A Travellerspoint blog

Ballard - The Bold and The Beautiful

sunny 70 °F

Ballard is a melting pot of class and grunge. In this unique corner of Seattle the well-to-do mingle with the hippies and drop-outs, families share space with the young and the single, and in an oddly harmonious fashion, it works. Today I spent the afternoon exploring the hidden gems of Ballard on a extremely rare and beautiful sunny Seattle day. With temperatures near 70, locals were breaking out the mini skirts and short-shorts, and the blindingly white skin of all those Pacific Northwesterners warranted the use of sunglasses.

I started by exploring the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks and the Carl S. English Botanical Gardens. As hoards of people were filing through the gates, I knew I was onto something good. The locks have been around since 1917 and they serve as the gateway between Lake Washington (freshwater) and Puget Sound (saltwater). It was quite fascinating to watch everything from luxury yachts to single-man kayaks move through the locks. As the water levels rose or lowered, tourists and locals crowded the gates and watched as the ships were moved through.


As salmon migrate upstream a system of ladders has been implemented to allow the fish to move upstream to spawn. In 1976 the Army Corps of Engineers consturcted an incredible viewing gallery so that visitors can watch the salmon move upstream. I was told that this time of year, salmon frequently use the ladders, but unfortunately, depsite all my patience, not a single fish utilized the ladder during my visit.

The Botanical Gardens were dissapointing as nothing was in bloom (hmm.. maybe it was all that snow we had earlier this week!), but the grounds were still beautiful and definitely worth exploring.

By this time I was hungry (although I am never really not hungry), and the smells of all the wonderful Ballard eateries were calling my name. One place in particular stood out as I tried to pass a section of sidewalk but was blocked by a line of patiently waiting customers. I peeked inside the store windows, and glorious sights were seen. Cupcakes of all colors and types, topped with coconut and sprinkles, carmel and frosting. I immediatly joined the queue and waited my turn. Cupcake Royale is a Seattle legend with several locations and dozens of cupcakes to choose from. I ordered a classic, vanilla with chocolate frosting, because literally everyone in line ahead of me did the same. I sat down at a cozy window seat with my tea and cupcake and went to town only to be slightly let down. Judging on the line out the door and the practically standing room only seating area, I had great expectations. But this cupcake was nothing extraordinary, I have had much better cake from the grocery store. I of course devoured the entire thing though, because who can turn down chocolate and cake, right?!


I then strolled back down Market Street, stopping in all the boutique shops and watching as the local Farmer's Market closed down. The sun began slowly setting lazily in the sky, children dozed off in their strollers, and sun kissed college students began rolling up their beach towels. With my sugar high and caffeine buzz I made my way
back home.


Posted by Jennylynn 20:14 Archived in USA Tagged tourist_sites

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents


traveling is really great!

<a href="http://www.travelcity.nl">Travel City</a>

by travelcity

Your experience in the city of Seattle sounds quite fascinating....interesting pics..especially the silver horns..

by cindyjoe

woww so lovely pics

by bellaouch

This blog requires you to be a logged in member of Travellerspoint to place comments.