Bellingham, Washington, is the largest city in and the county seat of Whatcom County, Washington. There are mostly residential single family homes, along with a number of condominiums, within a total area of 29 square miles. The city is known for its access to outdoor activities in the San Juan Islands and the North Cascades, as well as its proximity to Seattle and Vancouver, Canada.
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Most Bellingham residents work in sales, office, or administration support occupations. Known for being lush and green, Bellingham is still a lumber and paper mill town but has been transitioning towards new economy industries. Bellingham has sixteen elementary schools, four middle schools, and three high schools, four private schools, and three community colleges. It is also home to Western Washington University, as well as a few for-profit schools. Bellingham gets close to the national average of rainfall at 36 inches of rain per year and 12 inches of annual snowfall. The city sees about 157 sunny days in the year, with the July high temperature at 74 degrees and the average January low temperature at 30 degrees.
Bellingham has a thriving culture. Its downtown was ranked eighth on Livability.com's Best Downtowns list. A weekly farmer's market runs every Saturday from April through December. It draws many national and regional musical acts to its venues and has an active classical music scene with numerous music groups and choirs. The literary scene has many active writers and several local theater options that host comedy, ballet, new works, and dance. The Whatcom Museum of History and Art features painting and sculpture exhibits while the Bellingham Railway Museum has educational displays, model trains, and a freight-train simulator. Whatcom Falls Park has four sets of waterfalls and walking trails, along with swimming and fishing opportunities. The Mount Baker Ski Area attracts snowboarders and skiers. Other activities to enjoy nearby include golfing, bicycling, and whale watching.