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The grand waterway of Puget Sound hooks far into western Washington, its array of islands and peninsulas the dramatic setting for passing yachts, oceangoing ships, fishing trawlers and even nuclear submarines. The southern edge of the Sound is strongly urban, where the formerly industrial Tacoma and the small state capital of Olympia are worthwhile stopovers, while the waterway itself surrounds many appealing mountains, forests and lakes. Popular escapes include rural Whidbey Island and the beautiful San Juan Islands further north.