NFT Seattle Ballard (West)

Ballard (West)

Restaurants and boutiques hobnob with austere industrial firms and revered maritime showrooms. What has remained unchanged are two of Seattle's trademark hotspots: the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, where a canal joins the city's freshwater lakes with the saltwater of Puget Sound, and the waterside Golden Gardens Park, with its sandy beaches, bonfires, and sunsets over the Olympics.

It used to be known as "the way to the water," but there's a lot of charm in this unpretentious section of Ballard. Enjoy the view and chomp on expensive seafood at Anthony's or Ray's. If you're thirsty, head straight for the See more.

>Sloop Tavern. They pour the city's biggest beers for tattooed club-goers and weather-beaten fishermen.


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Posted By:  Karen Watson
Photo:  Karen Watson

Sloop Tavern
Thirty four ounce beers can make people say crazy things. "I can't wait for you to pass out inside of me," is only a recent example of what I've overheard at The Sloop. Ask the barmaid to Sloopersize your beer and you could end up tripping over those bones heaving out of your closet. Oh, I didn't mention my baby daddy's in prison? After you tire of eavesdropping (if that's possible) you can occupy yourself with pool, Big Buck Hunter, or darts. Is it wise for a bar selling 34 oz beers to have darts? I'll let you use your best judgment on that one. The Sloop is a stellar corner of old Ballard that remains untouched by condo overlords and is a true neighborhood joint.

Posted By:  Karen Watson
Photo:  Karen Watson

Hiram M. Chittenden Locks
I love the locks. Don't know why but I do. They are one of my favorite Seattle places and I'll find any excuse to stop by. When burdened with out-of-town guests I always dissuade them from visiting the more popular attractions in favor of this engineering marvel. "Pike Place is a waste of time. You'll only get hit in the head by dead fish. Let's go to the locks and watch salmon struggle up an unnatural environmental aberration." After standing mesmerized at the fish ladder for an hour or two, I like to decompress by taking a turn about the botanical gardens. Until cruise ships start sailing Lake Union, I'll take the Army Corps of Engineers over the downtown tourist corridor any day.

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