Photo Credit: Ingrid Taylar

One of the best-known waterway systems in the Pacific Northwest is, without a doubt, Puget Sound. For many people, the name brings many things to mind beyond inlets and estuaries, though. Puget Sound also refers to a large region of Washington State that encompasses the large cities of Seattle, Tacoma and their outlying areas. Since Fort Nisqually was first settled by Westerners in 1833, Puget Sound has enjoyed a reputation for being a scenic and enjoyable place to live. There are many prime vacation opportunities to enjoy in and around Puget Sound – and a huge number of surprises to discover.

Sightseeing and Attractions: Puget Sound’s Best Kept Secrets

Puget Sound is defined by a handful of massive, well-known landmarks; the Space Needle and Mount Rainier both immediately spring to mind. In many ways, though, it’s the littler things that make this region so beloved by so many. When in the area, consider one of these top attractions:

Museum Of Glass

Tacoma presents many unique sightseeing opportunities, and there are plenty of museums in the Seattle-Tacoma region. One of the more intriguing ones, however, is the Museum Of Glass in Tacoma. Glassblowing demonstrations are a huge part of what makes a visit here well worth it; incredible reflecting pools and other gorgeous features add to the allure of this thoroughly modern building. Stop in on a rainy day to escape the weather and to immerse yourself in truly stunning surroundings.

Chief Seattle Monument

Many people completely overlook the man for whom the largest city in the Pacific Northwest is named: Chief Seattle. Stop by Seattle’s Pioneer Square Park to check out a monument to this beloved Native American chief. It was created back in the year 1909 and is a marvelous way to get a feel for the history and culture of this unique city. Taking a breather from the other usual tourist festivities to enjoy a small dose of history can be a welcome thing.

Salmon Beach

One of the great things about traveling and seeing new places is being able to take in sights that you’d otherwise never get a chance to experience. Over near Tacoma, there is a place called Salmon Beach where several rows of cabins are built on stilts. The effect is mesmerizing, and if you’re lucky you might even get a chance to check one of them out up close. If nothing else, you can snap some great pictures.

The San Juan Islands

Puget Sounds presents many exceptional opportunities for enjoying outdoor activities, but if you only have time to visit one of the area’s many wildlife areas, make it the San Juan Islands. There, you can take part in hiking, biking, sailing, fishing, scuba diving, camping and any number of other fun activities.

Best Kept Secrets For Families & Couples

In general, Puget Sound isn’t necessarily known for being a prime honeymoon spot. That’s too bad, because it is an astonishingly beautiful area. There are also a vast array of great options for families in this part of Washington State, too. Consider one of these activities or attractions when visiting Puget Sound:

Queen Anne Hill

Couples who want to enjoy phenomenal views of Seattle and the bay should head over to Queen Anne Hill. This is a popular spot with the locals, but is still never extremely crowded. It’s easy to find a nice spot and hunker down for a bit with your sweetie while taking in some of the most breathtaking vistas in the region.

Camp 6 Logging Museum

Logging has long been a hugely important part of the economy of the Pacific Northwest, and a visit to the Camp 6 Logging Museum can help bring that fact into perspective. If you’re traveling alone as a pair, try stopping in to learn a bit more about the steam era of logging.

Snoqualmie Falls

Niagara Falls seems to get most of the glory in the United States when it comes to waterfalls, but in the Puget Sound area there’s only Snoqualmie Falls. This is an excellent place for families with small children to visit, since long walks aren’t required to take in views of this incredible natural wonder – which is, incidentally, taller than Niagara.

Eating - Sample the Local Cuisine

The Puget Sound area is well known for two primary types of cuisine: Asian and seafood. You can take your pick from a massive number of different options for either one, whether you’re in Tacoma, Seattle or at any point in between. The freshness and high quality of the food that you’ll find will win you over and will be yet one more piece of evidence that Puget Sound is a truly remarkable place.

When To Go & How to Get There

Getting into the Puget Sound area is a snap, thanks to the conveniently located Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Known simply as Sea-Tac by the locals, this airport handles all of the major airlines and is easy to get around. If you’ll be driving in, chances are you’ll head in on Interstate 5.

For those who are visiting the Puget Sound area for its ample skiing, snowboarding and ice skating opportunities, the winter months are the best in which to visit. Otherwise, August and September tend to be the warmest, sunniest – and driest – months to spend in this usually damp part of the country. Figure out which activities matter the most to you, then plan your vacation accordingly.