Senior Citizens Retire in Bellingham

Jun 16th, 2011 | By James E Becker | Category: Senior Travel

A few years back a fellow graduate student at Ohio State retired.  He had made a fortune writing textbooks, drove a new Mercedes-Benz and traveled the world on his bicycle.  He paid a visit to our home in Iowa and told us that he could have retired anywhere in the world.  He really wanted to stay in the states and he choose Bellingham, Washington after much research, reading and visiting the city.  I often wondered why Bellingham.  After researching this blog, I have discovered hundreds of reason why thousands of people, including senior citizens, flock to Bellingham each year.

This jewel of the northwest is located 78 miles north of Seattle, 60 miles south of Vancouver, and rests along the waterfront of Bellingham Bay. The tree-lined streets of the city are threaded with art, music, and culture.  The backdrop of the city scene is the great outdoors, which is why many people choose Bellingham as a place to live or visit.  Perhaps best known outside of Washington state as the southern terminus for ferries heading north to Alaska, Bellingham is a vibrant little city that boasts excellent views of the San Juan Islands.   Still an active shipping port, Bellingham has, at Squalicum Harbor, a large commercial and private boat marina, a hotel and commercial complex, and a park that together provide residents and visitors with a chance to enjoy the bay.

South of downtown Bellingham, near the Bellingham Cruise Terminal, which is where Alaska ferries dock, is the historic community of Fairhaven.  Fairhaven’s old brick commercial buildings, its interesting shops and many lovely Victorian homes are a highlight of a visit to Bellingham.

If there was ever a town with momentum it is Bellingham, Washington.  Loaded with “small town charm,” it was rated the #2 city and metropolitan area in the country in “Cities Ranked and Rated.”   Kiplinger’s called Bellingham one of the top retirement communities in the U.S.  Located on the northwestern coast of Washington, this city of 79,000 (180,000 in the Metro area) has several colleges and Western Washington University with 14,000 students.

Bellingham has unbelievable natural scenery from Puget Sound on the west and Mount Baker to the east.  With magnificent natural scenery, skiing and snowboarding at Mt. Baker, hiking, arts and theatre, charming villages and water adventures like whale watching, Bellingham Whatcom County is a unique area of Washington state.

Bellingham offers significant diversity with many native Americans, aging hippies, and college students thrown into the mix.  Amtrak will take you right into the center of town.
Bellingham has an active music scene that attracts many from the university.  Bellingham is home to the Bellingham Theatre Guild.  Whatcom Museum of History and Art sponsors art exhibitions.  Western Washington University provides university arts programs.  There are 4 two year colleges in town.

Seems as though Jim knew what he was talking about. I must go visit Jim and Bellingham now.  Hopefully you may now wish to check out Bellingham for yourself.   jeb

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