Before we moved, my wife found a book listing 250 whitewater runs in Washington state. Having lived here a year now, I'm embarassed to say that I'm only through the first 5. But there are more on the list! And they are fun! The season is year-round, although water levels and temperatures vary widely over the year.
The Nooksack, Skagit, Suiattle, Sauk, and Skykomish are all listed in the book and within 100 miles of Bellingham. And further afield, there's the Rogue, Illinois, Deschutes, Green, etc. that all would make good multi-day adventures... Depending on the river, take your choice of anything from class I through V. We explored the Sauk at 800 cfs in inflatable kayaks. Then ran it a few months later with rafts @ 2500 cfs. A week later, it peaked at 11,000 after a couple of days of heavy rain. I wasn't running it though!
A friend just sent me this map of flatwater paddling north of Seattle. Lakes, slow rivers, estuaries, etc. Note that with other filters, the map site actually shows trails of all sorts of types.
Bellingham is wonderfully situated towards the north end of Puget Sound with access to all sorts of things, such as the San Juans, Vancouver Island, Alaska, and the Pacific Ocean.
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And if its good weather, let's go swimming