Beacon Hill vs. Ballard: the battle is on!

Publicola asked people from Beacon Hill and Ballard to explain why their neighborhood is the best place to live in the city yesterday. Peggy Sturdivant, a columnist for the Ballard News-Tribune, represented the one-time neighborhood of bungalows and old Scandinavians that has since sprouted condos, townhomes, and trendy shops. Beacon Hill was represented by Craig Thompson, author of the Beacon Lights blog at

Both writers found many reasons to support their neighborhoods. Sturdivant bragged about Ballard’s farmer’s market, hospital, music venues, and sunsets, while Thompson touted Beacon Hill’s affordability, accessibility, diversity, and feeling of community, along with Jefferson Park and other green projects. (BHB would like to point out that one thing we have that Ballard will not be able to match for many years was overlooked — Link light rail.)

What do you think? We know which neighborhood we prefer.

10 thoughts on “Beacon Hill vs. Ballard: the battle is on!”

  1. well, Getting around from Beacon Hill beats Ballard. 12 minutes to the airport! 15 minutes into downtown (from South Beacon Hill)

  2. I have to confess that Ballard did sound more appealing in the article. But then I looked in my wallet and realized I couldn’t afford half of that appeal anyway.

  3. Hands down, BeHi. As others have mentioned, it’s centrally located and so easy to get everywhere. Also, you can’t beat the views: downtown to the northwest and the Cascades to the east.

  4. My vote is obviously for Beacon Hill (though, my daughter was born at Swedish Ballard, so I can’t bring myself to hate on that neighborhood). I do agree that Thompson really missed an obvious advantage when he failed to even mention the Light Rail. But, I think he ultimately hits the nail on the head when he ends by saying that Beacon Hill is a neighborhood where you can help shape the future. There’s a lot of potential energy here, and it’s exciting watching the neighborhood continue to grow around us. In contrast, I feel like Ballard’s ship has already sailed, so to speak.

  5. Two mountain ranges and two volcanos on a clear day. Good authentic ethnic eats and groceries. Two fruit stands and pretty nice traffic conditions.

  6. I don’t really “hate on” any neighborhood, as I think each neighborhood has its advantages. For Beacon Hill, I like how there is not much traffic and there is plenty of parking. On the otherhand, Ballard has so many great shops and restaurants, and a gym… I’d continue to live on Beacon because of how easy it is to get to downtown and other key locations.

  7. Ballard used to be really cool, but that ended about fifteen years ago. Now it’s all uptight people and corny stores. When they tore down the Denny’s and the Sunset Bowl, it was over.

    Besides, have you ever tried to get to I-5 from Ballard?

  8. Traffic isn’t bad at all and it has a Light Rail station. The location is pretty convenient — it’s close to I-5, I-90, downtown, Seatac, West Seattle, etc.

    That said, it really doesn’t feel safe anymore and I’d never put my family there. I grew up there so didn’t have a choice. I turned out fine as well as many of my neighbors, but I know of a few too many muggings, (attempted and successful) robberies, rapes, stolen vehicles to feel comfortable there.

    As far as change goes, I’d agree one can be part of bigger change on Beacon Hill than Ballard. There’s a ton of potential, but a lot of trash to get cleaned up first.

  9. I live between Ballard and Beacon Hill, I like them both. It really is apples and oranges however. I spend more time on Beacon Hill since I work very close by. Beacon is more laid back and comfortable.

    Ballard is a lot of fun if you are looking for entertainment $$.

    Both are winners if you ask me.

Comments are closed.