Snugged up between the heights of the Olympic Mountains to the east and the Cascade range to the west, the stunning terrain of the Puget Sound region defines the character of much of Western Washington. When the sun shines, the Puget Sound region is one of the most beautiful in the country—snowcapped peaks stand sentinel over glistening water and evergreen canopies.
This is the most populous center of the state, with Seattle  smack dab in the middle of the eastern shores of the sound and dozens of towns and cities radiating north and south, all rich with histories of logging, railroads, mining, and agriculture, and many filled with historic brick buildings and Victorian homes that illustrate their past.
Visitors will encounter a breathtaking diversity in ecology along the inlets and isles of the sound, from wetlands and marshes on the banks of the waters to verdant farmlands and wooded hills at the foothills of the nearby mountain ranges. The moderate climate and constant drizzle of the region cultivates a lush display of greenery in the region. In spite of the explosion of growth that has hit the region in recent decades, locals have respected the gift of such beautiful environs by maintaining an impressive network of county, state, and municipal parks that give residents and visitors the opportunity to explore the region by foot, paddle, pedal, saddle, sail, and ski.
The south sound is dominated by Olympia and Tacoma. The capital of Washington, Olympia  draws travelers with tours of the capitol dome and its surrounding gardens and stately buildings. Tacoma , meanwhile, offers some of the best museums in the region, including the world famous International Museum of Glass  and the nearby Bridge of Glass, with creations blown by hometown scion Dale Chihuly.