Ballard’s got its own thing going on. Once an entirely different city, Seattle has absorbed this charming Scandinavian-oriented town for itself. Full of character, Ballard is a large area with a fairly diverse population – singletons, families, smaller homes and sprawling ones – it has a little something for everyone.
Perhaps not the easiest neighborhood to get to and from, Ballard nonetheless has everything you need for nightlife, culture and anything else you might need from a tiny semi-urban center.
Spend any time checking out bumper stickers in Seattle and you’ll undoubtedly see a black and white “Free Ballard” sticker somewhere in traffic. This phrase, along with the supporting anti-establishment mindset that seems to continue on through Ballard residents, harken back to the days of the City of Ballard, which was unincorporated from 1890-1907. That year, the City of Seattle annexed Ballard as the result of a messy water deal between the two cities and Ballard residents have had mixed feelings on the event ever since.
Working Class and Classy
Ballard is a rough-and-tumble, old-school wharf town. Long-time residents often tell stories about “Old Ballard,” the era in which the community was the nation’s leading shingle manufacturer and a leading commercial fishing depot for America’s west coast.
Walk up and down Market Street and you’ll notice a plethora of trendy hipster eateries and bars, but there’s no doubt that Ballard residents have a chip on their shoulders. New constructions and rising costs have sparked controversy among community groups as of late, but the majority of storefronts, businesses, office space, and residential properties remain resiliently in the possession of Ballard residents.
There are several schools available to Ballard residents, including Adams Elementary, Salmon Bay School, St. Alphonsus, West Woodland, Whittier Elementary, Loyal Heights Elemetnary, Matheia School, North Beach Elementary, and Ballard High School, which is the city’s oldest school still in continual operation.
Walking on Water
Ballard borders Elliot Bay to the west and the Fremont cut via the Crittenton Locks to the south, making it an ideal home for boaters and water lovers alike. Easy access to the docks from the heart of Ballard makes for a tremendously entertaining weekend for residents, as does the Ballard Farmer’s Market, which takes place every Sunday on Ballard Avenue.