Are you planning a trip to the Pacific Northwest/Seattle this year? Do you live here and need a day trip idea? Come visit a little town they call “Little Norway” – Poulsbo, WA! The town has been on my must see list for a few years now and we finally ventured over there. It was about an hour drive from Tacoma and I’ve passed the exit on the highway many times but haven’t actually seen the town. We were immediately in love! It was better than we imagined even with cold/wet weather – luckily we had sweaters in the car. Read below to make the most of your trip whither it’s a day trip or vacation, I’ve got you covered! And be sure to check out a few of our photos from the day, just be aware they are cell phone shots!
Getting to Poulsbo
We got to Poulsbo by car and is was very easy, with no traffic it took us only 50 minutes from Tacoma. The best part I feel is right at the heart of the town and marina/beach is a large free parking lot, on a busy day we had no problem finding a space.
Straight from VisitPoulsbo.com From the West: Travel over the Hood Canal Bridge (the world’s longest floating bridge over tidal water) or by HWY 3 from the South. Poulsbo offers Free Parking and access to electric plug charging stations for those traveling green.From Seattle / Sea-Tac Airport: Start going SE on South 118th Street (towards Military Road),Follow I-5 South to Tacoma. Just past the Tacoma Dome, exit at exit #132 onto Highway 16 to Bremerton. Go over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and continue past Gig Harbor and Port Orchard. Take the WA-305 Exit towards: Poulsbo/Bainbridge Island / Kingston Drive time – 90 minutes
Washington State Ferry Riders have the option to drive on or walk on. The Washington State Ferry Service offers the flexibility of 4 routes making it easy to travel by ferry allowing you to relax and take in the sites.
Poulsbo Marina has 130 guest slips – so there’s always room for you. The marina offers a wide range of facilities including permanent and transient moorage, bathhouse, laundry room, and marine fuel.
Where to Stay
We didn’t actually have the opportunity to stay in Poulsbo this time, but I’m planning something. It is such a cute town and even though we live fairly close I would love a weekend getaway. There are more lodging options in Poulsbo other than then the ones I have posted, but since my blog focuses on family-friendly I will list the most family-friendly looking places. You can always check out vrbo.com and airbnb.com too.
- Red Lions Guesthouse Inn & Suites pricing around $150, family-friendly inn including pets, continental breakfast, wifi, convenient location and more.
- Poulsbo Inn & Suites price around $100, family-friendly inn, convenient location, pool, continental breakfast, free wifi and more.
Where to Eat
There are a lot of options where to eat in Poulsbo, from German to Mexican, something for all taste buds.
- Sluy’s Bakery – start your day off by taking a trip into Sluy’s Bakery, yummy donuts, get a loaf of their famous Poulsbo bread, but my absolute favorite were the butterflake rolls, my mouth is still drooling!! They were so nice and friendly, an older gentleman whom I believe he said he and his wife founded the place were passing out free samples of full size cupcakes.
- JJ’s Fish House – we were craving seafood so decided to eat here and we weren’t disappointed. It was very good and I found the prices to be reasonable. We had fish & chips – which were very good, clam pasta – was good but didn’t have much flavor, but they definitely didn’t skimp on the clams, our favorite was the clam chowder it was amazing and next time will be ordering a bigger helping. I was pleasantly surprised my raspberry sweet tea was sweetened by real raspberries!! The only thing we didn’t particularly like, during a busy day inside the restaurant is very loud, thankfully we were able to sit outside otherwise we would of went somewhere else.
- Casa Luna – Mexican food in a Norwegian inspired town? why not!! Take a stroll down there extremely cute walkway to tasty food.
- MORA for some delicous ice cream!
- Tizley’s Europub can’t go to Poulsbo without eating some European dishes!!
What to Do
There is a lot to do in Poulsbo, family-friendly things and adults only, things for everyone! The best part Poulsbo offers lots of free things to do or reasonably priced fun!
- Afternoon of fun for FREE! Well, almost free just the cost of getting to Poulsbo. But you could seriously pack food and head to this cute little town. Parking is free, walk the boardwalk, walk around the marina, walk around the town, no playground at the small park but it did have stuff the kids could climb all over.
- Take a stroll in town and stop into Liberty Bay Books, browse and buy if you wish, I did find they had reasonable prices.
- Salsbury Point County Park – let the kids run wild at the playground!
- Rent a kayak and explore Liberty Bay
- Many shops and art galleries to see on Main Street
- Poulsbo has a couple museums, including SEA Discovery Center, free to enter although they do accept donations. Fun little place especially for children, with a touch tank and more.
- Take a short drive over to Point No Point Lighthouse
- Poulsbo is definitely a pet friendly town, so be sure to take those furry loved ones!
- Third weekend in May, Viking Fest http://poulsbochamber.com/annual-events-festivals/
- St. Hans (Mid-Sommerfest) in June http://www.poulsbosonsofnorway.com/
- Poulsbo 3rd of July Festival – fireworks and more http://www.thirdofjuly.org/
- Check out Poulsbo during Christmas time, it’s supposed to be a winter wonderland!
- Find more events in Poulsbo, check out the calendar here http://poulsbochamber.com/annual-events-festivals/
Remember to check the forecast before you head to Poulsbo and throw in a light jacket just in case!!