Bellingham is a city located in the northwest corner of Washington State, United States. It is the county seat of Whatcom County, and it lies on the eastern shore of Bellingham Bay, which is part of the Salish Sea. The city covers an area of approximately 28 square miles and has a population of around 92,000 people as of the 2020 census.
The history of Bellingham dates back to the late 19th century, when it was a small settlement on Bellingham Bay. It was incorporated as a city in 1903, and it grew rapidly in the early 20th century due to its location as a transportation hub and the abundance of natural resources in the area. Today, Bellingham is a vibrant city with a thriving arts scene, excellent restaurants, and plenty of outdoor recreational opportunities.
When it comes to crime rates, Bellingham is considered a relatively safe city compared to other cities in the United States. According to the most recent data available from the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting program, the city had a total of 1,285 reported incidents of violent crime in 2020, which is a rate of approximately 14 incidents per 1,000 residents. This is lower than the national average of 21 incidents per 1,000 residents. Property crime is also relatively low in Bellingham, with a rate of approximately 37 incidents per 1,000 residents, which is lower than the national average of 44 incidents per 1,000 residents.
However, as with any city, there are certain areas in Bellingham that are more prone to crime than others. The downtown area, particularly around the bars and clubs, can be a bit sketchy at night, and visitors are advised to be cautious and aware of their surroundings. Additionally, the neighborhoods to the south and east of the city center have higher crime rates than the rest of the city, so visitors should exercise caution if traveling through these areas.
As far as safe times of day to be out, Bellingham is generally a safe city during daylight hours. However, as mentioned before, visitors should exercise caution if out late at night, particularly in the downtown area. It's always a good idea to travel with a friend or in a group if you're going out at night, and to avoid walking alone in poorly lit areas.
In terms of other safety advice specific to the city, visitors should be aware that Bellingham can be quite rainy and cloudy, particularly in the fall and winter months, so it's important to dress appropriately and be prepared for the weather. Additionally, the city has a large homeless population, particularly in the downtown area, so visitors should be aware of panhandlers and avoid leaving valuables in their cars or unattended in public places.
Overall, Bellingham is a relatively safe city with plenty to offer visitors. The city is known for its beautiful scenery, outdoor recreational opportunities, and vibrant arts scene. Visitors should exercise caution in certain areas and at certain times, but as long as they are aware of their surroundings and take common-sense safety precautions, they should have a wonderful time exploring all that Bellingham has to offer.