On a recent trip down the Hood Canal, across the Puget Sound from Seattle – we happened upon the great little town of Poulsbo, Washington. While the bluff above the town has the usual malls, big box stores, Home Depot and anything else you can imagine, we followed the signs down the hill to the city center and came across – a little slice of Norway! Picture a little fjord with a wharf, boats tied up at the dock and a little Scandinavian village with interesting storefronts and cute little shops. We were lucky enough to be there on the Second Saturday Artwalk and the village was full of tourists out enjoying a bright sunny day.
At lunch, we were wondering how old the building might be and our new friend, a 94 year young lady told us that the restaurant used to be the town hardware store. Her family moved from Norway when she was five years old for the fishing. “There was a big fish processing plant in town where everyone worked packing salmon. Everyone spoke Norwegian.” The town was founded in the 1880’s although the Suquamish natives had been here for centuries. All the town supplies and immigrants were brought across the water from Seattle, 18-miles to the east, while the return boat carried local produce to the Seattle market. Now you will find 3 marinas in the inlet and ample space to moor out. Looks just like Norway.
The town is known for its Scandinavian heritage and its Poulsbo Bread, sold all over the sound. The bakery downtown sells the bread as well as dozens of sinful creations. There is a new store catering to dog lovers and several art galleries, clothing stores, home furnishings, etc. We also stopped by Boehm’s Chocolates for a bite of dessert. The toffee is out of this world!
Housing: Those interested in relocating to Poulsbo (lucky you!) will find homes in the $320,000 range.
We found this 3 bedroom, 1.75 bath home with a view of the marina and bay for $283,000. The crime rate is very low in Poulsbo. The town is on the Olympic Peninsula and gets about 56 inches of rain every year.
Weather averages 36-47 degrees F in January, and 55-77 degrees in July. A marine climate, Poulsbo rarely gets snow.
Transportation: The closest big airport is Sea-Tac, ferry ride and about 45 miles away. You can drive around the sound to the airport as well. There are two ferries in the neighborhood; Kingston to the north goes over to Edmonds (north of Seattle) and the Bainbridge Island Ferry to the south goes directly to downtown Seattle.
Zoom in and out on the map below to see Poulsbo and the surrounding area!