The Scandinavian themed downtown has its roots from Norwegian immigrants from the mid-West building a town around fishing, farming and logging in the late 1800’s. Jørgen Eliason, Peter Olson, I.B. Moe, and Martin Bjermeland are credited with settling and building much of early Poulsbo. Logs provided to Port Gamble, Port Madison and Port Blakey mills starting in 1884 provided for early economic growth. Dogfish Bay became a commercial hub with the Pacific Coast Codfish Company in 1911. Poulsbo relied on the region’s “Mosquito Fleet” to connect to Seattle, Bainbridge Island, Keyport, Suquamish and other growing settlements. The fleet included the wood hulled steamer Hyak, which is now on display at the Poulsbo Maritime Museum.
Poulsbo has several distinct areas. Historic downtown Poulsbo is relaxing and walkable with shops, art galleries, restaurants, cafes, bars and breweries to explore. Sluy's Bakery, Sealife Discovery Center and the waterfront marina and park are popular for visits and locals. Just to the east over the hill is the Highway 305 business and retail corridor. It's home to Central Market, a popular destination grocery store, and Poulsbo Village Shopping Center. A medical hub is located on Bond Road near Dogfish Creek and Fish Park (complete with troll mural under a bridge). Olympic College / Western Washington University Poulsbo campus is located next to the growing retail and light industrial hub (Walmart, Home Depot, Office Depot, Starbucks, St etc.) at College Market Place on the west side of the freeway.
Since the area is known for its scenic Scandinavian village, make sure to check out the shops, listen to concerts at the waterfront park, pick through an antique store or art gallery, or attend Lutefisk and Meatball Dinner in January at the Sons of Norway Hall, the Poulsbo Beer Run for St. Patrick's Day or the Viking Fest in July. You can also say hello to the 12' tall Viking statue on the corner of Viking Way and Lindvog Way. If you’re into learning about marine life, visit the exhibits at the SEA Discovery Center (science education aquarium) operated by Western Washington University. Poulsbo also has 16 city parks to enjoy, plenty of green space and five miles trails, including Fish Park, Nelson Park, Muriel Iverson Williams Waterfront Park, and Lions, not to mention the College Place ballfields.
Home of the Suquamish People
The area is home to the Suquamish, the name meaning 'the people of the clear saltwater’. They had a rich history for over 5,000 years with winter villages throughout the area before white settlers came. The “Old Man House” winter village located at Agate Pass was home to Chief Seattle and Chief Kitsap. Today Suquamish Tribe has a thriving cultural economic renewal in Port Madison and Suquamish Village. The Suquamish Museum, Kiana Lodge, House of Awakened Culture, and Clearwater Casino Resort are public and can be visited throughout the year or during special events. Learn more.