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  • Dinner Daily: 4 – 9pm
Tags: Chuckanut Drive

Chuckanut Mountain Trail: a Fall Hiking Essential List

 Pack for a new Chuckanut Drive Trail hike with the practical tips from the Oyster Bar team consisted of keen hikers and explorers.

Choose the best hiking spots 

The one-day Chuckanut Mountain Trail hike is one of the most popular ways to experience the fall beauty of the Pacific Northwest in September.

Located near Bellingham, the Chuckanut Mountain Trail is a 7-mile trail with spectacular forest and lake views.

With an online trail map on Hiking Project, you can easily plan your trip. You will find there some helpful suggestions from other hikers. They provide detailed trail guides to 14 trails.

After adding the best hiking spots to your map, draw up a hiking checklist.

The first-aid kit for hiking

Even a simple scrape of cut may overshadow your trip if not treated in time. That is why first and foremost, consider essential first-aid supplies.

Your hiking first-aid kit should contain lightweight, breathable surgical tape for blisters and cuts, antiseptic wipes, fine tweezers, safety pins.

To stay hydrated, follow the best hiking recommendation – a half-liter of water at moderate temperature.

Navigation tools

To stay on track, bring a standard compass, a map, and a GPS device. It is essential to spend some time learning navigation.

After putting the targeted hiking destination on the map, you will orient yourself and better understand nearby surroundings.

With the GPS device, you can keep yourself updated with your location.

Seasonally appropriate clothing

According to the Weather Atlas,  the September weather across the region promises pleasant sunny days with the average day temperature 65°F (18.3° C) with the following breezy evenings (50°F (10°C)) and cold nights 40°F (4.4°C).

So, to keep yourself warm and dry, choose hiking apparel made of quick-drying fabrics. No cotton underwear.

It absorbs sand may result in painful chafing when it gets wet. Hiking pants that can zip off into shorts, an insulated vest, and a pair of gloves are other great solutions for September Chuckanut Mountain Trail hiking.

Waterproof hiking boots

Lightweight hiking boots are a must-have item on your list. Since you are likely to encounter chilly rain or some muddy spots typical for the area in September, so the boots should be waterproof.

On the other hand, for easy routes on well-established trails which feature many Chuckanut Mountain hikes, you can get by with good running shoes.

Whatever shoes you choose, wear wool or synthetic socks, but not cotton ones because they absorb less perspiration, and may cause blisters.

Have a tasty fall dinner at the Oyster Bar!

Finish your adventurous day in the Oyster Bar. Try the best local foods from our seasonally inspired menu and excellent wine from the award-winning wine list in a welcoming environment.
Make a reservation 360-766-6185!

5 Healthy Seafood and Wine Pairings

Try new fresh seafood – wine matchings to enrich your dining experience with the Oyster Bar upgraded menu, Chuckanut Drive!

The benefits of eating seafood

Pleasant weather signals a natural urge to sit outside, sipping a glass of fine wine with a light meal. The terrace of Oyster Bar calls for relaxing and enjoying beautiful spring views.

Undoubtedly, our new healthy seafood dishes will add new dimensions to your gathering.

Here are just some positive effects of the newly created dishes:

  • Provide important nutrients. High in proteins and low in calories, our new seafood dishes are rich sources of essential omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin complexes. They decrease the risk of heart attack and strengthen the immune system.
  • Protect from cancer. Selenium is another essential element that helps prevent cancer. It produces special enzymes for creating resistance to the development of cancer cells.
  • Boost brainpower. Our brain consists of omega-3 fat. So, to support its effective functioning, it is essential to provide more fatty acids. Additionally, they help to avoid memory problems and dementia.

Refreshing and light, the selected wines will frame the flavors of the meals and enrich their tastes.

Notably, the grapes harvested for wines are from regions with mineral-rich soils. As a result, the wines reflect similar mineral tones of seafood dishes and enhance their health benefits.

Additionally, to preserve valuable vitamins and minerals, the Oyster Bar team chooses the healthiest cooking methods – steaming, roasting, or seasoning it with marinade.

#1 Raw Oysters from $2.95 & Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Château la Noe France 2018, $ 34

This white wine is a classic pair for oysters. Thanks to its vivid fruit notes, it highlights the tender sweetness of the oysters’ buttery meat. Locally harvested, our oysters are always fresh.

