In the 1800s, the town’s thriving fisheries and timber industry appealed to people of Scandinavian descent. They traversed to Seattle’s sleepy little fishing village to work as fishermen, industrial laborers and shipbuilders. About a century later, Ballard became the second-largest city in King County. Now, the town boasts a tight-knit community, a trendy vibe and a unique personality that appeals to locals and tourists with a diverse array of outdoor activities as well as places to see.
Some of Seattle’s quintessential landmarks and historical sites in Ballard include the Golden Gardens Park, the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks (also known as Ballard Locks), the National Nordic Museum and Shilshole Bay Marina. Ballard’s top sights include the Carl S. English Jr. Botanical Garden, the Edith Masefield House, the picturesque Sunset Hill Park, Ballard Carnegie Library and the Ballard Bridge.
The heart of Ballard resides on Ballard Avenue, also known as Ballard Old Town, and Market Street. Here residents will find are galleries, cafes, delicious eateries, fancy bars, craft breweries and much more. This area has attracted younger residents due to its trendy vibe and hip businesses.
Ready to Explore Ballard Real Estate?
Over the last decade, Ballard has experienced a real-estate boom with more residential housing developments than any other neighborhood in North Seattle. Ballard’s residential area includes a diverse mix of dense areas with townhomes, condos and apartments and less dense areas with single-family homes on quiet residential streets. Ballard is also home to more luxurious and high-end real estate due to land becoming a popular commodity, especially in high-density areas like Seattle.
According to Walk Score®, Ballard is the 13th most walkable neighborhood in Seattle. The neighborhood is very bikeable and has decent public transportation. Ballard comes across as a completely self-contained neighborhood, which means you likely won’t have to hop in a car to find what you need. Yet, many residents enjoy having Downtown Seattle just a short 15-minute drive away.
- Median Listing Price: $850,000
- Price Per Square Foot: $541
- Total Population: 27,534
- Median Age: 34.4
- Renter/Homeowner: 63.46%/36.54%
Who Lives in Ballard?
A wide variety of residents call Ballard home because of its diversity and uniqueness. For instance, the town caters to craft beer lovers with more breweries than most neighborhoods in the Pacific Northwest, early morning risers with Seattle’s first year-round Ballard Farmers Market and shopping fanatics with a smorgasbord of specialty stores, record shops, boutique salons and more at Ballard Old Ballard.
Some of the town’s notable residents include sculpture artist James Acord, restaurateur Tom Douglas, radio personality Dori Monson, singer Emily McVicker and writer Jerry Holkins.
Ballard has approximately 14,213 households and a total population of about 27,500. The population density in Ballard is 8,590 people per square mile. Since 2010, Central Ballard’s population grew 54.1%, which is faster than any neighborhood in North Seattle.
K-12 Schools and Colleges in Ballard
Ballard has some of the best schools in the city, many of which are part of the citywide Seattle School District. The town of Ballard is also home to Ballard High School – one of the oldest continuously operating high schools in Seattle. Ballard High operates a specialized learning program in biotechnology called the Biotech Academy. The academy attracts a range of students, who want to study at the intersection of science, mathematics and language arts, from all around King County, Washington.
- Adams Elementary School
- B.F. Day Elementary School
- Ballard High School
- Hamilton International Middle School
- Ingraham High School
- Loyal Heights Elementary
- North Beach Elementary
- Salmon Bay K-8
- West Woodland Elementary
- Whitman Middle School
- Whittier Elementary School
- Bright Water Waldorf School
- Chestnut Hill Academy
- Eastside Christian School
- Kapka Cooperative School
- Matheia School
- Open Door Preschool
- St. Alphonsus Parish School
- St. John Catholic School Seattle
- The Meridian School
- Wallingford KinderCare
If you’d like to explore your higher education options in Ballard, North Seattle College is a good choice. North Seattle College offers 80+ professional certificates, 30+ Associate of Applied Science degrees, six transfer degree programs and five bachelor’s degree programs.
Additionally, North Seattle College offers a GED preparation program, a high school plus program for learners age 21 and older without a high school diploma or equivalency and a college prep/transitional studies program for adult learners.
Whether you’re single and seeking a new place to live or you’re married and hoping to raise a family in a tight-knit community, the neighborhood of Ballard has a lot to offer residents. Ballard boasts reasonable housing prices, a growing nightlife scene, reputable school systems and more. The town has an excellent selection of seafood and a great weather forecast, plus it’s a beautiful and safe place to call home.