A trip to the park should begin with a visit to the spiffy, modern Visitor Centre. It's located on a scenic part of the sound, among green hills; from here, the sound looks suspiciously like a lake except for the ocean-salted sailboats tied up at the wharf.

The center has a handful of exhibits focusing on local marine life, many of them geared toward kids. There's a "touch tank" where you can scoop up starfish and other aquatic denizens, and informative displays on underwater life. The underwater video monitor is especially nifty: It allows you to check out the action under the adjacent wharf with a joystick and zoom-in controls. There's also a wet lab, where you can conduct simple "experiments" under the watch of a park naturalist. The center is free with your paid park admission. You'll also find a snack bar and gift shop here.

Check with the ranger on duty to discuss your options in exploring the park. Staff can point you in the right direction, whether your interests are in soft adventure or in heading out to the backcountry.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.