Working like a squeeze of lemon, the energizing acidity of Muscadet helps enjoy the incomparable taste of crisp oysters.

#2 Fresh Alaskan Halibut $ 29.00 & Sauvignon Blanc Chateau Ste. Michelle – Horse Heaven Hills Columbia Valley 2017 $ 33

The oven-roasted fish has a delicate meaty texture and is served with a Swiss chard crust and finished with local black truffle cream and fresh chives.

With its musky touch, the sauce enhances the gentle fillet and crispy coating of the halibut.

Aromatic citrus of dry white Sauvignon Blanc with ‘green’ herb notes further highlights the flavorful ingredients by its racy acidity.

#3 Maine Lobster Tail (one – $ 35.00, two – $53.00) & Chardonnay Dona Paula Argentina 2010 $ 38

Praised for its tropical flavor and lively acidity, white Argentinian Chardonnay is an ideal companion for creamy lobster meat.

The wine also works wonderfully with the original spicy dressing – yuzu honey butter and gremolata made from finely minced parsley, garlic, and lemon zest.

With notes of red apples and tart pear, Chardonnay has low amounts of sugar, making it a truly healthy option.

#4 Steamed Mussels $18.00 & Pinot Gris Backyard Vineyards B.C., Canada 2018 $ 43

For this dish, we select locally harvested fresh mussels, steam them quickly and season them with white wine and a herbal mix.

In the end, we add a touch of saffron tomato cream that softens the fragrant bitterness of fresh thyme, leeks, and fennel.

So, everything you need to enjoy the meal is a bright fruit nuance to spice up the meal.

Famous for its refreshing citrus flavor and zesty acidity, Pinot Gris is an excellent choice. With floral, raspberry, and redcurrant aromas.

Thanks to the strong lemon, lime, and nectarine hues, it will work well with the saffron tomato cream and enhance faintly sweet mushroom-like fluffy, tender mussels.

#5 Fresh Gulf Coast Blue Prawns $ 34.50 & Riesling Schloss Vollrads QbA Rheingau 2016 $ 43

Sauteed with snap peas, charmoula butter, and preserved lemon is served on a nutty bed of harissa couscous.

Choosing the best wine for this meal, you can pair it with the crispy prawns or the buttery fixings.

Although Cabernet and prawns are a classic pairing, we suggest accompanying the rich dressing the intensive white Riesling from Rheingau.

With bright melon, nectarine, and pineapple notes, this medium-bodied acidic wine is perfect with this balanced seafood meal.

Consider experimenting and mixing the wines and meals from this set – they are interchangeable.

Explore our weekly upgraded menu, the award-winning wine list, and pastime ideas in the area around the Oyster Bar on Chuckanut Drive! Call to make early reservation 360-766-6185


*Prices noted in this article are subject to change. 

Original ideas for gifts on Chuckanut Drive

Looking for interesting things to do on Chuckanut Drive in May before dinner at The Oyster Bar? Enjoy new aesthetic experiences in the best gift shops. Each of them exists at the intersection of local art and tradition and offers multiple ideas to make your visit to Chuckanut Drive memorable.

Stylish accessories, MoNA store

MoNA Store (Museum of Northwest Art) focuses on selling original items that represent artistic and cultural ideas of the Northwest and establish personal connections to art.

Original necklaces made of pearls or large futuristic cubic or round beads will be a great souvenir for a close friend or a valuable accessory for a new season trendy look.

Do not miss an opportunity to visit the museum’s exhibitions. Free admission.

121 S First Street, La Conner, WA 98257
(360) 466-4446

Cozy pillows with birds, Chuckanut Gallery

With hundreds of handcrafted objects, Chuckanut Bay Gallery & Sculpture Garden is a place where you can find a gift for any occasion. Fine handmade jewelry, infused and etched glasswork, wooden crafts.

Cartoons with amusing birds on small cushions will definitely put anyone in a good mood and be a great present. Many feathered characters of the images you can spot in local parks.

Check their outdoor garden that is a great relaxing place with regularly upgraded art displays.

700 Chuckanut Drive N Bellingham, WA 98229
(360) 734-4885

The Ekone seafood sampler, Taylor Shellfish Farms

Although canned products do not seem a brilliant idea for a present, the pack of 6 pieces from Taylor Shellfish Farms may be a precious souvenir for seafood connoisseurs.

The smoked products include flavors of habanero oysters and smoked mussels.

Each can contains fresh ingredients and no preservatives.

