Bellingham-Best City Lists

Ranked 33rd among the "hippiest, healthiest, and most adventure-packed" small cities in America! 

Livability ranks Bellingham #8 out of 10 Best Beer Cities in the US, 2014, given many factors that played into the decision to be put on the list, including the annual Beer Week first held in 2012 that draws hundreds of people for 10 days of beer events.

Bellingham comes in #2 for family friendliest city in the state of Washington! Acclaimed for its outdoor opportunities and easy access to the San Juan Islands and the North Cascades, the city has the shortest commute time. It also ranks in the top five for public schools and preschools, according to July, 2014.

Bellingham, WA ranks "highest performing small city in the state" according to the Milken Institute in March, 2013.

And, in July, 2013, the New York Times asked Sperling’s Best Places to rank the U.S. cities with the lowest risk of damage from natural disasters and put the City of Subdued Excitement in 3rd! You can read more here! It will open into a new window.

Bellingham-The City of Subdued Excitement

She does it again and again over the years!

The city has ranked #2 out of the 25 best cities for "independent businesses" according to The Washington Post Business Capital in October, 2011, for locally-owned businesses that are at the heart of the American economy. Check her out on slide picture number 24.

Over the years, Bellingham, WA has found favor with many top publications and organizations in regards to "best places" to live, best places to retire, and best place to kayak!... And we did it again!

In September of 2008, National Geographic Magazine had named Bellingham in their list of "Where To Live & Play Now: The Next 50 Great Towns."

March 19th, 2008, Forbes Magazine had written the city up as #55 for "Best Small Places For Businesses and Careers."

The city was recently named one of the "safest cities to live" in the U.S., according to Sperling's Best Places, noted in December of 2007. (What a way to end the year!)

In May of 2007, Mother Earth News claimed the city one of the 8 "Great Places You Never Heard Of!" Claiming, "Beautiful scenery, access to an abundance of local food and a strong commitment to water and energy efficiency makes the city really stand out." (America's Best Kept Secret!? I think so!)

In December of 2006, after considering crime statistics, extreme weather, environmental hazards, risks of natural disasters, terrorism threats, and job losses in 379 other metro cities in the US, the city was ranked 4th in the nation in the Third Annual "Most Secure Places To Live" from the Farmers Insurance Group of Companies. That is quite impressive!


In 2006, CNN's Money Magazine rated the city 2nd in Washington state among the "Best Places To Retire". They based the towns with top-notch health care, loads of culture, lots of green space and low taxes. Their online article noted about the city, "the great outdoors and a sophisticated community all at your doorstep," and has "metropolitan ambitions without big-city hassles."

In August of 2006, Outside Magazine rated the city the "best paddling town in the U.S." talking about the wonderful kayaking in Bellingham. This recognition is no surprize as local Brandon Nelson bagged a world record this last spring by kayaking 146 miles in 24 hours around Lake Whatcom!

In May of 2006, in a nationwide study by the American Lung Association, claimed the city was named among 11 other cities as having the cleanest air 6 years in a row!

Also, in May 2006, Inc. Magazine rated the city as 5th "hottest boomtown" under 150,000 in population, based on recent job growth.


In April of 2006, the League of American Bicyclists lists the city as a "silver" level Bicycle Friendly Community. It is the only city in the Pacific Northwest with that designation.

In February of 2006, Where to Retire Magazine did a story on Bellingham as a great place for active seniors to live.

In November of 2005, Dog Fancy listed the city as one of the top 10 "dog-friendly cities" in the USA. (Where is that restaurant the dogs and their owners are encouraged to dine? I believe there is one in town!)

In September of 2004, the city was named as one of the 10 top "Adventure Towns" in the nation by (again) the National Geographic Adventure Magazine.

In May of 2003, Men's Journal calls it one of the 50 best small cities in which to live.
In September of 2001, Outside Magazine called the city one of its top 10 "Dream Towns," noting the town's close access to shorelines, rivers, the San Juan Islands, and the Cascade Mountains.

In conclusion, it is no wonder how one falls in love with this "City of Subdued Excitement! It is a great place to live, work and play and a wonderful city to plan your next vacation.

While you are here, check out Bellingham's Notable Citizens.

Go from here to Homepage to search for more interesting and exciting things about the town!

Check out cool things to do town!

Recent Articles

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  3. Whatcom Falls Park Bellingham, WA

    Jan 08, 16 05:39 PM

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