities of its size in the United States. Summers feature free concerts in these same parks. We have a growing Farmer’s Market, the annual Ski-to-Sea 85 mile race in seven venues, from skiing to kayaking. Many of our nightspots feature live entertainment throughout the week and on weekends, including acts such as Flock of Seagulls, Blue Oyster Cult, as well as local and regional talent. The Historical Mount Baker Theater has attracted The Indigo Girls, George Carlan, David Lanz, Joan Baez, and Randy Newman (among others) besides presenting plays and local productions. Western Washington University’s Summer Stock series presents Broadway-quality productions; this summer includes “Anne of Green Gables” in multiple venues. Our local Theater Guild is currently performing “Oklahoma.” Fairhaven College at WWU has for years presented very fine productions of Gilbert and Sullivan Operettas.
    In addition to this, we have multiple movie theaters, and an outdoor cinema on the Village Green in Fairhaven.

    Add to this many fine restaurants, some in incredibly scenic settings, such as the Oyster Bar, on Chuckanut Drive, or Bayside Manor, also on Chuckanut Drive, a booming marina, whalewatch tours, the Alaska Ferry, not to mention skiing at Mount Baker, lakes and seaside locations for picknicking and recreation,kayaking, canoeing, water-skiing, fishing, a large library with a completely online catalog.

    We also have some of the cleanest air in all of Western Washington, a University boasting world-class outdoor sculpture and architecture, a large and still growing community college, a Parks and Recreations department which offers summer classes in a variety of subjects for both children and adults, mini-breweries and a winery, an ale house with an authentic Irish standing bar and a beer list that would make the pickiest beer-snob swoon, a public museum of history and art, the American Museum of Radio, a Children’s Museum, and the Mindport hands-on science museum for children (fun for adults, too). The former astronaut, General Bill Anders (ret.) lives on nearby Orcas Island, and hangars several of his aircraft, including his vintage P51 Mustang at the Bellingham Airport, where he wishes to eventually create a Heritage Museum of Flight. It is very common on spring and summer days to see WWII vintage fighter aircraft thundering through the air around town. If you happen to be an aviation buff, besides this, one of the largest airshows in North American, the Abbotsford International Airshow, is held just across the Canadian border, a scant 30 miles away, every summer for three days in August. And, of course, the world famous Museum of Flight, in Seattle.

    I haven’t yet named all that there is to do and see in Bellingham and Fairhaven. However, even if one should grow bored, here, keep in mind that we’re only 50 miles from Vancouver B.C., a cosmopolitan city with enough to occupy you for endless daytrips across the years. Victoria, the capital of British Columbia on Vancouver Island, boasting the Royal British Columbia Museum, The Butchart Gardens, the Royal London Wax Museum, the Empress Hotel, The Crystal Gardens, etc., etc., is just a 60 minute ferry ride away from Tswassen, near Vancouver. And this is just to the north. To the south, of course, two hours away by car, is Seattle…

    Back to the question of whether Bellingham and Fairhaven are hippy havens. All the values I spoke of earlier in this post, that the “original” hippies held, are alive and well in these two fine old towns, and a lot of the people you see walking down the street were honest-to-goodness hippies in the 60s, and continue to believe in the same things they believed in, back then.

    I know, because I’m a hippy, living in Bellingham. And glad of it.

  • I believe Bellingham is still “able to be saved” from becoming just another city, though the clock is ticking…and rapidly.We are becoming more like everywhere else, chain stores, traffic, rude people, malls, increasing crime, poverty, vandalism etc. etc.

    But there are still many people who are fighting these issues, both locally and nationally, andther are a good many interconnected networks one can join in the Northwest.

    Check out https://www.nwactivism.com to make a difference today on a wide variety of issues.

  • Hey everyone your posts are very positive. I just spent ten minutes typing in alot deep philosphical stuff to be related to my name as in the post of my history and then there ya go, one of my cats jumps on top of the keyboard and its all blah blah blah, so in a nutshell, all the comments of Bellingham entice me to move there, I am from Vancouver, B.C. originally but have spent the past two years in Las Vegas because my husband lived there, so I have been depressed living in Nevada as of the past twoyear my spirit has waned big time. Ok I don’t want this to sound like a personal ad but in Belllingham, but in Bellingham is there room for someone who is a animal rescue freak, amateur chef and old school punk rocker and environmentalist?

    I just want to connect back to the ocean, the mountains, well you know what I mean I don’t have to explain myself I have just been looking for someone to connect with again in the same mindset!

  • Bellingham, a Hippie haven? I have lived here since the late 70s, which is when it was last any sort of haven. We are massively overrun by condo-buying wealthy types who might feature themselves as hippies, but only serve to further ruin my lovely home. The nice lady from Vancouver wants to move here–got more than $350,000 to spend on a run down dump of a house? If all of the readers of Powder, Outside, and now this page weren’t moving here in droves, a haven it may have remained. If you really like the idea of a haven, stay home and make one where you live.

  • Hey Ruby, don’t be so negative! We’ll get along just fine when we move to Bellingham and build next door to you!

  • To Ruby:

    You have lived here since the late 70s, I see. Well, I was born and raised here, and it is still a haven, and I think that it will remain so. All places grow and change, yet consider how the condos going up in Fairhaven now will benefit the area, before you judge them entirely negative. Remember Fairhaven in the 70s? It was a dump. Now it is clean and thriving; the Village Green and the Outdoor Cinema now replace what was a dusty weed-filled lot in the 70s.

    The people who live in the condos in Fairhaven will utilize the local businesses, and the local people who run those businesses will thereby be sustained, which is a good thing. It is well known that large corporate entities are not welcome in Fairhaven.

    Furthermore, that all the new construction in Fairhaven is designed to fit in with the brick, turn-of-the-century character, does not detract from the quaintness of the area.

    You must not get out much, Ruby. I was down at Marine Park, in Fairhaven last night. There was a freshening breeze of the bay, and the water sparkled under the sun. Sailboats dotted the water, against the backdrop of the islands, and the leaves of the tall sycamore trees rustled in the wind. It wasn’t crowded – just a nice mix of people enjoying the lovely evening.

