Ballard is a neighborhood in Seattle with Scandinavian heritage. It is also a center for elegant boutiques and fine eateries, as well as artists and others who flock to this neighborhood to enjoy all of its fine tastes. Located west of Fremont and across the channel from Queen Anne, it's a popular place with the younger crowd and has a great selection of restaurants and bars.
The Port of Seattle's, Shilshole Bay Marina, is one of the prime spots to have a boat on the Puget Sound. Around 1400 boats are housed here, so the Shilshole Bay Marina, with its proximity to the Ballard Locks, is a great place to sail by and watch the public promenade and views of the Olympics over the Sound.
Nearby, the Ballard Locks are a landmark in Seattle as well as Ballard. Its real name is the Chittenden Locks, but it is called the Ballard locks because of its location. Aside from the Shilsole Marina, The Lake Washington Ship Canal and the Ballard Lock are the distinct features of this area. The Ballard Locks give the ships a way to cross from Lake Washington to the Puget Sound. There is a visitor center where you can learn more about the Ballard Locks.
In the winter, which is from October 1 through April 30, the visitor center is open from 10am to 4pm. It is closed on Tuesday and Wednesday. In the summer, which is from May 1 to September 30th, the visitor center is open daily from 10am t 6pm. There are also free guided tours from March to November.
Aside from the mural, all over this Seattle neighborhood are artistic influences.
The latest addition to Ballard is a kiosk by the artist Brad Rice. This community installation resembles a lighthouse, and will shine the light on cultural and artistic eventsevents around Ballard with information that can be posted on it. The is also the Ballard Arts Fest, which takes place every year on Ballard Avenue, a center of historic charm in this Seattle neighborhood. Theatre performances, spoken word, and artist shows give you a great opportunity to enjoy some the finest offerings of Seattle.
The art walks, which take place every second Saturday, draws crowds year round to the art on display in Ballard. From six to nine pm every other Saturday, art galleries and private studios open to the public. Galleries stay open late for this popular event. The Sev Shoon Art Center is a great jumping off point. Make your way from the south side of Ballard Avenue until you get to Market, where you would take a right to continue the adventure. Get your other senses prepared also; there are often drinks and snacks on hand at some of these places.
May 17 is the day that the Norwegian Constitution Day Parade takes place in Ballard. Learn more about the history of the people of this Seattle neighborhood at the Nordic Heritage Museum located at 3014 NW 67th Street, Seattle, WA 98117. Phone 206.789.5707. This annual event in Seattle is a magnet for Scandinavians proud of their ancestry or for the curious visitor who wants to get off the beaten path and spend some time in a relaxed, yet interesting part of Seattle. There is also a mural, which was dedicated by the king and queen of Norway. The Bergen Place mural at Bergen Place Park in Ballard, received its royal honors in 1995.
Ballard is a great area to spend a weekend touring galleries, exploring inviting little shops, and enjoying great waterfront walks. Whether you spend a relaxing afternoon or an entire weekend in this Seattle neighborhood, you will love the slower pace and refined atmosphere of Ballard.