Day Trip: Discover Puget Sound’s “Little Norway”

There is nothing more uniquely Pacific Northwest than the Washington State Ferry system. The big white and green boats shuttle both travelers and commuters alike across the waters of Puget Sound. This month, we are going to hop on board and head to Poulsbo to discover “Little Norway”.

In the 1880s, a Norwegian immigrant named Jorgen Eliason founded the town and was soon joined by other Norwegian and Scandinavian immigrants who loved the similarities of the area to their landscapes back home. In 1886, it was suggested the town be called Paulsbo (which translates to “Paul’s Place”), but officials in Washington D.C. misspelled the town’s name and the community became known as Poulsbo. But don’t let any locals catch you mispronouncing it – they are protective of their little town in Kitsap.  

So what is there to do in this quaint Norwegian town? Tons! There are shops, restaurants, parks and more to explore, making it a perfect day trip from Seattle.

Here is a quick list to get your trip started:

  • Walk around downtown Poulsbo’s Main Street and stop into one of the many shops or five art galleries.
  • Stop for a treat in one of Poulsbo’s main attractions – Sluys Bakery. The cinnamon bun is to die for!
  • Browse the shelves at Liberty Bay Books for the latest best seller or talk with the staff and get new recommendations.
  • Stroll the boardwalk along Liberty Bay and see the dozens of boats moored there – you may even catch a glimpse of a seal playing in the water.
  • Grab a table outside and feast on crab cakes and fish at JJ’s Fish House.
  • After lunch, visit the Olympic Outdoor Center and rent a kayak to explore the calm waters of Liberty Bay.
  • As you’re leaving town, stop by the Nordic Heritage Museum and learn more about the town you just explored.

 After a full day in “Little Norway,” you will be ready to hop back on the ferry, but you’ll leave with a full belly and a new appreciation for our area’s roots. Be sure to tell your friends about Poulsbo so they too can experience all the little town has to offer.