Like the bulls-eye in a target, Bellingham represents an epicenter of northwest Washington’s blend of rural and urban – where mountains meet the sea. Balancing small town spirit with funky college-infusion, artist chic and culinary wow, progression and preservation, Bellingham has managed to honor the past while embracing the future. 


The surrounding landscape provides visual diversity. Mt. Baker dominates the eastern horizon, with a stair step of fertile valleys, foothills, placid lakes, and rivers that vacillate seasonally between docile and irate. Located just north of the Skagit Valley’s colorful tulip fields. To the west lies miles of meandering Salish Sea shoreline dotted with secluded bays and inlets, adjacent to the San Juan archipelago. 


 Photo courtesy of Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism.





Although Mt. Baker boasts the world record for most snowfall, the populated cities and valleys in its shadow enjoy a moderate marine climate with misty mornings often giving way to sunshine throughout the day.


Average Temperature:

January – High 43.3 F, Low 30.1 F

July – High 73.9 F, Low 50.1 F



January Rainfall – 4.65 inches

July Rainfall – 1.30 inches


Western Regional Climate Center






Photo courtesy of Lannie Boesiger.


Whatcom County has been a “bit player” in several movies and commercials, including The Deer Hunter (1978) and The Ring (2002), but its rising claim to cinematic fame centers on recent independent films focused, not ironically, on achievements and accolades of fiercely independent locals. 

The Mountain Runners was released in 2011 to celebrate the 100thanniversary of America’s first mountain endurance/adventure race – a trek which lured amateur athletes in a combination of automobile, stream train, and human resilience to reach the top of Mt. Baker’s 10,781 ft volcanic glacial peak. This amazing docudrama weaves together archival material and dramatic recreations filmed in the historic Fairhaven District of Bellingham, the Nooksack Valley and Mount Baker. 

As evidenced by the soon to be released film Out of Nothing, the independent and competitive spirit has not diminished since the mountain runners era. This locally produced documentary follows four motorcycle fanatics – two Bellingham brothers and their friends – as they custom create a machine destined to break the motorcycle land speed racing record at Bonneville Salt Flats. Co-produced by local resident, comedian/actor Ryan Stiles, the film is in final editing.





Photo courtesy of Robert James.


  •  – Historic City Hall (downtown Bellingham)
  •  – Mt. Shuksan and Picture Lake
  •  – Historic Fairhaven District
  •  – Whatcom Falls Park
  •  – Bellingham Waterfront / Boulevard Park / Taylor Dock (interurban trail)
  •  – Chuckanut Drive Scenic Highway
  •  – Lynden Dutch Village and Raspberry Capital
  •  – Peace Arch International Border




Local Film Liaison – Loni Rahm, President & CEO, Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism. (360) 739-0027

Agency that issues permits and costs – Varies according to the location.  City of Bellingham, City of Blaine, City of Ferndale, City of Lynden, City of Sumas, Whatcom County, Port of Bellingham. Please contact the local film liaison for assistance.

Police or Sheriff’s Department or agency that handles traffic control – Each jurisdiction has its own traffic control agency. Please contact the local film liaison for assistance.




Bellingham International Airport (BLI) provides non stop service via Alaska/Horizon Air, Allegiant Air, and Frontier Air to major west coast cities, including Seattle, LAX, San Diego, Phoenix, Oakland, Palm Springs, Las Vegas, Honolulu and Denver.


Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is less than 100 miles south of Bellingham.



Seattle is 80 miles south of Bellingham.





Photo courtesy of Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism.

A full list of Bellingham area accommodations can be found here




In an effort to expand our Reel Scout Location Database, we are doing a call for “docks and wharfs.” If you have a dock or wharf, and are open to filming, you can list your property in our location database by sending photos to Please include address and contact information and attach photos as a JPEG no larger than 1MB per photo.



Last August we launched the Location of the Month newsletter. In commemoration of the one year anniversary we’ve compiled links to all previous locations on the WF Blog. Take a virtual tour of beautiful Washington.