The recipe section of Taylor Shellfish Farms will be a special bonus for seafood enthusiasts.

2182 Chuckanut Drive Bow, WA 98232 (360)766-6002

Award-winning truffles, Forte Artisan Chocolates

The artisan chocolate truffles by Forte are special chocolate for special occasions in terms of quality and price (from $25 a box).

With more than ten different flavors, Forte has a traditional chocolate assortment and a seasonal variety.

Undoubtedly, the latter will amaze even sophisticated chocoholics: truffles with flavors of a refreshing strawberry lemonade drink, raspberry and fig ganache, rosemary &sea salt, lemon & pepper white chocolate truffles.

For the last 15 years, all Forte’s artisan collections have regularly received prestigious international prizes.

At their store in downtown Mount Vernon, they offer plenty of samples, so even the process of choosing the best box is a pleasant sweet experience.

700 S 1st St, Mount Vernon, WA 98273
(360) 588-4859

Eating Well: A Guide to Foods of the Pacific Northwest, Village Books – Paper Dreams

Village Books is a community-based book store and gift shop. Many products are by local artists and writers. So, the valuable book collection is likely to be of interest to a large audience.

‘Eating well…’ by John Doerper is a book inspired by Doerper’s food columns and restaurant reviews in his local newspaper, the Bellingham Herald.

The author encourages his readers to seek the freshest regional foods. Besides, illustrating the searchers with his travel experiences, Doerper covers many other interesting topics about the Pacific Northwest wildlife, agriculture, and culture.

With two locations in Bellingham and Lynden open seven days a week, Village Books organizes events for writers and readers. In addition, they offer their Evolve Chocolate + Cafe as a great place to meet friends, talk books, or explore bookshelves.

1200 11th St, Bellingham, WA 98225 (360) 671-2626, 430 Front St, Lynden, WA 98264 (360) 526-2133

Find more gastronomic discoveries at the Oyster Bar, where our team seasonally upgrade the menu using the best local products and applying best practices. Call and make an early reservation 360-766-6185.

The Oyster Bar Wine List: a guide to Italian wines

Distinct Chianti, Prosecco, Nebbiolo make colorful pieces of the Italian wine mosaic on the award-winning Oyster Bar Wine List. Navigate the exciting world of Italian wines and pair them with our best dishes!

Chianti Classico for social gatherings

Chianti Classico is a dry red wine produced in the region in Tuscany. The area gave name to the wine in the 19th century.

For a wine to be labeled Chianti, it should contain 80 % Sangiovese, a staple grape.

At the end of the 19th century, the Chianti Classico recipe was the result of an experiment. From the very beginning, the wine was intended for everyday consumption.

Indeed in Italy, Chianti Classico wines are still a popular choice for daily Italian dinners and traditional Friday parties.

Similarly, the Oyster Bar guests also often pick Chianti for their weekend outings.

Chianti Classico and Brunello are the most famous red Tuscan wines. And the Oyster Bar Wine List boasts 8 Italian beverages based on Sangiovese (from $ 11).

The Oyster Bar food pairings: Prime Tenderloin Burger. Cascadia Mushroom Gnocchi.

The sparkling freshness of Prosecco for the aperitif

Many people equal Prosecco to champagne because they look and taste similar. However, champagne is a French wine from the Champagne region.

Prosecco, in contrast, is a sparkling wine that originated in the northeast of Italy. The village of Prosecco inspired the name of the wine.

From ancient times, Prosecco associated with longevity.

The wife of the first Roman emperor Augustus Livia Drusilla was the first known Prosecco fan. Consuming the wine daily, she lived up to 86 years. It was incredible for that time.

Prosecco is usually non-vintage, without a year of production on the label. The Oyster Bar offers four Prosseco wines (from $ 28).

The Oyster Bar food pairings: Atlantic Cod Tacos. Passion Fruit Tart.

Nebbiolo for special celebrations

Nebbiolo is the original grape variety from the Piedmont region. It makes a basis for red very dry full-bodied wines. 38 months is a minimum aging period.

Indeed Barolo and Barbaresco are the most celebrated ones. Thus wine lovers chose them for important events.

With chocolate and fruit aromas, Nebbiolo wines offer different varieties. But tar and rose are common flavor notes.

The Oyster Bar food pairings: Prime Tenderloin Burger. Salmon Pastrami Sandwich.

