Ballard is a neighbor of Seattle, Washington, United States, situated in the northwest corner of the city. The City of Seattle is officially defined as being confined on the north part by N.W. 85th Street or Crown Hill to the east of Phinney Ridge, Greenwood, and Fremont near the 3rd Avenue N.W., to the southern part by the Lake Washington Ship Canal, and to the western part by Shilshole Bay in Puget Sound. Various Seattle commercial or social organizations, City Departments, and other State, Federal, and local government bodies acknowledge previous neighborhood or district boundaries that existed in the past.

The Ballard Locks, the Shilshole Bay Marina, the National Nordic Museum, and Golden Gardens Park are the famous landmarks in Ballard. Sea view, Leary, 32nd, 15th, 8th, and 24th Avenues are the neighborhood’s primary north-south thoroughfares. N.W. 85th, N.W. Leary Way 80th, Market Streets, and 65th carry east-west traffic in the Northwest. The Bridge of Ballard connects 15th Avenue to the area of Interbay across Salmon Bay, while the Salmon Bay Bridge connects the Railway tracks of BNSF to the western part of the Ballard Locks.

Ballard is wholly contained within Seattle City Council District 6, which also contains Crown Hill, Green Lake, and Phinney Ridge, as well as the majority of Fremont, North Beach/Blue Ridge, and Wallingford.


Ballard was historically the heart of Seattle’s ethnically Scandinavian maritime population, which was driven to the area by the abundance of salmon fishing opportunities. “Uff da,” the neighborhood’s unofficial slogan, is based on an Almost Live! sketch mocking its Scandinavian culture. Although the proportion of Scandinavian residents has declined in recent years, the neighborhood remains proud of its roots. The National Nordic Museum is located in Ballard and honors both the Ballard neighborhood and local Scandinavian history.

Organizations like the Sons of Norway Leif Ericson Lodge and the Norwegian Ladies Chorus of Seattle bring Scandinavians together. The Ballard SeafoodFest and Norwegian Constitution Day (also known as Syttende Mai) are held each year on May 17 to mark the signing of the Norwegian Constitution. The neighborhood was previously known as “Snoose Junction,” after the Scandinavian settlers’ habit of smoking snus.

The former Bay and Majestic theatres are on the same block as the Majestic Bay Theatre on Market Street. After the demise of the Cameo in Los Angeles, the Bay Theatre was the longest continually functioning movie theatre on the west coast before closing for the new building.


In the neighborhood, there are many elementary schools and one alternative school. Whitman Middle School, in the Crown Hill neighborhood north of Ballard, is the nearest middle school.

  • Adams Elementary School is a public elementary school located in Adams (K-5)
  • Matheia School (K-5) Loyal Heights Elementary School (K-5) (K-5, private independent)
  • North Beach Elementary School is a public elementary school in North Beach, California (K-5)
  • Alphonsus School (K-8) Salmon Bay School (K-8) (K-8, Catholic)
  • West Woodland Elementary School is a public elementary school located in West Woodland (K-5)

Ballard is part of the Seattle Public Schools and the 36th legislative district of the Washington State Legislature. Ballard is located in the 7th congressional district of the United States House of Representatives.

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