By: Teresa Wyman – VP, Business Banking Officer
Once the social and cultural hub of Seattle’s Scandinavian heritage, Ballard – one of the oldest and most prominent neighborhoods in Seattle – is fast becoming a modern trendsetting enclave where maritime traditions blend seamlessly with modern styles.
Don’t forget to visit the NeighborHub to see our new vision of both a bank branch and community center experience. The NeighborHub layout encourages more person-to-person interaction by removing some of the traditional trappings of a bank, such as teller lines and windows. It also offers much more in the way of mobile technology and user-friendly space.
The flexibility of NeighborHub allows for community meetings and after-hours events, all while celebrating the community and history of Ballard.
For visitors to Seattle, a journey to Ballard is a must-do, right alongside Pike Place Market, the Space Needle and the Experience Music Project.
Teresa Wyman, vice president and business banking officer at Columbia’s newest concept branch, the Ballard NeighborHub, loves the quirkiness and distinctive flair that makes this district northwest of downtown Seattle a great place to experience.
"Ballard is truly special among Seattle areas and the entire Northwest for that matter," says Wyman. "There is so much to do and so much to see within just a few blocks that a visit can really seem like a whirlwind of sights, sounds and experiences."
Wyman, an eight-year resident of the neighborhood recommends the following places and events for first time visitors to get the essential Ballard experience.
Nordic Heritage Museum: Take a step back in time by visiting the Nordic Heritage Museum. As mentioned, Ballard has a long history with Scandinavian culture and peoples and the Heritage Museum is a world-class exhibit for all things Nordic. Whether its art displays and cultural exhibits, educational seminars or community meetings and gatherings, the Nordic Heritage Museum is not to be missed.
Golden Gardens: The Northwest still has a month or so of good weather and Ballard visitors should really take advantage by walking the waterfront at Golden Gardens. With some of the best views in the city, tremendous hiking trails and pet friendly off-leash areas, Golden Gardens is a fantastic urban park setting.
Ballard Locks: Watching the salmon and boats at the Ballard Locks is something visitors will never forget. While we can’t really see it, the water of the Puget Sound is lower than the Water of Lake Union, and for 100 years, the Ballard Locks have provided a ladder to take ships and tiny sail boats from one body of water to the other. Seeing the amazing amount of ships, yachts and watercraft queue up at the locks is truly amazing, and so is the natural splendor of schools of salmon doing the same thing through the glass window of the fish ladder.
The Tractor Tavern: Seattle has long been known for its great local music scene, and Ballard is an important contributor. The Tractor Tavern is the go-to place for some of the best acts touring the Northwest.
Kangaroo & Kiwi: If drinking a great craft brew in a truly unique pub sounds good then Kangaroo & Kiwi is the place for you. Set within the old Ballard library, the Australian/New Zealand-themed pub features big screens showing all kinds of games (with a particular bent toward World Cup Soccer), lawn games in back and a huge beer selection.
Mox Boarding House: If gaming is your thing, the Mox Boarding House can provide some of the most spirited fantasy card game competitions around!
Ballard is really an experience unto itself within Seattle. With indoor and outdoor activities, cultural destinations, music, dining and entertainment, this fun neighborhood should really be on every Seattle visitor’s itinerary. As Teresa often says: "Ballard is a city within a city and has a little something for everyone."
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