Book an RV in Bellingham, Washington and discover why it’s one of the best ways to tour the Pacific Northwest. There’s so much to do here that you may need to book a second trip just to fit it all in. Situated on Bellingham Bay at the foot of the Cascade Mountains, Bellingham offers plenty of outdoor activities, spectacular vistas, and world-class dining experiences. Hikers, bikers, paddlers, photographers, and anglers flock to the spot every year to experience the wide array of outdoor activities and skiers will love the unfettered access to some of the best cross-country trails and downhill slopes in the Cascade Mountains.
Bellingham offers plenty of RV-friendly camping spots and a robust public transportation system, allowing you to explore unencumbered. Whatcom Transportation Authority offers regularly scheduled bus service throughout the Bellingham area and greater Whatcom County, including service to neighboring cities like Mt. Vernon, Sumas, and Blaine. Fairhaven Station provides Bellingham with regularly scheduled Amtrak Cascades passenger rail service to Seattle, Portland, Oregon and to Vancouver, British Columbia. There are also taxi service and rideshare options for more private transit but the preferred method of transportation is by bike. Bellingham has more bicycle commuters than almost any similar-sized city in the nation, meaning that you’ll have no trouble getting around.
Although summers couldn’t be more pleasant, with average temperatures rarely exceeding the low 70’s, you’re going to need a raincoat on the Bellingham RV rental vacation. The Bellingham area receives over 36 inches of rain per year but that’s just a sprinkle compared to the over 12 feet (yes, feet) of rain that falls on parts of the nearby Olympic Peninsula and Vancouver, BC. Bellingham also experiences twilight all night long in June and those tangerine and magenta night skies provide the perfect canopy over a crackling campfire.
The Great Outdoors
Between the mountains, the beaches, and the islands, Bellingham teems with outdoor activities. Like magnets dotting the waters of Puget Sound, the 176 islands of the San Juan National Monument are an irresistible draw for thousands of visitors each year. Getting to them is easy in your Bellingham rental RV; the four largest islands in the archipelago - Orcas, San Juan, Lopez, and Shaw Islands - are all accessible by the ferry in nearby Anacortes. The islands are packed with amazing fine dining options, vineyards and wineries, and dozens of RV-friendly campgrounds set against some of the most beautiful scenery this side of nirvana. Hikers can explore hundreds of trails winding through the inland hills and kayakers will delight in paddling alongside schools of orcas, humpbacks, and minke whales.
Bellingham is also home to Larrabee State Park, the first state park in Washington. The park features 2,748 acres of RV-friendly camping stretching over 8,100 feet of serene saltwater shoreline. Hikers and climbers will love scrabbling over dozens of trails and outcrops in the Chuckanut Mountains enveloping the park.
Trainspotting is a more unique experience at Larrabee, with the Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Amtrak running up to 16 trains a day on lines situated right near the beach. And camp fare could not be better. The freshwater Fragrance and Lost Lakes are overflowing with trout which will pair amazingly with fresh shellfish harvested along the beach or in the park’s teeming tidal pools.
Bellingham is also a mecca for extreme sports enthusiasts. Galbraith Mountain offers over 50 miles of singletrack trails on 3,000 acres within riding distance of your RV rental in Bellingham. Cross-country and downhill skiers, snowshoers, and climbers will love Bellingham’s close proximity to North Cascades National Park, containing hundreds of peaks crowned by 300 glaciers. RV camping is available throughout the park including at Boulder Creek Campground near Mt. Baker, an over 10,781-foot active volcano that draws climbers from around the world. And you’ll be glad you upgraded to a luxury motorhome rental near Bellingham when you complete the grueling Ski to Sea race, a team relay made up of seven legs: cross country skiing, downhill skiing (or snowboarding), running, road biking, canoeing (2 person), mountain biking, and kayaking. The racers begin at the Mount Baker Ski Area and make their way down to the finish line a whopping 93 miles away on Bellingham Bay.
Bellingham offers dozens of great RV parks and RV-friendly campgrounds, each with a better view than the last. One of the most popular is at Larrabee State Park, which provides full-service sites with postcard views of the Samish Bay and the San Juan Islands.
North of the city, Birch Bay has several choices including the Beachside RV Park, a full-service park with modern amenities, swimming, and hiking. Those with kids in tow might enjoy the Lynden/Bellingham KOA in nearby Linden where you can relax, swim, or paddle boat around the campground’s three stocked fishing ponds.
Can’t decide on a site for your Bellingham motorhome rental? Let your destination decide for you. RV-friendly camping is available at nearly all of state and national parks in the area meaning you don’t have to head for homebase at the end of the day.
Exploring the City
Biking is one of the most popular forms of transportation in the Bellingham area and makes for a fabulous way to explore the city and the surrounding area. You can bring your own or rent one, and Bellingham’s abundance of bike lanes make for a safe and pleasant ride. A great place for a ride, or a jaunt with your Bellingham travel trailer rental is Lummi Island, a quiet, intimate spot, just a short ferry ride from the nearby Lummi Reservation. Lummi Island offers a vibrant arts community, legendary dining options, and stunning vistas of the Salish Sea.
Working up an appetite on your journeys is encouraged because the reward is so worth it. Wild Pacific salmon, fresh shellfish, and artisan cheeses are just a sampling of the staples offered in Bellingham’s numerous restaurants and cafes. And what better accompaniment than an award-winning vintage from one of the region’s wineries? Bellingham is also a mecca for the small-batch, craft beer set with hundreds of choices from nearly two dozen local breweries. Bellingham topped a 2015 list of Beer Snob Cities and, with more breweries on the way, will soon have more local EPAs, IPAs, cold press ales, and stouts than any other city in Washington State. The annual Bellingham Beer Week is a nine-day celebration of all things hops that attracts visitors from around the world.
Bellingham displays a strong devotion to innovation, the arts, and cultural heritage of the Pacific Northwest. Kids will love the SPARK Museum of Electrical Innovation where they can learn about the history of electrical innovation, play with some great hands-on exhibits, and see the harnessed lightning of the Megazapper - the largest Tesla Coil in the U.S.
Bellingham is also home to some great museums dedicated to arts and culture including the Whatcom Museum, Lightcatcher Museum, and Mindport exhibits. Local artists open their studio doors for two weeks in August during the Whatcom Artist Studio Tour, giving RV renters a VIP pass to the local art community. And Bellingham has a music scene to match. So close to Seattle, Bellingham has developed a vibrant and eclectic music scene. Original DIY music venues, clubs, and bars feature a wide array of talented musicians and bands, and offer a sonic treat to compliment the dazzling sights and flavors of this wonderful city.
Bellingham, WA is the perfect spot to start your next road trip.
There are many popular rentals in Bellingham. Outdoorsy's Bellingham RV rental marketplace allows renters to choose from rental options from professional RV rental agencies as well as RVs for rent by owner.