Bordering Bellingham to the northwest is the city of Ferndale. Ferndale is the fastest growing city in Whatcom County, and for good reason. The area is only a 15-20 minute drive from Bellingham, 20 minutes from the Canadian border, and has its own small-town charm and distinct personality. The historic downtown borders the Nooksack River and features a boardwalk along the riverfront. Ferndale is generally more open in its landscape than Bellingham. The elevation of many of the neighborhoods offers many homes a beautiful view looking back east towards Mount Baker.
There are a wide variety of housing options, with values just below home prices in Bellingham. You can also find relatively affordable condominiums and older character homes near the downtown area. This gives you walkability to restaurants, the Haggen grocery store, the river, and the nearby 350-acre Hovander Homestead Park.

Want more information about buying a home in Ferndale, WA?

Download the Ferndale Guide


The Hovander Homestead Park is an incredible park that pays homage to Ferndale’s farming roots; farm animals, old barns and original homestead homes are all still onsite. There is a playground, open areas, waterfront access to the river, and a boat launch. It is truly one of the best parks in Whatcom County.

In literally every direction of Ferndale, you can find multiple newer developments and new construction home developments. In fact, no city in Whatcom County offers more new construction options.

Moving further out, Ferndale becomes more rural, and you can find many homes available on acreage. Commercial and hobby farms dot the hilly landscape. You can find everything from 5-acre properties to 50+ acres. This is a great area for those who want a rural lifestyle, but still desire closeness to amenities, I-5, and Bellingham access.

The 4-acre Pioneer Park is a very unique park for both locals and tourists.

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Positives

  • Close to Bellingham with notably lower home prices.
  • Many homes offer Mt. Baker views.
  • Many new construction developments with a wide variety of housing options.
  • The downtown area gives you great restaurant/grocery store amenities within a very short commute.
  • The 350-Acre Hovander Homestead Park

Things to consider

The Main Street bridge has relatively heavy traffic during commute hours, so what appears to be a short distance from Bellingham can sometimes turn into a longer commute from certain locations in Ferndale.

Very few trails and recreational amenities compared to Bellingham.

Relocating to Ferndale, WA

Are you moving to Ferndale, WA? Our relocation guide will help you familiarize yourself with the fastest-growing city in Whatcom County. 

Before planning your move to Ferndale, it’s helpful to understand the city’s location, population, and features. Here is a breakdown of quick stats you need to know.

Did You Know? You can explore Ferndale’s farming roots at 350-acre Hovander Homestead Park. The park features farm animals, barns, and original homestead houses. 

 

Ferndale, WA Demographics

 

Location and Population

Size: 7 square miles 

  • Distance to Canadian Border: 20 minutes
  • Distance to Seattle, WA: 1 hr, 45 minutes 
  • Population: 14,043 (2019) 
  • Median Age: 36.9

 

Work and Income

  • Median Income (Household): $73,074
  • Per-Capita Income: $29,602
  • Mean travel time to work: 22.3 minutes 

Education

  • Bachelor’s degree or higher: 40.2%
  • High school or higher: 92.9%

 

Housing

  • Median Home Price: $469,000
  • Total Housing Units: 5,294
  • % of Homes Occupied: 97%
  • Average Dollar Per Square Foot (Residential): $248
  • 12 Month Appreciation: 12.7%

 

Did You Know? Some properties in Ferndale span 50+ acres in size. 

JLS Realtor Insights: Ferndale is the fastest-growing community in Whatcom County. That starts with the fact that there is more new construction here than anywhere else. With new construction developments, smaller/more affordable older homes, and homes on acreage and hobby farms, Ferndale offers a wide variety of housing at 15-20% lower prices than Bellingham. Yet, most of Ferndale is a 15-minute drive from Bellingham’s amenities and is within 5 minutes of freeway access. 

Is Ferndale, WA Safe?

With a little more than 22 crimes per 1,000 residents (only one of which was violent), Ferndale is the 23rd safest city in Washington State. 

Ferndale, WA Local Events

 

Ferndale Street Festival: Featuring food, crafts, a car show, and a beer garden, the Ferndale Street Festival brings thousands of visitors to Ferndale annually each August. 

Olde Fashioned Christmas: Every December, Pioneer Park is lit up in holiday lights by the Family Heritage Society volunteers. Complete with Christmas music, costumes, and even Santa Claus.

Old Settlers Weekend: Each July, the Old Settlers Association opens Pioneer Park’s historic cabins for public viewing. 

 

Resources

 

Colleges and Universities

 

Western Washington University 

516 High Street, Bellingham, WA 98225

 

Whatcom Community College

237 W. Kellogg Road, Bellingham, WA 98226

 

Bellingham Technical College

3028 Lindbergh Avenue, Bellingham, WA 98225

 

Hospital Nearby

 

PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center

2901 Squalicum Pkwy, Bellingham, WA 98225 

Emergency Room Open 24 Hours 

 

Veterinarians

 

Ferndale Veterinary Hospital

2069 Main St, Ferndale, WA 98248

 

Whatcom Veterinary Hospital

5610 Barrett Rd, Ferndale, WA 98248

 

Kulshan Veterinary Hospital

6220 Portal Way, Ferndale, WA 98248

 

Glacierview Animal Hospital

1874 E Main St, Ferndale, WA 98248

 

School District

 

Ferndale School District

6041 Vista Drive, Ferndale, WA 98248

 

Private Schools

 

Providence Christian School Northwest

5942 Portal Way, Ferndale, WA 98248

 

Meadows Montessori School

2377 Douglas Rd, Ferndale, WA 98248

 

Parks in Ferndale

 

Hovander Homestead Park

5299 Nielsen Ave, Ferndale, WA 98248

 

VanderYacht Park

1945 Washington St, Ferndale, WA 98248

 

Centennial Riverwalk Park

5667 Front Ave, Ferndale, WA 98248

 

Ferndale neighborhood resources

https://www.cityofferndale.org/

 

https://www.bellingham.org/communities/ferndale/

 

Want more information about buying a home in Ferndale, WA?

Download the Ferndale Guide