U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Washington
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 10-13-2009, 05:37 PM
 
Location: Long Beach
31 posts, read 139,036 times
Reputation: 38

Advertisements

I have a few more questions about Bellingham:

1.) What is the feel like in Bellingham? The people? Is it country? Conservative? Diverse? Multi-cultural? Liberal? Young? A retirement community? Trendy? A mixture? Does it have some "happening" places? Would I be out of place if I dressed trendy (not punk, just trendy) and listened to modern music? (I know it sounds silly, but I am asking for a reason. Someone made a comment that its not a very "progressive" town, but then again, its a college town, so wouldn't it be a little bit more modern and hip?)

2.) Other than Trader Joe's what are some other whole foods/natural grocery stores?

3.) What are the bad neighborhoods?

4.) What do young families do for fun, especially during the winter months? (As I have two kids, age 6 and 3.)

5.) And does anyone know anything about the Bellingham Athletic Club? The prices? It seems like a nice gym.

Also, is it really grey and overcast day after day after day in the winter, or do you get breaks with sunny days here and there?
I know its a lot of questions but we may seriously end up moving there in a few weeks (if my husbands job sends him it will be next month!) so I am making sure I have a good idea for what we are in store for.
It's not a little country hick town is it? I mean, I have been there before but only for a day and I don't quite remember. I remember thinking it was really beautiful and the old historical look of the buildings were neat.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 10-14-2009, 09:26 PM
 
Location: Yawn Town, WA
39 posts, read 96,785 times
Reputation: 29
I'm not from WA, but from SoCal. My family (hubby and son) and I were in Bellingham during Thanksgiving week about 3 years ago looking to move there. We didn't take the leap then (family stuff), but are considering it again.

I can't comment on much of what you ask, but just wanted to say the weather was really beautiful; yes it was cold and a bit rainy, but the sun came out for regular periods of time (Bellingham and Seattle) and we didn't need heavy coats the whole time (sometimes a sweater and long sleeve shirt were good enough) and the sunsets were outstanding. We, too, were unsure of what to expect and thought that if we had decent weather at the end of November, that maybe it was more tolerable than we anticipated. Maybe we got lucky, who knows, but I choose to believe it's not as bad as they say!

My best friend's husband got relocated to Seattle about 5 years ago and she hated rain here, but says she's never moving away from WA. Ever. I had to check it out based solely on that comment alone, as you can imagine. She says it's so nice to get seasons and they're all beautiful.

We stayed in Fairhaven for 4 days and it's such a cute place! Good restaurants, shops and things to see there. We also saw several neighborhoods (Tweed Twenty, Sudden Valley Chuckanut Bay, The Lettered Streets; cute old homes and a few more I can't recall at the moment) which seemed nice and 'normal'; not too country-ish. They did have a less cookie-cutter feel than SoCal which was nice. We were looking at houses and they vary inside and out which was neat to see. We had a great agent who was born and raised in Bellingham.

As far as dress (I also had no idea), most people were dressed for the weather. LOTS of North Face logos. Trendy would be o.k. if you ask me. Jeans, cozy sweaters, comfy jackets, boots....just thinking about it makes me dislike SoCal weather even more!

Trader Joe's seemed a big deal (lots of houses list their proximity to it)! There weren't stores on every corner like here and going to the store seemed more like an adventure than a chore. Could be though that I'm so programmed about where to shop because of how close I may live to a particular store.

If your kids are into sports (I realize they're a bit young yet) there was an awesome sports complex that has ice hockey, baseball, soccer, swimming and probably more. I believe we were told some sports are indoors so they can be done year-round. Lake Whatcom seemed like the place to be in the summer.

I realize you're looking for more answers, but just thought I'd add my 2 cents. Anyway, know that I'm jealous and hot on your heels as a transplant! Good luck to you and your family!!
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-15-2009, 11:20 AM
 
Location: Long Beach
31 posts, read 139,036 times
Reputation: 38
cori, thank you.
I am scared but excited as well. I live so close to the ocean (3 blocks) and I have annual passes to Disneyland so we go at least once a month. Some things are just so glamorous here in SoCal.
But then again there's the not-so-nice. Sometimes the go, go, go! attitude gets to you, or rather, it can get in your way. My son is in school now; I think it's time to settle. It would be nice to get out of a one bedroom (four of us, one bed) and actually get a place with more rooms and a washer/dryer, maybe even a garage or a yard!!!! There's pros and cons to everywhere. I am willing to try a change.
I am hesitant about the weather (it doesn't get any better than Long Beach) but then again, I lived in Alaska for 23 yrs. It's not going to break me.
Hope your dreams come true! Take the leap!
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-15-2009, 11:47 AM
 