    Oh, yes, this is a special place. And, as far as I’m concerned, people who want to come here because they love it here, and who wish to become active, participating members of a community that very much cares about the character of this place…they are welcome.

    Corporate types who see only opportunities for turning a profit, who wouldn’t bat an eye at cutting down trees just to put in a parking lot…stay away. There are many here who will not frequent your business simply for the reason that you care only about profit, and not about the community. One business – Albertsons grocery, as a matter of fact – built a store on the southside, ignoring the protests of locals. It didn’t last a year, before it closed its doors for lack of business.

    Old Hippy

  • Bellingham is STILL the BEST even though change is inevitable!
    The careful planning of the future of the community is always necessary and all decisions must NEVER be based on GREED. Growth and urban sprawl must be tightly controlled and forever prohibited in many areas around Whatcom Co.
    It is crucial at preventing the loss of the quality of life in the region and the local politics must FOREVER impose/continued growth limititations and restrict development…..no matter what amount of money may ever be offered that could alter the natural beauty of the area or the city.

  • I am looking with my family to relocate to Washington. We were very interested in Bellingham after spending a couple of hours walking around. I am interested in finding out about the public schools. I teach elementary school and our children would be entering middle-school, in high school and looking at the colleges. Where we live in the Bay Area in California, we enjoy living in a multi-cultural setting where our children live, learn and play with children from all over the world. I would not want to loose this by moving away. Many of the comments I have read on this website make me even more interested in becoming part of the Bellingham community. If you have any insights about the schools in Bellingham, we’d love to hear them.

  • hey old Hippy….no offense but you sound like a real estate person selling out the region. That’s what they do… live and enjoy the place, and then sell it out and move elsewhere with their new money, leaving behind a wrecked community.

    I hope not.

    Anyway, I wonder how you can stand all the rain and gloomy days? I mean, except for July, does the sun EVER shine north of Seattle?

    For the person asking about animals, puhleeeeeeese take care of your animals properly if you move here. That means a LEASH and TRAINING. I am fed up with the dog owners in Bellingham these days violating every nicely-posted request to keep the dogs out of certain park areas or keep them on leash. Boulevard park has a nice grassy hill that is fun to roll down with the kids… until you find dog poop despite the “no dogs this side of park” signs. And Lake Padden? NO DOGS BEYOND THIS POINT must be English for “go ahead and bring your pooch in here, and take him off leash if you want” in Bellingham speak. And I haven’t even mentioned the rottwilers and pitbulls I see 90lb waifish University students walking these days. A 90lb 20 year old can’t possibly restrain an excite 120 lb rottwieler.

    Yeah come to Bellingham if you bring peace and an open mind, but keep it civil please. It’s not a sandlot – it’s a community.

  • I am thinking of moving to Bellingham. I am actually pretty fed up with this country but from what I hear, Bellingham still embodies a sense of community, creativty and concern for the environment. I am an ordained Interfaith Minister who will be finished my Master’s in Creation Spirituality, from Naropa University. I am looking for a place to build my life and still be able to enjoy it. I am an artist, writer and healing arts practioner. Would Bellingham be a place for me? Is it really gray 6 months out of the year?

  • It is beautiful any time of year…. Lots of self employed hippies.

  • Rains all the time! Read Tom Robbins – Still Life with Woodpecker. LaConner/Bellingham it’s all regional. The blackberries are everywhere. However, if you aren’t affraid of getting wet ( assumption that most of us bathe at least on occassion, and if you don’t subscribe please don’t visit…), and if you are okay with people who do things, instead of watching people on tv do things, you will be grateful on the sunny days to be in Bellingham. We would rather you come and enjoy our beauty with us rather than buying it and building a monument to your ego that we have to look at. Please consider there is a reason to move here and don’t contribute to the demise of that energy, please. There is a wonderful population of mostly good people that lived here peacefully before… …There is great bocce in Bellingham.

  • Hello, I’m a 27 year old artist from Brooklyn, thinking of moving to Bellingham. I’m too young to be a hippie but I identify with many of its values and anti-materialist ideas. Is there affordable housing? I mean, can I rent a room or apartment in the range of $500-600??? I’d like to work for the postal service in Bellingham. wise decision? foolishness? Your thoughts are valued and appreciated. : )

  • Hey Quinn,

    B-ham is a pretty eclectic place with quite a bit to do if you keep your eyes and ears open. The hippie mentality can be attributed to certain groups in Bellingham, but that’s not all it is. Keep in mind 7 months out of the year is a constant drizzle that can wear on your soul if you let it. My experience was two whole winters of pure depression until the third year I got used to the northwest Washington fall/winter season. All in all, it’s one of the most beautifull places in the world, but lets keep it that way.

  • I hate Bellingham, I mean its ok if youve never been here, but ive lived here all of my life.. it gets sooo old, if your a teen and trying to find something to do.. and you don’t have a job, then this isn’t the place for you.. maybe its just me, but i don’t like this place, i want to move some where bigger, like New York!! that would be awesome.. so anyone that wants to live here.. you better have a family and over 21, because if your younger then theres nothing to do….

