From the second-floor corner suite at the Inn at Lynden is a view of a one-of-a-kind historic downtown. On one end is Lynden’s famous windmill, and across the street is the Lynden Dutch Bakery with its never-ending stream of customers popping in for a wide variety of baked goods and plated food. To gaze at the storefronts lining Front Street, you might imagine a street in Amsterdam.
Known for its popular annual events like the Northwest Washington Fair, Northwest Raspberry Festival and being home to Darigold, the Dutch-themed town of Lynden also has delicious eateries, a tap room, scenic bike trails, historical landmarks and scream-worthy ice cream.
Here, you’re only five miles from the Canadian border in rural Whatcom County, land of dairies and raspberry farms.
Steps away from your room at the Inn at Lynden (innatlynden.com) are all the makings for the perfect start to your adventure. The 35-room boutique hotel is part of the century-old, restored Waples Mercantile Building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. Its open design with original timbers and wood flooring includes several other businesses. Start your day with a cup of coffee and a comfort breakfast at Avenue Bread. Or, sample your way through olive oil and balsamic at Drizzle Tasting Room and lunch on local cheeses, Lummi Island wild smoked salmon and Jack Mountain meats. Need a little retail therapy? In the same building, peruse Village Books and Paper Dreams and Bellingham Baby Company. If you’d rather chill, enjoy a cold pint from Overflow Taps, which serves up Washington’s finest craft beers, wines, and ciders.
From here, explore downtown on foot. As you wander the sidewalks you’ll pass noteworthy stops like the statue of Phoebe Judson, who had the honor of naming the town, and is lovingly called the “Mother of Lynden,” and the “Swin Mural” with its picturesque Dutch countryside and street scene. Across the street, are the iconic windmill and the Lynden Dutch Village with its 150-foot indoor canal. Inside The Mill, at Perfectly Paired, you can partake in a craft cocktail, tempting paninis and decadent artisan chocolates.
One stop you don’t want to miss is the Lynden Pioneer Museum. The three-floor collection is extensive and covers Lynden’s early pioneer life, agriculture, Dutch culture and more, including an antique buggy collection and a recreation of the businesses on Lynden’s Front Street. You’ll already be familiar with one, the Lynden Department Store, now known as the Waples Mercantile Building.
Afterward, soak up the artistic ambiance with a glass of wine or espresso at Firehall Café. This former fire department turned coffeehouse and piano bar is inside the Jansen Art Center, which holds art classes and exhibits. Later, head to Steahouse 9 Bistro & Lounge for dinner on the deck overlooking the landscaped golf course greens.
The next morning, tour the town by Dutch bicycle (complimentary to guests of the Inn at Lynden). Before your ride, fuel up at Dutch Mothers with an authentic Dutch pannekoeken, an over-the-plate-sized pancake with your choice of savory and sweet toppings. Then, pedal to Lynden City Park and catch the bike path to Bender Fields. The trail meanders along a stream, over bridges, through the woods and to a large park. It even passes a traditional thatched-roof home.
For lunch, drive to BelleWood Acres, to sample their award-winning farm-to-glass vodka, brandy, gin and liquors, distilled from apples grown on the farm’s orchards, and indulge in a farm-inspired lunch and cider doughnut at their Country Café & Bakery. Afterward, walk the trails through old growth forest and check out the historic red barn at Berthusen Park. Wrap up your getaway, with a short 4-minute drive to Edaleen Dairy, where you can savor a creamy cone with a view of Washington and Canada.