Location: Ballard is bordered by the Puget Sound and Salmon Bay to the west and south, respectively; Northwest 85th Street to the north; and 8th Avenue Northwest, then 3rd Avenue Northwest, then Leary Way Northwest to the east.
Why people move to neighborhood: It’s a young, hip, emerging neighborhood. The neighborhood’s commercial center is Old Ballard, which boasts a variety of restaurants, nightlife and microbreweries housed in old industrial warehouses. With a handful of music venues, plenty of businesses and calm, waterfront parks, there’s always something to do.
Distance from downtown Seattle: 6.5 miles, about 20 minutes by car
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School district: Seattle Public Schools
Walk score (out of 100): 87
Transit score (out of 100) : 51
Bike score (out of 100) : 80
Recreation: Golden Gardens Park on the neighborhood’s west side has one of Seattle’s largest and most accessible beaches on the Puget Sound, with views of the Olympic Mountains in the distance. Shopping and dining are plentiful along Ballard Avenue Northwest and Northwest Market Street. For a calmer scene, watch boats pass through the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks or see salmon swim up the nearby fish ladder in the summer and fall. Ballard’s Sunday Farmers Market runs year-round and is popular among locals and tourists.
Historical facts: Ballard was originally established as its own city in 1889, independent of Seattle, and became a successful city with a booming industrial waterfront of lumber and shingle mills, and a busy commercial district along Ballard Avenue, according to the Ballard Historical Society. Today, the Nordic Heritage Museum and sculptures decorating the neighborhood’s core pay homage to the neighborhood’s Scandinavian roots.
Zillow Home Value Index (as of October 2015) : $431,700
Zillow Rent Index (as of October 2015) : $2,148 a month