  • MY BIRTHDAY IS ON FRIDAY (Oct. 14,2005) i’m gonna be 16!!!!!!! whos happy for me? well i know this is a hippy place, but im apart of it to. but im not a hippy.. so yeah.. anwyays i just wanted to let you guys know.. i was reading someones thing and it said that their moving here from Boston? why would you wanna move here from such a nice place?? please answer me… later

  • Well, I just left B’ham after nine years of living below the poverty level and going to grad school and what not. Western Washington University is turning our old neighborhood into a ghetto. Slumlords and realtors rule the town. Renters BEWARE! Cover your butts six ways from Sunday and fight for your security/damage deposit!! Dirty money and big money call the shots when it comes to developing downtown. And the slumlords are banking on block busting up all the neighborhoods within walking distance to downtown. The York Neighborhood, the Lettered Streets…The cops are more inclined to give jay walking tickets to pedestrians than they are to clean up Rail Road Avenue for the benefit of all in our community. But, the voters voted for a new jail, so we have a place to put the less fortunate. Bellingham has a lot to offer and a lot to lose! We chose to leave for many reasons, most having to do with the lack of career opportunities. I just keep wondering where all these people who are buying $300,000 homes are going to get their money once they live here. Do they think they are going to work in Whatcom County? Doing what?! Do they know that the avg wage is 8 dollars an hour, and that most of the work is part time and not professional with benefits? Ah but, there are the Raging Grannies, and the Rainbow Coalition, the Farmer’s Market, and the Sustainable Connections people… oh the music too!! The people of Bellingham, are generally progressive and generous and groovy, but there are those, like the local newspaper who cast these same people as peace-nics or hippies or some other derrogatory term. I was nearly pushed in front of a moving angry semi-truck by a pro-war/Bush supporter because I was for peace and against the stupidity of preemptive war, because some would call speaking critically of the government unpatriotic. Ah, but then go to the Federal Building on Friday afternoons at 4pm for the peace vigil. You’ll find those good hearted people who remain- good luck! For those who want to go to B’ham and make it home – buena suerta y via con Dios! For those who couldn’t stay and raise our families there – it’s Bellingham’s loss that we couldn’t stay.

  • Susanna,

    I’ve lived in Bellingham most of my life. I love Bellingham a lot and many of my friends will end up raising their kids and growing old here. But if “multicultural” is what you’re looking for, you may be looking at the wrong place. We have a good mixture of worldviews, religions, politcal affiliations and opinions, but Bellingham is a predominantly white city, as anyone who lives here will tell you.

    As for the schools, I have mixed feelings. I went to elementary school, middle school, high school and community college in Bham before going to a university. We have some pretty nice new schools, and some pretty dedicated teachers. But many of the schools in town have serious drug problems and we have police officers in our schools for a reason. If anything, our schools reflect the fact that Bellingham isn’t a sleepy little hippy town anymore. It may not be as big as NYC or San Francisco, but we have a good deal of crime, drugs and prostitution. However, if you are well-off enough to afford to live out of the downtown area, it is a good place to raise children, and I am grateful to have been raised here.

  • I am thinking of moving to Bellingham because of a job offer at WWU. The problem is that myhusband has his own business where we are now (financial consulting) and I am not sure if he could prospoer in Bellingham too. Any thoughts? Also, can one find a decent house for 175K? I mean I will be a prof at WWI not a millionaire.

  • Hi:

    Nice to see Bellingham mentioned. A nice quality life of but a lack of jobs that provide for a middle class lifestyle. If you could get a job teaching at Western Washington University, that would be ideal; otherwise there is Georgia Pacific paper mill, those jobs were taken decades ago, and working for the local government or maybe if you have an enterpernerial strain you could do pretty well here.

    I love the view along State Street looking toward Bellingham Bay and Lummi Island. They just made a lovely system of trails south of Bellingham along Chuckanaut mountain and if you are into serious mountaining, then the Cascades are ideal.

    They were hippies/feminists/anachists here in the late 70’s and 80’s but I’m sure that things have mellowed. But they are still traces of that. I like Anacortes about a hour drive south, but that has the disadvantage of not having a college and that sort of liberality that an academic environment brings. And the San Juan Islands are lovely. I lived there for 13 years. And I probably shouldn’t mention it, but there is an island called Waldron that is probably the most counterculture place I’ve ever been, no electricity and yurts (forget building codes), it is difficult and expensive to get there but it is worth checking out.

    And last but not least, if you come here you should get up to Cortes and Quadra Island up near Campbell River in BC and Juneau and Sitka in Alaska. Really the inside passage up the BC/Alaska is an amazing ecosystem and you could spend a lifetime exploring it.

    Anyway, Bellingham needs folks with environmental and social justice priorities (like everywhere else), but the whole northwest is worth checking out. Victoria, Vancouver, Seattle etc are all well worth checking out.

    Will Sperry

  • First and foremost remember Bellingham is a college town. Iv’e lived in this area for about 7 years now and I’m ready for a break from it,at least a seasonal break.(I spend my summers sailing and camping when WEATHER permits but take my word for it..it’s not nirvana.)You’ll see a lot of young folk(I’m very early 40’s) that are college students posing as hipsters but believe me,once they get that diploma in their hand suddenly they become “super upstanding citizens”,infalable,sure they know all there is to know,and like everything else they they proffesed to have hated they jump into the rat race out for that mighty dollar.Yes..I said POSERS.As for me…I’m gearing up for a return to the Virgin Islands. I’ll sail there in my sailboat and ensure that I visit every Mexican,Central American,(including the Kuna’s) islands along the way.I’m not a hippie yet I value life and phisical and spiritual health,beauty and nature just as much.Wish me luck on my journey.Any peaceful vagabonds care to join my crew? Bring yer own cash!

  • only drawback of living in b-ham is the epedemic of rude snobish people.
    seems to be getting worse. does anyone smile anymore

  • Life goes on in B’ham. The rain is not gone, how you ever heard of weather patterns? if you can figure that out good luck! people are too quick to jump on whatever is popular to bash the system. Downtown is being slowly cleaned up, the people at WWU including the students could do a better job of behaving themselves at times. The price of housing is sky high, a lot of homeless people, going downtown is a hassle at times,I got spare changed five time in just as many minutes once, cussed out when I wouldn’t cough up, Overall I like here the situations are the same in any large city, try going to Pioneer Square in Seattle and see what kind hustle is put on you by some people

