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Saturday, August 15, 2020

    Floating on air

    Airbnb homes in and around Bellingham offer a variety of staycation styles. Airbnb is a
    marketplace for people to find or rent their locations in over 190 countries. Guests search for a date and place to travel. The booking and contact is all done through Airbnb’s website and phone app.

    Chuckanut Drive Home

    “If I can be a host where I say, ‘Would you like some fresh bread I just baked,’ then I’ll offer it but I won’t impose.”

    Heather Dalberg

    This is a small house in Bow, Washington managed by local Heather Dalberg for no profit. It has state-of-the-art appliances, a hot tub and a view of the bay, Dalberg said.

    Guests can go hiking in the Chuckanuts, have fires in the firepit and have parties in a yurt, which will all be built by the start of spring break. The nearby town of Edison is a gem to discover, Dalberg said.

    “The food around the area is very farm-to-fork,” Dalberg said. “Rhody Cafe grows their own vegetables and herbs outside and shares with the bread farm.”

    The website says only two guests are allowed, but having additional guests is also an option. The bed and couch fit two guests, while the yurt can accommodate more.

    “If I can be a host where I say, ‘Would you like some fresh bread I just baked,’ then I’ll offer it but I won’t impose,” Dalberg said. “I’ll introduce myself and my family

    More information on this Airbnb and its amenities is at: www.airbnb.com/rooms/17334171

    Country Cottage

    Jill Whitman is a local resident, Western adjunct teacher and harpist. She has a cottage on the same property as her home, which is out in the country on Hemmi road. The house is 20 minutes from campus and has a view of Mount Baker. It’s one of the last Airbnb stops before the ski slopes, about an hour drive away.

    The home was first an old schoolhouse and then a performance space called Goshen, where names like Duke Ellington and other musicians performed, Whitman said.

    “Goshen used to be an actual town,” Whitman said. “It was on the rail line and there was a school and a huge Victorian hotel which burned down. It was a happening place.”

    Whitman offers a canoe and kayak for guests if they head for nearby Fazon Lake, as well as grilling. There is also a garden where guests can pick raspberries, blueberries and cherries.

    The cottage has two bedrooms and two bathrooms, internet and provides some food. The cottage has a four guest maximum, but it’s ideal for just two, Whitman said.

    It is three minutes way from the Deming Logging Show grounds, where they have frequent events, weddings and a log show in June. There is also hiking down to Fazon Lake, and horseback riding or tours at Okjen Farm. Okjen Farm is run by Linda Kindle who raises Friesians, a Dutch horse breed.

    More information on this Airbnb and its amenities is at:


    Forest Studio

    Peter and Aimee Frazier started renting  out Chuckanut Forest Studio in 2013.

    “It felt important to share with others,” Frazier said. “I was taught if you have a lot you should share it.”

    The studio features a loft bed with glass windows surrounding and a pull-out soft bed below. The house has seen many honeymoons and romantic nights culminating in proposals, but the Fraziers have also had groups of friends just making an escape from finals. The studio accommodates four guests.

    The land is right around Pleasant Bay. There is no beach access for guests, making the closest beach about a mile away. The Chuckanut Mountains are their backyard, with an endless number of hiking options, Aimee Frazier said. Both spaces, the studio and the lookout, have access to a hot tub blocked in by trees. Applicants should also have a complete Airbnb profile, with a clear photo of themselves and a description. For cleanup, they ask that the dishes are done, Aimee Frazier said. The Airbnb is more than a source of income, but a way to connect people to places, Aimee Frazier said. For her, it is like living in an international boarding house, meeting people from all over.

    More information on this Airbnb and its amenities is at:


    Northwest Modern Retreat

    This house is near Larrabee State Park, about a 12 minute drive from Western. The house was built by Bellingham resident Stefan Straka as a guest house for others. Straka is a local furniture maker and some of his work is featured in the house.

    “It’s just a very peaceful space,” Straka said. “It’s fairly modern and simple, but it isn’t so sparse that it’s uncomfortable.”

    The house has a view of the bay and a meadow in front of it with Larrabee State Park right around the corner. Visitors can bike to downtown Bellingham or to Larrabee, Straka said. Fragrance Lake is also one of the popular destinations people go to from this Airbnb, Straka said.

    The house is restricted only to paying guests – as many as four can stay at once – so there’s no parties or events allowed. Straka hosts with minimal interaction. The house key will be waiting for them, unless the guest is looking for more interaction, Straka said.

    “We don’t really care who you are as long as you respect the space,” Straka said.

    Straka does not do instant booking. Instead of sending a message requesting an Airbnb, some hosts allow you to instantly book the location. He looks if the dates requested are available, if the guest is verified and if they have any positive reviews, he said.

    More information on this Airbnb and its amenities can be found at: www.airbnb.com/rooms/8901283


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