In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been spending a lot of time in the Pacific Northwest lately! This is mainly because I find the region to be absolutely gorgeous, especially compared to where I grew up! However, the fact that my boyfriend is now living there may also have a tiny bit to do with it!
I tagged along for his last work last gig, which was on Bainbridge Island, just across the sound from Seattle. We stayed in a resort overlooking the Puget Sound, which was a nice getaway despite the fact that it’s attached to a casino.
After quickly getting tired of the casino’s dining options, we decided to consult with TripAdvisor to diversify our palettes. Little did we know that we were staying less than ten minutes away from Poulsbo, a small town occasionally referred to as “Little Norway on the Fjord” or “Viking City.”
Seeing as Poulsbo’s a popular tourist destination, we were lucky to stumble upon this adorable little town by sheer accident. Poulsbo has a lot to offer to visitors year-round, but the town transforms into a winter wonderland just before Christmas. This includes everything from candy cane street lamps, Christmas lights as far as the eyes can see, and Saint Nikolaus cruising around on a motorcycle.
At the beginning of the trip, I lamented to my boyfriend that it had been years since I experienced a European Christmas Market or a German Weihnachtsmarkt. While Poulsbo can’t compete with my favorite Nürnberger Christkindelsmarkt, it’s maybe the closest (though it has some fierce competition nearby) one can get to a European Christmas without crossing the Atlantic.
Besides great Christmas decorations, Poulsbo has its own unique charm. While we loved admiring the historic downtown area’s Norwegian-inspired facades, we found ourselves most drawn to the food! There were so many restaurants and breweries in Poulsbo that we barely scratched the surface of this small town’s culinary scene during our week-long visit.
Since I love pretty much anywhere I can me pretend to be in Europe, I particularly enjoyed Tizley’s Europub. The restaurant offers a unique combination of European national specialties, ranging from Norwegian food to Scottish shepherd pies and Hungarian goulash.
I know restaurants that try to focus on too many cuisines are usually flop, but my Jaegerschnitzel was on point and easily one of the better adaptations I’ve had in the US. They also have an awesome beer selection!
We also enjoyed the 1950’s atmosphere at Green Light Diner, and the view with our coffee at Poulsbohemian Coffee House. While in Poulsbo, you can’t miss Sluys Poulsbo Bakery, a local favorite with amazing donuts and bread!
Even if your visit to Poulsbo doesn’t coincide with the Christmas season, this cute little town has a lot to offer year round. It’s a fun place to window shop, as there are several antique stores, boutiques and bookstores.
For those looking to get a bit closer to nature, there are plenty of trails, parks and overlooks. The waterfront park near historic downtown is quite nice as well – even in the winter!
If you’ve been to Poulsbo, what are some of your favorite things to do? For more information on Poulsbo, check out Visit Kitsap.