Located 80 mi/130 km from Seattle at the foot of Mount Baker, this pretty, relaxed college town is a departure point for trips up the Alaskan Inside Passage, the protected boat route between Washington and Alaska. Sightseers should head south of downtown to Fairhaven Village, a district of restored buildings that contains cafes, bookshops and galleries.

Bellingham is a good jumping-off point for Mount Baker and the North Cascades, a beautiful alpine region that offers campgrounds, hiking, fishing and skiing. For more information, contact the Bellingham/Whatcom County Tourism office at 360-671-3990 or

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