Gig Harbor, WA
Gig Harbor, Washington
Gig Harbor is a small bayside town that has been around for 180 years. The town shares the same name as the bay that it surrounds, which is a small branch of the Puget Sound. It was named by a ship captain who abandoned his vessel during a dangerous storm and rowed all the way to this bay from Canada to seek shelter. He liked it so much that he decided to stay.
Because a significant portion of the town is located on the bay, water-related jobs and recreational activities are an important part of the marina. Approximately 71% of Gig Harbor residents own some type of boat, and 3% of those residents own commercial boats. Fishing also plays a major role in this small town.
Gig Harbor falls under the jurisdiction of the Peninsula School District, which consists of 7 elementary schools, 5 middle schools, and 3 high schools. One of the two Tacoma Community College campuses can be found in Gig Harbor. Out of the nearly 4,000 homes in Gig Harbor, over 2,000 are single-family homes and about 1,700 are multi-family homes.
Uptown Gig Harbor Shopping
This section of Gig Harbor has many unique shops where local merchants sell one-of-a-kind trinkets, artwork, gifts, and clothing items. This includes boutiques, spas, gardening stores, jewelers, and gift shops. There is also a high-tech Galaxy theater that shows different films daily.
Harbor History Museum
This fairly new maritime history museum displays cultural exhibits including a Gig Harbor schoolhouse built in the late 1800s, notable ships and boats, and artifacts revealing firsthand experiences of Washington Native Americans and settlers.
Gig Harbor Festivals
There are 3 major art-related festivals that are held annually in Gig Harbor.
The Gig Harbor Summer Arts Festival is held every July, where guests are invited to decorate the waterfront with their own artistic chalk drawings. There are food vendors, kids’ activities, live music performances, and an Art in the Brewery event for the adults.
Olalla Americana Music Festival is held every August. This collection of performances celebrates musical styles such as bluegrass, country, blues, jazz, folk, and R&B. They supply arts and crafts vendors, food vendors, pie contests, and raffles.
Gig Harbor Film Festival is held every September at the Galaxy Uptown Theatre, where aspiring film makers can showcase their hard work for the whole community to see. Film makers are also offered a Q&A panel with their audience to help inspire others.
Skansie Brothers Park
This 3-acre park is in the center of the town and is where concerts are held in the summertime and a farmer’s market is open in the spring. Its name is derived from the 4 brothers that worked in the netshed located in the park, who were well-known fishermen within the community. The house they lived in is now a historic landmark owned by the town.
Gig Harbor Downtown Waterfront Alliance
You can find nearly 30 different restaurants, cafes, and wineries along the Gig Harbor waterfront. This includes the iconic Tide’s Tavern, which is known for their extraordinary clam chowder, fish and chips, and Northwest salmon dishes. Another local favorite is 7 Seas Brewing Company, where you can get some very distinctive and interesting craft beers.
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