Nothing brightens a day out in Bellingham like a good, mind-expanding high—or maybe it’s the other way around. Either way, the two go together like Mary and Jane.
So, before you dab, vape, eat, or light your way couch-bound, check out this list of 10 mind-expanding things to do in Bellingham—while high.
1. Fairhaven Outdoor Cinema
On Saturday evenings, during the Summer, people bring their blankets to the Fairhaven Village Green, and sit outside for some live music and a movie. With herb-friendly titles like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Jurassic World, and The Labyrinth—and food vendors to keep you satisfied, it's no wonder this tradition is going on 17 years.
Keep in mind, lawn chairs aren't allowed on the grass, so it's B.Y.O.B. (Bring your own blankets). And the cost is 5 bucks. Be sure to check their website for showtimes and schedule.
Suggested Strain: Cheese
Located at the corner of 10th St. and Mill Ave. in Fairhaven. Dates: Saturdays, June 25 through August 27. Website
2. Downtown Sounds
Downtown Sounds is Whatcom County’s largest urban outdoor music festival. And it’s FREE—Wednesday nights from 5:30 to 9:00, all through July and into August. Electrified crowds, outstanding bands, beer garden, food vendors—party in the streets, need I say more?
These concerts draw big crowds, so show up early if you want to get your bearings. Also, you might want to think ahead and select a strain suited for happy-good times with lots of people!
Suggested Strain: Agent Orange
Located on the 1300 block of Bay St., near Spark Museum. Dates: Wednesdays from 5:30–9pm, July 6 through August 3. Admission: Free! Website
3. Wander Bellingham’s Trail System
Walking definitely expands the mind, and luckily, you can get pretty much anywhere you need to go in Bellingham by foot, passing beautiful scenery along the way. We have a rich and complex trail system here, that stretches from Larraby State Park all the way up to Cordata Park, connecting neighborhoods in surprising ways.
All you need to do is take a toke, lace up your shoes, and put one foot in front of the other. Then, Bellingham is yours. Take your time and wander aimlessly, or if you want to know where you’re going, you can find maps of all of Bellingham’s trails over at the City of Bellingham website.
Suggested Strain: Purple Diesel
4. Check out used book stores
Something curious happens when the THC kicks in: our minds become super-absorbant, flexible, and curious—everything seems so much more interesting and meaningful. These are perfect conditions for a used book store. You go in. It’s funky. You smell the pages, and pore through stacks and rows of mind-candy. Nothing compares.
A few of my favorite book stores in Bellingham:
• Henderson’s Books, at 116 Grand Ave. Looking for esoteric Yogic philosophy? How to build a boat in your back yard? Or how about a jar full of buttons? This place has it all. Open Monday through Saturday 10 am to 6 pm. Phone: (360) 734-6855. Facebook
• Michaels Books, at 109 Grand Ave. (Just across the street from Henderson’s). Seemingly endless rows of overflowing bookshelves, with lots of rare and out-of-print titles. Open Sundays and Mondays: Noon to 5 pm, and Tuesday through Saturday: 10 am to 6 pm. Phone: (360) 733-6272. Website
• Eclipse Bookstore, at 1104 11th St. in Fairhaven is the epitome of funky bookstores, with floor-to-ceiling books, titles you'd never find anywhere else, and a kind reminder that life can be a little chaotic sometimes and that’s okay! Open Monday through Thursday: 10 am to 8 pm, Friday and Saturday: 10 am to 9 pm, and Sundays: 10:30 am to 7 pm.
Suggested Strain: White Widow
5. Clark Feed & Seed
This is Bellingham’s un-official tropical fish aquarium. Once you’re in, the store feels like an underwater cave. Floor-to-ceiling fish tanks teem with angels, betas, clownfish, and seahorses. Forests of soft, psychedelic plant life sway to the hum of filters, as people quietly walk like tourists from tank to tank.
