Get out of super-touristy downtown and explore one of Seattle’s oldest neighborhoods. Situated along the Puget Sound, Ballard grew out of strong fishing and maritime industries that are still ever-present today. The Scandinavian heritage of this community spams from ol' iconic Larsens Bakery and mixes uniquely with the latest craft brewers. Since we know you might be short on time, here are a few fun stops. And as always, make sure you explore around the corner - - you're sure to spot some hidden gems!
The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks (Ballard Locks) is one of the most intriguing technological feats in Seattle, perfect for both kids and adults to marvel at the engineering masterpiece. We’re still not sure if watching the boats maneuver the water levels or the migrating salmon is more interesting. The Locks are also home to a beautiful botanical garden, so make sure to take a wander on your way out.
Need a mid-morning pick me up? Then look no further than, Ballard Coffee Works. Their beans are roasted locally from environmentally sustainable growers sourced from around the world. With beans this good, we opt for a shot of espresso with just hint of foam on top. Pure joy!
The new Nordic Museum celebrates the rich Nordic history of the Pacific Northwest, with over 78,000 artifacts. Rotating exhibits offer a variety of choices and reasons to revisit frequently. Children under 4 get in for free and make sure you don’t plan your outing for a Monday as they are closed!
Ready for lunch? Lil’ Woody’s Burgers found just a few short blocks away on Market Street caters to many different taste buds. Prefer potato chips ON your burger, then this is the place. Black bean veggie burgers calling your name? Yes, they have that too plus salmon, chicken and probably a few more that we have yet to explore. While Lil’ Woody’s serves Full Tilt Ice Cream shakes, why not just head over to the original just down the street. Full Tilt is an ice cream shop with an array of ice cream options including 4 vegan flavors to please any non-dairy palettes. End the afternoon with some stellar ice cream and hang out for a while playing pinball and blast-from-the-past arcade games!
If you’ve only got a couple hours to explore one of Seattle’s oldest neighborhoods, then use this guide to adventure through Ballard. Both kids and parents will have a blast, with a few treats to satisfy everyone along the way. What other Seattle neighborhoods should we explore next?