The Ballard Attraction


When you plan on traveling to a new city, you are probably planning an itinerary full of famous tourist attractions. During my pre-travel research, I’m always on the hunt for hidden secrets within the city, and my trip to Seattle, Washington was no exception. There are plenty of beautiful places to go while visiting sunny Seattle, like the Space Needle or Pike Place Market. The space needle was really interesting, I learned a lot of facts that I learned from my science and physics tutor back home applied to real life.
But you cannot miss my favorite attraction: North West Market Street in the downtown Ballard neighborhood.
Some cities have famous streets, but I’m glad this isn’t one of them. Seattle is well-known for the hip downtown scene, but Ballard seems to have its own young, zesty atmosphere. North West Market Street runs right through the heart of Ballard, where all the delicious restaurants and steamy coffee joints serve hundreds of smiling people daily, people who are out and about all hours of the day. All the condos that line the street are sleek and modern, all the shops are hip and cool, and all the people are beautiful and stylish.
Continue west at the intersection of North West Market Street and 15th Avenue North West, and you will be strolling right past some of Seattle’s finest historical architecture. Not to mention some of my personal favorite small businesses I’ve ever been to. The Golden Beetle is warm and classy (though a tad spendy), but serves the best mediterranean food I’ve ever had. Another adorable bar found on Market Street is called Ocho on the corner of 24th Avenue, where tapas and good company collide. In the morning, after a fu nurse mild hangovers at Ballard Coffee Works because they have large windows and outdoor patio to enjoy.
If you appreciate the taste of fresh fish, give Billy Beach Sushi and Bar a try, where you can watch expert chefs prepare delicate sushi art right in front of you. I spent a total of ten days in Seattle, and I ate dinner here twice! The prices are reasonable and I am a sucker for food with fins.
While you are staying the weekend in Ballard, you will be missing out on pure culture if you don’t attend Ballard’s Sunday farmer’s market. Just off of Market Street, the farmer’s market stretches for blocks as locals pick up their fresh food for the week. It’s become as common a date as going out on Friday night. Couples take their dogs for long walks, families spend quality time together, and others just enjoy the outdoors.
One more place Ballard inhabitants enjoy the outdoors is the best attraction in all of Seattle called Golden Gardens park. A long stretch of curvy beach, this beautiful piece of land looks out across crystal clear lake and picture perfect mountains. There is also a small pavilion near the entrance that sells hot dogs and ice cream, classic picnic foods. If you’d rather sit down and eat, you could grab a bite at the marina’s restaurant (that also sells yummy ice cream).
I loved North West Market Street because I felt like the area was a perfect representation of Seattle’s high-class tastes, and was only minutes from the main downtown area. You can easily hop any bus line and go in any direction. While staying in Ballard, I took a beautiful day trip Bainbridge via ferry, which was less than an hour commute each way. If you decide to stay in Ballard, the entire Seattle metro area is within reach.
Part of the joy of traveling is being a tourist and seeing city landmarks because they are all famous for their own reasons. I always visit the popular tourist destinations when I travel. There’s usually at least one that attracts me to the city in the first place. They are always great and enjoyable, but nothing beats finding local hotspots where the true colors of the culture shine. My trip highlights always end up being something I never planned on doing, something that Google could never prepare me for. And that’s really what traveling is all about, having unforgettable experiences that shake your inner fibers and widen your perspective. If you didn’t have at least one epiphany while living out of a suitcase, then you missed out on a truly unbelievable opportunity.