  • I haven’t been up to B-ham for a few months. Last time I was there I went into a head shop across the street from The Newstand. I wanted to buy a bong. After being told twice they are called waterpipes and if I say bong again I would be asked to leave without being able to make my purchase…I wised up. I found an ok pipe (BONG) and went home to fire it up. I spent a fair bit of time in various head shops in the seventies…usually would smoke a number just before I went inside and would get some rolling papers. For all the talk that B-ham is a hip town I would have to dissagree. What happened to FREE SPEECH??? You can thank that senseless war and HOMELAND INSECURITY (SS STORMTROOPERS) and the ANTI FREEDOM patriot act for the dirty looks you get when you make statements against the war or the prez. If you want HIP go to the country. I prefer semi small towns like Sedro or Stanwood. You can have HIP wherever you are…just be yourself…do your own thing and don’t believe most of what you see on the news…most of it is yellow journalism. Or for some of you who skipped school and generally didn’t have time to pay attention…it’s mostly PROPAGANDA…mostly. Just my 2 cents worth from one old hippie…

  • Bellingham- well I fell in love with Fairhaven first in the 80’s with my teenage eyes glossing over all the views and the people too. Hippies, I didn’t see so much, but you know what happens to a place when hippies decide to build community? Bellingham does. When you have an enviromental college- Huxley, an independent curriculm college-Fairhaven, and a major University- Western; you are going to find some thinking people, and lots of americorps/vista employees. So the social services spectrum is really an empowering network for low income people willing to put themselves through the mill. Some programs I wish to see duplicated nationally- The Gleaning Project (Volunteers glean local farms and donate/keep the produce), Weekly Food Banks and Daily Free Meals, Free Shower/Laundry Facilities, Herbal Fair (@ River Farm, VanZandt), 3 weekly Farmers Markets April – October, Public Transit- newly enriched to go out into the county, Public Library Systems- growing into new buildings, County & Childrens’ Museum as well as many local artists galleries, Procession Of The Species- a parade of silent people dressed up as animals!(also in Olympia), Bicycle Lanes- Yes this is a bike friendly town, Trails throughout the urban area!!!, BIG PLUS- Most every store carries organics, but there are 3 discount outlet stores here that sell dry/frozen/fresh organics – Check Out Barganica, Sunshine Liquidators, Rainbow Grocery Outlet. Noone should go hungry or go without clothing- There are many resources here. The Food Bank allows folks to go once a week, and there are several other places to go, CCS, Salvation Army, Hillcrest Church. There are resources for clothing too! WeCare 3 bags for 3 bucks, YWCA for womens clothing, Seventh Day Adventist. So be a hippi wherever, there are community gardens here, they can be rented from the parks department. There is also lots of free stuff to do in the summer and the winter, just go to some of the hubs, check the bulletin boards at the CoOp, Bellingham Public Market, Three Trees coffeshop, Fairhaven laundrymat, or read one of the freezines , Organic Press, Cascadia Weekly. Listen to KUGS 89.3 for Democracy Now and here all the happenings at Western. Always some cultural festival there. Open Mics{free}, Outdoor concerts {free}, Outdoor Movie$. If you decide to get it together, and need some help, check out what THE WHATCOM DREAM is doing. Peace.

    I am moving back to NE WASHINGTON because the hippie community has embraced my heart, hope you will come see it too.

  • I lived in Bellingham for nearly three years as a professional spouse of a WWU professor. I was born and raised in Boulder, CO which is often referred to by those Bellighamsters that I met, as “the” model for their city planning efforts. That was a nice compliment–however, completely misunderstood considering the realities of what is their remarkably thin city as concerns racial, social and financial/research capital attributes v. what exists in much larger and diverse metropolitan areas, for example, the Denver/Boulder area.

    While the scenery is certainly beautiful some 50 days a year (average sunny days among the least in the nation), most of my time spent in B’Ham was in the pelting rain and wind. I discovered that those who thought the weather was “good” were often also born and raised in the NW (many in Whatcom county, never to leave their familiar birthplace on a walkabout of world curiosity to challenge their inherited assumptions)–(Whatcom county is very–hmmmm– provincial—perhaps even similar in many ways to some areas of the South I have visited, as concerns insular local cultures {see Lynden} and the power of local Christian Churches). So a bit (no, a serious amount) of Bounded rationality is at play…

    If you are well educated, intend on having a good job outside of health care, natural resources (oil and gas, metals) or non-research oriented education (WWU does not award Ph. D’s–thus very little capital investment from industry as a result of research connections), please just stay where you are—B’ham is certain to leave you in financial ruin, perhaps even to successfully bring about a rapid conclusion to your career and marriage. ( translation: If you are both accomplished, and only one of you has a job offer, and you both are unhappy about your marriage–move here) There are many beautiful places in this world, that exceed B’Ham as concerns opportunity and cultural flavor. If you are interested in challenging yourself and your assumptions about people and the world, B’Ham is NOT for you. If you would like the perceived safety of being around people that are white (90% of the population), eating at restaurants that cannot conceive of spice and soul, that’s occupants are painfully P.C. and would only wish that there would be more like them (fleece and soy milk–you don’t see a lot of minorities that are hippies do you—hmmmmmm), move to B’Ham. Otherwise, save your portfolio and your personal happiness for a town that has far more diversity to offer, both professionally and socially, and won’t need a 100 year remediation because of a generation of unmitigated environmental disasters (see any impact reports on the B’Ham Bay, Lake Whatcom water supply and well, the extraordinary and troubling trend of serious auto-immune diseases). P.S. Don’t drink the water. In summary, B’Ham is not Boulder—not even close.

  • Please stay where you are we dont need more people here,we are overpopulated now.

