Although the U.S. doesn’t have a shortage of island areas that its residents and visitors can enjoy, few have the distinctive vibe of Puget Sound. Its islands are unlike anything else in the country, and perhaps even in the world.
Consider a visit to one of these islands to see what makes them such a great addition to Washington State life. Reaching them is easy — and their natural beauty is truly a sight to behold.
Here are some of the more popular island areas that would garner the most interest from families or visitors to Puget Sound.
San Juan Islands
This is a collection of islands that are a part of the Salish Sea. Its namesake island is the second largest of this group at about 55 square miles.
Whether by ferry, boat or plane, San Juan features parks, museums and sea-based farms that you can visit. It’s also a great place to watch for orca whales or to hike through its forests.
A name that’s known well outside of upper Washington State, Bainbridge is very close to the downtown area of Seattle. Reached by ferry, it includes the Fay Bainbridge Park and Campground as well as the Bloedel Reserve with its gardens and scenic trails.
There are plenty of shops and restaurants to visit in the island city’s quaint downtown areas. Add on a beach area and some fantastic views of the Cascades and you have a fun stopover anytime.
Another big island – about 80 miles total – Vashon is still a kind of a hidden getaway for some residents who want a day trip with a little something extra. It doesn’t get as many visitors as some of the others, but there’s plenty to see.
There are many galleries to see local art as well as tons of other locally owned shopping areas. It also has its own coffee roastery. For the outdoors, venture toward Vashon’s trails in the wooded area for a truly Puget Sound experience. You can get there by boat or ferry.
Pardon the pun, but it’s not a stretch to say this is a great place for people who enjoy wildlife. Found in the south part of Puget Sound and accessible by ferry, Stretch Island is a place that’s unto itself even if this sound’s system.
A variety of different flora and fauna, some unique to the island itself, is a huge attraction, plus you’ll be able to see blue herons and bald eagles in abundance. It’s also known for shellfish harvesting and its wild salmon population, so fishing is also a popular activity.
This is one of the smaller islands, reaching just shy of two square miles, but it’s also its own state park. It’s only accessible by boat instead of the ferry system, so if you want a solitary place to commune with nature, you’ll find it with Blake.
The island is quite beautiful, including beach areas, trails and opportunities to dive or fish in the pristine blue waters that surround it. You can even go clam-digging as part of this bucolic area that feels miles away from metropolitan.
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