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“A truly unique outing”

Hiram M. Chittenden Locks
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US$49.69*
and up
Seattle Locks Cruise
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US$70.00*
and up
Private Tour: Seattle Highlights
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US$70.00*
and up
Seattle Shore Excursion: Private City Tour
Ranked #9 of 457 things to do in Seattle
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks (locally known as the Ballard Locks) is a waterway system that connects the saltwater of the Puget Sound to the fresh water of the Ship Canal, which sits about 20 feet above sea level. Boats enter the locks, the gates close and the water rises or falls to the level of the destination waterway. Watching boats pass through the locks, exploring the 7 acres of botanical gardens and looking for fish on the fish ladder is fun and free entertainment that draws locals and tourists alike.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Reviewed 25 November 2013

Most people wouldn't think about going to see the locks on their own, but I always take guests there and they are truly surprised at what an interesting a fun place it is. I especially recommend it for Summer visits when you can watch every kind of pleasure boat (even kayaks!) go through the locks along with big fishing boats and even container barges. In the Fall, it's great to view the migrating salmon as they make their way up the fish ladders. The viewing area has great displays and information about the fish migrations. In swummertime, there are often concerts on the lawn of the lovely gardens at the l;ocks. Fun for all ages!

Thank swood43
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,854 - 1,858 of 2,706 reviews

Reviewed 25 November 2013

Everyone who visits Seattle and the Pacific Northwest gets asked: did you visit the Ballard Locks? And the reason is obvious - with always-changing activity of everything from small sailboats to large ships passing by almost within reach of the visitor, its endlessly fun for everyone in the family. Yes, the gardens are beautiful, and great for a picnic on a sunny day. But the parking lot on the Ballard (north) side fills up fast - so do like the locals do and set your GPS for West Commodore Way & Commodore Park on the south side of the locks. From there you can be on your way to the postcard views of downtown Seattle from Magnolia Boulevard - and on to enjoy the friendly & unhurried ambiance of the "Village" at 34 Avenue West & McGraw Street. Here's a tip: ask anyone about both the Greek and Mexican restaurants in the Village, its where they eat!

Thank PSC206
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 November 2013

Of all the places we take out of town visitors, this seems to be everyone's favorite. Watch the boats go through the locks but several times of the year, you can see the salmon traveling up the ladders from the Sound into Lake Washington.

Thank mgalex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 November 2013

Chittenden Locks (Ballard Locks) is a MUST when visiting Seattle!!! It is fascinating to watch the boats come in and lower (or raise) so they can move to the next level. Setting is in a park so it is an ideal place to go for a picnic, or to stay a bit and watch several passings of boats going both directions. You can get UP CLOSE and really walk on the bridge to be closer to the boats. LOVE it!! Plus it is FREE!!

Thank Seattle375
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 November 2013

If you are in Seattle when the salmon are returning to spawn then visiting the fish ladders at the Locks should be one of your must-do outings. Through underground glass walls next to the Locks, you watch as thousands of salmon make their way from the salt water of Puget Sound into the fresh water of Lake Union, Lake Washington and beyond. It's cool to watch the big boats go through the locks, too. But for me the salmon is what makes it a worthwhile trip.

Thank Wiley_in_Seattle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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