Seattle - Everyone knows SeaTac. It took us two hours to drive down and drop off the car. (smooth traffic - we went down I405 and with two people in the car got to use the carpool lane) Bellair Charters runs a very convenient shuttle with runs every one or two hours throughout the day for a moderate price. See their website for details. (remember, in rush-hour, they might be running late) What one couple of friends do is to drive down the night before the flight, get a hotel room, start their vacation with that and then park their car at reduced rates with the hotel. For details on taking the shuttle, check out this page.
Bellingham - Alaska Airlines flies from Bellingham to Seattle and Portland with turbo-props and to Hawaii and Las Vegas with 737s. If you are doing a 'Miles' ticket, it doesn't cost any more to add the Bellingham leg. And the airport is only a few miles from downtown. Allegiant Air has direct flights to Hawaii, Las Angeles, Reno, Las Vegas, and Phoenix. And it has a really cool route map (click on the city and watch). Frontier flies 'seasonally' to Denver. Rumors abound that airlines are considering adding flights to some hubs to the east, but nothing has happened yet. Bellingham Airport website.
Vancouver - The Vancouver airport is on the south side of the city. It is about 40 miles from Bellingham. Alaska Airlines has direct flights from Anchorage to Vancouver, at least during the summer. It took us 60 minutes to drive from the airport to Bellingham, including Customs. (Sample size of 1 - this may vary!)
Trains / Express Buses - Amtrak goes through Bellingham, both north to Vancouver and south to Oregon. You would need to transfer in Seattle or Everett for east-bound trains or California. Some people go into Seattle for the day with Amtrak, although I'd probably use Bellair Charters or the Bolt Bus (which is non-stop, also to Vancouver and Portland).
Local Buses - the Whatcom Transportation Authority provides excellent service. On the 4 main lines, buses run every 15 minutes during business hours and run until about 10 pm at night and on both Saturday and Sunday. The buses carry bicycles. Other lines have less frequent schedules.
Ferries - local and distant. Arguably it is easier to explore southeast Alaska from Bellingham, than from Anchorage. Bicycle over to the southern terminal of the Alaska Marine Highway System, ride your bike down the ramp and off you go! And local seasonal ferries take you out to the San Juans (Friday Harbor) and Victoria, B.C.. (This is a relatively complex site - look carefully. There must be a better link, but it will need to wait further research.)
Back to Bellingham Index