Orientation & Geography

North America, United States, Santa Barbara County

Ballard is an unincorporated town in California, with a population of less than 1,000. The town of Ballard is one of the communities that make up the Santa Ynez Valley. The nearest city is Solvang. The ZIP Code is 93463, and the community is inside area code 805. Ballard was founded in 1880 at the location of a Wells Fargo stage line station, being named after the proprietor. In 1882 it was believed that Ballard would grow into the central metropolis of Santa Barbara County. The first school, Ballard's Little Red School House, was built in 1882 and is still in operation today, being the primary tourist attraction in what turned out to be a tiny village, bypassed as a city. Today, Ballard is a combination of sleepy village and upscale bedroom community. Noted for its excellent elementary school, it is a prized residential area. The surrounding area is noted for its thriving and well-respected wine industry. The wine producing region around Ballard was featured in the Academy Award nominated film Sideways. A world-renowned equine hospital is located nearby. The only commercial establishment currently operating in the main village is The Ballard Inn, a four star restaurant and bed and breakfast inn in the heart of the village.