  • I’ve lived in Bellingham my whole life (about 23 years), though I have a few other towns /states/Countries to compare it to (Montana, Texas, Jamaica, Alaska), and I have to say, I still like living here. B’ham is growing quickly, and it seems finding a good job paying more than minimum wage can be difficult. Put that aside, and you still have a fun town with lots of indoor and outdoor activities, with mountains, lakes, parks, etc. What’s funny to me however, is all this talk about hippies. Now, don’t get me wrong: I didn’t grow up in the 70’s, and I realize that being a hippie isn’t all about looks. But the whole idea is absurd to me. Hippes, as some have explained in these posts, refer to people who are “counter-culture”. Now, if everyone in Bellingham was “counter-culture”, (AKA hippie), wouldn’t that come to mean that NOT being a hippie was then counter-culture? Just like “punks” try to run against the grain, their “anti-trendy” attitude soon becomes a trend amongst other “punks”, and a trend in general. People protesting the building of a city (as in the “pit protests”) is also riddiculous to me. I understand that not everyone is for large corporations, such as Starbucks, but at least jobs are being created, rather than people shitting in their diapers in protest. So rather than live in the past, put some decent clothes on, stop shitting yourself to “prove” a point, and try to find ways to really build the town you supposedly love. And one more thing. Lots of people are against the current war, if not wars in general, and I fall into the category of supporting our troops even if I don’t agree with the current war. But honestly, is calling Bush a Hitler and standing on the street corners and blocking traffic really going to accomplish anything? I know you feel that way, but get some common sense. If you want peace, there are more productive ways of going about things. Something to think about. I think all political extremes -whether on the Left or Right- are wrong. Can we somehow find a balance? Maybe then we’ll be a closer-knit community. That’s just this young man’s humble opinion.

  • I’ve lived in San Francisco (7 years in the 90s) and New York City (4 years from ’00-’04, through 9-11, etc) and originally from Ohio.

    Bham is like a little San Francisco…I am in love. Nothing is perfect, sure.. but believe me..I’ve seen a few things…this place is really, really nice. Plan to be here a long while.

    Folks from this area have no idea how good they have it here. I wholeheartedly suggest they go live in some other places for a while and find out.

  • So i have finally escaped the Bellingham curse. I was born and raised in the ham. Always trying to move. It never happened. There was nothing I could do to stay away for more then two months. Well Guess what i have now made it three months away. YEAH. Bellingham is a beautiful place, but the people are not. It is not jest Bellingham, it is all of Whatcom county. There are more sex offenders per sq mile then any where else it seems. All the schools have at least one of them Fuckers living with in walking distance to it. Yet i have not been able to move out of Washington i do not want to go back to bellingham even for more then a day. Little Squalicum (the beach) is my favorite place to go when up in the Ham. It is calm and quiet, no body there really to screw with you. You can do what you want and now one gets in your way. As for me, frequent trips up there won’t be happening. My family and my friends can come visit me where I am.
    Oh and there are no really decent guys up in Bellingham. I moved to be with my man. and no one down here gets in your business. I like my life better out of Bellingham, then when i was there. The one thing I do miss is there are no organic stores any where around me. You think there might be one in Olympia but guess what there is not. So i do get that stuff up there (in BIG quantities). That way I don’t have to make as many trips up there.
    Well I guess that is all for now.
    Have fun with the Bellingham curse

  • I have lived in Bellingham for over 20 years and have seen all the changes – the sprawl, the mall, the gentrification of Fairhaven etc. and despite all of these growing pains the town and the people (especially the downtowners) exemplify possibility and creativity.

    If you plan to come to Bellingham bring money as you will need it to get started. Bring your creative spirit and a sense of industriousness and you will need this to get a gig(s) going to keep yourself fed and sheltered. Bring people of color with you! Brave people would be helpful too – who are willing to challenge the entrenched good old boy political systems we have still at work here. Bring progressive ideas!

    Yes the weather is iffy. And sometimes too cold when it should be warm. But Bellingham remains a place where you can recreate your life and get support from others doing the same. It’s a place where we care what we are doing for and in our community and value our connections to each other and how we are building our city.

    In a nutshell: come if you are ready to roll up your sleeves and truly create a place to live, work, and give back to this sweet town. We need participants, not just great amenities suckers.

  • Currently, Bellingham is at a crucial turning point – a new Mayor, likely a new city council, a likely new county executive, and a shoreline master plan to install, and a degraded water source that seriously needs protecting. Problem is, most of the people who are advising on these issues have lived here for five to ten years and want what they want now that they have arrived. Fairhaven now looks and feels like every other gentrified destination – thanks Matt Yorkston and grotesque chic who owns the Colophon and shameless owners of Village Books (sorry neighbors – your water view got in the way of our dreams for ourselves). Gone are the hacky-sack playing, kilt-wearing punks mingling with the blue haired little old ladies at Tonys’ coffee shop. The scene is now full of retired money (can you say Skip and Bunny?), self-important PTA moms married to whitebread movers and shakers, and banal college kids. If the Hundred Acre wood goes down (and the incredible beauty of that section of the interurban trail), I am saying goodbye to the place I have called home since 1982. You can take my spot. My house will cost you five times what I paid for it in 1986. Peace,

  • If you are an artist or musician or writer and you are in bellingham, check out the Bellingham Art Tank on State St. You can paint there, play there, or connect with other creative folks.

  • I first commented on this Hippy Haven back in June of 2005. Back then I was in love with Bellingham. There was still hope for that little city by the bay. In November of that year, after 6 years in Bellingham, I threw in the towel and moved. I got tired of living hand to mouth and struggling all the time. Bellingham has been in economic atrophy for 20 years. Living there was like being simultaniously hugged and strangled.

    I wouldn’t have had much to add here, but I noticed that “It’s a ME” posted in May that she (I’m assuming female) escaped the curse. She discovered the same thing that I had, Olympia is the cure. The cool, bohemian vibe that I had loved about Bellingham is alive and well with a much more viable economy. Yes, our Food Cooperatives leave a lot to be desired, but it’s well worth the sacrifice for being here. To you “It’s a ME” I say hoorah! Good for you, and good for me! Perhaps some more of the floundering hippies in B’ham will make the leap to the South Sound where they can thrive.

