The Puget Sound Washington region is one of the top travel destinations in the Pacific Northwest. There are many reasons for this. Among them is the Puget Sound itself. This body of water is comprised of various channels, inlets, and estuaries. Serving as a backdrop to its already picturesque appeal are enchanting mountains in the distance, and along much of the coastline, lively cities and inviting suburbs provide great places to play and stay.
The Puget Sound region is where most of Washington State's residents can be found. This is largely due to the location of Seattle on the sound's eastern shores. Major cities such as Tacoma and Olympia also call the eastern side home, as do many other cities and suburbs along the Interstate 5 corridor. On the western side, the main city is Bremerton, which is largely a Navy town. Between these and the other regional cities, there is no lack of interesting ways to keep busy.
Seattle is surely full of great attractions and can easily satisfy a few days at least with such well-known attractions as the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, EMP, and cool green spaces like Discovery Park. While smaller, other cities in this region can also be fun. Tacoma is largely residential, but has a downtown area worth visiting with its Bridge of Glass, art museum, and the Tacoma Dome. As for Olympia, it serves as Washington State's capital city and is known for its cultural edge, independent businesses, and Capitol campus.
Many visitors to the Puget Sound Washington region are especially interested in recreational activities. Kayaking is among the most popular activities here, and numerous trails cater to hiking enthusiasts back on dry land. These activities are popular throughout the Puget Sound area, but another popular activity—whale watching—is especially prime in the San Juan Islands.
As can be expected in a destination with this much water, fishing is very popular. Various species of salmon populate the Puget Sound waters, and they figure among the most sought-after catches. Only adding to the appeal of Puget Sound angling is the fact that visitors can opt to go it alone or with a guide. Fishing charters are in good number throughout the area, and they offer trips that can last a few hours, the better part of a day, or a few weeks if that's the aim.
Travelers are encouraged to keep Washington in mind when looking to add some fun beach time to their upcoming vacation. The state boasts all kinds of beaches, and they can be excellent places to relax during the summer season especially. Along the Puget Sound, there are sandy beaches, muddy beaches, and rocky beaches too. Islands such as Whidbey and Camano are where some of the best Puget Sound beaches can be found, though beach hunters don't have to leave the mainland as many cities (Seattle, Tacoma, and Olympia included) have waterfront areas. North of Seattle, for example, a number of good beaches unfold along the coastline. Some are found in state parks, and the majority are very family-friendly. Just don’t count on swimming at these beaches without a wetsuit as the water is extremely cold.
Getting to the Puget Sound area is easiest using Sea-Tac Airport just south of Seattle, which has flights from all around the world arriving and departing each day. For driving in, I-5 and I-90 serve as major pathways into this area. Arriving by way of boat is also an option, and the region is well-served by ferries.
Washington State Ferries, which is a state-run organization, is responsible for the majority of the Puget Sound ferry service. Complementing it are private ferry companies that can also come in handy. Routes link the mainland to the larger islands, and it is possible to cross over to the other side depending on where you find yourself. There is a Seattle to Bremerton ferry route, for example. Passengers can drive their vehicles onto many of the regional ferries, and it should be mentioned that there are ferries that link the Puget Sound area to the San Juan Islands farther north.