Call the Oyster Bar and experience the best Italian wine collection in the area 360-766-6185

5 Selfies Spots on Chuckanut Drive

With its stunning seascapes, Washington State’s scenic byway is a nature photographer’s dream. Splendid water, woodland, and mountain views around encourage to experience Chuckanut Drive rather than drive it. Explore the five most splendid panoramas popular both with locals and tourists!

Over 20 beautiful stops on a map

The 20-mile scenic roadway is a safe and enjoyable leisure activity during COVID restrictions. It is easy to get an enjoyable experience for lone travelers and small companies simply by driving and stopping in pleasant places.

With two-way traffic on winding roads, Chuckanut Drive is not the road to be in a rush on! So, simply slow down, relax and take time to discover it.

The best way to enjoy the scenic drive is to see it as a nice day road trip from Seattle, one of the most frequent starting points. In this case, your Chuckanut Drive journey starts from Conway when you exit I-5 and finishes in Bellingham.

With the map of over 20 selected interesting stops on Chuckanut Drive, you can tailor every trip in different ways.

Begin with the following five locations that embody the very spirit of the Pacific Northwest.
Try to regard the trip as a photo album that you can create by mixing funny selfies and scenery images.

Capture spring fields around La Conner

Colorful patchworks of spring farmlands between Conway and La Conner may be the first image of your Chuckanut Drive selfie session. In springtime, the landscapes around the Skagit river wow visitors with picturesque photography backdrops.

Undoubtedly, tulip and daffodil fields are the most vivid spots during the season.

If you find yourself in Skagit County in April and want to enjoy more floral areas, consider visiting Skagit Tulip Festival.

Immerse yourself in the marine landscapes of Padilla Bay

Just in 20 minutes, enjoy a new visual experience in Bay View State Park. Located in Padilla Bay, the place offers gorgeous views of the San Juan Islands.

For learning more about the natural history of the area, visit exhibits at Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve.

With picnic areas and a great bike trail, you will likely spend more time there, taking selfies and strolling along the water.

Explore oyster beds on Taylor Shellfish Farms

With a 130-year history of sustainable shellfish, Tailor Shellfish Farms is just a must-visit place in the Pacific Northwest. The location offers a dynamic display of oyster harvesting, a staple food of the area.

To get there, you will need to pass the railroad tracks down to the shore. But it is well worth a stop because, regarding the weather, you will take impressive pictures.

It is definitely one of the impressive landmarks that embody successful communal efforts, original fishing traditions, and outstanding natural landscapes.

When the tide is low, you can watch numerous oyster beds. It is also possible to buy some oysters in a local store where they can pack your seafood in ice.

Experience the woodland grandeur of Larrabee State Park

Another stop in Larrabee Park will give you the majestic forest and mountain views. The oldest Washington state park on Samish Bay, created in 1915, covers over 2700 acres and features camping, boating, and fishing.

And naturally, the park offers a wide range of spots for taking pictures of birds and flowers.
Hiking and biking trails will further enrich your experience and provide you with new landscapes to enjoy.

Have a scenic dinner at the Oyster Bar

After such a busy day, recharge your batteries on the Oyster Bar terrace, watching a glorious sunset.

Here you can always try our specialties: raw, fried, or baked oysters, try a good wine from our award-winning wine list, and, of course, find new photo opportunities. Every table on our terrace offers a splendid view of Samish Bay.

Call the Oyster Bar and make a reservation 360-766-6185.

5 best local activities before dinner at the Oyster Bar

Go local with our tips for interesting things to do on Chuckanut Drive in spring.

Get finger puppets on South Fork Farms

South Fork Farms in Mount Vernon attracts visitors with different activities related to interacting with alpacas.

Looking for original souvenirs from one of the memorable stops on Chuckanut Drive? Buy miniature finger puppets from alpaca wool for only 3 $ apiece.

You can also find other wonderful mood boosters like felted soap or mini alpaca (8.5 $ apiece).

Monday-Saturday, 11 am-4 pm. Closed Sundays. Open also by appointment.

Try a homemade ice-cream from Snow goose produce

Made with natural ingredients, a massive ice cream cone has become one of the most important local culinary attractions of Mount Vernon’s local market.

The creamy component of the dessert is made with natural ingredients from Lopez Island Creamery and waffle cones are handmade by Snow goose produce, a family-run market.

48 flavors are available!

