A beautiful day in Bellingham becomes even more enjoyable once you step into the Holiday Inn Express Bellingham lobby located just off Meridian Street.

Woods Coffee has been called one of the world’s finest coffee shops. Photo by Lyla Jansma, courtesy of The Woods Coffee.

Our mother and daughter getaway adventure in Bellingham begins with a morning stroll down Boulevard Park with a stop at Woods Coffee overlooking the water. We get our coffee to go and sit outside watching the children play at the water’s edge in the sand. The cool breeze hits our faces as we continue walking along the path from Taylor Dock. The walk winds through blackberry bushes into Historic Fairhaven with its many shops touting locally made items from clothing to wind chimes.

After meandering through Fairhaven, we head into downtown Bellingham with its charm and diversity of stores, restaurants and even a French bakery for an indulgence in a croissant or crème puff.  The streets are buzzing with the sounds of conversations and people gathering and shopping. We stop at the French bakery, Opera, on Cornwall. My daughter chooses a lemon and a chocolate macaron from the variety of flavors and I indulge in the decadent pain du chocolate with its flaky croissant texture and rich chocolate filling.

From seasonal vegetables to beautiful flowers, Bellingham Farmers Market has offered the very best in local, sustainable agriculture for 25 years. Photo courtesy: Bellingham Farmers Market.

While exploring downtown, we stop at the Bellingham Farmers Market with its locally produced and created products such as vegetables, fruits, dairy and even locally-raised meats and crafted chocolates. A local musician plays his guitar softly in the middle of the market leading into the indoor section which houses local crafts, locally roasted coffees and beautiful, locally-grown flowers. The smell of the fresh flowers greets us as we stroll from vendor to vendor.

With the many artisan eateries in downtown Bellingham, including the many food choices at the farmers market, choosing a location for lunch creates a fun experience and gets us ready for the afternoon. We choose La Fiamma Wood Fire Pizza with its unique menu items, I enjoy my own personal pizza topped with sweet cherry peppers and spicy sausage as my daughter goes for the meatballs and cheese pizza.

Whatcom Falls Park is centrally located in Bellingham with serene scenery yet with a vibe of activity with bikers and walkers. Photo courtesy: Whatcom Falls Park.

After lunch, we opt to explore the beauty of the Whatcom County trails. The terrain and difficulty offer many options. We hike through Whatcom Falls Park, easily accessible just off Electric Avenue in Bellingham. Its serene yet active vibe includes many walkers and bikers and creates a great way to relax and take in the scenery. We gaze at the beautiful waterfalls and water pools as we wind our way through the trails surrounding this local park.

And, as the day comes to an end and we head back to the Holiday Inn Express and are immediately greeted by the warmth of the helpful hotel staff and the bright cheeriness of the lobby that brings a smile to my face. I immediately feel comfortable, relaxed and welcomed.

As we head to our room to settle in and get ready for a swim, we are greeted by other guests coming in from the pool area. A woman in town for a soccer game informs us that the temperature of the pool is simply perfect. As she tells us about her own stay at the Holiday Inn Express, she describes how much she enjoys the courtyard and relaxing with her family after a day of watching soccer games.  We share that after our own adventurous day, we are definitely ready for a dip in the pool and a warm finish in the Jacuzzi.

The welcoming pool of the Holiday Inn Express boasts a view of the courtyard and a perfect temperature! Photo courtesy: Holiday Inn Express.

The sparkling and inviting pool is bright with a view of the courtyard where other guests are enjoying the outdoors in the lounge chairs and at tables. The temperature of the water is perfect just as we were told.

As we finish up our swim and head back to our room, we run into a couple staying at the hotel who anxiously await the freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. We decide to also wait for the late-night treat and we hear travel stories of the couple and learn that this is their third time staying at the Holiday Inn Express.  Within minutes we see an enthusiastic smile and hear “hot out of the oven just for you,” from the hotel staff bringing the cookies to the table.  We grab a couple of the warm and gooey chocolate chip cookies and head to our room.

Our room, bright and crisply clean, is inviting and comfortable. The large screen television and a cup of tea from the Keurig in the room awaits our return after our swim and Jacuzzi. I choose an herbal tea from the choices and brew the hot water as my daughter enjoys the last of her cookie, ensuring that every morsel of mouth-watering chocolate is consumed.

Holiday Inn Express Bellingham
The bright and welcoming rooms of Holiday Inn Express Bellingham are the perfect way to end a day of discovery in Bellingham. Photo courtesy: Holiday Inn Express.

With a choice of firm or soft pillows, we settle into the king-size bed and turn on the big screen television before calling it a night after a fun day around town. I choose the soft pillow, nestling it under my neck and turn the lights out. Our glorious day is complete.

And, after a peaceful sleep, I’m up early seeing the sun peek through the side of the heavy curtain. I stretch, taking in the moment of quiet, thinking about the day and what awaits us on our exploration of Bellingham. But first, there is breakfast to be enjoyed as I realize my stomach is growling. It’s time to get our day started.

Breakfast consists of a variety of options to satisfy any diet or preference.  Buttery scrambled eggs and sausage for the traditional breakfast eaters and biscuits and country sausage gravy for others along with an assortment of Danish and muffins are a part of what is offered each morning. Cold and hot cereal with fruit and yogurt round out the morning menu complete with juices, coffee and teas.

As we leave for the day, we sigh with contentment as we get a smile and departing message to “have a good day” from the front desk staff.  The Holiday Inn Express Bellingham, with its easy location and proximity to downtown, the outdoor activities and historical Fairhaven, make it a good choice to stay while in Bellingham.

To make a reservation, visit the or call 360-671-4800.

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