There is something picture-perfect about the city of Bellingham, Washington. From snow-capped mountains to crystal clear lakes, you could be forgiven for thinking you were in Switzerland! Bellingham is also the county seat of Whatcom County in Washington that makes for an excellent moving destination. Those moving to Bellingham will love everything the city has to offer.
Bellingham was named in honor of Sir William Bellingham thanks to British explorer George Vancouver who first arrived in the bay over which the City now looks. The first European settlers followed in 1854 and then, in 1858, the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush resulted in a sudden and rapid influx of many different folk, some law abiding, some not! Coal deposits were found too, and soon Bellingham evolved into a bustling city. With the arrival of the railroad networks in the 1890s, the four towns that had grown up around Bellingham Bay were consolidated into a single one that was incorporated as "Bellingham" in 1904. Shipping and lumber joined the mining and rail networks that were already contributing to rapid developments in Bellingham, and soon real estate options were being sold off with utility companies quickly setting up to provide services. Over the following decades, Bellingham grew from strength to strength as more industries and service companies arrived to set up plants and offices.
Over the past thirty years service-oriented jobs have gained prominence in the local economy while mining, construction and manufacturing have declined. In fact the service industry now accounts for around 77 percent of all non-agricultural employment in the area. According to Bellingham's latest comprehensive Financial Report, medical services in the City employ close to 3,000 employees, followed by the educational sector with a similar figure and then the local government sector with around 1,800 jobs. International operators such as Haggen and Sodexo provide work for 1,600 local residents. Add in the mining, construction, manufacturing and agricultural sectors and Bellingham shows a healthy diversity in its spread of businesses contributing to the coffers.
The city of Bellingham has a very helpful website with information on local attractions, upcoming events, recreation options, restaurants and accommodations. Whether you are planning a short stay or a more permanent move, this city certainly offers a break from the ordinary. The downtown area is well worth exploring with museums, shopping centers and restaurants to suit every palette and budget. Historic Fairhaven is a "must see" district while you are in town. And, with the striking beauty of Mt. Baker with its snow skiing and boarding just beyond, you are sure to want to explore the natural surroundings, or just chill out at the waterfront while whale spotting or watching the passing parade. This is a truly magnificent part of Washington State and one to be enjoyed by every visitor and resident alike.