Salish Sea

Explore from the mountains to the sea

Geographically diverse, the Salish Sea Region offers a thriving arts and culture scene as well as abundant natural beauty, including tulip fields, bald eagle nesting areas, fog-draped forests, and glacier-crowned peaks.

Situated in northwest Washington on the border with Canada, this region extends from the Salish Sea in the west to the North Cascades in the east. Major cities and towns include Bellingham, Mount Vernon, Burlington, Anacortes, and Ferndale. Ferries to the San Juan Islands in the Islands Region depart regularly from Anacortes, making day trips and weekend escapes possible.

Visitors are drawn to the western side of the region for popular agricultural events such as the La Conner Daffodil Festival in March and the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in April.

Washington’s first scenic byway, Chuckanut Drive, connects Skagit County to Bellingham and offers idyllic views of Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands along its nearly 22 miles. Some of the area’s top outdoor attractions, including Larrabee State Park and the hike to Oyster Dome, can be found off this winding stretch of road.

Bellingham, the largest city in the region, hosts a lively downtown arts district anchored by the Whatcom Museum. The presence of Western Washington University gives the city a laid-back, collegiate vibe.

In addition to arts and culture, visitors to the Salish Sea Region will find a robust craft beer scene focused on hyper-local ingredients.

For those hoping to catch of glimpse of the local wildlife, whale-watching excursions and sightseeing cruises depart from local docks, while birders can head to the Skagit River to view bald eagles.

Whatcom and Skagit counties abound in scenic hiking trails. Whether you choose a trail that follows a river or leads to a mountaintop, you’re bound to be rewarded with unforgettable scenery.

North Cascades National Park