  • Different places are for different people. In my travels….I’ve 3 countries and 7 state in 14 years, the one thing I can confirm about each place, is that it is impossible to come to know every physical inch and every possibility within every location. There is always something you do not know about everything, everyone, and everywhere. Certain places might have few redeeming qualities given an individual’s needs and wants. In some places, it is easy to survive, but not easy to flourish….in others, the difficulty of getting by can challenge a person and lead them to greater things than they had imagined possible. While for each individual there may be locales which are more or less suitable…..each place is often what a person makes of it. Bellingham has no particular curse, and is not an awful place to live. Olympia is not any kind of an answer…just another place with different possibilities. Maybe life is not what you want it to be in Bellingham….but to assail the place is to be short sighted…to say that another is certainly superior after only a few sh0ort months or years is quick judgment. The places we live are what we, as people, have made of them. Finding an economy which easily supports you is one way to live…one simple choice. However, the “western world’s” vast resource wealth and relative level of freedom grant us all the opportunity to create within a void. Bellingham’s relatively weak economy is more of an invitation to create and invent that a bane. With greater risk and greater effort comes greater reward. There are no answers in the world….only undiscovered hints of greater unknowns

  • Those ain’t hippies, that’s just a bunch of pathetic,aging, ass-holes wearing tie-died T-shirts. There are real hippies all over the country, but Bellingham… not too many

  • Okay, go ahead and say you don’t like Bellingham. Go ahead and dislike all of the free spirited and friendly people. I can honestly say that we don’t need any more stuck up and square people in this town. The majority of the population in Bellingham is old people, and college kids due to the amount of schools, and they both seem to balance each other out.
    If people were to just loosen up a little bit, and just enjoy and grasp onto the good people in Bellingham and accept it for what it is, they might enjoy it a little bit more. You can walk down the street and talk to almost anybody, you can practically stick your thumb out on any major road in town and be on the other side of Bellingham in a matter of minutes, you can pretty much bike anywhere and everywhere in the county limits, the amount of local music that is flooding the city is outrageous!.
    Being raised in Bellingham I have watched this city transform, some of it for the better, and some of the development for the worst. I am frightened to see what the 2010 Vancouver Olympics will do to this town, and I am hoping that we won’t be completely invaded.

  • I lived in Bellingham for 6 years before i had to move away to Marysville, WA about an hour south. Let me tell you, i miss the town’s flair and variety of different types of people and things to do. After all, it is “the city of subdued excitement”. Sure, Bham has its share of issues but, that grungy feel is what makes it so unique. I practically grew up downtown, and love it just the way it is.
    And yes, you could be walking down the street and find someone to smoke with no problem.
    -Proud of Bellingham Culture

  • People who complain about Bellingham are seriously high maintenance. Try living in/near the south bronx for the first 18 years of your life like I did. Bellingham will be paradise to me and Ill be able to take its flaws whatever it is, even if its one of the cloudiest places in America.

    I am planning to go to Whatcom Community College. What do people think of that place? Where should I live that is low crime and below 1,400 a month rent that isnt further than 20 miles away?

    Im very environmentally conscious, socially responsible, not conforming. Ill be a good addition to that town/city.

  • Oh my beautiful Bellingham, has gone.
    The renaissance of spirit, all but done.

  • all of you fuckers need to stop fucking moving here. we do not want you here. I am twenty years old and lived here all of my life. keep away from my city. it used to be so cute until all of you assholes started moving here. now there are barely any beautiful fields to walk in, and there’s too Many banks, condo’s, and stupid fucking apartments. stop moving here or our natural born bitchy and clicky attitudes will attack you when you sleep and haunt you. that’s why we dont fucking talk to you and why we are so rude to you. its because we dont like you. all the people that want to move here, go find a corner and die in it.

  • Bellingham is a geographic paradise. However there is something very weird about the people that live here. No real sense of community. Much to do with the lack of middle ground, i.e. – very rich and very poor, very old and very young, very left and very right wingers, and not much in the middle. If you are coming from e. coast or california, you might feel right at home. Sudden Valley is no exception. Sudden Valley is now broke, largely due to THE misappropriation of funds and a SV association general manager that is a crooked and greedy thief.

  • As concerns the town of Bellingham. The lady who wrote that no one should come to Bellingham or just leave and die – this is America and people can live where they want. What is the problem if they are law-abiding and hard working citizens who want to make a contribution to the community? Change is inevitable, like it or not. Just look at Afganistan if you want an example of ancient life. No change allowed – ever. If you are not happy here, then go where you will be happy. We all have different wants, needs, desires, and some believe a geographical change will do it for them. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t because the change so often has to come from within.

  • I lived in Bellingham from 97 to 2001, and it was fun until I turned 21 and realized there weren’t many jobs outside of restaurant and retail. But overall it wasn’t terrible. I had always wanted to live in Seattle so it seemed like a mini Seattle to me. The people were always really nice and I found it easy to make friends (although it sounds as if that has changed). The vibe there is very laid back and mellow. Lummi Island is a beautiful place and very grounding and if you get a chance I suggest you visit it. I am really more of a big city girl and finally ended up moving to Seattle like I had always wanted to, but Bellingham was fun when I was younger and it is still one of the prettiest places I’ve ever lived.

  • Man…you guys are really depressing.  I have never been to Bellingham but had heard that those who were there never wanted to leave.  I was considering a visit, but now I am totally confused. 

  • This is to the whining little brat who told all the fuckers to stop moving to her city or she won’t talk to them.  You’re 20 so you don’t know shit about life and you can’t go to a bar, why would we want to talk to you?  Maybe if you dropped that queen shit of fuck mountain attitude you might enjoy yourself.  Or if you took your lazy ass to a national park you could have all the beautiful scenery you like.  This is my city too, and I say come on everybody!  Let this sad little girl close herself off and miss everything cool in life, I’ll see you new people in the bar.

  • I was thinking of moving over near Forks to retire. But now that I heard that little rant by KaItLiN I am inclined to retire in Bellingham and spread some love around. Obviously, someone is not getting enough hugs.

