Ballard is home to the most breweries per capita in the United States. The neighborhood offers fresh brews and pumped up nightlife for hip crowds and curious travelers. Whether you’re stopping for a pale ale, attending the farmer’s market, or setting up a hammock near the water, you’ll always be right at home in this Seattle landmark. Local businesses line the main streets. These shops are home to some of the best food and attractions that Seattle has to offer. If you are new to the area and looking for ways to get to know the neighborhood, you’re in luck. Here are a few of our favorites.
1. Get to Know the Local Attractions
Wherever you end up living in Ballard, you’ll likely be surrounded by fascinating local businesses. Attend the Nordic Museum and its popular Nordic immigrant history exhibit.
Check out the divine desserts that Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery has to offer. Take a stroll down the bustling Market St. and you’ll find plenty of locally-owned shops to stroll through.
Hiram M Chittenden Locks is a major tourist attraction in the area. Referred to by locals as the Ballard Locks, this is quite an interesting sight to see. Locks are used to raise and lower boats, and traffic at this location is heavy. Watching tons of boats get raised and lowered may not sound all that interesting, but it’s a pretty unusual sight. The grounds are beautiful as well. It’s a great place to take visitors!
2. Enjoy the Waterfront
The Shilshole Bay area in the Puget Sound covers the coastline in Ballard. Here, you can cruise down Seaview Avenue for beautiful sunset views over the water and Olympic mountains.
Or, you can grab some friends and walk or bike to Golden Gardens Park for a game of sand volleyball or a bonfire on the beach. Further south, the Carl S. English Jr. Botanical Garden is interlaced with wide trails lined with exotic flowers and pristine landscaping. This landmark is next to the Ballard Locks, which hosts massive boat docks and is a prime spot for seeing salmon swimming in the summer.
From here, you can ride your bike or take a long walk in either direction on the Burke Gilman Trail to North Beach or Fremont. Beautiful scenery and the proximity to beaches are a huge perk of living in Ballard. Don’t forget to enjoy them!
3. A Day Spent Cycling, Exploring, and Eating
If you’re the type to bring your bike everywhere, Ballard has easy access to the Burke Gilman Trail. This will connect you to other parts of Seattle and the University of Washington campus. Pedal down to Peddler Brewing Company for a bike-friendly brewery that has parking, a gear shop for bike tune-ups, and a dog-friendly patio to drink some cold ones.
Just down the street, you can walk to The Walrus and the Carpenter for fresh oysters and delicious seafood dishes. From there, spend some time at Mox Boarding House to check out their extensive board game selection. Take a game off the wall to play with a group of friends or a partner.
Once night falls, King’s Hardware is a short walk away and has cheap drink choices and a lively bar crowd. At the end of your night, stop by 8oz. Burger & Co on the main Market St. for a juicy burger menu and another cocktail if you’re still feeling thirsty.