Oysters – Known for their aphrodisiac power, oysters are grown in the local waters near Bellingham and are best to eat in months containing the letter “r” (January-April, September-December). That makes February prime oyster-eating season for couples in every budget category.
- Low-budget (and possibly the most romantic): go directly to the source. Take a mid-day outing to Taylor Shellfish Farm on Chuckanut Drive. Bring your own table cloth, plates, silverware and picnic sides. Purchase fresh oysters in the little farm store, spread out your feast on the picnic tables around back overlooking Samish Bay, and barbecue them on the spot. As Rachel Ray would say, “Delish!”
- High-budget: Make a reservation at the Oyster Bar on Chuckanute Drive, located on the cliff above Taylor Shellfish. This gorgeous venue also overlooks Samish Bay. Get there before sunset for great views through the evergreens. Here the chef prepares a gorgeous array of oysters on the half shell, as well as baked oysters, fried oysters and variety of gourmet seafood dishes from halibut and salmon to abalone and lobster. The wine list is 27 pages, featuring the best selections from around the world.
- Mid-range budget: For an amazing oyster feast in a funky-fun location, try the Rock and Rye Oyster House at 1145 N State Street in downtown Bellingham. This is a classic cocktail bar, which takes pride in its selection of unique drinks, as well as its selection of local oysters. Try a taste test between: Kumamoto, Shigoku, Kusshi, Virginica, Penn Cove, Phantom Creek and Olympia varieties.
Steak & Lobster – The Steakhouse at Silver Reef was voted Best of the Northwest and has won awards from Wine Spectator for multiple years. The mood lighting in this restaurant is perfect for romance, and the food is phenomenal. Enjoy a private booth for two and select from the extensive wine list. For extra romance, try a variety of entrees personally prepared by your server at the table, including the Ceasar salad, Chateaubriand for Two, Steak Diane, or Steak au Poivre. The steak & lobster is prepared in the kitchen, but romantically served under a silver dome. Be sure to see the amazing dessert cart as well. Who can resist Cherries Jubiliee flambéed tableside in Cherry Brandy?
Unique Meals – Have a once in a lifetime experience with an amazing, chef’s-choice, pre-set menu incorporating ultra local ingredients like you’ve never experienced them before. Ciao Thyme in Bellingham features creations by chef Mataio Gillis at his multi-course Incognitio dinners. The Willows Inn on Lummi Island is recognized as one of the best restaurants in the world worth a plane ride, for foraged and farmed genius of chef Blaine Wetzel. Both require reservations many weeks in advance.
Sunsets Over Bellingham Bay – Two up-scale waterfront hotels in Bellingham offer amazing views of Bellingham Bay from their guest rooms – the perfect place to romantically watch the sunset. At The Chrysalis Inn & Spa, each bay view guest room has a window seat, fireplace, two-person tub, walk-in shower and spa amenities. Have a bottle of champagne delivered to your room and call it a night. Hotel Bellwether features a 3-story Lighthouse Suite, with a private 360-degree observation deck, living room, kitchen, powder room and fireplace. Cook a romantic dinner while watching the sun go down in style!
Spas for Two– If romance means being pampered from head to toe, a signature spa treatment may be just the ticket. Whatcom County is home to two hotels with full-service spas, each with unique offerings.
- Couples Massage at Chrysalis Inn & Spa. Spend some relaxing time with your partner or a friend and enjoy your choice of our massage experiences in an adjoining room.
- Couples Hot Stone Massage at Silver Reef Casino Hotel Spa. A Native American tradition, hot stone massage has the ability to increase circulation; providing full mind and body relaxation. Silver Reef Spa uses heated river stones in combination with luxurious massage oil, massaging the body from head to toe. You and your special someone can enjoy a relaxing one-hour massage, side by side in one of our lovely treatment rooms.
Chocolate – Sweets for your sweetie? The finest grade Callebaut chocolate is imported from Belgium to create a full range of truffles at Chocolate Necessities in Bellingham. Bring your sweetheart into the shop to experience a taste-test, and a warm mug of drinking chocolate (drink of the Gods), as well as wine tasting and Italian gelato. Next door is Pure Bliss Desserts, specializing in cakes, cupcakes and cookies to be enjoyed alongside a glass of Port, Champagne, Wine or Mead.