Among our waterside gems is Fairhaven, a subset of Bellingham, founded as its own town in the 1880s by an entrepreneur and convicted felon named Daniel Jefferson Harris. Fairhaven embraces “Dirty Dan” with a bronze statue that sits in the middle of the Fairhaven green, where on Saturday nights in the summer, locals and visitors alike gather to watch movies together.
The town’s name is derived from a native term, “see-see-lich-em,” meaning safe port. While Fairhaven is no longer the thriving hub of commercial fishing it once was, it still embodies the atmosphere of a safe haven with its cozy community, welcoming shops and bountiful local parks.
A traveler in Fairhaven will be hard-pressed to look down at their feet, as the architecture and ocean views are nothing short of eye-catching. However, the sidewalks in Fairhaven are littered with historical factoids in the form of plaques reminding travelers of the history of this small division of Bellingham.
The shops in Fairhaven offer wares from books to shoes to housewares, gifts, olive oil and vinegar. Restaurants range from casual cafes and sandwich shops to upscale Italian and sophisticated bistros. The nightlife runs the gamut from dive bars to prohibition-era style bars.
Most businesses in Fairhaven are dog-friendly, so bring your pup along and take in the ocean views at Boulevard Park or Marine Park before settling down for a beer at Bellingham’s only dog-friendly, off-leash tavern, Paws for a Beer.
Fairhaven is a beautiful place to take in some sun, shop, eat and experience some local culture.
For more information, visit Bellingham.org.
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