Only 13 nm from Seattle, Poulsbo, Washington, is in a world of its own. First settled by Scandinavian immigrants in the 1880s because the snow-capped Olympic Mountains to the west reminded them of home, Poulsbo today is a popular boating and tourist destination known as Little Norway. It even has a Viking Fest on the third weekend in May to mark the start of the summer, complete with a parade, carnival and lots of live entertainment.
For cruising boat owners, Poulsbo is not only easy to get to; it’s also an easy place to stay. It’s basically just behind Bainbridge Island, on Liberty Bay on the Kitsap Peninsula, and the Poulsbo Marina is large, modern and welcoming, with 130 transient slips. It has a fuel dock, showers, two pump-out stations and a laundry room, but its real appeal is that it’s only a block or two from the heart of the historic district downtown. There are a lot of small restaurants there offering basic American, Italian and Indian food; there’s even a British pub. But the real attraction is the Scandinavian bakery; definitely stock up for the boat.
Once you’ve eaten, take in the free science center (particularly if you’re cruising with children), walk along the shoreline park, complete with boardwalk and playground, or dive into the marine exchange, where you may find that one item for the boat that you’ve always wanted.
For more on Poulsbo, see the video below, or read the story in Sea below that: