Bellingham Neighborhoods As the Whatcom County seat, Bellingham is the largest city in the county, offering more than 20 neighborhoods to area residents. From high-end, executive communities to compact, affordable neighborhoods, there is an option to suit every family’s needs and budget. Alabama Hill Stretching from Lake Whatcom to Cornwall Avenue, Alabama Street is one of the city's busiest and most direct routes through town, as well as the home of the Alabama Hill neighborhood. One of Bellingham's more scenic neighborhoods, Alabama Hill boasts spectacular views of Lake Whatcom, the city and Bellingham Bay, depending on your vantage point. Streets lined with older homes, a mixture of parks and recreation, and easy access to public transportation, shopping and schools make this a popular neighborhood for families. Birchwood On the northwest edge of the city sits Bellingham's Birchwood neighborhood. With large lots and wide streets, Birchwood offers local schools, shopping, and outdoor recreation at nearby Squalicum Creek. The area attracts residents and visitors with its close proximity to Bellingham Bay, along with the Bellingham Golf and Country Club and the Bellingham International Airport. Chuckanut As one of the city's most secluded neighborhoods, Chuckanut Drive is in the Southern-most part of Whatcom County. With majestic, sometimes palatial homes overlooking Chuckanut Bay and winding, dead end roads, much of the area is left undeveloped. Featured attractions include the Interurban Trail and Fairhaven Park. Columbia With development in the area beginning in the late 1800s, the Columbia neighborhood is the second oldest in Bellingham. Located on a bluff overlooking Bellingham Bay, this primarily residential area is considered a quiet, family-friendly neighborhood. Known for its two block-wide Elizabeth Park, the area offers many opportunities for outdoor activities and exposure to arts and music. Cornwall Park Surrounded by a large forested and activity-rich park, the Cornwall Park neighborhood is nestled in the heart of Bellingham. Homes in the area tend to be smaller, older homes, many of them rentals. In addition to the park for which the neighborhood is named, the neighborhood offers a variety of smaller parks, The Roeder Home, St. Joseph Hospital, and several additional medical facilities. Downtown Bellingham Located in the heart of Bellingham is the city's downtown area, often called the central business district. With turn-of-the-century architecture and small-town charm, the city welcomes residents and visitors with sidewalk cafés, quaint bookstores, and one-of-a-kind shops. In addition to retail businesses, banks and office buildings, the central business district offers unique restaurants, the Mount Baker Theater, Squalicum Harbor, and the ever-popular Farmer's Market. Condominiums and apartment rentals are the most available housing options in the downtown area.
Overlooking Chuckanut and Bellingham Bays rests the pristine Edgemoor neighborhood. With well maintained lawns and spectacular one and two-story homes, Edgemoor is a quiet neighborhood with the second lowest crime rate in Bellingham. While some families inhabit this beautiful neighborhood, mostly older adults dwell in Edgemoor. Students in the area attend nearby schools, and residents shop in Fairhaven which borders the north end of the neighborhood.
Established in the 1800s, historic Fairhaven is one of Bellingham's oldest and most unique communities. Attracting visitors with its turn-of-the-century architecture, brick streets and lighting, Fairhaven offers a host of delicious restaurants, luxurious hotels and inns, eclectic shops, and a myriad of artisans. With the Bellingham Cruise Terminal located in Fairhaven, the area also serves as a popular port to Canada, Alaska and the San Juan Islands.
The Guide Meridian neighborhood extends north and west of the Meridian neighborhood along Meridian Street on the north side of Bellingham. While largely commercial, multi-family residences, apartments, and condominiums fill most of the area's residential living space. In addition to commercial centers, office buildings, and shopping malls, Guide Meridian houses Whatcom Community College, attracting a large student population to the area.
A diverse population of families and singles make their home in Bellingham's Happy Valley neighborhood. In close proximity to the WWU campus, Happy Valley has a number of apartment complexes, duplexes and rental homes in the area. Owner-occupied homes are often smaller, older homes on small city lots. Residents shop at nearby Fairhaven, Sehome Village and Viking Plaza.
Located between the Columbia neighborhood and downtown, the Lettered Streets neighborhood is made up of homes built in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The neighborhood offers mostly smaller, affordable homes and rental properties to area students, families and singles on a budget. Littered with one-way streets, the area is close to nearby businesses, schools, and the harbor. Maritime Heritage Park, the neighborhood's most notable attraction, often holds concerts, carnivals and other public events.
Officially separated from the Guide Meridian neighborhood in 1995, the Meridian neighborhood clusters along Meridian Street near Interstate 5 on the north end of Bellingham. While the area offers apartment complexes and a handful of older, established homes, the neighborhood is primarily commercial in nature. In addition to Bellis Fair Mall, Cordata Place, and Meridian Place, retail businesses and offices line Meridian up to Kellogg Road.