Open 7 days a week 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Learn about tulip farming in Skagit County Historical Museum

Reopened after a long break caused by the COVID restrictions, the museum has invited visitors to the exhibition Art of Jesus Guillen Exhibit.

In his paintings, drawings, and sculptures, the artist and seasonal farmworker captured daily life on American tulip plantations in the middle of the 20th century.

Small groups only up to 6 people.

Friday – Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 a.m. until May 3, 2021.

Discover wood carving art in Smith & Vallee Gallery

With her wooden art projects (March, 5-28), Marceil DeLacy from Seattle aims to ‘give voice to nature’.

Thought-provoking asymmetrical compositions in natural wooden colors reflect different environmental concerns.

Simplicity is the main feature of Marceil’s works who never color the compositions.

Smith & Vallee Gallery is a great destination for art lovers all year round due to their regular indoor and outdoor exhibitions.

Friday – Sunday 1- a.m. – 5 p.m.

Enjoy sunset views from Oyster Dome

Oyster Dome hike with its gorgeous views is a not-to-be-missed thing to do on Chuckanut Drive. It’s better to start early as the trail gets busy later especially during weekends. You can park at Samish Overlook.

Popular both with experienced hikers and beginners, the challenging 13-kilometer walk excites everyone.

Complete your eventful day on the terrace of the Oyster Bar. Call and make a reservation 360-223-5811.


Chuckanut Drive in the Fall

The historic Chuckanut Drive is beautiful no matter what time of year you take your car down its winding path, but in the Fall, the wonder of the scenic highway becomes even more magic.


Chuckanut Drive – A Century Old and Still Looking Good

chuckanut drive

The 100th Anniversary of Chuckanut Drive

The incomparable Chuckanut Drive is turning 100 this year! Chuckanut Drive, or State Highway 11 if we’re being official, was completed in the spring of 1916. Since then, it’s been a favorite cruising spot for those looking for a drive with a view—and good food!

The now scenic highway first began as a logging road in the 1890s. The thick forests of Bellingham made transportation and travel extremely difficult for the settlers coming for a new life in the Pacific Northwest. In 1905, city lawmakers approved funds to begin improving the road, but the money soon ran out. The project wouldn’t be completed until Charles Larrabee and Cyrus Gates, two wealthy Bellingham businessmen, gathered the funds to complete the rest of the road. The work began with convict crews, but ended with private companies and state crews.

In the 1920s, just a few short years after the road opened, the groundwork for The Oyster Bar on Chuckanut Drive was laid. A small shack selling fresh oysters to travelers was started by Zenzabaro Maekawa, a plant manager for the Rockpoint Oyster Company. The shack did so well that it soon sprouted four walls and a lunch bar and was named the Rockpoint Oyster Restaurant! One hundred years later, that humble shack is now The Oyster Bar on Chuckanut Drive!

Rockpoint Oyster Chuckanut Drive

Last week, Chuckanut Drive showed her wrinkles with two rock slides experienced back-to-back. To make sure the area is safe, the Department of Transportation has closed that section of the road down for now. But we’re in contact with them every day to see when it will reopen.

Fear not though, The Oyster Bar on Chuckanut Drive is still reachable! The rock slides took place to the North of us, but the road is clear from the South. You can get to us via Colony Rd., Bow Hill Rd., Cook Rd., and Chuckanut Drive exit 231. Make your night perfect with an unrivaled highway view, followed by an unrivaled seafood meal!

Learn more about the history of Chuckanut Drive and watch a great video on it at The Bellingham Herald.

Make a Reservation

Warm up by our fireplace. Call ahead to reserve your seat at the table! 360-766-6185


Featured Wine: Domaine Magdalena Cabernet Sauvignon

(Bin #1114 $87) This sophisticated, balanced Washington Red is everything a Cabernet from Red Mountain should be. It’s fine tannins accent the beautiful notes of blackberry, rose petal and earth. Domaine Magdalena is not only beautifully made but also thoughtfully made. The wine undergoes wild yeast fermentation, is unfiltered and is Demeter certified biodynamic. This wine can stand alone but would pair nicely with so many of our dishes including our vegetarian and wild game options.


For Your Favorite Foodies

Call Today for Your Reservation!

Call 360.766.6185

+ Closing times may vary seasonally so please call for a reservation if wishing to dine after 8pm.

+ It is our policy not to seat parties with children under 9 years of age unless our downstairs dining room is unoccupied.