Bellingham is pleasant in the summer. There is lots going on, and the downtown is active. Unfortunately it attracts a lot of homeless and panhandlers, perhaps because of its liberal reputation and expensive housing. Traffic and parking can be problematic, and the layout of the city is not easy to negotiate. Big mountains are nearby and the ocean of course is close by.
Although it is a very scenic and pretty seaside city, I went to Bellingham winter of 07 and didn't have the best time of my life. Bellingham has some pretty good skiing but most of the time it was too cold to do anything else like hiking, or mountain climbing.
My wife and kids loved the Arne Hanna Aquatic Center which is basically a big community pool, but I hated the commotion of the general pool area and the lack of diversity. They also enjoyed the long Bellingham hiking trails available.
The one thing I enjoyed greatly was the golf course which truly is one of the best in the state. The course was your standard 18-hole, but had a bar with a great big screen tv, snack bar, practice area and we even received a complementary golf lesson.
The restaurants in Bellingham were average, often times restaurants had a menu of only fish dishes, which unless you love fish is annoying, and the food was lacking in taste for how much it cost.
I went to Bellingham again with my business partner in the spring of 2010 and actually enjoyed myself more. The city is much more enjoyable in the warmer months. Bellingham is a spring or fall city, if you go in the winter be prepared to have a lousy time.