Looking For Things To Do In Poulsbo, otherwise known as “Little Norway”, is such a unique experience though not many people know about why the city is so special or that the city itself even exists. I lived in Washington my entire life and never knew about the cute serene quirky town of Poulsbo, WA.
The Norwegian architecture sets you right in the middle of historic Norway. The Norwegian wording on signs makes you feel as though you’re entering a foreign country even though the whole time you haven’t left the evergreen state.
Many people have heard of the famous Bavarian-styled village in Washington called Leavenworth, but not many have heard of Poulsbo. To learn all the ins and outs of the city and just how much there is to see and do in the Norwegian-styled town of Poulsbo, then keep on reading this post to find out!
Our opinions do not represent the city or its businesses; we are just tourists who love to travel and see new things. Poulsbo is a beautiful town, and we are sure all the places there are great; we plan on visiting again later in the future, to see new spots!
Poulsbo The Cute Little Norwegian Style Town
The city of Poulsbo, WA, is notable for its Norwegian Style, which dates back to Norwegian immigrants that moved there in the 1800s. The location near the water and beautiful mountain views were very similar to their homeland in Norway so they settled there.
Apparently, Norwegian was the primary language spoken in the city of Poulsbo for a very long time which is why you will see a lot of Norwegian wording on signs and buildings, not to mention the Norwegian-styled architecture which makes the city so remarkable.
It’s no wonder why Poulsbo has made it on our best spots to visit in Washington!
Climate in Poulsbo
Since Poulsbo is located in the PNW which is one of the rainiest regions in the country you can expect lots of annual precipitation mainly in the form of rain. That’s why it is important to pay attention to when is the right time to travel to Washington.
Though there is some slight snowfall during the cold months of November-February. Typically the area will get roughly 150-160 some odd days of sunshine with the rest of the year being cloudy and rainy.
With that said be prepared for the rain and being a poncho, umbrella and a warm change of clothing in case it turns out to be on the chillier side during your visit.
Best time to visit Poulsbo
Due to the weather and climate of the area the best time to visit is going to be during the warm summer months where the weather is just right, not too cold but not too hot. The chances of rainfall are also very unlikely during the summer months as compared to the rest of the year which is primarily rainy and gloomy.
What to bring to Poulsbo
If you choose to visit during the cold months out of the year then be sure to dress for cold weather and to pack a set of warm clothes in case you get soaked from the rain or its just colder than you anticipated.
You’ll also want to pack with you a rain jacket, umbrella or poncho because no one wants to be soaking wet while traveling. Plus bring hand warmers, toe warmers, headache medicine, first aid kit, water, and any other necessities you may need.
If you visit during the warm summer months still dress for chilly weather but bring a change of clothes incase it is too hot for you. Also, bring with you some sunscreen, extra water, headache medicine, first aid kit and sunglasses as the sun glare near the waterfront can be quite overbearing and can cause a headache.
We also recommend you bring a rain jacket, umbrella or poncho just incase because the rain in the PNW is quite unpredictable and no one likes to be caught in the rain while unprepared.
How to get to Poulsbo from Seattle
To get to Poulsbo from the greater Seattle area you can either choose to drive the entire way which can be anywhere from a 1-2 hour trip depending on whereabouts you’re located at. Otherwise you can take a ferry from the Seattle area to a destination close to Poulsbo and then drive the rest of your way. So you would take a Ferry…
From downtown Seattle to Bremerton and then drive the rest of the way.~ 1-1.5 hr trip duration
From downtown Seattle to Bainbridge Island and then drive the rest of the way.~ 1.5 hr trip duration
From West Seattle Fauntleroy to Southworth and then drive the rest of the way. ~1-1.5 hr trip duration
From Edmonds to Kingston and then drive the rest of the way. ~1-1.5 hr trip duration
To purchase or inquire about Ferry tickets you can visit the WSDOT website for any and all Ferry related information from pricing, time schedules, route maps, etc.
9 Best Things To Do In Poulsbo
Take a stroll through Historic Downtown Poulsbo
This is the main area of interest in the city due to its old Norwegian roots and architecture. Take a stroll along Front St. and check out the cool historical Norwegian architecture and murals along the way.