Between the stunning visual inspiration and insanely passionate and knowledgeable staff, don’t be surprised if you find yourself walking home with a plastic bag full of little blue neons and an aquatic frog.
Suggested Strain: Green Love Potion
Located at 1326 Railroad Ave. in downtown Bellingham. Open Monday through Saturday: 8am to 8pm, and Sundays 10am to 8pm. Phone: (360) 733-8330.
6. Saturday Farmers’ Market
I don’t know of a better weekly combination of people-watching, food vendors, musicians, and artists booths available in the Pacific Northwest, and it happens in downtown Bellingham every Saturday of the year. This is the pulse of Bellingham, and you don’t want to miss it. All of your senses will be stimulated to the max, and you’ll walk away feeling the sense of satisfaction that comes from being part of something larger than yourself. You’ll likely bump into friends, and maybe even make some new ones, so put on your green-tinted glasses and join the fun!
Suggested Strain: Headband
Located at 1100 Railroad Ave. in Downtown Bellingham, every Saturday from 10am to 3pm. Website
7. Avalon Records
Ahh, record stores. Who of us remembers walking into our favorite record store and perusing countless albums, posters, tapestries, and smoke supplies. I had mine growing up, but most went by the wayside. Some have managed to weather the MP3 storm though, and Avalon Records in Downtown Bellingham is a thriving example. Trust me, shopping for music at Avalon is infinitely more fun—and mind-expanding—than clicking “Buy Now” on a computer screen.
If you don’t do so already, go spend an hour in Avalon—I highly recommend it.
Suggested Strain: Coogies
They’re located at 1330 Railroad Ave. in Bellingham. Open Monday through Saturday: 9:30 am. To 7pm, and Sundays 11am to 6pm. Phone: (360) 767-9573. Website
8. Spark Museum of Electrical Invention
If you’ve seen the signs from I5, or walked by downtown and wondered what it’s all about, Spark Museum is a wonderful interactive celebration of electricity through the ages. They feature amazing collections of rare inventions, early radios, and Tesla coils, including their 9-foot tall “Mega Zapper,” which creates enormous bursts of lightning every Saturday and Sunday afternoon at 2:30. This place will blow your mind! (May want to go with a Sativa here.)
Suggested Strain: Double Dream
Located at 1312 Bay St. in Bellingham. Open Wednesday through Sunday: 11am to 5pm. Phone: (360) 738-3886. Admission: $8.00 for adults and $5.00 for kids under 11. Website
9. Semiahmoo Spit
Though outside the city of Bellingham (it’s about a 45 minute drive North), I had to include Semiahmoo Spit here because it’s such great place to spend the day. And besides, we all need to get out of the bubble once in a while. There’s a nice 1-1/2 mile paved trail along the East side of the spit for mellow strolls, with picnic tables and fire pits, and spectacular views of Mt. Baker and Twin Sisters, and it’s world-renowned for its bird watching opportunities (there are eagles everywhere!). This place is open and expansive, which is what’ll happen to your consciousness while you’re there.
Suggested Strain: Alien Tech
Located at 9261 Semiahmoo Parkway, in Blaine. Phone: (360) 384-3444. Website
10. Noah’s House
My buddy, Noah’s house is awesome. Nestled in the woods, and not too far from town, you can sink into the couch on a nice Indica buzz and watch the trees rustle in the wind while Pink Floyd plays on the stereo.
But wait, there's a hot tub outside. The families are hanging out, with kids downstairs passed out for the night. The moms and dads go out in the brisk air and chillax in the tub, passing around bowls of Hyper Drive, Northern Lights, Jack Here. It starts to rain, which just makes it all the better.
If you’re friends with Noah, you know what I mean. Otherwise, remember to spend your high time with friends and loved ones, and to make as much joy as you can in this world.
Though it's #10 on this list, Noah’s House—or Visiting Friends—is really my number one pick for mind- (and heart) expanding things to do in Bellingham while high.
Photo credits: Feature image courtesy Sean Dustman. View license here.