Most folks, when they visit Poulsbo, just visit the historic downtown district. At a glance the rest may look like chain stores, and other things not of interest to a visitor. That couldn’t be further from the truth. While downtown is a large concentration of the restaurants and shops in Poulsbo, the rest of our city is a vibrant mix of local businesses and chains providing everything a visitor or resident to Poulsbo might need. This is the first installment in the series of posts where we’ll look at what you’ll find in each of the different districts of Poulsbo outside of downtown.
Most visitors to Poulsbo will pass quickly through this corridor on their way downtown or may be staying at one of the two hotels here. There’s a lot to see here. If you forgot you’re comfy shoes we have Poulsbo Running or Harrison’s Comfort Footwear, both locally owned shops provide a wide range of walking, running, hiking shoes and accessories. Not enough food for Fido? Check out Naturally 4 Paws next to Central Market.
Speaking of which, Central Market is a local grocery chain, and is a favorite to locals and visitors alike. This popular store features gourmet grab-and-go foods, a great selection of hard to find beers & wines, a coffee shop, pizza & hot dog counter and a small gift department that is updated seasonally.
If you’re headed to a get-together, don’t go empty handed! High Spirits is a locally-owner specialty Liquor Store located in the Centennial Building. It is in no way your average liquor store, they specialize in local and hard to find spirits, a growler re-fill bar and a wine cellar with an amazing selection of wines. They offer themed tastings most Saturdays, so even if you’re not in the market, check them out to try something new.
The 305 also contains a vast majority of Poulsbo’s restaurant options, from chain’s to ethic fare, including Punjab India Cuisine, Blossom (Chinese), Los Cabos (Mexican), Isla Bonita (Mexican), El Sabor Casero (Salvadorian), Pho T&N (Vietnamese). and Kachai Thai Kitchen. There are also various cafe’s along this corridor that make great lunch spots including Chocmo (who also make amazing chocolcates!), and The Coffee Oasis, which has great wraps and salads and added bonus – a non-profit that supports local at-risk youth.
Looking for a great brunch spot on the weekend, or what is probably Poulsbo’s most upscale dining experience? The newly opened, family-owned Crabtree Kitchen won’t disappoint. Located in the new Centennial building just off 305, you’ll find a nicely curated menu, excellent cocktails, in a beautiful and airy atmosphere. The focus of this restaurant is sustainability, they source their ingredients locally working with local farmers, and even growing their own herbs in-restaurant.
Need coffee? There is of course Starbucks, a stand-alone location next to CVS and one located inside Safeway. BUT Poulsbo is a town that LOVES its coffee. Be sure to check out the local coffee shops along this corridor, from the little drive-thru Nordic Coffee, to spots that also offer a sit-down experience, including Café Au Lait, Central Coffee (located inside Central Market), and the afore mentioned Coffee Oasis.
This list really just scratches the surface, many more restaurants can be found here, along with retail locations to meet a wide variety of needs. For a full list of businesses in The 305 click here.
Image Source: https://chinookbook.com
Poulsbo has so much to offer this time of year. From traditional Norwegian holiday events to shopping stores filled with unique finds. If you want to win Christmas this year, don’t miss a visit to Poulsbo, a one-stop shop for shopping and entertaining this holiday season!
The Don’t Miss List
- November 29th: Poulsbo Tree Lighting This annual tradition features the lighting of the tree’s surrounding Poulsbo’s Viking at the junction of Viking & Lindvig Way. The event offers cookie & ornament decorating, Christmas carols and a visit from old St. Nick! Follow Santa afterwards to a family-friendly after-party at Hudson Auto featuring free photos with Santa, snacks & drinks. http://www.vikingfest.org/poulsbo-tree-lighting-ceremony/
- December 3rd: Argosy Christmas Cruise Argosy cruises features a cruise from the Port of Poulsbo featuring stops to listen to the North Kitsap Northern Lights Choir. The first performance is at 6:30 in the waterfront park. Come downtown to view the performance, or check their website for tickets to join the cruise. https://www.argosycruises.com/events/christmas-ship-from-poulsbo/
- December 7th: Yule Fest The day kicks off with the Christmas Bazaar at Sons of Norway from 10-4pm. There will be 30 vendors featuring Norwegian & Christmas crafts, foods and gifts. Don’t miss the Lefse and a Norwegian lunch downstairs in the Viking Room. Following the Bazaar is the Yulefest festivities in the waterfront park. The Sons of Norway Viking’s will escort the Lucia Bride and light the bonfire followed by the Viking King’s reading of the Winter Solstice Proclamation. An annual tradition, and must to kick off the holiday season!
