Not to be confused with Washington DC, Washington State is popularly known as the “Evergreen State”because of its countless trees and beautiful sceneries. This was an exciting trip for me since it was my first visit to another state other than California!
- The flight
I flew with Allegiant Air since the tickets were inexpensive. Additional bags (including carry-ons) have extra charges. You get one personal item (that can be stowed under the seat in front of you) for free. The crew was friendly and helpful. Don’t forget to bring your (empty) reusable water bottle to the airport to fill after the TSA checkpoint since water on the flight costs $ 2.
Tip: I’ve found that the less expensive tickets to Washington are with Allegiant and Alaska Air. If you’re flying to Bellingham, you’re more likely to find a cheaper ticket with Allegiant. From there, you can take the train to Vancouver. If you’re flying to Seattle, you can try your luck with Alaska Air.
2. The Airport
Bellingham International Airport is a small one with one area for both arrivals and departures. People fly in and out from Washington and Vancouver from this airport. It’s easy to navigate with a coffee shop and Scotty Brown’s near the gates. There are several areas with outlets which means passengers don’t need to race to the sole plug in order to keep their phone charged.
BONUS: I love that the Bellingham airport has water fountains like the one below! It makes it so much easier to fill up your reusable bottle! I think that this is a good way for the airport to show how they care for the earth and their customers 🙂
Photo credit to https://redd.it/2ktkso
3. Places to visit
Okay, now on to the meat of my post. I was only in Washington for 10 days, but I’d have to say that I fell in love with the nature filled environment. I swear, the air smells different from what I’m used to– clean, crisp, and fresh. I wasn’t feeling so great the first few days, so I missed some time to sight see, but my trip was full of firsts!
Washington is known as one of the best places to ski during the spring. Since I went here in the summer, they had closed the skiing area, but I was still able to enjoy the view and a bit of snow. From Artist Point, found at the end of Mount Baker, you get to see the beautiful Mt. Shuksan and views of Mt. Baker. On the way there, you get to see Twin Sisters which are two mountains side by side, which is well known for their hiking trails.
Birch Bay National Park is where you can stand on one side of the water and see the coast of Canada on the other side. There are nature trails and areas for people to park their RVs. On the coast, you’ll see people crabbing or picking up shells. We spent a couple of hours in the area, just taking in the view and some pictures of course!
Lynden is an old town, reminiscent of the one from Beauty and the Beast. This area has several restaurants and bakeries of Dutch origin and the residential area is adorable. Great place to go for antique shopping and roaming around. (Please excuse me enjoying my $2 hot chocolate– but more on that later!)
Another great place to visit (and eat!) This town is also quite picturesque with paintings on the walls and an outdoor screening area. It’s a nice place to hang out with family, shop for used books, and have a bite.
Perhaps by now you can tell that I’m fond of quaint towns that showcase what the area is all about. La Conner as a bunch of restaurants that allow you to eat on the dock so you can enjoy the fresh air and view. If you walk along the street, you’ll see various shops showcasing some local artistry while others provide some insight on historical moments and items.
ELITE CAR SHOW
Okay, so the Elite Car Show isn’t ongoing year round, but if you do have a chance to visit a car show, people from around Washington and Canada come over to showcase their amazing hot rods. I’m not too well versed in car vocabulary but it’s great to see how people have taken old cars and made them look ~amazing~
Below are some of my favorite cars and a picture of one of the engines. The people that go to these are the real deal! They normally show their cars in various events and love talking to each other about their babies. Some of the cars are incredibly rare vintage, while others are slightly more modern– I guess it doesn’t matter as long as you are passionate about the same thing.
Also, if you happen to end up at a car show that sells carrot cake, I hope it’s this one, cause it was delicious!
DECEPTION PASS AND CHUCKANUT DRIVE
In order to fully enjoy this area, you need to brace yourself if you’re afraid of heights (which I am.) Most cars just park at the side of the road and walk towards Deception Bay Bridge (which you can walk across but I was too scared to do it.) The view is gorgeous and there is a bunch of islands within the area. Unfortunately, we only stayed for a short while since my fear got the best of me. Will definitely be back to try crossing that bridge!
Chuckanut drive has several bays on the side of the road in which you can park your car and see the water. If you have time to go the long way, take this scenic route since the views are unparalleled.
4. THE FOOD!
Okay, so you’ve probably been going through this thinking, where is the stuff about the food? I thought this was a food blog?! My stay in WA was just too eventful that I had to talk about all the other stuff too! But let me round up some of the best WA eats from my visit.
TWIN BROOK CREAMERY CHOCOLATE MILK
I purchased this bottle at the local IGA store. A quick cattle lesson– this milk is from the Jersey Cow, which produces suuuuuper creamy milk with high fat content. The fat from this milk is used in the production of butter, cheese, and ice cream. This is first on the list because it was probably one of the best things I’ve put in my mouth ever. The milk was so delicious and the chocolate wasn’t too sweet. It almost had the texture of cream, but not thick enough to make you feel sick after.
It really is so damn good. The ice cream was incredibly thick and almost gooey. They boast that their ice cream comes as a “true pint” since their ice cream has no air unlike other ice cream that’s in the market. True enough, their ice cream is so dense that it’s kind of hard to get it out of the container (tip: keep the ice cream out while you’re eating dinner so it’s ready by the time dessert comes!) They also have a scooping station in Fairhaven. Also, a definite plus for having my favorite flavor, Butter Pecan.
LYNDEN DUTCH BAKERY
Their cinnamon roll! Normally, I shy away from cinnamon rolls that aren’t Cinnabon since I get disappointed, but this one was great! They have 3 options: cream cheese, glazed, and caramel. They also have a wide variety of other pastries as well as a pie carousel that houses different kinds of fruit pie.
In this trip, I revisited my love for hot chocolate– perfect for the cool Washington weather. I’d have to say that Lynden Dutch Bakery’s was my favorite. I like how it tasted like real milk chocolate and that it wasn’t too sweet. Plus points for the price too! $2 for any size.
Located in Fairhaven next to a fantastic used bookstore and below Drizzle Tasting Room, Colophon Cafe‘s Peanut Butter Pie is a must try! If you like Reese’s or Snickers, I’d say that the pie is a hybrid of the two. If the day isn’t too hot, grab a seat al fresco, cause the little town square is adorable!
We waited an hour to get seats, but it was worth it! Authentic Italian food, reasonable prices. Not exactly the best place to have conversation since it’s pretty loud, but I guess that’s a part of its charm. I had the ravioli (smoked gouda and sun dried tomato in rose sauce with fresh basil and pine nuts) which was fantastico! Check out their menu here.
CALICO CUPBOARD CAFE
If you’re having a clam chowder craving and you’re looking for something super creamy, Calico Cupboard Cafe is a good spot to have some. They also have a bunch of baked goods and bottomless coffee!(Wasn’t too big a fan of the cinnamon roll cause it was dry, but it looked so appetizing!) If the sun isn’t out, dine on the deck where you’ll have an unobstructed view of Rainbow Bridge.
El Nopal is in Sumas, right next to British Columbia, CA. Given its location, both Washingtonians and Canadians frequent this Mexican hotspot. You wait about 15 minutes for your food, but you can have unlimited chips and salsa while you wait. I had the El Nopal Burrito which is smothered in red sauce with a side of sour cream and guacamole. The serving is huge! I had about 1/3 of it and took the rest home.
Safe to say, I thoroughly enjoyed my short trip, but I definitely have to be back to see more! Comment below on what I can look forward to on my next visit!