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North America > United States of America > Pacific Northwest > Washington (state) > Puget Sound > Kitsap Peninsula > Poulsbo

Poulsbo

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Poulsbo is located on the Kitsap Peninsula in the Puget Sound region of Washington state.

Known as "Little Norway," Poulsbo was settled in 1892 by Norwegian loggers, farmers and fishermen who likened the fjord-cut landscape to their homeland.

Stroll down Front Street with its dozens of quaint and colorful shops offering Scandinavian gifts, fine art, fashions, antiques, etc.

Shops on Front Street

If shopping makes you a bit hungry, feast on handmade European chocolates, baked goods, fresh waffle cones, delicious smoked salmon or gourmet coffee in one of Poulsbo's fine restaurants and cafes.

If the great outdoors is your passion, rent a kayak and paddle scenic Liberty Bay, take a walking tour of the town, or simply relax along the boardwalk and look for seals, herons and eagles.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

Main highways to Poulsbo are WA Highway 3 from Shelton, north through the county to the Hood Canal Bridge near the northern tip of the Kitsap Peninsula. From Tacoma and Interstate 5, take WA Highway 16 north from Tacoma across the Tacoma Narrows Bridge until it combines with WA Highway 3 near Gorst.

By boat[edit]

Poulsbo Pavilion and marina

Like most towns on the Kitsap Peninsula, Poulsbo was built around the harbor and had no roads so the town center is geared towards the piers.

  • Port of Poulsbo Guest Marina, 18809 Front St, +1 360 779-3505. has 130 visitor slips -- 60 are may be reserved (for groups of 15 boats or more). Easy access to shops and restaurants from the marina. Electrical, pump outs and wifi available.
  • Poulsbo Yacht Club, +1 360 779-3116. reciprocal yacht clubs only, water and power. Telephone and cable TV hookups are available. Two fixed and one portable waste water stations make pump-outs

By bus[edit]

The major bus stations in Poulsbo for Kitsap Transit are at the 1 Kingston Ferry Terminal and the 2 North Viking Transit Center and Park & Ride, north of town at Viking Way NW & Vetter. The Clallam Transit Rt #123 and Jefferson Transit Rt #7 stop at the Poulsbo Transit Center while the Olympic Bus Lines pick up and drop off at the Kingston Ferry Terminal:

  • Bremerton-Kitsap Airporter, (bus stop) AM/PM Mini-Market at 15244 Silverdale Way NW (Silverdale Way NW & SR-308), +1 360 876-1737. provides scheduled ground transportation to and from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to various locations on the Kitsap Peninsula.
  • Olympic Bus Lines (Dungeness Line), (Scheduled stop) Corner at Henery Hardware @ 10978 NE State Highway 104 in Kingston (eastbound buses/vans pick-up and drop off at the ferry dock while the westbound buses/vans pick up and drop off at Henery Hardware), +1 360 417-0700. Twice daily connections to/from Discovery Bay, Port Townsend and Port Angeles in one direction and over to Edmonds, downtown Seattle and Sea-Tac in the other. Reservations required.
  • Clallam Transit Rt #123 The Clallam "Strait Shot" (#123) runs twice daily (M-Sa) and once on Sundays towards Port Angeles from Bainbridge Island via Suquamish Way and North Viking Transit Center/P&R in Poulsbo with limited stops in Sequim, Jamestown and Discovery Bay.
  • Jefferson Transit Rt #7 Connects Poulsbo to Port Townsend via Disovery Bay. Passengers can transfer to Rt #8 in Port Townsend to continue towards Sequim and transfer again to Clallam Transit Rt #30 to Port Angeles. This takes longer but also the cheapest and more frequent option for travel between Port Angeles and Seattle without a car.

From the North Viking Transit Center transfer to the #33 or #44 bus to go into town (downtown Poulsbo).

Passengers continuing towards Seattle would catch Kitsap Transit Rt #90 to the Bainbridge Island Ferry Terminal (in Winslow) and continue into downtown Seattle by ferry. If traveling on Clallam Transit's Strait Shot bus stay on the bus as it continues to the ferry terminal. For going to Bremerton take the #32 bus to Silverdale, transfer to #12 to the West Bremerton Transit Center, and transfer again on either #11, 20, 24 or 26 bus into downtown Bremerton. During weekday rush hours there's a direct bus on Rt #1 from North Viking Transit Center to the other ferry terminal in downtown Bremerton where one can also catch the ferry into downtown Seattle.

Get around[edit]

The charming core of Poulsbo is walkable on foot and is geared towards the harbor with easy access from the water.