The Mount Baker neighborhood, located in the vicinity of Barkley Boulevard, is one of Bellingham's fastest growing residential and commercial centers. In addition to the industry found on Hannegan Road, the Mount Baker neighborhood boasts several large retail centers including Barkley Village and Sunset Square. With incredible views of the city and the bay to the west, the neighborhood has several established subdivisions, as well as newer apartments and multi-family housing.
The Puget neighborhood lies on either side of Lakeway Drive, offering area residents schools, shopping, and easy access to transportation. Housing choices and pricing offer something for every budget and lifestyle, ranging from apartments and duplexes to single-family houses and mobile homes. With Whatcom Creek creating the neighborhood's northern border, the neighborhood features the Civic Athletic Complex and the Arne Hanna Aquatic Center.
Roosevelt is a compact, diverse neighborhood, often known for its high crime rate. To make the area more attractive, the neighborhood is working hard to make improvements including creating a community center, providing a new Boys and Girls Club and enhancing its existing parks. Close to "car dealer row" on Iowa Street, the neighborhood is conveniently located near retail and commercial outlets and to I-5. It offers both Roosevelt Park and Railroad Trail as outdoor recreation.
The Samish neighborhood can be found quietly tucked away in the southern end of Bellingham. Home to the serene Lake Padden, the neighborhood offers beautiful homes widely spread throughout the lush, forested area. Older homes can be found sprinkled along the area's western side, while the eastern side leans toward newer housing developments. The south end of the neighborhood is more secluded and is rural in nature.
Located next to WWU on Sehome Hill sits Bellingham's Sehome neighborhood. With its varied terrain, the neighborhood offers breathtaking views of the city and bay below it. With its close proximity to campus, Sehome is popular with singles, families, retirees, faculty and staff. Recognized by the National Register, Sehome boasts its historic district found in the center of the neighborhood. The area boasts several parks including the Sehome Hill Arboretum and Laurel Park.
The Silver Beach neighborhood borders the northern tip of Lake Whatcom, the largest of Bellingham's three lakes. The neighborhood provides a range of housing options, ranging from upscale, lakefront homes along Northshore Drive to rental properties and single-family housing further off the lake. One of the furthest neighborhoods from downtown, Silver Beach offers a small retail area which holds the neighborhood's only grocery store/mini-mart. The area's greatest attraction is Bloedel-Donovan Park with a public boat ramp, supervised swimming, community programs and events.
Nestled elegantly between Western Washington University and Bellingham Bay, South Hill is one of Bellingham's most exclusive neighborhoods. Featuring magnificent, historic homes, South Hill offers its residents views of the sparkling bay below in a peaceful, family-friendly setting. Lined with sidewalks and seasonal gardens, the neighborhood is popular with young and old alike. At the neighborhood's western edge sits Boulevard Park, a popular picnic and recreation spot.
Sudden Valley, located just outside Bellingham along the southeastern side of Lake Whatcom, serves as the home to both year-round and vacationing residents. Boasting its own association, golf course, and day spa, Sudden Valley offers many housing options, including condominiums, apartments, and single-family homes. With sweeping views of the golf course and Lake Whatcom, the area is both quiet and lush year-round. Almost a town of its own, its residents enjoy the seclusion of their neighborhood with the convenience of nearby Bellingham.
With a diverse mix of residential and commercial properties, the Sunnyland neighborhood is located in the middle of Bellingham, clustering primarily along James Street. From smaller, older homes to rental properties, the Sunnyland area is one of Bellingham's most affordable neighborhoods. Conveniently located, Sunnyland is close to shopping and public transportation and several nearby schools and churches. For area families, Sunnyland offers Memorial Park and the recently constructed Sunnyland Park.
With more than 195 acres, the WWU campus is a self-contained community, offering an education to more than 13,000 students each year. Close to 4,000 students live on campus in residence halls. As one of Whatcom County's largest employers, WWU brings numerous education, job and recreation opportunities to Bellingham.
This compact neighborhood borders the eastern portion of Lakeway Drive and Electric Avenue. With one third of the neighborhood occupied by Whatcom Falls Parks, the area has fewer residents than its neighboring areas. The neighborhood boasts a small retail center along Electric Avenue, as well as several parks and creeks. Whatcom Falls Park, with its fish hatcheries and hiking trails, holds the neighborhood's most notable appeal, offering outdoor activities for a variety of ages and interests. Nearby schools and the minute population make this an ideal spot for growing families.
Established in 1888, York is a small, dense neighborhood close to downtown Bellingham. Near area businesses and downtown shopping, the neighborhood is convenient for students, workers, and families. With Rock Hill Park and Franklin Park on either side of Lakeway Drive, the small town atmosphere is attractive to both singles and families. Businesses and apartments can be found bordering downtown, while the homes along Ellis Street feature Victorian and Craftsman styles.