oceanSummer is 93 days long, and it’s soon coming to an end.  With the weather looking to be quite beautiful this weekend what better way to take advantage of what remains of Summer than to head outside. The JBLM area is surrounded by state parks, so whether you and your family are looking for a special spot to have a picnic or even a place to camp for a week, the Puget Sound area has it covered! Plus, this year Washington is celebrating 100th year of its state parks!

Want to build a sandcastle or comb the beach for seashells? Dash Point State Park in Federal Way is right on the Puget Sound and is the perfect place to set up a couple of lawn chairs and take in the views while they kids swim and fly kites. There’s places to camp, and there are 11 miles of trails for hiking and biking on. Many people also bring their canoes and kayaks.

In Des Moines, Saltwater State Park rests on the shore of the Puget Sound. Nestled in a city, this camping park features forested trails, beach access and tide pools filled with fascinating creatures. Saltwater Park is also the only state park that has an underwater artificial reef that gives divers the awesome opportunity to explore some of the diverse marine life in the area. (Fun fact: In 1926, Tacoma and Seattle buried a hatch at the park as a sort of peace offering during the dedication of the park. The symbol showed that their mutual competition with each other was over).

Moving inland a bit, Flaming Geyser National Park is located near Auburn right along the Green River. On hotter parksdays, you might spot groups of people enjoying a float down the river in tubes and rafts, a favorite activity for people visiting the park. But the most unique attraction the park offers are its “geysers”. A flame burns through a cement basin that is fueled by a methane gas pocket that is 1,000 feet underground. Many enjoy flying model airplanes in the specially designated open fields of the park.

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