By bus[edit]

  • Kitsap Transit, +1 360 479-6962, toll-free: +1-800-501-7433, e-mail: . Kitsap Transit offers transit services throughout the area including pickup from all ferry terminals and connects with Mason Transit (Mason County), Pierce Transit (Pierce County), and Jefferson Transit (Jefferson County) offering connections outside of the area. full fare $2 and is part of the regional ORCA network system.

See[edit]

  • Stroll down Front Street - all the shops and restaurants in Scandinavian decor and architecture
  • Poulsbo Marine Science Center, 18743 Front St NE, +1 360 598-4460. Thursday through Sunday, 11AM to 4PM. Promote lifelong learning and appreciation for the marine environment and underwater technology by enhancing science education with hands on learning and conservation. free.
  • Kitsap Regional Library Poulsbo, 700 NE Lincoln Rd, +1 360 779-2915. northwesterners are very proud of their libraries and Poulsbo is no exception, this branch offers many events for children and adults alike including story time, writers club, kids movies etc. See website for current events. .
  • Raab Park, 18349 Caldart Ave NE, +1 360 779-9898. 21 acres, Sand volleyball, playground, picnic areas/shelter available for private rentals, barbeques, restrooms, nature hiking trail (.2 mile), winding paths, exercise path (.33 mile), some exercise stations, lawn/sitting areas, arboretum, multi-purpose playfield, wildlife/bird viewing, skate park, dance stage, community gardens, fenced dog run
  • 1 Kitsap Memorial State Park, 202 NE Park St, +1 360 779-3205. 8AM-Dusk. Kitsap Memorial State Park is a 58-acre camping park with 1,797 feet of saltwater shoreline and facilities for group and individual recreation near Poulsbo, weddings and overnight stays. The park offers beautiful natural surroundings and sweeping views of Hood Canal. Also available to rent is an old-fashioned log hall that sits atop a wooded bluff, with panoramic view of Hood Canal and the Olympic Mountains. Built in 1936 by the Works Progress Administration, the hall has an expansive, cozy wood interior with an open log cathedral ceiling. Ideal for weddings, receptions, family reunions and company picnics. Rental cabins are also available. Kitsap Memorial State Park on Wikipedia Kitsap Memorial State Park (Q6418314) on Wikidata
  • Salsbury Point County Park, 3160 NW Wheeler St, +1 360 337-5350. 6.5 Acres - Saltwater beach access, boat launch, fishing pier, restrooms, picnic shelter, and picnic area. Camping limited to Cascadia Marine Trail

Do[edit]

Annual events[edit]

Viking Fest
  • Viking Fest. Celebrates Poulsbo's Norweigian heritage in mid-May
  • Scandia Midsommarfest. More of that Norweigian heritage celebrations
  • Thomas Kemper Oktoberfest. Last two weekends of September, think beer and sausage and you've got the idea
  • Traditional Lutefisk Dinner. Third Saturday in October and in January
  • Yule Log Ceremony. Santa, folk dancers, and lighting of the Yule Log
  • Lighted Boat Parade. Santa visits via boat, kind of cool!

Beach combing[edit]

What Puget Sound beaches lack in white sand and warm water is more than made up for in the amazing scenery as the clear waters play against wild coastlines and snow peaked mountains scatter on the horizons. Nearby Kitsap Memorial State Park and Salsbury Point County Park are good places to start a beach combing adventure offering a mixture of beaches from the rugged to the sandy smooth. Small crabs, moon snails, sea stars and sand dollars are common sites and tide pools can offer hours of exploration.

Be warned that sea shells and driftwood are considered part of the natural environment and should not be removed, however the often rocky and wild shores are havens for creating and revealing beach glass and anything artificial found is fair game for removal. Be respectful of private property and gentle with sea creatures. Keep a wide distance away from nesting birds, seals and other shore animals and always put back anything removed from the shoreline.

Birdwatching[edit]

The Kitsap Audubon Society has been actively meeting since 1972 and has a broad coalition of birders actively tracking and sharing sightings since then. They also maintain an active website with updates of the latest sightings, suggestions on areas for birders and even a regular newsletter. They also developed a checklist of birds likely to be seen birds in the area.

The state Audubon society developed 'The Great Audubon Birding Trail' which includes key migration flyways. Flyways are major north-south routes of travel for migratory birds and likely areas to see birds along the route extending from Alaska to Patagonia. Liberty Bay near Poulsbo is one of only a handful of areas named to the list.

