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A Hub for Outdoor Enthusiasts

Backcountry Essentials Tucked into one of historic downtown Bellingham’s charming buildings is Backcountry Essentials outdoors store. Dozens of recreation backpacks find homes on the exposed brick walls, along with rows of skis and boots. From the wood rafters hang hammocks and tents. Even the creaky staircase, which leads customers to the used…

Wonder Woman: There’s Always a Solution

Meredith McIlmoyle, Anacortes Arts Festival Director Anacortes Arts Festival executive director Meredith McIlmoyle has been event planning for 26 years. She began as a student assistant at Arizona State University, solo planning an event for the first time in 1993. She grew up in Denver, then…

Traveling Abroad Made Easy at Rick Steves’ Travel Center

At home in the chic, down-to-earth seaside village of Edmonds is the Travel Center for Rick Steves’ Europe. Approach the building from 4th Avenue, with its classic red brick exterior and sculptural stonework just off Main Street, and you’ll get a sneak peek of the exciting travel possibilities to come. Enter under the watchful gaze of gargoyles. Five steps beyond the cheerful “Open” flag…

A Circus Story

I lived near Bellingham for 22 years before discovering there’s a circus in town. It’s aptly named Vaudevillingham and is put on by the Bellingham Circus Guild. Located just down the road from the hub of Fairhaven in a big warehouse, the circus puts on a show the 15th of every month. The event…

A Weekend of Films

Friday Harbor Film Festival Between 1,400 and 1,500 people are expected to attend the Friday Harbor Film Festival’s fifth annual documentary film festival November 3–5. Festival…

Exploring the Human Condition Through Art

Bellingham has its artistic success stories (Death Cab for Cutie, comedian Ryan Stiles), but it also has its grassroots luminaries. Author, poet, and radio producer Shannon Laws is one. She has the privilege of not only being one of many talented Bellingham artists, but possesses a passion for supporting the local…

Hometown Pot Shop

Big cities in Washington have seen a boom of new marijuana stores in the last few years. New shops can be found all over Seattle and even Bellingham. But not every store’s goal is to make it big in the big city. Smuggler Brothers in Sedro-Woolley is maintaining a small-town identity in the growing world of marijuana sales. Purchasing Manager Olas Yoho said…

Roundabout is Fair Play

Ken takes a Sunday drive back to his future Once upon a time—back when the wheel had just been invented but not yet patented—I used to worry only about the rare road rage incident with a local farmer and his John Deere tractor when I drove in our local counties. Life was simpler then. We had fewer people, fewer cars on the road, and more cows, as it still should be if…

The Mixing Tin: Bayou on Bay

The Refresher INGREDIENTS Choice of housemade infusion, muddled citrus, Sierra Mist and club soda, $9 The bar at Bayou on Bay has the comforting feel of a neighborhood tavern, but one located in a bustling intersection of downtown Bellingham. Step inside and settle in. Twinkling lights hang inside and romantic art scatters the walls….

A Scratch Kitchen Playing With Flavors

Third Street Cafe Earlier this summer, chef Maryna Frederiksen took over the kitchen at Mount Vernon’s Third Street Cafe. The Skagit Co-op off-shoot eatery has flourished under Frederiksen’s leadership and it doesn’t take more than a few bites of any dish to understand why. The locally procured, seasonal menu requires a bit of inspiration and imagination to keep fresh. Frederiksen feeds this inspiration with weekly trips to the farmers market and relies heavily on her training…

Husband and Wife Team Up at Winery

Structure Cellars Owning and operating your own winery might seem like a pretty cool occupation, but behind-the-scenes challenges requiring time, money, and sweat equity can make…

A Picture-Perfect Refuge

Private Gardens Design Susan Harrison, owner of Private Gardens Design, is no stranger to awards. She won our own Best of the Northwest for Best Landscape Designer in…