Ballard is a hip waterfront neighborhood with trendy restaurants, indie shops, bars and craft breweries centered on historic Ballard Avenue. Ships and salmon pass through the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, or Ballard Locks, also a popular picnic spot. The sandy beach at Golden Gardens Park draws sunbathers and volleyball players and offers mountain views. The Nordic Heritage Museum displays the area’s Scandinavian roots.

Once a sleepy fishing community, Ballard has embraced its maritime heritage while developing into a city hot spot for great food, beer, and shopping. At the sleek National Nordic Museum (*2655 NW Market St), in-person visits must be reserved in advance, but a variety of virtual events on such topics as film, literature, and even sauna culture keep the museum’s multicultural mission thriving. With a brand-new reservation system, now’s your best chance to snag a seat at nationally renowned The Walrus and the Carpenter (4743 Ballard Ave NW); expect stellar oysters and surprising seasonal bites, with heated outdoor seating on a generous patio. Stop by Baleen (6418 20th Ave NW) for a wide selection of affordable, locally handmade jewelry, or pick up affordable local art pieces as souvenirs at Annie’s Art and Frame (2212 NW Market St).

Things to do and see:

  • National Nordic Museum
  • Golden Gardens Beach
  • Ballard Loches
  • Market Street Shops and Dining

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