Visit the SEA Discovery Center
The SEA discovery center is a very small public aquarium or sea life center with special interactive exhibits and a small touch pool. The touch pool is great from kids to explore and touch wildlife such as starfish. There are also some interactive marine aquarium exhibits to learn about and explore.
The center is free but there is a suggest donation of $2 per person. Any groups of 8 or more should arrange for time in the center in advance.There is free parking in local lots and street parking.
Open Friday and Saturday from 11am-4pm. This is a free exhibit located in Historic Downtown Poulsbo on Front St NE.
Walk along Liberty Bay
There are great waterfront views at Liberty Bay where you can sit on benches or simply take a stroll and enjoy the views. Perhaps grab coffee to go and a sweet treat to enjoy on your walk! Remember if bringing your pet along to pick up after them and keep the area clean for everyone to enjoy!
Visit the U.S. Naval Undersea Museum- located in Keyport, WA
There are so many cool exhibits and things to learn about the Sea and the Navy’s operations. Here you can learn everything from Navy warfare, to search and rescue using underwater submarines. You’ll also get to explore and learn cool things about the properties of the Ocean and how the Navy works in these conditions.
Museum operating hours: Wednesday- Monday, Closed on Tuesdays. Closed on Major holidays such as Christmas eve and Christmas Day, Thanksgiving, New Years Day and Easter.
Admission to the Museum and any events is.. FREE!
For more information visit the Naval Undersea Museum website.
Visit Poulsbo Fish Park
This is a huge 40-acre park located in Poulsbo that runs just along Liberty Bay. There are tons of trail loops to walk and so many great views and things to see from birdhouses, waterways and lots of forest.
- This is a free to visit park with no parking passes needed.
- Dogs are allowed on leash
- This is an outdoor location near water so be prepared for bugs such as mosquitoes.
- There are rivers and waterways in the area so be careful and watch where you walk.
- Pick up after your pets.
- Be respectful of the Wildlife and nature.
Visit the Maritime Museum
Enjoy interactive displays and exhibits that tell the rich maritime history of the city of Poulsbo.
Open daily from 10am-4pm located in Historic Downtown Poulsbo on Front St. NE
Visit the Heritage Museum
Visit this museum to learn about the cultural and evolutionary history of Poulsbo from its beginning to now.
Open Monday- Saturday from 10am-4pm, Open Sundays from 11am-3pm. Located in Historic Downtown Poulsbo on Front St. NE
Hike Poulsbo Wilderness Trail
This is a short roughly 1 mile beautiful outdoor hike surrounded by trees and a small river. There is only roughly 88feet of elevation gain so the hike isn’t super grueling and can be completed in under 3o minutes.
Rent a Kayak or Paddleboard (Seasonal)
There are Kayak and paddleboard rentals available from some small shops located on the water front such as Olympic Outdoor Center. Though their rentals are seasonal and are only open during the summer.
Things to eat in Poulsbo
There are so many great spots for whatever you’re craving whether it be food, drinks, desserts or coffee. Below we created a list of some amazing places to try!
Drinks in Poulsbo
These are some great spots for wine tasting, beers, and cocktails!
Sogno di Vino
The Brass Kraken
Slippery Pig Brewery
Rainy Daze Brewing
Food in Poulsbo
Poulsbo Woodfired Pizza
Casa Luna- Mexican Food
The Loft- American Food
Kachai Thai Kitchen
Punjab Indian Cuisine
Greenlight Diner- American Food
Desserts in Poulsbo
Sluys Poulsbo Bakery
Mora Iced Creamery
ChocMo Chocolatier & Cafe
Boehms Chocolates of Poulsbo
Coffee in Poulsbo
Hot Shots Java
Viking Brew Coffee
Poulsbo is a great destination to visit whether you’d like to visit for the waterfront views, the nearby nature trails, the cool Norwegian architecture or the good food. Now you’ve officially learned about the city and have seen firsthand how much there is to do in this quirky historic Norwegian styled waterfront city.
Enjoy your trip and let us know if you discovered anything we didn’t mention, we’re always open to learning new things about cool cities in Washington!