Location: Texas
989 posts, read 2,299,212 times
Reputation: 697
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stelinzoe View Post
I have a few more questions about Bellingham:

1.) What is the feel like in Bellingham? The people? Is it country? Conservative? Diverse? Multi-cultural? Liberal? Young? A retirement community? Trendy? A mixture? Does it have some "happening" places? Would I be out of place if I dressed trendy (not punk, just trendy) and listened to modern music? (I know it sounds silly, but I am asking for a reason. Someone made a comment that its not a very "progressive" town, but then again, its a college town, so wouldn't it be a little bit more modern and hip?)

2.) Other than Trader Joe's what are some other whole foods/natural grocery stores?

3.) What are the bad neighborhoods?

4.) What do young families do for fun, especially during the winter months? (As I have two kids, age 6 and 3.)

5.) And does anyone know anything about the Bellingham Athletic Club? The prices? It seems like a nice gym.

Also, is it really grey and overcast day after day after day in the winter, or do you get breaks with sunny days here and there?
I know its a lot of questions but we may seriously end up moving there in a few weeks (if my husbands job sends him it will be next month!) so I am making sure I have a good idea for what we are in store for.
It's not a little country hick town is it? I mean, I have been there before but only for a day and I don't quite remember. I remember thinking it was really beautiful and the old historical look of the buildings were neat.
1. Liberal, sleepy, college-town vibe. But not hipster. Washington state can be very conservative once you're out in the country, though. You'd be surprised.
2. I'm sure you'll find plenty such options. Check the yellow pages.
3. None. Some less affluent areas, but nothing "bad".
4. Plenty of outdoor activities around, plus you are right between Seattle and Vancouver BC.
5. Nope.

Main negative of Bellingham=no jobs.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-16-2009, 11:46 AM
 
79 posts, read 249,137 times
Reputation: 34
1.) What is the feel like in Bellingham? The people? Is it country? Conservative? Diverse? Multi-cultural? Liberal? Young? A retirement community? Trendy? A mixture? Does it have some "happening" places? Would I be out of place if I dressed trendy (not punk, just trendy) and listened to modern music? (I know it sounds silly, but I am asking for a reason. Someone made a comment that its not a very "progressive" town, but then again, its a college town, so wouldn't it be a little bit more modern and hip?)

I've lived in Bellingham for almost 6 years. There is definately a diverse community here both in belief and age. You won't have any problems finding people who listen to modern music if you hang out in the downtown area or Fairhaven for fun.

2.) Other than Trader Joe's what are some other whole foods/natural grocery stores?

There is a great natural food co-op in town they just built a new building so they now have 2 locations.

3.) What are the bad neighborhoods?

I'm a process server so I've been to most of the "bad" sections of town. No really bad neighborhoods although I did tell my son's girlfriend that she couldn't move into a couple of the apartment complexes.

4.) What do young families do for fun, especially during the winter months? (As I have two kids, age 6 and 3.)

My girlfriend has young kids and I know she takes them to the YMCA a lot for rock climbing. There is an indoor pool, and I'm sure lots of other things to do. Out in Sudden Valley (a neigborhood 9 miles from Bellingham) there is a really strong mother's group and they have a place where the kids can get together and play (called the Sunshine Room) and they just put in 2 new parks.

5.) And does anyone know anything about the Bellingham Athletic Club? The prices? It seems like a nice gym.

Don't know anything, sorry

Also, is it really grey and overcast day after day after day in the winter, or do you get breaks with sunny days here and there?

There are many sunny days in the winter, granted it does rain quite a bit but the sun does come out. The rain is really different than in places like the midwest. It's more like a wet mist, you usually don't even need an umbrella.


I know its a lot of questions but we may seriously end up moving there in a few weeks (if my husbands job sends him it will be next month!) so I am making sure I have a good idea for what we are in store for.
It's not a little country hick town is it? I mean, I have been there before but only for a day and I don't quite remember. I remember thinking it was really beautiful and the old historical look of the buildings were neat.

