The year 2016 came to a close with the anticipation of changes upon us. While the country stirs in the wake of the presidential election, you can continue to look forward to these  17 Whatcom County activities for 2017. These experiences are sure to keep you firmly planted in the joys our area has to offer.bellewood acres logo

  1. Play in the snow!

    Snow season may have started early in 2016, but it’s also continuing on. If you want to start your year on the mountain skiing, snowboarding, sledding, snowshoeing or sightseeing there’s plenty of powder to play in. Check out the Mount Baker Ski area snow report for daily conditions.

  2. mount bakery
    There’s nothing like a nice hot cup of locally roasted Hammerhead Coffee.

    Grab a friend for coffee.

    With 2017 promising a lift in the minimum wage, an hour of work can now buy lattes for two. From the Black Drop to Onyx, Whatcom County offers a seemingly endless range of light roast to dark. Whether you want to sip into some latte art or try out an in-house roast, there won’t be a shortage of places to try.

  3. Take a new course.

    Want to head in new career direction, learn a new skill or improve on the job you have? Our county is fortunate enough to encompass three great colleges, all within close proximity to each other. Check out Western Washington University for extended education, getting that degree or perhaps taking on the Master Gardener program. Head over to Whatcom Community College for an associate’s degree, or go for the new Bachelor degree in Applied Science for IT Networking. Or perhaps start a new hobby at one of their community classes. Look forward to hands-on experiences while learning a new skill such as pastry arts or machining at Bellingham Technical College.

  4. Heather McGuinness and Jesselyn Krolicki in the lobby of Northwest Youth Services where community donated items are available to youth experiencing homelessness. Photo courtesy: Theresa Golden.
    Heather McGuinness and Jesselyn Krolicki in the lobby of Northwest Youth Services where community donated items are available to youth experiencing homelessness. Photo courtesy: Theresa Golden.

    Lighten your Load.

    With numerous non-profits in our community, there is always a worthwhile organization to donate to. Think of donating interview clothes or tents and sleeping bags to Northwest Youth Services, toys to local daycares, art supplies to the Allied Arts Reuse Thrift Store or home furnishings to the Habitat for Humanity Store.

  5. Go on an adventure.

    When it comes to transportation methods, Bellingham seems to have it all. Try taking the bus, train, ferry or airplane and explore somewhere new. There’s that direct flight to Honolulu or Vegas awaiting, as well as the Ferry ride to Alaska.

  6. Discover your favorite brew.

    overflow taps
    A rotating tap of craft beers are available at Overflow Taps. Photo courtesy: Overflow Taps.

    Every year there seems to be a new brewery opening in addition to the new brews at our local favorites. If you haven’t found a favorite beer yet or feel like it’s time to find a new one, check out an unexplored brewery. If you need help finding one, check out the tap trail and cheers to happy tasting.

  7. Walk the art scene.

    Head out on the first Friday of the month for Bellingham’s Art Walks. For everyday enjoyment, check out the Arts and Culture Guide from Allied Arts for a self-guided art tour around the county. Enjoy sculpture outdoors at Bellingham’s Big Rock Sculpture Garden, Western Washington University and Peach Arch State Park.

  8. Reconnect with the Force.

    bellingham comiccon
    Costumes are optional but encouraged. Photo courtesy: Bellingham ComicCon.

    With the death of Han in The Force Awakens and the passing of Carrie Fisher at the end of 2016, Star Wars will forever live on in the hearts of all its fans. For those that choose to continue on with the saga, Star Wars episode VIII is rumored to be released mid-December.

  9. Ski to Sea.

    If you haven’t done it before, maybe this is your year! If you have, maybe you will join a new team or attempt a new stretch of the course. However you plan to do it, registration opens January first. Get ready to go on May 28.

  10. Enjoy the flora.

    These Russell Hybrid Lupines and 'Fireglow' Euphorbia are breathtaking in bloom. Photo credit: Mark Turner.
    These Russell Hybrid Lupines and ‘Fireglow’ Euphorbia are breathtaking in bloom. Photo credit: Mark Turner.

    You can really spend some time with Spring by visiting a garden like Glen Echo’s or catching the Lavender season from June through July at Red Barn Lavender. For an in-depth view of our area’s plant life consider joining the Native Plant Society and taking a field trip.

  11. Cast in.

    With so many lakes in Whatcom County, fishing season is a real treat for lovers of catch and fry or catch and release. For anyone with a remote interest in fishing, it’s pretty easy to get excited seeing all the avid fishing fans at Silver Lake on the first day of fishing season, the fourth Saturday in April.

  12. Experience a live show.

    Live forever with Fame the musical, witness the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet or head down the rabbit hole with Alice in Wonderland at the Mount Baker Theatre. And don’t forget to get all your laughter in this year at the Upfront Theatre.

  13. In Whatcom County, we truly have some great farms. We can look forward to ripe berries, delicious apples, sweet smelling lavender and a bounty of veggies to choose from. Head out on a farm tour this year or find our farms wares at the Bellingham Farmers Market. Photo credit: Theresa Golden.
    In Whatcom County, we truly have some great farms. We can look forward to ripe berries, delicious apples, sweet smelling lavender and a bounty of veggies to choose from. Head out on a farm tour this year or find our farms wares at the Bellingham Farmers Market. Photo credit: Theresa Golden.

    Taste harvest.

    In Whatcom County, we truly have some great farms. We can look forward to ripe berries, delicious apples, sweet smelling lavender and a bounty of veggies to choose from. Head out on a farm tour this year or find our farm’s wares at the Bellingham Farmers Market.

  14. Start a Business.

    For those that are really looking to take control of their destiny, consider starting a business. New businesses pop up all year in Whatcom County and there seems to be plenty of room for more. With resources like the Small Business Development Center and Bellingham’s start up challenge, you could be off to a good start.

  15. Whatcom County has some amazing bird watching opportunities. It’s easy to get a strong start on a life list for anyone wanting to enter into the enjoyment of birdwatching. Photo credit: Theresa Golden.
    Whatcom County has some amazing bird watching opportunities. It’s easy to get a strong start on a life list for anyone wanting to enter into the enjoyment of birdwatching. Photo credit: Theresa Golden.

    Go to the birds.

    Whatcom County has some amazing bird watching opportunities. It’s easy to get a strong start on a life list for anyone wanting to enter into the enjoyment of birdwatching. Hang out with fellow bird watchers at Wings Over Water, March 10 through 12.

  16. Take the scenic route.

    While we often think of getting to where we want to go as quickly as possible, it’s equally as important to take time for yourself and enjoy the natural beauty of the area we live in. Meander down Chuckanut or enjoy one of the many scenic back roads with those incredible views of Mount Baker. Life is too short to go fast all the time.

  17. Take time for the scenic drive. There are incredible views to be discovered off the beaten path. Photo credit: Theresa Golden.
    Take time for the scenic drive. There are incredible views to be discovered off the beaten path. Photo credit: Theresa Golden.

    Finish a Race.

    With all those interurban trails, it’s easy to practice and prepare for a race. It’s also equally easy to join one. Check out Fairhaven Runners and Walkers for a list of upcoming races.

Wishing you the best for 2017 and cheers to a remarkable New Year in the making.

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