Everyone’s favorite European traveler, Rick Steves, snuck in another visit to the northwesternmost corner of the state of Washington with us this March. Despite the fact that travel has resumed, reopening doors to wondrous destinations worldwide, Whatcom County still had a few more things to show this seasoned traveler.

As you’ll see in this latest installment of the “Best of Bellingham and Whatcom County,” the trip was focused on the very pine-scented outdoorsy side of Bellingham, the county’s main city. 

We started off our big day in Bellingham after breakfast at the Chrysalis Hotel (fun fact: Rick likes his English muffins burned — something no server ever really believes) and headed out to Lake Padden where we set up our first shot. The sun, as you’ll see from the video, hadn’t quite broken through. It was one of those soft, birdsong-filled mornings we have up here, with a lot of mist rising over the lake. Perfectly PNW.  Rick chatted with Sarah Pearson of Experience International, rode a bike with her for a hot minute and goofed around on a dock (see photos). After which we were off to legendary local watering hole/brewery Boundary Bay

We walk in and there’s a piano in the bar … so while we set up the shot, guess who sat himself down and started playing? Once the cameras were set, Rick chatted with the owners, Ed Bennett and Janet Lightner, about their connection to the outdoorsy community and about the locally famous Ski to Sea race, one of the many races they support. 

Following lunch at Boundary, we were off again to Whatcom Falls Park, a stunning waterfall and surrounding park that feels miles away from everything but is just minutes from the center of Bellingham. There Rick chatted with Todd Elsworth of Recreation Northwest about “Park-scriptions” and the healing power of communing with nature. 

Another hop in the car and we were at Cornwall Park, another of the massive green spaces in the center of Bellingham, with Rick trying his hand at Washington state’s gift to the sporting world: pickleball (created in Bainbridge Island). Anna Rankin of Whatcom Events showed Rick the pickleball ropes and then talked to him about the many outdoor activities available to visitors to the area. 

And last stop, where the day started, at Taylor dock in front of the Chrysalis for a picture-perfect sunset over the Salish Sea. 

Take a look at the video above, and if you missed them, enjoy our series with Rick from last year where he learns about farm to bottle craft beverages, extremely northwest destinations and arts and culture — all in Whatcom County. 

Visit Bellingham | Whatcom County for sweeping scenery stretching from the Salish Sea to Mount Baker and North Cascades National Park.