Experience The Best Of West Coast Fall Activities At This Beautiful Destination

Fall activities on the West Coast of the U.S. can be a mixed bag of treats. Along the California coast, you can soak up the last of summer's rays on the beach and head up to the mountains to enjoy some fall weather, all in the same weekend. As you venture farther north up to the Oregon and Washington coasts, you'll find more of the typical fall weather and landscapes, complete with changing leaves.

One of the best places for fall activities on the West Coast is Bellingham, Washington. Located just over 20 miles south of the Canadian border, Bellingham is about as far north as you can get in the western part of the contiguous U.S. This has made its port the perfect departure point for ferries headed to Alaska along the Alaska Marine Highway. However, if you're headed to Bellingham for the ferry, don't leave in a hurry. You're definitely going to want to spend a few days here to take in the fall scenery.

In Bellingham, you'll find no shortage of fall-oriented activities for every age group, from brewery hopping and cider tasting to apple picking and pumpkin patches for the little ones. One of the best things to do here in the fall is to enjoy its natural beauty and explore the many trails and parks. So, whether you enjoy frolicking in fall-colored leaves or just watching the scenery with a mug of cider in your hands, Bellingham has it all for you.

Best fall foliage walks in Bellingham

Just 10 minutes from downtown Bellingham, you can take in the beautiful fall colors at Whatcom Falls Park. This park is 241 acres and has plenty of trails and activities to keep you busy all afternoon. As you walk along the paved trail that leads from the trailhead, you'll come across a stone bridge with views of the falls that give the park its name. There are also plenty of picnic tables, so feel free to pack a bag with your favorite fall snacks and a hot thermos to enjoy the scenery.

When you step into this next nature park, you might feel like you've entered an ancient or mystical forest. But this isn't the start of a fairytale — this is the Sehome Hill Arboretum located just south of Bellingham, right next to Western Washington University. Here, you'll find some beautiful trails and an observation deck that provides incredible views of the city and its changing leaves and Bellingham Bay.

Finally, we have the Stimpson Family Nature Reserve, located just a bit farther from the city than the previously mentioned parks, but well worth the short (15-minute) trip to get there. The best feature of this reserve is its old-growth forest, with some trees coming in at over 400 years old! There are about 5 miles of trails to explore here that take you through thick forests, fields of ferns, and even wetlands.

Fun fall activities for all ages in Bellingham

If you're looking for a fun family vacation for the fall, your kids will have a blast in Bellingham. Make some amazing memories with the little ones by going apple picking at Bellewood Farms, the home of the largest apple orchard in Western Washington. From September to the end of October, the farm allows "u-picking" of apples from their orchards. To get there, you can ride on the free tractor train, but there's also a corn maze, apple cider donuts, and even a distillery where parents can sneak a cheeky drink.

Bellewood Farms also has its own pick-your-own pumpkin patch, but it's not the only game in town. Dan Cramer's Western Town and Pumpkin Patch is also a great way to spend a couple of hours in Bellingham in the fall. There are over 30 different varieties of pumpkins to choose from here, along with lots of adorable farm animals. Not to mention, this is all taking place in a Western-themed town.

If you're looking for a unique way to spend a day in Bellingham and you're a lover of all things food-related, then definitely head to the Bellingham Farmers Market. This isn't just any market, though. This place is a dedicated advocate of the local sustainable food movement. Every Saturday, they bring in local farmers, artisans, and other producers to sell their goods so that even city-slickers in Bellingham can experience the wonderful taste of fresh, local produce.