The Ballard Locks: A Seattle Must-Visit

Seattle, Washington has a lot to offer to its visitors. Delicious food, fantastic coffee, and stunning vistas are just some of the things that make it a dream destination. But, among all that, there's one special place you simply can't miss: the Ballard Locks, officially known as Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, located in the Ballard neighborhood. In this blog post, we'll tell you why the Ballard Locks is a must-visit spot in Seattle and what you can expect to see and experience there.

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Before we dive into why the Ballard Locks are so special, we think it's worth taking a moment to acknowledge the history behind it. The Ballard Locks was opened in 1917 thanks to Hiram M. Chittenden, who envisioned it as a necessary way to aid ship passage from freshwater to saltwater. It took seven years of construction and a $2 million budget to bring it to life. Since then, it has become one of the busiest locks in the USA, moving tens of thousands of vessels yearly. Its historical and practical significance are two reasons why the Ballard Locks is a must-visit in Seattle.

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Beautiful Landscape and Gardens

The Ballard Locks is not just a practical feat, but it's also a stunning beauty. It provides a peaceful atmosphere that you can't experience anywhere else. The locks' surrounding gardens are always blooming and offer the perfect spot for a picnic or a leisurely walk. From the intricate Japanese Garden to the colorful dahlias, there's always something to admire, no matter the season. Add to it the breathtaking view of boats passing by from one freshwater body to another, and you've got yourself an amazing day out.

Incredible Marine and Wildlife

As we mentioned, the Ballard Locks' primary function is to allow ships to pass from freshwater to saltwater and vice versa. This means that you can expect to see a vast variety of boats passing by. From private sailboats to fishing vessels to massive cargo ships, the views are never dull. Also, the locks are home to a fish ladder, where you can witness salmon migrating upstream from May to October. It's a sight to behold watching these magnificent creatures trying to swim upstream. Lastly, Puget Sound and its surroundings are home to some incredible wildlife. Keep an eye out for harbor seals, sea lions, bald eagles, and even ospreys.

Free Admission

Last but not least: the Ballard Locks' admission is free! It's an excellent spot to visit with friends and family without breaking the bank. You can take a self-guided tour or join a botanical garden tour that is available on various days. The visitors' center is also highly recommended, especially for those interested in history or marine life. It's a great spot for tourists and locals that can also teach them about the place where they live.

The Ballard Locks is a must-visit spot in Seattle, Washington. It has something for everyone: beautiful landscapes and gardens, incredible marine and wildlife, and a rich history to boot. It's a spot that you simply can't miss, especially since admission is free. We highly recommend you to visit the Ballard Locks next time you're in the Seattle area. Trust us. You won't regret it.

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