4 Favorite Things About Ballard, Seattle

written by Tiana Kai
Tattoo in Ballard Seattle

I’ve been visiting Seattle for over fifteen years and I always seem to fall in love with it each time I visit. Back in 2010 I even interviewed with Amazon hoping to move out here, but I ended up working at Crispin Porter + Bogusky ad agency in Boulder, Colorado. So, I’m back in town for four days and had the pleasure of mindlessly wandering around the neighborhood of Ballard; which funny enough reminds me of Boulder!

4 Things I Love About Ballard

Ready for vintage love, street signs and great architecture? Take a walk through what was once a Saloon filled town where gambling and drinking was the hot past-time in the early 1900’s. It was a place where wild livestock roamed and is now filled with rows of intricate storefronts and hipster charm.

Besides taking walks along Golden Gardens Park and seeing any new exhibit at the Nordic Heritage Museum, here are some of my favorite things about Ballard.

1. Signage

After trying to get a table for brunch at Portage Bay with over a 90 minute wait, I ended up at Kiss Café. I chowed on taco scrambled eggs and some pretty coffee art. You’ll find the coffee cup sign for Kiss Café below, one of my favorite signs in the area. P.S. I did in fact eat at Portage Bay at another location and it was AMAZING!

What to do in Ballard, street life reflection in Seattle

Rudy's Barbershop, what to do in Ballard

Kiss Cafe in Ballard Seattle

Smoked Seafood Seattle

Storefront in Ballard

2. Vintage stores

If only I could look as cool as this sweet red head at Lucky Dry Goods, pictured below. This store has guaranteed vintage items, many or all seem to be of western heritage. From petite hats to long suede gloves and hoop skirts you’ll find high quality and a beautiful inventory.

I also popped into Bop Street Records so I could take a few fun portrait shots. They have over 500,000 vinyls and is considered one of the top five music stores in America.

Vintage portraits in Ballard Seattle

Lucky vintage store in Seattle

Lucky vintage shopping

Vespa in Ballard

Bop Street Records portrait in Ballard

Bop Street portriat Olivia Newton John

3. Farmers Market

Every Sunday from 10-3pm you’ll have a diverse selection of flowers, wine, sausages… you name it!

The Ballard Farmers Market was a nice surprise to walk through. It’s always fun to check out local markets to get an understanding of the cuisine, style and community. I could have stayed here longer just to shoot portraits. What I loved most was that every third woman was carrying flowers, something I haven’t bought in a long time.

Carrots at Ballard Farmers Markte, Seattle

Flower seller at Ballard Farmers Marker

Flower at Ballard Farmers Market

Flowers at Ballard Farmers Market

Butcher in Seattle Farmers Market in Ballard

Tomatoes in Seattle

Cherry tomatoes in Seattle

Poets in Ballard

4. The Locks

The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, A.K.A. Ballard Locks, are interesting to see in action, something we definitely don’t have in Florence! The Locks are what separate the lakes from Puget Sound, keeping the waters from mixing.

Since both the lake and Puget Sound water levels are at a different height, the Locks work as a transition point for boats. One gate opens into the lake allowing a few boats to enter and then water is pumped into the space, so that the boats rise to the same level as the salt water. Once the water level in this holding cell reaches sea level the other gate opens and the boats are on their way to Puget Sound.

Ballard Locks flowers

Ballard Locks

Seattle never disappoints and if you find yourself in town, then don’t miss out on Ballard and don’t miss out on a nice cup of tea at Miro.

Is there a favorite thing you love about Seattle?

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Becky Padmore October 16, 2014 at 9:01 am

I love places like this, especially love the look of the vintage shops and the farmer’s market!

Tiana Kai October 16, 2014 at 6:29 pm

Seattle has always been a favorite city of mine, probably because of the vibe and Ballard highlights my favorite sentiments about the city.

Teresa October 16, 2014 at 4:47 pm

Great shots Tiana! Total FUN meeting you and hanging out!

Tiana Kai October 16, 2014 at 6:28 pm

Hi Teresa, it was SO great meeting you and hanging out!

Susan October 17, 2014 at 6:53 pm

I’m sorry you are not in Portland, or we could have coffee! Great post on Ballard!

Tiana Kai October 17, 2014 at 7:02 pm

Thanks, this neighborhood is so homey and cool. I went to Portland many many years ago and always wanted to go back, just haven’t had an excuse to go since I always go to Seattle…maybe next time!

Susan October 18, 2014 at 12:57 am

We (you n I) missed each other in Florence in late Aug too. I am a friend of Robbin’s. I missed her then as well- she was traveling! I was delighted to be able to meet Georgette for coffee! I hope our paths cross one of these days in one place or another! Love your pics and blog!

Tiana Kai October 20, 2014 at 12:10 am

Thanks so much, see you next time!

Coral Lelah November 4, 2014 at 12:52 am

Good intro to Ballard, missy! Now get back over here:)

Tiana Kai November 6, 2014 at 4:19 am

I wish I had more time in Seattle to check out some of your favorite spots with you, see you in Florence!

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Rosie February 5, 2015 at 5:49 am

Nice post on Ballard, my home ‘hood. I found it while looking for a calligraphy course in Florence…which of course you have covered too. It’s fun to find Ballard and Florence on the same blog 🙂 I can’t wait to go to the shop &Co you recommend. It looks fabulous! Thanks for writing – and your pictures are beautiful!

Tiana Kai February 10, 2015 at 12:06 am

Thanks and please tell Betty I say hi! She is one true artist and a Florentine gem. Enjoy the class!


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