Head North for the Perfect Presents This Holiday Season

Bellingham has it all.

To experience the grandeur of Bellingham, the lovely city 90 minutes north of Seattle, the beginning of any shopping day (if you ask us) should include a visit to Boundary Bay Brewery (1107 Railroad Ave., 360-647-5593) with an IPA or Scotch Ale. Hey, you have to get a good shopping buzz, right?

All right, now let’s talk shopping.

Begin your trip at Bellingham’s Greenhouse (1235 Cornwall Ave., 360-676-1161), where you can get the cookware and home supplies with which you’ve been meaning to upgrade your kitchen. Heck, you may even want to splurge on one of those fancy Le Creuset teapots in a nice aquamarine. And if you’re thinking about upgrading your kitchen, chances are there are some tiny children in your life. If so, check out Along Comes a Baby (436 W. Bakerview Rd., 360-671-5523), where you can peruse nursery gear, baby clothes, stuff for baths, and a wide range of toys—like a giraffe rattle.

OK, now it’s time to get something just for you. (No more of this sharing business!) For that, check out Novato Shop & Studio (115 W. Chestnut St., 360-306-3725), which does the incredible: transform artwork (like, say, your favorite Michael Jordan print or a portrait of your grandmother) into wearable and usable pieces, including shoes—yes, shoes. So hook yourself up with some new kicks and meander down to the Comics Place (105 E. Holly St., 360-733-2224), where you can get all the graphic-novel versions of your favorite movies. THWAP!!!! ZOINK!!!! BAAZZZING!!!!

Let’s review: You’ve had a beer, bought a comic book, thought twice about an expensive teapot, and turned your baby pictures into deck shoes. Great! Let’s keep going! Head over next to Ormolulu (Suite M1, 301 W. Holly St., 360-201-9535), where you will find delicate and angelic paper horses, prints of saints, and elegant lamps to step up your living-room game (now that your kitchen is back intact). Since we’ve stumbled into a little redecorating theme here, stop next at Otion: The Soap Bar (301 W. Holly St., 360-676-1030), where you can get supplies or take classes in soap-, lotion-, or candle-making. Add some zest and ambiance to the scents wafting in and out of your water closet. It’s the little touches that make a home, after all.

Then make the 10-minute drive to historic Fairhaven, where you can hop into Three French Hens (1100 Harris Ave., 360-756-1047), a chic boutique with books, stationery, plates, and clothing for the tasteful. And if you’re still looking to thrill the little bambinos in your life, check out the Fairhaven Toy Garden (909 Harris Ave., 360-714-8552) or Wild Blueberries (1106 Harris Ave., 360-756-5100) for the cute and cuddly.

And, finally, the pièce de résistance: Bison Bookbinding & Letterpress (112 Grand Ave., 360-734-0481) back in Bellingham. We always knew you were the creative type. Once you have all these lovely experiences in the bag, write them down, print some of the cell-phone photos you took along the way, and head to Bison to turn your memories into a beautifully bound book for the ages.

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