Poulsbo : Washington


What It Is Like to Retire in Poulsbo

Nestled in a valley between the majestic Olympic and Cascade Mountain ranges, Poulsbo, Washington, is an authentic Norwegian community settled in the 1800’s by immigrants from Norway and Finland, who were drawn to it because of the similarities to their native countries.  The city is located on Liberty Bay in Kitsap County, that provides for breathtaking scenery and has a population of just under 12,000 (2020 Census).  Today, the Scandinavian theme is prevalent in its downtown with its storefronts, art galleries, shops, and specialty bakeries.   The town has become a popular regional tourist destination, and with a town harbor, many visitors arrive by boat.  Poulsbo celebrates its proud Norwegian heritage each year with a popular Viking Fest. King Olav V of Norway visited  in 1975, when the town celebrated 150 years of Norwegian settlement in the United States.


Where to Retire in Poulsbo and Home Prices

Zillow reports the median home value to be $664,938 in mid-2022.

What Is Special about Poulsbo

Poulsbo, commonly referred to as "Little Norway on the Fjord", has the old world charm of a Norwegian community, and the vibrant, very walkable downtown has specialty shops and historic attractions. Poulsbo also has its own harbor with boat slips for visitors, and several parks which offer many outdoor activities, including a waterfront park with boating. You would never tire of the panoramic views of Liberty Bay and the Olympic Mountains.


What Is Not Special about Poulsbo

As with many tourist destinations, Poulsbo can become crowded during the summer months; high cost of living, and winters can be long with cool temperatures


Who Will Like Retirement in Poulsbo

Retirees who want a quaint, walkable town on the water would enjoy living here. Olympic University has a satellite campus in Poulsbo which makes it a college town. Poulsbo crime rate is lower than the national average.


Local Economy Is Driven by

The economy is diverse and is driven by manufacturing, defence, tourism and professional and technical services.


Climate and Physical Environment

Poulsbo's average January temperature is 41 degrees, and the average July temperture is about 61 degrees. The city receives approximately 35 inches of rain annually, and just a few inches of snow each winter.


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Poulsbo is full of shops, waterfront restaurants and art galleries, and is home to Sluys' Poulsbo Bakery which is known worldwide for it famous Poulsbo Bread. The town is proud of its Norwegian heritage which it celebrates with many festivals throughout the year, including the annual Viking Fest with artisans, food, and a parade. Another popular event is the The Summer Solstice which is celebrated Norwegian style with the St.Hans Mid-Sommerfest that includes folk dances and a bon fire. And the Lighted Boat Parade is a Christmas tradition held each year by the Poulsbo Yacht Club.



The crime rate in Poulsbo is slightly lower than the national average, with most involving theft.


Medical Facilities

Harrison Medical Center is nearby in Bremerton, and Peninsula Cancer Center is located in Poulsbo.



Kenmore Air Harbor Seaplane Base in 33 miles away, the William R. Fairchild International Airport is about 65 miles away, and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is approximately 70 miles away. The town has a marina for visitors who come by boat, and Kitsap Transit offers service, as do several ferries.


Valuable Links

City of Poulsbo

Viking Fest


What people are saying about Poulsbo

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