Sea kayaking[edit]

Sea kayaking can be a rewarding way to explore the Liberty Bay near Poulsbo and helps to make Kitsap one of the most popular areas to kayak in Puget Sound. Poulsbo is one of the many harbor towns that cater to kayakers with shops and restaurants accessible from the water. Harbor Seals, Otters, Sea Lions, Bald Eagles and Blue Herons are common sites and Liberty Bay offers views of nearby beach homes and other boaters.

Kayak trails[edit]

Organized trails offer overnight camping options and maps of appropriate travel lengths and scenic travel destinations.

  • Kitsap Peninsula Water Trails. The National Parks Service Named the this 'Trail of the Month' in the entire USA for the month of December 2012, PDF copies of the water trails map are available and Poulsbo is on the trail.

Kayak rentals[edit]

  • Olympic Outdoor Center (locations in Poulsbo and Port Gamble), toll-free: +1-800-592-5983. offers kayak rentals, classes and basic information for paddling the area for just a few hours or week long adventures.

Buy[edit]

  • Poulsbo Farmers Market, Poulsbo Village Medical/Dental Center (Corner of 7th & Iverson.). Every Saturday 9AM - 1PM mid April -mid December. This seasonal market pulls in farmers, bakers, chefs, and artisans from across the region. Their mission is to provide the best food, hand-crafted products, and sense of community that Kitsap has to offer.

Eat[edit]

  • Sluys Poulsbo Bakery, 18924 Front St NE, +1 360 779–2798. Summer: 4:30am – 7:30pm Daily, closes an hour earlier Sun-Thursday during the Winter. Handmade pastries and breads. Famous for the Viking Cup and Poulsbo Bread.
  • Brass Kraken Pub. 18779 Front St NE, (360) 626-1042.
  • Casa Luna, 18830 Front St NE, +1 360 779-7676. Mon-Sun 11AM - 9PM. popular Mexican restaurant located close to the marina.
  • Green Light Dinner. 18820 Front St NE, (360) 697-3449. 50s diner styled. Good breakfast food, does have okay lunch food. Milkshakes with or without booze.
  • JJs Fish house
  • Sons of Norway Kaffe Stua, 18891 Front Street State, +1 360 779-5209. Wed 11AM-2PM. Scandinavian smorgasboard with exquisite view of Liberty Bay
  • Tizley's Europub, 18928 Front St NE, +1 360 394-0080. Mon, Sun 8AM - 10PM, Tue-Sat 8AM - 12AM. Poulsbo loves anything Scandinavian and centrally located Tizley's is no exception. Good food, great beer selection and a deck that offers warm weather visitors a refreshing view of the Liberty Bay.
  • That's-a-some Italian Restaurante. 18881 Front St NE
  • The Loft. 18779 Front St NE, 360-626-0224. American food. Best views in town, very crowded in the summer. Extensive outdoor seating.

Drink[edit]

  • ENVY Bar and Grill, 19559 Viking Ave NW, +1 360 779-2202. Mon-Fri 8AM - 2AM, Sat-Sun 7AM - 2AM. known for their giant burgers and great selection of local beers.

Sleep[edit]

  • Green Cat Guest House, 25819 Tytler RD NE, +1 360 779-7569. $99-140.
  • Poulsbo Inn & Suites (Poulsbo Inn), 18680 State Highway 305 NE, +1 360 779-3921. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. The Poulsbo Inn & Suites is the perfect place for Business or Pleasure. We offer many different getaways and discounts. We are close to all three Kitsap Naval Bases. We serve a wonderful Continental Breakfast Buffet including homemade waffles. 83-125.
  • 1 Foxbridge Bed and Breakfast, 30680 State Hwy 3 NE (8/10 of miles south of Hood Canal Bridge), +1 360 598-5599. Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 6PM. Peace and serenity in the woods...hot, gourmet breakfast. Active military ID discount. $115.

Go next[edit]

By car[edit]

Poulsbo is centrally located on Kitsap Peninsula and offers nearby access to several other towns. Port Gamble and the Olympic Peninsula are to the north via highway 3 and the Hood Canal Bridge. Keyport is slightly to the south while Suquamish is to the west and offers further access to Bainbridge Island via the Agate Pass Bridge.

By boat[edit]

Poulsbo is located on the protected waters of Liberty Bay and is a fun area to explore by boat or sea kayak. Keyport is also located on Liberty Bay and has a newer marina which has nearby access to the Undersea Museum.

Routes through Poulsbo
Ends at WA-104.svgPort Gamble  N WA-3.svg S  SilverdaleBremerton
END  NW WA-305.svg SE  SuquamishBainbridge Island


This city travel guide to Poulsbo is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.