What I don't like about Bellingham:

Shortage of chain restaurants, stores. We are literally at the end of the line for businesses. If a business opens in Bellingham and needs to ship stuff here they can't go on to the next store in the next town, they have to turn around and go back the way they came.

High cost of housing. If you want to purchase a home you may want to look in Sudden Valley, the homes are cheaper and I hear the schools are good.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-16-2009, 05:16 PM
 
Location: Long Beach
31 posts, read 139,036 times
Reputation: 38
thank you!
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-22-2009, 08:32 PM
 
7 posts, read 21,560 times
Reputation: 12
I've lived in Bellingham for seven years (came from nearly 20 in Vancouver, Wa). The shine has definitely worn off for me. Contrary to what someone else said, there are bad neighborhoods, for sure, and you don't want to be on Railroad Ave. after dark. My main gripes are:
NO jobs, period.
Businesses just can't seem to make it.
Restaurants are mediocre or uninspired at best. There are only a few worth spending money at - the rest make me wish I'd stayed home.
It's very granola, and I personally like that. But here's the deal: go try and find recycling containers at parks! They don't exist. You'll find 'em in Seattle and Portland, but not Bellingham. So it seems the green is mostly a talk and not so much of a walk here.
Dogs aren't allowed in most of the parks, and there's even one or two that doesn't even allow ON-LEASH dogs! What the??? Plus, it's the only farmers market I've ever been to that doesn't allow dogs.
The outlying areas are uber-conservative. Lynden especially. And there are a few rural areas that are Meth Central!
Regarding Bellingham Athletic Club - it's an okay gym, but the locations aren't great. One is on Meridian, which most people say is the ONE street to avoid because of the traffic...and it's just generally really ugly. The other location is on Cornwall. Bellingham really does need a better gym, like a 24 hour fitness or a Bally's. Gold's is ok, but very basic and run down. Stay away from Bellingham Fitness.
By the way, what neighborhood is "Twenty Tweed?" Never heard of it!

Last edited by Dogs4us; 10-22-2009 at 08:37 PM.. Reason: adding info
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-24-2009, 10:14 AM
 
Location: Whatcom
4 posts, read 19,150 times
Reputation: 10
Stelinzoe, I am a lifetime resident of the area. Organic farmer and RE agent. Perhaps my perspective may be a bit narrow. Bellingham is not urban hip. Sleepy liberal seems fairly accurate. A 'Troops Home' city. Highest per capita miles of trails for Wash cities. 3rd largest Farmers Market in state. 100 acre downtown waterfront re-development in progress. In-fill policies dominating city planning. Lots of Subarus and Prius.
While the county is more conservative, the county council continues to have a liberal majority. We have been dragging our feet in regards to state mandated Growth Management Act, so implementation of regulations are causing the inevitable teeth-gnashing. Protection of Lake Whatcom watershed is forefront. Restrictive rural residential policies now in place. Downzoning occuring. Urban growth areas for towns are being reduced. Agriculture preservation.
Stunning natural beauty with ample outdoor activitives. Mountains and Islands. Gore-Tex and parkas dominate. It's green because of the rain and mild temps. It is not cheap. Last winter was cooler but dryer. Summer was spectacular. The previous winter was warmer and wetter and summer was a bust.
1# you will not be out of place by dressing trendy
2#Bellingham Food Co-op...2 locations. Terra Organica
3# Texas Flats, better than it used to be
4# See revious post
5# Was member @ BAC for 15 years. Older facility on Meridian, but has pool, basketball court, and reaquet ball courts. Downtown site is much newer. Great owner. Not sure on prices, but competitive and they run specials.]
Foreclosures on the rise, prices are slowly going down. There are some very good deals in the 300K range in Sudden Valley. Bellingham itself is very desirable and home prices are stubborn.
Hope this helps

Bob
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-24-2009, 11:49 AM
 
79 posts, read 249,137 times
Reputation: 34
Well put Bob, I'm not sure about your take on last winter though. I'm out in Sudden Valley and we had 3 heavy snows (7-9 inches) that lasted about a week each. That's the most we've ever had in the 6 years I've been here. Summers are always spectacular here and no bugs!
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-24-2009, 02:19 PM
 
Location: Whatcom
4 posts, read 19,150 times
Reputation: 10
Susan, granted those in SV will have a different take on last winter

bob
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Settings
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2020 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Washington
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2020, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top