Ballard is one of Seattle’s oldest neighborhoods, and holds a rich history. It originally formed as its own city in 1890 in what is today the northwest part of Seattle. What started as a small maritime center home to many people of Scandinavian descent has transformed into a lively, hip neighborhood known for its eateries, shops, craft beer scene, and various historical and local attractions. It is also a very desirable place to live, with great schools and parks. I love this neighborhood because it has so much to offer and there is always something new to do! Whether you’re strolling the beach at Golden Gardens, visiting the Nordic Heritage Museum, or hitting the Ballard Farmers Market, this neighborhood has it all. Here are some highlights of the Ballard neighborhood that you definitely do not want to overlook!
One of Ballard’s most popular attractions is the locks, which connects Lake Washington, Salmon Bay, and Lake Union to the Puget Sound. Boats can be seen moving through the locks as the water is raised and lowered depending on which way they are going. This is a popular spot for school field trips and tourists who want to catch an educational glimpse of Ballard’s maritime history.
Ballard has a large array of places to get a classy cocktail or try the latest brew on tap. If you’re looking for the latest cool brewery, check out Lagunitas Brewing Company, King’s Hardware, Kiss Café, or Reuben’s Brews. Craving a cocktail? Check out Barnacle, Essex, The Gerald, or Hazlewood.
Whether you’re feeling brunch, dinner or a late-night snack, Ballard has an array of restaurants that check off every category! To have your choice of the best restaurants, you’ll want to go to the center of Ballard. For an amazing brunch check out Porkchop & Co., San Fermo if you’re in the mood for Italian, and Mean Sandwich for a quick but amazing on-the-go meal. This is just a start—there are seriously so many great places to try!
Golden Gardens Park:
One of the prettiest spots in Seattle, Golden Gardens Park has sandy beaches with fire pits, beach volleyball courts, hiking trails, and a boat launch. It’s the perfect place to watch the sunset or have a beach gathering with friends.
Ballard Farmers Market:
The Ballard Farmers Market is known to be one of the better Seattle farmers markets, with a large variety of vendors including produce, flowers, meat, seafood, live music, and arts and crafts. It is put on every Sunday year-round from 10am to 3pm, rain or shine!
Nordic Heritage Museum:
Ballard residents are proud of their neighborhood’s roots—and it shows! The Nordic Heritage Museum is the only museum to showcase Nordic heritage in all five Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden), as well as Nordic heritage in the Northwest. The museum boasts art exhibits, special collections, events and activities for kids.