Marine Park gets crowded on weekends and late afternoons, as kayakers launch their vessels into the ocean water via this easy access spot; the grassy park is ideal for a post-paddle picnic. Downtown Fairhaven is about three blocks away, with plenty of cafes and restaurants for refueling.
Another popular place to put in is Zuanich Point Park next to the Bellingham Marina. This is the launching site for the sea kayaking leg of Ski to Sea. Park one car here and one at Marine Park for a good shuttle opportunity to enjoy both.
Lake Whatcom offers a calmer paddling option, and even more subdued is Lake Padden, a favorite summertime destination for locals who fill up the picnic areas with barbeque parties. Also great for kayaking is Lake Samish. Divided into two sections by North Lake Samish Drive Bridge, the east side has more boat traffic and the west side is calmer and better for paddling. Put in on the north side of the bridge, around the outside of the swimming area.
To combine paddling with camping, head for the San Juan Islands or Larrabee State Park, conveniently located about 15 minutes from downtown Bellingham.
Groups: Whatcom Association of Kayak Enthusiasts
Races/Events: Ski to Sea