Teddy Bear Cove off scenic Chuckanut Drive along Washington’s Pacific coast is a beautiful secluded spot with opportunities to relax, hunt for treasure, climb trees and basically enjoy life.
The perfect spot for a low key fun day, family picnic or evening sunset date.
Whatcom County beach
Teddy Bear Cove is a Whatcom County Park just minutes outside of the historic Fairhaven district of Bellingham on Washington’s Pacific coast.
This is a popular spot, but is lesser known than many of the other recreational spots along Bellingham Bay and Chuckanut Drive. Which means usually fewer crowds than other options. On a holiday Saturday, we had the beach all to ourselves for around 6 hours. Teddy Bear Cove beach never closes but if coming after dark, dress warm as fires are never allowed.
Teddy Bear Cove has two beaches, a north and a south beach. Separated by a bluff that serves as a nice viewpoint.
Both beaches seem to be a rarity in Washington state with white sand. But look closer and find that the fine white rocks are really ground shellfish shells! Evidence that this is the eroded remains of an area used for centuries as a fishing and dumping spot for clams and other shellfish.
You can find all sorts of treasures mixed in with the rocks and shells. The kids and I had a great time searching for sea glass.
The evidence of saltwater erosion can also be seen in the interesting honeycomb like shapes carved into the sandstone under the bluff.
How to get there
This Whatcom County Park just minutes outside of the historic Fairhaven district of Bellingham WA, although not immediately visible, is easy to get to via the interurban trail off Chuckanut Drive.
To get there take Interstate 5 to exit 250. Go west on Old Fairhaven Parkway for 1.3 miles. Turn left and follow Chuckanut Drive south for 1.5 miles to the North Chuckanut Mountain Trailhead. Hike 0.2 miles up Hemlock Trail to the Interurban Trail. Then head south for ½ mile to the Teddy Bear Cove sign.
If coming from the South, you can take a different route and meander up scenic Chuckanut Drive to the North Chuckanut Mountain Trailhead.
The path down to Teddy Bear Cove is a wide well groomed trail with stair steps carved into the soil. It is steep, but is doable for all ages and abilities.
Once down to the waterfront, quickly cross over the active railroad tracks and choose which beach to visit.
Covered in bare madrona trees, the inside of the bluff is a great spot for climbing.
Other area attractions
Don’t miss out on the amazing local area farms. Stop by and pack your own artisanal picnic!
- Bow Hill Blueberries for local berries (when in season) or pickled and preserved blueberries.
- Golden Glen Creamery or Samish Bay Cheese for a variety of cheeses from either of their farm stores.
- Breadfarm for crackers, cookies or a crusty loaf of bread.
- Slough Food for cured meats, cheese and wine.
- If you’d rather stop for a meal rather than pack a picnic Tweets in Edison has the best breakfast around.
- And Taylor Shellfish Farm is perfect for a beachside barbecue or raw oysters by the sea.
- End the day with a stop by Sirena Gelato. The BEST gelato and their affogato is a MUST try!
Pin for later!
After enjoying a snack and watching one of the resident herons look for her own tasty morsels, we headed up and out on the promontory to gain perspective on the place we had just claimed as our own for the afternoon. Looking back down on the beach we could see our names written in the “sand”. The luxury of having the beach to ourselves for that brief time was priceless. We were able to soak in the simple sounds of nature and the smells of the marine world in our midst.