A LITTLE BIT MARITIME-CENTRIC ENCLAVE, A LITTLE BIT HIP FOODIE HOTSPOT
Once upon a time, Ballard (settled in 1853) was its own city—a blue-collar, maritime-centric enclave bustling with fishers, millworkers, and boatbuilders, many of Scandinavian descent. While the historic neighborhood maintains its working waterfront, a lineup of trendy bars, shops, and restaurants, plus a pedestrian-friendly layout, have helped it transform into one of the city's hippest hot spots for visitors and locals alike.
Housing options in Ballard include condominiums, many newer townhouses, vintage single-family homes (ranging from early 1900s to mid-century modern), and homes located in the Sunset Hill area with spectacular view of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. Ballard south of NW 65th Street has seen an increase in townhomes targeting buyers looking for easy access to downtown and South Lake Union, as well as highly walkable access to shops, restaurants and nightlife.
Ballard is served by several north-south arterial streets, including 3rd, 8th, 15th, 24th and 32nd Avenues NW. East-west arterials include Leary Avenue, Market Street, NW 65th, 80th and 85th Streets. Regular and Rapid-Ride buses serve the Ballard area, transporting passengers to and from downtown Seattle, and east to the University of Washington. Plans are in place for a future light rail stop serving the greater-Ballard community.
Shopping, Dining and Nightlife
Ballard is renowned for the number and variety of its' coffee, breakfast, dining and nightlife venues. Old Ballard is replete with music venues like The Tractor Tavern, hosts the Sunday Farmer's Market, and breakfast locations like the Salmon Bay Cafe, Hattie's Hat, and the Hi-Life. Market Street is one of the primary shopping and business districts, as well as smaller districts on 24th Avenue, 15th Avenue and NW 65th Street between 3rd and 8th Avenues NW.
Public and private elementary, middle schools and high schools are located within the Ballard community. Public elementary schools include Loyal Heights, Adams and Whittier. It is expected that Webster Elementary will be open in the fall of 2020. Salmon Bay offers grades K-8, Whitman Middle School offers grades 6-8 and public high school students attend classes at Ballard High School. St. Alphonsus parish school offers grades K-8, and Matheia School offers PreK-5th grades. There are several pre-schools in Ballard offered for younger children.
Learn more about individual schools:
Parks and Other Amenities
Ballard is home to numerous public parks, including Golden Gardens Park, providing expansive beach access and some of the best views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. Many small neighborhood parks offer space for play and relaxation, and the Ballard Community Center and ball fields are located near 28th Ave NW and NW 60th Street. The Ballard Pool is located on 15th Ave NW, near Ballard High School. A favorite among residents and visitors alike is the Sunset Hill Park, offering spectacular views of Puget Sound, the Olympic Mountains, and Bainbridge Island. Not to be missed are the Hiram Chittenden Locks and the adjoining Carl S. English Botanical Garden. Permanent and transitory boat moorage is available at Shilshole Marina.