Aerial view of shoreline in Bellingham, Washington.

Courtesy of Visit Bellingham

Best Places to Live in the US in 2022 Sponsored by: eXp RealtyeXp Realty

Bellingham, WA is the #53 Best City to Live in the USA

Aerial view of downtown Bellingham, Washington.
Courtesy of Visit Bellingham
Bellingham, WA
Quality of Life
Liv Score

617
How We Calculate Our Data
Civics 57
Demographics 29
Economy 74
Education 65
Health 59
Housing 55
Infrastructure 51
Amenities 65

Why Bellingham is one of the best cities to live in

No matter which way the compass points, Bellingham, WA, residents have outdoor adventures awaiting, notably the San Juan Islands to the west and Mt. Baker to the east. Bellingham, which is about 90 miles outside of Seattle, is where the Washington coastline and Canadian border meet, and its cute-as-can-be downtown area offers a mix of eateries, art galleries, theaters and shops. Bellingham is a supportive, business-friendly town right on the water of Bellingham Bay with a wide array of outdoor recreation opportunities, both on the water and on land.

This Pacific Northwest town is among the best places to live in the U.S., largely because of all these great amenities. With a population of just under 93,000, locals enjoy Bellingham’s active waterfront port, an abundance of parks, nature trails and waterfalls. Of course, if all that exploring works up an appetite, plenty of restaurants serve up the catch of the day. 

What are Bellingham’s major industries and employers?

Medical services and higher education are the top industries in Bellingham, with St. Joseph Hospital, Lummi Nation, Western Washington University, Bellingham Public Schools and Whatcom County being the top employers. 

What are the major colleges and universities in Bellingham?

Bellingham Technical College, Western Washington University, Whatcom Community College & Northwest Indian College

What is the weather like in Bellingham? 

The summers are comfortable and cool, with average temperatures in the mid-70s. Winters are cold, wet and cloudy, with highs in the 40s. 

What is there to do outside in Bellingham?

Become a weekend regular at Whatcom Falls Park, which has waterfalls, a 100-year-old railroad trestle, miles of serene forested trails, playgrounds and a fishing pond. 

Bellingham, WA is Remote-Ready

What makes Bellingham a great place for remote workers?

Bellingham is an excellent spot for telecommuters looking to live in an exciting city without breaking the bank, thanks to zero corporate or personal income taxes. This is a university town, which means a young population, plenty of bars and cafes for remote working and tons of opportunities for professional connections. Bellingham also offers robust high-speed internet that can support several people at once, abundant options for continuing education, networking opportunities and large and small coworking spaces.

What Locals Love in Bellingham, WA

What is the best local bookstore in Bellingham?

Henderson Books is chock-full of one-of-a-kind books, hidden treasures and out-of-print books. With more than 300,000 books in stock at any given time, you can spend days browsing all the titles at the new and used book store.

How do you spend a weekend in Bellingham?

Whale watching isn’t just for tourists! Spend the afternoon exploring Bellingham Bay and the San Juan Islands while keeping an eye out for those iconic black-and-white orcas. 

What can you do for free in Bellingham?

Home to the famous 500-foot boardwalk perched on the water of Bellingham Bay, Boulevard Park is one of the most popular urban parks in the state. After walking the boardwalk, families can go swimming, have a bay-front picnic, relax on the beach or play on the playground. 

What’s the best way to spend happy hour in Bellingham?

Have a slice of peanut butter pie and sip on a glass of champagne at Colophon Cafe. Located in the heart of Bellingham’s historic Fairhaven Village, the patio provides the perfect people-watching environment while catching up with friends. 

What’s something only locals know about Bellingham?

Bellingham is a bona fide beer city: It’s home to 15 breweries! 

Is Bellingham, WA a good place to live?

Unparalleled outdoor recreation opportunities, a vibrant downtown and excellent amenities make Bellingham a best place to live in Washington.

Thinking of Moving to Bellingham?

What is the Bellingham, WA real estate market like?

As a coastal city in the pacific northwest, Bellingham real estate boasts homes of unique character and charm. The Columbia and Cornwall neighborhoods and the Lettered Streets are filled with old craftsman style homes that have been retrofitted to fit modern standards and are also close to several shops and restaurants, easy for walkability. Barkley Village is an affluent neighborhood with many of the homes for sale in Bellingham overlooking the rest of the city and is also close to several businesses, making it easy for commuting. For those who love the water, gravitate towards Silver Beach for its location along the edge of Lake Whatcom, which offers home styles. There are many great places to live in the city and there are several Bellingham real estate agents available to help you find a home.

Quick Facts About Bellingham, WA

Average Commute
17.5
Median Home Value
$702,601
Med. Household Income
$56,198
Total Population
92,289
Walk Score
44
Median Property Tax
$3,212

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