  • Obviously folks are very passionate about Bellingham; some protective, like how some folks are when they find that special fishing hole, they can always get a good catch from, to those who want to share the joy and don’t mind the xtra fishing poles in their hollowed water. I get it.
    Bellingham is a special place, as it combines the feel of a small college town. This creates an interesting environment where the small town, offers more than the usual small town, because of the influx of students. Because there is little in the way of industry to support a lot of working folks, there is a marked increase in educated, forward-thinking folks and that makes this hippy intellectual feel right at home.
    I visited Bellingham a few times over the years and it left me with a distinct impression of a place I wanted to come back to, if I could find a way.  Think the greatest barrier is the lack of industry (a.k.a. jobs). But I always kept this gem locked away in my mind. Recently, I came aboard a company that has me traveling for work, thus allowing me to live anywhere I wish. I am happy to announce that I am closing on a house, as I write this and will see you at the bar soon. I will be a new resident by Dec 2011.
    Most of this can be gleaning, with a little research. Research being more than just asking folks, as one can get much information through reviews and statistical information. But, the bottom-line is, if you like what you hear, chances are you’ll like Bellingham, WA.


  • KaItLiN sounds like a very unhappy woman, who may have lived in Bellingham all of she live, but obviously, from her grammar and awkward phrasing, did not go to school there.

    She has forgotten, that Bellingham is in the United States and that the US of A is a free country. You are free to move anywhere you can afford, jus as you are free to be full of piss and vinegar.

    It was not my impression that the people of Bellingham were clicky, but so is Seatttle, compared to San Diego. Sometimes people take time to take to one-another. NP, I’m a good egg, and once those folks, if they exist, et to know me. It is hard to hate someone you know and easy to fear the unknown. A way of life is changing and KaItLiN is having a tough time adjusting. KaItLiN, there is only one constant in the world and that is change. The one lucky thing about Bellingham, that will keep the whole world from descending upon it, is that there is not a strong industry there. You have to really want it… or be a professor; lucky dogs (wink). I look forward to meeting you all, even KaItLiN and seeing if she’s really so filled with piss and vinegar, or if she just had a very bad day and put her dark thoughts to words.


  • being 9 year old when the hippy movement started. I have missed those wonderfully open attitudes. But, do not be fooled by our rosy view of the past. Hippies are just people with a certain set of shared beliefs. Shared beliefs, but they have the right to promote them differently. Some folks will be conservationists and that means they’ll want to keep things as they are. I know we don’t often hear the word used this way anymore. Some are more adventurous and turn their face to the future. Pros and cons with both; I like the middle road, but even a centrist like myself, finds himself on the extreme from time to time.
    I for one am looking forward to my new home and the new people. I have been a rolling stone all of my live and it feel right to finally put down roots in na place like this.


  • i just moved up here, outside bellingham, from mendocino…and im beginning to wonder why. wheres all the good family up in these parts? i run into alot of gun totin wing nuts. these people need some hugs for sure. anyone got a link on some positive vibes around here, please shed some light on it..blessed love

  • I have been watching Bellingham change for over 14 years now, some good, but a lot bad. Beautiful as it might be, there are a lot of bad things going on in this "wanna be Liberal" town. While the people for the most part are friendly, Bellingham is Drug Haven. With the border so close by, the drugs flow like water. I have watch a cute little town, turn into a Herion crazy, Prostitute filled, gang affiliated city. While i know any little town eventually gets bigger over time, and the more people there are, the higher the crime rate, drugs, and other bad thing move in with the change. Bellingham also has a huge homeless problem, but you can obviously tell that most of them are un-controlled teens, and out of towners. If we all stop giving them money, they might actually have to contribute to society. How about giving them food, if they deny it, then they truly are not hungry or broken. The schools here are ok I guess, but they have to many rules, and tend to make the boys super sensitive, and the girls more boyish. The schools take away a lot of fun from the kids … like no throwing snowballs, no playing dodgeball (oh wait, you can, but with a foam ball), no runnning at reccess etc…. To wrapp Bellingaham up in a nutshell ….  if you want to live in a "city", that has high amounts of Herion, Crack, Homeless, Prostitute’s, Gangs, Traffic, disrespectful canadian visitors who destroy the stores and don’t know how to drive, and super sensitive kids, whom are not allowed to move, then Bellingham is the place to be. Sounds great Huh?? Can’t wait to move.

  • Bellingham is a beautiful place, both in scenery and architecture. It is very likely to charm you the first time you drive through it. But unless your passion in life is hiking, and otherwise being a recluse, you probably aren’t going to be happy for an extended period. People are generally very polite (shockingly so, coming from places like California and New York), but are less ‘friendly’ than they are in places even as short a distance away as Burlington. People DON’T want to know you, and  usually seem more interested in just rushing back into their homes/apartments and pulling the blinds until the pressures of society force them to come out again for work or school. That isn’t to say there isn’t a party scene (there is, especially around WWU), but that’s obviously very superficial, whether you are into it or not. There’s very little else to do here.

    Employment is nearly non-existent. This isn’t a big enough city to support a lot of manufacturing jobs, so most jobs are going to be in bottom-level retail. Keep in mind that you’re going to be competing for even those jobs with college graduates who are settling far below their qualifications in order to stay in the area.

    I don’t really know much about the city’s crime, or how much it has increased/decreased in the last X years, but I do have one bit for that subject. I don’t actually live in one of the worse areas of town, but I nonetheless know several locations to buy drugs. I don’t do drugs myself, and I did not search for this information. Take that for what you will.

    I’d definitely recommend visiting, but there are definitely better places to live. Bellingham is a hole. A very beautiful, scenic hole, but a hole nonetheless.

  • Bellingham: Depressed and Repressed, both sexually and emotionally.
    Clean and Green, obviously.
    Cold People who do not want to know you. Socially, it Kinda mimics the climate.
    Small and insulated, but big on surroundings.
    Redundant, Mundane, yet, you tolerate and stay on for some bizarro reason.
    Lots of homelessness and drug use and drinking, Oh well, these are hallmarks of most American Cities.
    Restaurants kinda suck, but there is some good coffee.
    Don’t be older a

  • Bellingham is a really good place to live for a lot of people, but not for me, i’ve had nothing but bad experiences living there.  Im single and a little older than most of the college students in town… ive been there for 5 years, and still feel like a stranger in town.  I love the mountains nearby, but im frustrated with the social seen so i’m looking forward to moving away. yuppies, trustafarians, college students, and generally snooty passive aggresive "stare ya down and won’t talk to ya" types are the norm here.

