Top Things To Do In Poulsbo

Poulsbo – An Introduction

We’d never heard of Poulsbo until we applied for a house sit there for the Autumn of 2018.

Luckily we were accepted and were able to explore this amazing little town and the surrounding areas.

Poulsbo is in Washington State so we flew into Seattle and rented a car from the airport.

Technically it’s not on an island as it’s connected to the mainland in a roundabout way even though it’s across the water from Seattle.

You can take a ferry from Seattle but we decided to drive around the long way to avoid the ferry charges and driving through Seattle.

So now you have a rough idea of where the town is, let’s explore the top things to do in Poulsbo.


Enjoy The Views Down By The Waterfront

The town has an idyllic setting on the waterfront of Liberty Bay

Here you’ll find quaint little shops, restaurants and cafes to explore.

Norwegians arrived here in the 1800s and their legacy is felt all over town, in fact, Poulsbo is nicknamed, Little Norway.

Relax and take in the view from the waterfront park area or stroll along the overwater boardwalk.


Poulsbo Town Center

It’s nice to walk around the jetties of the Port of Poulsbo and watch all the leisure boats coming and going.

We loved walking around the port and watching the seals that swim around the area, popping their heads up now and again to look around.

Poulsbo Port

The Harbour At Poulsbo

Indulge Yourself At Sluys Bakery

There’s been a bakery on this site in the center of town since the early 1900s.

Starting out as the Star Bakery it focused mainly on the wholesale market but as the town grew, the need for a retail bakery also grew.

In 1966 Marion and Loretta Sluys purchased the bakery and named it Sluys Poulsbo Bakery.

Their son Daniel Sluys who has worked in the bakery since he was just 8 years old, now runs the shop.

The Sluys created their own bread, named Poulsbo Bread which became so popular that the rights to the mix were sold to bread manufacturers who till this day sell it all around the world.

But Sluys bakery is the only bakery in the world allowed to make the bread from scratch.

Poulsbo - Sluys Bakery

Sluys Bakery Was An Indulgence Of Ours

We don’t mind admitting we got a little addicted to their sweet treats.

Everything is handcrafted from scratch and you can taste the quality.

I got hooked on the Apple and Walnut Danish and Annabel loved the Dough Boys.

The bakery is very popular so there always seemed to be a line.

It opens at 4.30 am but I don’t think we ever got quite desperate enough to visit that early.

You can find out more about Sluys Bakery on their website.

Poulsbo - Sluys Bakery

Annabel Loved The Dough Boys From Sluys Bakery

Learn About The Sea Life At The SEA Discovery Center

At the far end of town right by the harbour, you’ll find the SEA Discovery Center.

The center run by the Western Washington University has free admission but a donation is always gratefully accepted.

It’s a fairly small aquarium and science center but the volunteer staff are very keen to share their knowledge of local marine life.

Annabel loved exploring the tide pool where you can handle sea stars, anemones, sea cucumbers and lots more sea creatures.

There are also some tanks with tropical fish and jellyfish to look at as well as an octopus in his own tank.

Continuous educational films about the ocean play all day in their theatre.

The volunteers are genuinely pleased to chat and we learnt so much from them.

Take a look at the SEA Discovery Center website for more information

Poulsbo - SEA Discovery Center

Hands On In The Tide Pool At SEA DIscovery Center

Visit The Poulsbo Library

We love libraries and Poulsbo has a great one.

This may only interest you if you are staying in the area for a longer visit as we were.

It’s a fairly small library but has a really nice atmosphere and we worked in there a lot as it had good wifi and was comfortable.

Annabel also loved the opportunity to sit quietly and read in the teens and tweens private section.

The library is open every day, yes every day of the week although some days opening hours are shorter than others.

Poulsbo - Library

We Loved Spending Time At The Library ( not our photo)

Further Afield

Here are some places that although aren’t in Poulsbo can be accessed from the town easily and are definitely worth checking out.

Explore The Suquamish Museum And Indianola

Just 6 miles East of Poulsbo the small settlement of Suquamish sits in a beautiful setting overlooking Port Madison Bay.

Take a while to enjoy the ocean views from the car park by the waterfront.

Just up the road, you’ll find the Suquamish Museum to explore.

Suquamish is the home to the Suquamish First Nation people and was the Winter home of Chief Seattle.

The museum helps you to understand the culture as well as the history of the Suquamish through its many exhibits.

You’ll find more information on the museum’s website.

Poulsbo - Suquamish Museum

A Display At The Suquamish Museum

Don’t be in a hurry to leave the area too soon as we would recommend taking a drive over to Indianola just across the Miller Bay from Suquamish.

Follow the shore road as it hugs the coast then cuts inland before taking a right turn toward Indianola.

Head toward the coast and you’ll find the Indianola Country Store and Deli.

It’s an ideal place to grab a snack and they serve hot food ( although we didn’t try it ) in their small sit down area.

From the store walk downhill to the waterfront where there’s a lovely pier to walk out onto and see the view out over the ocean.

We could have stayed there forever, it was so peaceful and calm just taking in the view.

Poulsbo - Indianola

Houses Along The Indianola Shore Line

Poulsbo - Indianola

The Pier At Indianola

Point No Point

18 miles North of Poulsbo, Point No Point lighthouse stands overlooking the Puget Sound.

We fell in love with everything about this place and visited on at least three occasions.

What did we love about it?

The beach, the sea life, the sunsets and the fun we had.

We liked it so much we thought it deserved its own post which you can read here.

Poulsbo - Point No Point

Taking In The Ocean View At Point No Point

The Olympic Peninsula

Both the Olympic National Park and the Olympic National Forest are just over an hours drive away from Poulsbo.

Forest, mountains, lakes and ocean make this one of the most diverse areas to hike and have outdoor fun in.

With so many areas to explore we’ve written our own posts on each place.

Read about our exploration of Olympic National Park here.

And you can find out about our hiking adventures in Olympic National Forest here.

Poulsbo - Olympic National Park

Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park

Poulsbo - Olympic National Forest

Tunnel Creek Trail , Olympic National Forest

Our Thoughts

Poulsbo was somewhere that wasn’t on our radar at all, in fact, we didn’t know it existed.

Being offered a house sit there was a blessing as the area is outstanding with magnificent scenery, wildlife ( oh yes we saw a black bear, deer and seals), lots of outdoor activities and a beautiful little town.

We would return in a heartbeat.

Poulsbo - Olympic National Forest

Street Art Depicting Poulsbo’s Norwegian Ancestry