Bellingham is the furthest north city in the lower United States. Its proximity to Canada results in the city often enjoying a lot of tourist traffic as Canadian's come down to enjoy vacations or to shop at cheaper American prices. The city of 80,000 also provides its citizens with easy access to major cities like Vancouver and Seattle, making the location very appealing. Western Washington University employs over 1,500 people in Bellingham, making it the second largest employer in the city. It also enrolls more than 15,000 students annually. The WWU Vikings are a member of NCAA Division II.
Give yourself a good amount of time to look for an apartment in Bellingham, as the supply is often low. January through April is probably the best time of year to look for an apartment. The hardest time is no doubt September, when many WWU students have occupied the available rental housing.
When you want to rent a place in Bellingham, come with all of your supporting documentation with you when you meet landlords. That way, if you like the place you can fill out the application on the spot. Letters confirming school enrolment or employment, letters of reference and credit reports are all good items to have on hand.
Cars have their drawbacks in Bellingham, especially due to the price of parking at the University. The roads are also a bit of a confusing maze. However, bicycles are a great way to navigate the city, and the WTA also operates buses. There is also a water taxi for those who want to the San Juan Islands.
Outdoor entertainment is a huge reason that people move to Bellingham, as there is nearby skiing, whale watching, fishing, and more. To enjoy local nightlife, the downtown district provides a lot of options within a short walk of each other. Typical of cities in the northwest, Bellingham has wholly embraced the craft beer movement. The town hosts "April Brews Day" on the last Saturday of April to celebrate the fine art of brewing.