The Whatcom County WOW Factor
It doesn’t get any more Northwest than Whatcom County in Washington State. Geographically, this 2,500-square mile pocket of bliss is literally the northwest corner of the continental United States. Culturally, this is “Paradise Found” for outdoor enthusiasts and fans of fresh, locally-sourced food – like our ultra-premium ACME Ice Cream. Throw in a robust craft beer and arts scene thanks to Bellingham and Western Washington University – you can see why we love this place, right? It’s ground zero of the “Living Northwest.”
Sandwiched between the Salish Sea and the magnificent Mt. Baker, the fertile Skagit Valley extends up through the western portion of the county while the eastern half stretches into North Cascades National Park. Tiny rural towns dot the lush countryside bearing names as diverse as Chuckanut, Wickersham, Welcome, and our birthplace , the town of Acme.
With more than 115,000 acres of farmland – ranked first in western Washington counties – Whatcom County feeds a lot of people. It has the highest concentration of dairy farms in the state (hello, ice cream capital of WA) and produces more raspberries than anywhere else in the nation (we’re talking 72 million pounds per year). Strawberries and blueberries round out the nation’s berry basket with most being sold for premium products like our ultra-premium ACME Ice Cream.
Hard-working farmers share the same clean air and spectacular views with the next generation of hard-working students in the county’s seat and largest city, Bellingham. The Sierra Club recognized Western Washington University as one of the “greenest” campuses in the nation thanks to strong leadership and a focus on sustainability. Nearby, the historic district of Fairhaven features a “village green” – home to a weekly farmer’s market, summer movie projections, and a stage where local musicians perform – located just on the backside of the building housing our ACME Ice Cream scoop shop. Each year, participants in Ski to Sea, an annual charitable race held over Memorial Day weekend featuring downhill skiing at Mt. Baker Ski Area, cycling, running and more, finish with a sea kayak heat from Fairhaven’s Bellingham Bay and a huge celebration.
It would take ages to call out all of the superstars in Whatcom County, but here are some of our local favorites.
Beer is king around Bellingham. Grab a Bellingham Tap Trail passport and collect stamps at participating locations including 14 breweries (like Chuckanut Brewery and 100% organic Aslan Brewing Co.), 13 tap houses, and four cideries.
Wander through 2.5 acres of evergreens and 37 sculptures at Big Rock Garden Park or take a trip through campus at Western Washington University featuring sculptures by more than 35 internationally acclaimed artists.