Living in and around Joint Base Lewis-McChord offers tons of opportunity for enjoying the beautiful waters of the Puget Sound! Whether you’re interested in a relaxing scenic trip or a fun weekend activity for the whole family, there’s definitely a lot to choose from. The summer ahead of us promises lovely weather, breathtaking sunsets and of course, wildlife sightings!

Although whale tours can be restful and relaxing, they can also get pretty exciting for people of all ages! The summertime especially is ripe with opportunity for spotting whales, and Puget Sound Express offers a fantastic  variety of trips whether you’re interested in watching for orcas and other whales, an eclectic variety of birds, or even puffins. In fact, during March and April, there’s a boating trip to see the majestic gray whales that are passing through the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Puget Sound.

You can also take a scenic ferry ride from Seattle to Bainbridge Island (voted one of the most scenic ferry rides in the country) for a leisurely day trip and a spectacular view of the Seattle skyline–enjoy the ride, hop off for dinner, and admire the sunset on your way back! There’s also a ferry that runs from Point Defiance to Vashon Island, a fun trip to take along with a visit to the Point Defiance Zoo.

“You can really make a whole day out of heading to Point Defiance,” says University Place Real Estate Agent Amy Lowry. “When we had some family come visit us from out of town, our families spent the morning at the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium and then we took the ferry to Vashon, grabbed a bite to eat and then headed back. It also gave us a great way to show off how beautiful the Puget Sound area is.”

If you’re interested in experiencing another new perspective of the Gig Harbor and Tacoma area, Destiny Harbor Tours offers daily boat rides around the region. Depending on what tour you choose, there are opportunities to see the Narrow Bridges, where the old Galloping Gertie rests, sea lions, harbor seals, bald eagles, beaches, lighthouses, Vashon Island, Brown’s Point and more.

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Joint Base Living is a blog about food, neighborhoods, events, and things to do near JBLM!

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