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Top Things to Do in Ballard

Top 10 things to do in Ballard, Washington

There’s a good reason why Ballard is considered one of Seattle’s greatest neighborhoods: it offers all the attractions of the city’s core without all the people. It’s packed with delicious restaurants and exciting events that take over the streets and public areas. In a nutshell, Ballard is an enjoyable area to live or visit. If you’re planning a trip to Ballard, Washington, check out these top ten attractions. This is where the Scandanavian People first settled near the water to do fishing. Top Things to Do in Ballard

Scandinavians in the Pacific Northwest found many natural elements that reminded them of their home, along with the commerce patterns that had existed in their blood for generations. The Danish farmers engaged in farming; the Swedish cutters worked as lumberjacks; and the Norwegian fishermen created ships and handled fishing activities.


Check out: Pacific Fishermen Shipyard, in business since 1946

And  “Bergen Place Park is also home to a contemporary sculptural installation by Jennifer Dixon entitled Witness Trees, evoking elements of Nordic mythology, maritime life, and the Native tribal heritage of the Pacific Northwest.  The piece has been somewhat controversial as many Ballard residents complain that the trees aren’t Scandinavian enough and reflect a new, modern Ballard rather than acknowledging the neighborhood’s rich past.”Bergen Park



Ballard is a microbrewery lover’s paradise! Beer lovers are in luck in this area since there are many excellent breweries and taprooms spread all over town. A few examples of microbreweries entail Reuben’s Brews, Maritime Pacific Brewing Company, and Hale’s Ales, with more popping up often. Fremont, the next area, has even more beer options if you find that Ballard isn’t sufficient.

The  Marina at Shilshole Bay

Ballard is a marine type of area, and Shilshole Bay Marina is evidence of that if you hadn’t guessed it previously. A boat ramp and moorings for 1,500 vessels are available in Shilshole for sailors and boaters. The marina is home to a variety of boating resources, including schools that teach sailing and yachting, as well as organizations, brokerages, and repair shops.


Ballard is proud of its Scandinavian and seafaring roots. On May 17th, the day commemorating the signing of the Norwegian Constitution, Ballard throws its annual Syttende Mai festival. In Ballard, we have the biggest Synttende Mai procession outside of Norway!

Seafoodfest, a July extravaganza celebrating the riches of the sea, needs no introduction as a reason to travel to Ballard. Seafood in a variety of forms will be sold from food trucks and merchants, and there will even be a salmon barbecue that allows you to get a whole barbecue meal. Because they don’t fool around, the organizers of Seafoodfest also provide a Beerfest Beer Garden where attendees may try a variety of beers made in nearby Ballard. Even afterward, the carnival atmosphere continues. Additional Ballard celebrations to keep an eye out for include the Viking Days festival, the Fisherman’s Fall Festival, and Yulefest.

The Park at Golden Gardens

Golden Gardens Park is without a doubt one of Seattle’s finest parks, boasting the best of what makes the Pacific Northwest so great. Relax on the sandy beaches, go on a trek along the sea or in the forest, or just take in the breathtaking scenery of the ocean and the Olympic Mountains. The park also has a boat launch, a fishing pier, a picnic area, and a fenced-in area for dogs to run free. Even if you do nothing except sit back and enjoy the sunset, you will come away from this place with a greater appreciation for life.

The Ballard Farmers’ Market

There are a number of great farmer’s marketplaces in Seattle, but among the greatest is the Ballard Farmers Market on Ballard Avenue. First, there is a good selection of shops to peruse. You may get fresh veggies, meat, fish, and flowers here, in addition to unique handmade goods. You may test out a product before you purchase it, since many retailers provide free samples. Every Sunday from 10 am to 3 pm, rain or shine, the market is open all year long. You may come just to hang around and listen to the live music if you don’t need to get any groceries.

Try Your Hand at Kayaking

Taking to the water is the most exciting thing you can do when visiting a coastal region. Try out the water and get a new perspective on Golden Gardens or the yachts anchored in the Ship Canal by renting a kayak from Ballard Kayak. On one of Ballard Kayak’s trips, you may paddle right through the Ballard Locks! The best times to visit Ballard Kayak are in the summer and spring.

The Ballard Locks and the Salmon Ladder.

The Hiram M. Chittendam Locks are perhaps Ballard’s claim to fame (colloquially called the Ballard Locks). Locks are used by vessels of varying sizes to transit between the canal and Puget Sound, with the water level being raised or lowered by employees as needed. You cannot know what type of characters will be running the boats, so observing the procedure from the platforms on each side of the locks is intriguing, instructive, and even funny.

The salmon ladder is located on the far end of the building, across the locks. A frequent sight along the canal’s banks during the salmon season is the fish leaping out of the water. However, if you descend the ladder’s internal steps, you are able to see salmon fighting the current below the water’s surface via transparent panels. The spectacle of these massive fish fighting against the stream is guaranteed to be a delight for kids of all ages.


Top Things to Do in Ballard

Please visit the Museum of Nordic History.

Ballard takes great pride in its culture, but nowhere is this more evident than at the Nordic Heritage Museum (or maybe the May 17th parade). The museum celebrates Nordic culture from its original homes in Scandinavia as well as its current location in the Pacific Northwest. The unique events, kid-friendly activities, and rotating displays guarantee that visitors will never get bored.

Spend some time at a store

Much of Seattle’s greatest shopping may be found in areas outside of the central core, unless you’re solely interested in shopping at large-format retailers. A good example of this is Ballard. Ballard Avenue NW is lined with unique stores selling anything from apparel to furniture and décor, starting at 20th Avenue NW and stretching for a few blocks into the neighboring 22nd Avenue NW. All the stores are locally owned, and if you want a little history with your window shopping, you’ll be happy to know that the neighborhood is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Eat at Restaurants

Ballard is well-known for its robust beer industry, but its restaurant scene is just as vibrant. Within Ballard’s borders are many excellent seafood restaurants, including Anthony’s Homeport, Chinooks, and Ray’s Boathouse. The Walrus and the Carpenter, a seafood paradise, and Pestle Rock, a Thai restaurant, are just two of the many options along Ballard Avenue NW. Don’t be scared to go out on your own and explore what you find. And for breakfast?

A burger place that is now serving breakfast. Egg and Cheese on a muffin.

Top Things to Do in Ballard



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