It’s common knowledge that Seattle has a long and proud maritime history. Whether you’re enjoying a ferry ride to Bainbridge Island, visiting the aquarium on the pier, or simply renting a paddleboat out on Green Lake, you’ll never be far from the water. In the midst of all this briny heritage is Ballard, a nook of northwest Seattle with especially strong ties to the sea. By coincidence, it’s also one of the most popular neighborhoods in the city.
Ballard has a long, rich history that stretches back to the 1850s. Originally an independent town populated by fishermen of Scandinavian descent, Ballard has since been incorporated into Seattle and blossomed into a hotspot for culture, food, and drink. One of Ballard’s most popular attractions is the Nordic Heritage Museum, which specializes in preserving and celebrating Nordic culture through dance, film, music, and an extensive series of classes and lectures. On particularly sunny days, visitors can stroll down to Ballard’s popular Golden Gardens Park, a coastal recreation area with forest trails, sandy beaches, and ample views of the Puget Sound.
If you’re going to visit Ballard, however, you’ve got to emphasize eating and drinking. In a city renowned for its culinary scene, Ballard stands out with an enviable array of restaurants, bars, and cafes. In particular, the neighborhood has unique access to several prominent microbreweries. Located between Ballard and Fremont, Hale’s Ales is the Pacific Northwest’s oldest microbrewery, and it offers an impressive array of craft beers brewed with the same care and precision as the venerable English brews that inspired them. As if that weren’t enough, down the street you’ll find Populuxe Brewing, a hip establishment with a popular patio and a compact, but delicious, rotating beer selection. If you prefer grapes to hops, never fear: local Domanico Cellars offers delicious wines from vineyards scattered across Eastern Washington.
Once you’ve had your fill of aperitifs, you’ll have to choose between Ballard’s numerous eateries. Popular Seattle establishment Skillet Diner has a location off Market Street and offers mouth-watering diner fare dressed up for the Foodie Era. If you’re hankering for something more rustic, then head over to Veraci Pizza, a wood-fired pizza restaurant that builds all of its pizza ovens painstakingly by hand. Or, if you want to sample some of Ballard’s classic maritime history, check out the fresh seafood options at the Highliner Public House. Of course, while Ballard has exceptional restaurants, some food enthusiasts prefer to prepare their meals from scratch. If you fall into this latter category, then it’s worth checking out the Ballard Farmers Market. The market boasts a bountiful supply of produce and other fare, and can be found on the cobblestones of Ballard Avenue NW each Sunday from 10-3, year round.
In the past six months, the median sales price for properties in Ballard was $650,700, with a minimum price of $383,000 and a maximum price of $1,373,000.
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