Remember summer in the Northwest? Shhhh, don't tell anyone. Sun for days. Humidity? What's that? Bugs? Not really. It's basically 75 and sunny every day for about 2 months, usually mid-July to September...or longer if we're lucky.
Last summer we took quite a few mini-adventures (and we're catching up on the posts now), one being a quick sail over to the Port of Poulsbo. We stayed at the marina aboard Kingsley, right next to town, and enjoyed the quaint coffee houses, bookstores, restaurants, and managed a few little paddling trips.
If you decide to hit the town before the paddling the bay, be sure to get your coffee-fix at the Poulsbohemian Coffeehouse...and you're at it, get your pastry-fix at Sluys Bakery (don't worry, you'll burn these calories off on the water). Want to scope out part of Liberty Bay by foot? Try the Aboretum Causway - it's a short waterfront walkway that starts in town and follows the water north toward Fish Park.
After putting in at the marina (from a boat or at the public boat launch), you have a few choices on where to go. Paddling away from town and the marina, what feels like upstream, leads you toward Fish Park and a great little arboretum paddle, reminiscent of the Arboretum in Seattle. Head the other way and you'll get to tour the other Liberty Bay marina(s) and will probably spy some seals chillin' on the wooden breakwater (definitely in the summer). We started out at high tide, paddling away from the marina, north toward the arboretum.
Tide is a huge factor in this paddle, medium to low tide will empty most of this route and turn it to mud. It turns out mud isn't that great to paddle in:) Heading this way, you'll get to what seems like the end and see a car dealership and a few bridges. The water gets pretty shallow - but keep going under the bridges and you'll reach the arboretum at Fish Park.
Tide and the draft of your boat will determine how far you get in the Arboretum - we made it just past the white house (on your right paddling in).
Heading in the opposite direction of the arboretum, and past the marina where we started, lands you in a great little wildlife viewing area. Time to break out the zoom lens, not get too close (it's the law), and spy some seals!
Cutting back through the marina(s) takes you past a cool little kayak rental shop and by some pretty old/big/fun/ boats - most recreational, some commercial.
Just when you've burned off those morning pastry calories, it's time to stock up for the next trip. We ate at both the Himalayan Chutney & the Casa Luna while in town - we recommend both.
Poulsbo - a great little paddling/sailing/shopping/eating town - great for a summer visit. Turns out swimming can be a little challenging though (see below)!
~Paul, Amber, Ann, Kathy - ETC
One of the cool things about living in the same place for awhile is that the friends you made when you first arrived, if you keep up with them along the way, usually end up doing some pretty interesting things. There's the friends who just built their own house, the friend who decided to up and join the military in his 30s, the friends who have had kids, and in our case - the friends who moved from the city to a quaint little town and house on the water. We're talking about Poulsbo Washington - a touristy little town on Liberty Bay (historically called Dogfish Bay) - about an hourish trip from downtown Seattle by car (and ferry) (map). Below is a pic from our friends place looking towards town.
We put in on their dock, across the bay from the marina and downtown Poulsbo.
Within minutes (about 20), we paddled across the bay and were exploring the marina and right next door to shopping, restaurants, book stores, and coffee...mmmm...coffee.
After a little boat-shopping we quickly checked out the town - went to a used boat-stuff store and bought a net (to rescue Kali from the water someday), got some coffee and sandwiches, and found some good looking restaurants for future visits. We also discovered (we expected there to be one) a little boat ramp/launch dock for kayak put-ins. It's in town right next to the Marine Science Center.
~Paul & Amber ETC
*Take the ferry from downtown to Bainbridge, paddle from there around the island to Poulsbo
*Sail to Poulsbo from Seattle (I'd bet about 2 hours away?)
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