  • Bellingham is beautiful and a great place for hiking kayaking etc BUT as another person posted on a different site; B’ham is a mean-spirited shit hole! God forbid if you’re from somewhere else ESPECIALLY if you are college educated. People from B’ham are threatened by "outsiders" and do anything they can to destroy you and your reputation. If you don’t have any bad habits or picadillos they will just make shit up about you! The people from here are the most evil mean spirited people I have come across in my lifetime- small minded gossiping assholes! Always nosy and in everybody’s business.

    And the corruption in this town is unprecedented . The employers are corrupt. The lawyers are corrupt. The doctors are incompetent and work at the behest of the employers of the town. In short, you might as well live in a fascist country.
    There is an early post by KatLin – read that post because it gives you the mindset of the people from Bellingham- she should make your mind up for you if you were considering moving here. My advice is DO NOT move to this mean spirited shit hole!
  • Responding to a recent review, which is cited herein:

    Bellingham, Washington
    Posted by Andrew on 2011-11-04 18:25:33KaItLiN sounds like a very unhappy woman, who may have lived in Bellingham all of she live, but obviously, from her grammar and awkward phrasing, did not go to school there.
    My comment:  You take this guy seriously?  He disses poor Ms. Kaitlin because, as this fellow says, she has bad grammar, and this is his indictment:  (see above, verbatim):
    Kaitlin "lived in Bellingham all of she live’?  Whoo-aa-aa, partner, where in blazes did you grow up?  No offence to anyone anywhere, but if you’re going to dis someone for their local grammar . . . 
  • I actually grew up in Bellingham and after college did live there again for three years after living in San Francisco for a few years. Bellingham is an absolutely beautiful place with a vast number of outdoor activities to offer including but not limited to kayaking, skiing or snowboarding at Mt Baker (an excellent mountain which takes a little over an hour to drive up to and has steep, diverse terrain as well as holds the record for the most snowfall during a single season of any other mountain in the United States), hiking trails, mountain biking, fishing and many, many more. Bellingham is full of all different kinds of people honestly…the very friendly and happy folks, artistic types, extremely interesting people, those who are quirky, intellectuals, athletes, hipsters, original hippies of the past as well a younger generation of people with "hippie minded" viewpoints, yuppies, students, rockers, "emo generation kids", environmentally friendly folks, the well educated, doctors, lawyers, mechanics, restaurant servers, bartenders, retail clerks, extremely open-minded people, musicians (which are artists as well of course), entrepreneurs, outdoorsy types, responsible pot smokers (it is legal in Washington and Colorado now), many many wonderful families (Bellingham has a great number of programs specially designed for the many different internets of children) and people of all ages and. Basically you will find just about every single different type of person living within Bellingham and that of of course includes those who are involved in drugs and those who are not so nice…just like every single other city in the world. After moving away from Bellingham again, I moved to New York City for eleven years and now reside in Southern California but do visit Bellingham often as my family still lives there. After living in multiple places around the United States I am still very proud to say that I grew up in Bellingham and still love to stay with my family quite often throughout the year. There is a real sense of community but not in a negative sense. The people in Bellingham really just strive to support local businesses which is a wonderful thing…you just have to give Bellingham a chance and you will see. There are a great deal of people who move to Bellingham and expect it to be a "hippy utopia" without having to become involved with the community at all…or not have to care about how important it is to support one another, to support local businesses. It is a wonderfully diverse communities as well as one of the most beautiful places to live in the United States (speaking from experience living in numerous different areas worldwide) but does have the normal bad eggs and problems just as every other city does. The education system in Bellingham is also highly rated nationwide if googled. Be open minded and realistic to Bellingham and look into the mind set of community and positive support of one another but do not expect Bellingham to be flawless of the problems that each and every city has as well. Bellingham has so many great things to offer just about every different type of person. We are quite friendly to others moving into Bellingham (with the exception of some which is quite normal anywhere you go) from other areas overall but if you read all of the comments from above, do wish others would get involved and care a little more about supporting one another as a community whether that is working at restaurant, retail store or hospital and not expect to move there, not become part of the community in some way and support each other and become upset because Bellingham did not live up to a false sense of "utopia" standards that does not exist anywhere you go. Bellingham is beautiful community, culturally enriched, artistic…just give it a chance and be realistic about what you are expecting. Love to all, Margaret from Bellingham

  • Bellingham can eat my butt. After being continually harrassed by the local parking enforcement, being jerked around by local enforcement departments and lastly, dealing with the rude canadians, we moved. Sold our beautiful home and now live where we do NOT get harrassed or better yet, strong armed by the local parking enforcement.
    Never in my life did I live somewhere where parking enforcement cruises the local neighborhoods writing tons of tickets. Guess you must pay the kings ransom………
    I do miss the fun outdoor activities, the local eating and drinking establishments and it’s close proximity to the beautiful and peaceful county.
    I do NOT miss condecending hippies, fags, queers, parking nazi’s and a city council that has their heads so far up their asses they can see the back of their own eyeballs. Outlawing plastic bags will solve all the city’s problems. Just look around you, it’s worked?!?!?!
    I occasionally read the Herald and still scratch my head and ask myself….. “WHERE THE F##K DO THEY GROW THESE PEOPLE”!

  • This comment is for Daria. It concerns me that you refer to East Coast people having “a stick up their ass’. If you are descibing yourself that is one thing, but please don’t be a sell out and go along with a tired worn out stereotype.
    I love it here for many reasons and have lived in Washington more than 20 years. But I will forever be a New Yorker at heart. Your comment was disturbing and offensive. Life is slower in the West, so yes it can calm you down. But where the hell is your pride girl? No need to slap down the East coast. Where is your pride?

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