Hotel at a Glance: Ballard Inn
The Ballard Inn dates back to 1902, when it was commissioned by the American-Scandinavian Bank; in the late 1920s, it was converted to a hotel. The 16-guest room Louis XIV style-inn retains its historical roots today, with quilted headboards, gold-leaf French provincial dressers, and elegant chandeliers. It’s nestled in the heart of Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood, which boasts an impressive history of its own—settled in the 1860s, this traditional Scandinavian enclave has a quiet, family-friendly vibe, and hosts Nordic-themed festivals throughout the year.
- In-room amenities: flat-screen TVs, goose down comforters, and ensuite private bathrooms with showers
- Foodie favorite: The hotel is walking distance from some of the city’s most popular dining, including fine-dining seafood restaurants, waterfront coffee shops, and a legendary fried-chicken spot called Hi-Life.
- Access to a 50,000-square foot Health Club is included with your stay.
- Peace and quiet: the hotel only accepts guests 18 and older in order to maintain an adult-friendly environment.
- Pack a cell phone: There are no telephones in the guest rooms.
Seattle's Ballard District: Historic Scandinavian Fishing Town with Trendy Waterfront Dining
The Scandinavian seafaring community began settling in the Puget Sound area as far back as 1860 to capitalize on its ports, canals, and rich salmon-fishing. Many of these families chose to live in the Ballard neighborhood, a quiet spot located on Salmon Bay just northwest of downtown Seattle. Ballard has since turned into a trendy neighborhood with foodie-approved restaurants and a solid live music scene. However, you can still see remnants of its Nordic heritage across town. The Nordic Heritage Museum showcases the cultures of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden through contemporary art exhibits, folk costume galleries, and rotating musical and cinematic performances. You can sample Kringle, a Danish pretzel pastry filled with almond paste and raisins, at the Scandinavian bakeries along Market Street. Or take a walking tour of the historic district past art-deco buildings and landscaped parks.