Seattle Neighborhoods: Ballard
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Ballard Locks, Seattle
Heather Bryant
Ballard's working waterfront provides views of a thriving maritime industry, including Fisherman's Terminal, which is the home base to North Pacific Fishing Fleet. SeafoodFest, held annually in July is a celebration of this heritage. People flock to the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, an engineering marvel built in 1916, that enables boats to move from freshwater lakes to the salt water of Puget Sound, a 26-foot grade change. During certain times of the year, visitors can watch through underground viewing windows as salmon use the fish ladders located here to return to their spawning grounds.
© istockphoto
Heading west to Shilshole Bay Marina, Ballard's waterways become more recreational. In addition to moorage for 1,500 recreational boats, the marina also offers a boat ramp, sailing schools and public art featuring Leif Erikson. A waterfront promenade, with beautiful views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains, leads to Golden Gardens, an expansive beachfront park. Canine visitors love the off-leash play area up the hill.

While recent development has turned this one time blue-collar enclave into a hip, urban village, Ballard still maintains its quaint storefronts and pedestrian-friendly atmosphere. Ballard Avenue, a nationally registered historic district, takes visitors back to the time when Ballard was an area filled with numerous lumber mills that produced, largely, housing shingles, prompting the neighborhood to be anointed “The Shingle Capital of the World.” Metal plaques with historic pictures and stories guide visitors through this time.
Ballard Market
Eric Sheckler
On this lovely tree-lined street, there are trendy restaurants, boutiques, home décor shops, gift stores and an active nightlife. There’s also fabulous fresh produce at the Ballard Sunday Farmers Market year-round.
On and around Market Street is Ballard's modern business district. Easily walkable, it too features charming brick storefronts, great shops, theater, urban parks and a host of restaurants, many featuring sidewalk cafés. Once a month, the Second Saturday ArtWalks showcase work by local artists in numerous galleries, studios and shops.
A visit to Ballard isn’t complete without discovering some Scandinavian culture. The internationally acclaimed Nordic Heritage Museum features historic and fine art exhibits, as well as musical performances, children's activities and major cultural events.
The Sons of Norway’s Leif Erikson Lodge (a Norwegian-American social organization), specialty gift and food establishments, and Bergen Place Park all add to the Nordic experience. And once a year on May 17, all of Ballard celebrates Syttende Mai, or Norwegian Constitution Day. The parade, considered the largest of its kind outside Norway, is a favorite.

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Eat in Ballard

5214 Ballard Ave NW Seattle WA 98107
Phone: 206 6952051

We hope that all parts of the restaurant cuisine, design, service, our wine program and our bar program provide our guests the opportunity to connect, relax and leave feeling refreshed.

Ray's Boathouse, Cafe & Catering
6049 Seaview Ave NW Seattle WA 98107
Phone: 206 789-3770
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Seafood $$$. Internationally acclaimed Northwest seafood and waterfront dining. Dining room, cafe and deck, banquet facilities and catering. Lunch and dinner daily. HA

Ray's Cafe
6049 Seaview Ave NW Seattle WA 98107
Phone: 206 789-3770

Located upstairs on the top deck of Ray’s, the Café boasts in all of its fish pub glory. Our waterfront Café is perfectly suited for your fun, casual celebrations throughout the year. Reservations are accepted and recommended, walk-ins are welcome.

Volterra - Seattle
5411 Ballard Ave NW Seattle WA 98107
Phone: 206 789-5100
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Italian $$$ Authentic Northern Italian cuisine of internationally acclaimed Chef Don Curtiss. Dinner nightly and weekend brunch. Happy hour Mon-Fri 4:30pm-6:30pm. Extensive wine list. HA

Anthony's HomePort - Shilshole Bay
6135 Seaview Ave NW Seattle WA 98107
Phone: 206 783-0780
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Seafood $$. Waterfront dining on scenic Shilshole Bay featuring fresh Northwest seafood. Seattle's favorite outside deck! View banquet rooms. Dinner, Sunday brunch. HA

Stay in Ballard

Ballard Inn Seattle
5300 Ballard Ave NW Seattle WA 98107
Phone: 206 789-5011
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16 rooms, $$. Boutique, historic hotel, Est. in 2011, free Wi-Fi, flat screen cable tv, parking, gym access, swimming pool, hot-tub and steam rooms. HA

Hotel Ballard
5216 Ballard Ave NW Seattle WA 98107
Phone: 206 789-5012
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Hotel Ballard’s 29 luxurious and elegantly appointed rooms offer all the comforts of home plus all the amenities guests love. Complimentary Wi-Fi, parking, roof top pavilion with outdoor fireplaces and magnificent views.

9 Cranes Inn
5717 Palatine Ave N Seattle WA 98103
Phone: 206 855-5222
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Craftsman bed and brekfast with modern amenities and friendly service. Flat-screen TV, free wireless internet, full breakfast, free parking, guest computer.

Play in Ballard

Nordic Heritage Museum
3014 NW 67th St Seattle WA 98117
Phone: 206 789-5707
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Features immersive galleries focused on the Nordic-American experience in the Pacific Northwest, and visiting exhibitions showcase contemporary art and design from the Nordic countries. Open Tue-Sat 10am-4pm. Sun noon-4pm. Gift Shop.

Blowing Sands Glass
5805 14th Ave NW Seattle WA 98107
Phone: 206 783-5314
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Glassblowing studio and gallery. Watch glassblowers at work, sign up for a lesson, and shop for work by Northwest artists.

The Karaoke Party Bus


Experience Seattle’s one and only karaoke party bus. Party with your friends, sing and dance to your favorite songs, and enjoy the moment without having to worry about driving, DUIs, or remembering where you parked!

Hilliard's Beer
1550 NW 49th Seattle WA 98107
Phone: 206 915-3303
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Ballard brewery and tasting room. All ages welcome. Please see our website for current hours and events. HA

Ballard Kayak
7001 Seaview Ave NW, Ste 160-40 Seattle WA 98117
Phone: 206 494-3353

On the Puget Sound with saltwater access and mountain views. Offering unique on the water guided tours, sailing lessons, and kayak and stand up paddle board rentals.

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Quick Info

The RapidRide "D" Line bus serves Ballard  via Downtown Seattle. Routes that serve the neighborhood from additional areas of the city are the number 40 and 61.