- December 14th: Tuba Christmas Join the Poulsbo Tuba Players in the Waterfront Park on Saturday December 14th from 3-5pm. They will playing Christmas songs in the pavilion.
- December 14th: 50th Annual Lighted Boat Parade Each year, Rudolph (the red nose reindeer) leads Santa through the local waters of Puget Sound with greetings to those along the parade route (Click the link below to view the route). The lighted boats arrive in the Port of Poulsbo a little after 5:00, be sure to get to the waterfront park or other waterfront locations on the route early to get a good spot to view the boats as they pass by! https://www.visitpoulsbo.com/event/50th-annual-lighted-boat-parade/
Ongoing Holiday Events
- November 30th-December 24th: Meet Father Christmas Meet Father Christmas and snap a photo with him for free Downtown Poulsbo. Father Christmas will be in his house November 29, 30th & December 1st from 11-3pm. Saturdays in December through the 23rd, 11-3 pm. Sundays in December through the 24th. 12 – 3 pm Christmas Eve, 11 -2 pm. https://www.facebook.com/events/historic-downtown-poulsbo/meet-father-christmas/1000295650311265/
- November 30th-December 22nd: Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides Through Downtown Poulsbo Enjoy a free, festive carriage ride through the historic downtown shopping district of Poulsbo. A fun, family friendly event! While the event is free, they do encourage donations of shelf-stable foods to support NK Fishline.
- NEW! December 6-22nd: Holiday Carousel
Located in the center of town is the Christmas Carousel, $3 per rider. Available M-Th 3-7pm, Fri-Sun 11-7pm.
What motivates you to get out and run? Is it the challenge of beating your best time, the rush of pushing yourself to the limit, the peace of the open road, or just the love of being outside?
For many in this area, the surrounding beauty is enough to get you out and to move. Poulsbo has plenty to show off; from beautiful neighborhoods to waterways, to vast stretches of green pathways.
We asked one of our well-known and loved runners of the area, Suzie Banzar, to give us a few of her top areas to run.
Fjord Drive; One of her favorite routes would have to be along our downtown route; through downtown Poulsbo, onto Fjord, with stunning views of the water, and turning into Lemolo. This route has it all and can be as long or short as you wish.
Liberty Bay Boardwalk; With plenty of parking around our Poulsbo Rec Center, it’s a perfect starting point. An easy run along Front Street, or cut down through Nelson Park to run the boardwalk, which follows the shores of Liberty Bay. Stunning views of the mountains, water, and our Poulsbo Marina. Past the Marina, head back up to reach Fjord for more waterfront views. Fjord turns into Lemolo, and along with it brings the trees and some shade.
A local neighborhood, which the locals lovingly call Skittleville, is stunning this time of year. The colors of the changing of the leaves can be breathtaking. Add this neighborhood onto your Fjord/Lemolo route for a lengthier run.
Our local Clear Creek Trail, as you head into the Silverdale, is a fun 3-5 mile run. It winds through pathways of wooden bridges, over the wetlands, and beautiful open field spaces. These trails are perfect for all ages; many moms with strollers and children on bikes, in tow, can be found on these paths each day.
Poulsbo’s Fish Park provides a perfect little jaunt through Liberty Bay Estuary and viewing spots of Dogfish Creek, over the wooden pathways. Add on some mileage along the wide sidewalks of Viking Way.
Port Gamble Trails provides fun for everyone. Mountain bikers and horse-riders share the paths with runners, and provides some of the best trail runs around! On any given day, you will find groups of all sorts enjoying nature out there. But be careful, downloading a map is a must, or you may get lost.
For more serious runners, check out the Roots Rock Racing series, sponsored by our very own Poulsbo Running. From the Spooky 12k on Halloween to a 5k and trail half marathon race, there is always a great race to join in on!
In addition to Suzie’s love for running, she has a passion for her volunteer work with Girls On The Run (GOTR). GOTR sessions run through Spring and Fall; building girls’ self-confidence and a love of running.